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'Delhi needs to re-look at borders, coastlines'

In today's changing warfare, Indian borders lie in the Straits of Malacca and Alaska and not in LoC, said Air Chief Marshall SP Tyagi.

india Updated: Jan 12, 2007 23:53 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent

Air Chief Marshall SP Tyagi on Friday said that in the changing strategic warfare, New Delhi needed to look beyond guarding its borders and coastlines.

"Our boundaries now are the straits of Malacca and the Alaska not the borders and LoC," Chief of the Air Staff, Tyagi said delivering a lecture on 'Changing Security Dynamics and the Role of Aerospace Power' at Jammu University (JU), which he described as a dreamland and credited Vice Chancellor Amitabh Mattoo for turning it so.

Recollecting his experience of having visited the Operations Room in Nevada, USA where he saw on the monitors how the US intelligence agency CIA officials were chasing an Al-Qaeda man in Yemen, Tyagi said his movement was caught in the Ops Room while he was talking on a mobile phone in a moving car.

He said New Delhi needed to develop a similar sophisticated networking and look for exploration of the space. Tyagi, who carried out air strikes on Pakistan in the 1965 Indo-Pak war, also predicted insurgency in Kashmir and Northeast would continue despite the peace process.

He said India remains surrounded by an arc of instability. "Middle East is politically unstable. A military dictator rules Pakistan. The Afghan President cannot move outside his presidential house.

"In Nepal there is a problem of monarchy, seven party alliance and Maoist uprising. Sri Lanka is a democracy but there is a civil war. The governments in Bangladesh, Thailand and Myanmar too are instable. China is stable economically and Politically but they are ruled by a single party," he said.

Tyagi who is also a prominent strategic thinker in the country said that for checking this India apart from, being the growing economic power needs to be a military power. Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee Tyagi said that in the world history there is not a single instance where there has been economic growth without the military power.

"The victories of Lord Ram and Lord Krishna had to do a lot with the help of Vaner Sena and Yaadav Sena," he said giving reference of the most revered Hindu gods.

Tyagi a recipient of Param Vishisht Seva Medal, Atti Vishisht Seva Medal and Vayu Sena Medal said that the new India's economy was growing at eight to nine per cent but added that the for pulling out the millions of people living below the poverty line in the country, the economic growth has to be complimented with the military growth.

Tyagi feels that the aerospace would dominate the future warfare. "In fact it is dominating the present warfare. Ever since the Wright Brothers flew, the aerospace has played an important role in the warfare. They played a decisive role in the World War I and II, in the Korean War and also in the Gulf Wars," he said.

The Air Chief Marshall also does not see much in the peace. "The armed forces should not be overwhelmed by the intentions. They should look at the capabilities of the opponents. Intentions can change overnight," he said. "Without power there cannot be peace. Peace without power is the peace of a graveyard," Tyagi said.

Governor S K Sinha, JU chancellor, who was the chief guest on the occasion, however said that the Army, Navy and the Air Force all compliment one another and none was supreme. Sinha narrated his experience of the 1947 war but termed the 1962 China war as the most agonising for India.

Earlier, Vice Chancellor Amitabh Mattoo introduced Tyagi to the audience describing him as one of the biggest strategic thinkers of the country. Director Centre for Strategic and Regional Studies (CSRS) JU, P Stobdan thanked the guests.

First Published: Jan 12, 2007 23:53 IST

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