India Today

NO SILVER BULLETS FOR DEFENCE

In 1991, multiple factors produced a military-strategic crisis unseen in India in previous decades. The collapse of the Soviet Union, New Delhi’s strategic partner, created a support vacuum which extended far beyond the immediate problem of sourcing spares for its Russian-origin military machine. A balance of payments crisis that year—most of it fuelled by an arms buying spree in the 1980s—led to an economic crisis which led to the RBI (Reserve Bank of India) pledging gold to raise foreign exchange. The Indian army had exited a bruising counter-insurgency deployment in Sri Lanka. It had already been fighting insurgency in the Northeast for four decades when it entered Jammu and Kashmir to fight a Pakistan-supported insurgency. The economic crisis that year, however, led to an economic liberalisation that created wealth and increased the capacity of the state to pay for military modernisation.

INCREASED MILITARY COLLUSION BETWEEN CHINA AND PAKISTAN IS A CLEAR AND PRESENT THREAT

Three decades later, a convergence of challenges presents similar conundrums. In March

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