India's armed forces play a key role in protecting the country and occupy a special place in the Indian people's hearts, yet standard accounts of contemporary Indian history rarely have a military dimension. In India's Wars, serving Air Vice Marshal Arjun Subramaniam seeks to rectify that oversight by giving India's military exploits their rightful place in history.
Subramaniam begins India's Wars with a frank call to reinvigorate the study of military history as part of Indian history more generally. Part II surveys the development of the India's army, navy, and air force from the early years of the modern era to 1971. In Parts III and IV, Subramaniam considers conflicts from 1947 to 1962 as well as conflicts with China in 1962 and Pakistan in 1965 and 1971. Part V concludes by assessing these conflicts through the lens of India's ancient strategist, Kautilya, who is revered in India as much as Sun Tzu is in China.
Not merely a wide-ranging historical narrative of India's military performance in battle, India's Wars also offers a strategic, operational and human perspective on the wars fought by independent India's armed forces. Subramaniam highlights possible ways to improve the synergy between the three services and argues in favor of the declassification of historical material pertaining to national security. The author also examines the overall state of civil-military relations in India, leadership within the Indian armed forces as well as training, capability building and other vitally important issues of concern to citizens, the government and the armed forces. This objective and critical analysis provides policy cues for the reinvigoration of the armed forces as a critical tool of statecraft and diplomacy.
Listeners will come away from India's Wars with a greater understanding of the international environment of war and conflict in modern India. Laced with veterans' intense experiences in combat operations and deeply researched and passionately written, it unfolds with surprising ease and offers a fresh perspective on independent India's history.