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16th January 2024 (12 Topics)

Two-front threats


Army Chief's annual media interaction presented a mature assessment of security issues facing India, making room for pragmatic solutions.

Army Chief's Reflections on Security Challenges

  • Manipur Situation: General Pande acknowledges reduced violence in Manipur but highlights challenges in recovering stolen arms, emphasizing the volatility at the Indo-Myanmar border.
  • Free Movement Regime (FMR): Concerns raised about the FMR with Myanmar enabling infiltration, smuggling, and the limited availability of Assam Rifles units for border sealing.
  • Assam Rifles Deployment: The need for expanding Assam Rifles units in the Northeast due to their effectiveness in handling security issues in the region is underscored.

Jammu and Kashmir Scenario

  • Concern in J&K: General Pande candidly acknowledges the concerning situation in J&K, emphasizing the importance of realistic threat assessments for pragmatic solutions.
  • Tactical Lessons: The Chief's admission of tactical lessons from setbacks in J&K showcases a departure from routine responses and reflects a commitment to learning from experiences.
  • Support for Hearts and Minds: The positive outlook towards winning hearts and minds in J&K, supported by the Defense Minister, sets the tone for a more nuanced and holistic approach.

Northern Borders with China

  • Operational Preparedness: General Pande assures a high level of operational preparedness along the northern borders with China, emphasizing robust and balanced deployment.
  • Status Quo Ante: The focus on reverting to the status quo ante in 2020 before considering troop reduction signals a commitment to restoring trust and avoiding tactical misunderstandings.
  • Readiness for Change: The Chief is urged to prepare the Army for technological transformations and acknowledges the need to address threats arising from climate change.
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