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Military Literature Festival 2023 : Experts decode conflict in Ukraine from India’s perspective

Chandigarh, December 2, 2023 (Yes Punjab News)
Lauding the organisers, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Western Command Lieutenant General Manoj Kumar Katiyar said concerted efforts like these will be instrumental in inspiring the youngsters towards serving the motherland by joining the Armed Forces.

He lauded MLF for appreciating the sacrifice of brave men who have scarified their all in service of the nation, and said the Fest, which has entered the eighth year now, would go a long way in imbuing youth with the spirit of patriotism and nationalism and motivating them to join the defence forces.

It was a matter of great pride and satisfaction that the Festival has successfully achieved its hallowed aim of offering a peep to the youth into the life of a defence personnel.

A joint initiative of the Punjab Government, Chandigarh Administration and Western Command Headquarters at Chandimandir, the annual affair offers youngsters aspiring to join the defence forces a peep into the discipline of Military life, besides laying an engrossing platform for discussions on issues of national, international and geo-political significance.

General Katiyar also urged the media to support the festival and help spread its message of bravery among the masses, especially the children. This would be yet another direction in service of our great country.

Assuring the gathering that India’s defence forces have always risen to every challenge thrown at them by adversaries, General Katiyar expressed confidence that valour and ethos of our forces would always shine brighter in future as well.

In view of the ever-evolving texture of global nuclear warfare and unprecedented security needs of each nation, defence experts on Saturday underlined the criticality of drawing lessons from the ongoing conflict in Ukraine from India’s long-term security and political perspective.

Expressing their thoughts on the evolving defence scenario during a panel discussion on the first day of the 7th Military Literature Festival 2023, the expert panel echoed the need to adopt and nurture integrated and synergised approach to modern conflicts, utility of using force to settle conflicts, besides delineating on the significance of Civil-Military relations of a nation to avoid confusion, chaos and casualties.

Setting the stage alive during the very first panel discussion of the Festival – Military, Strategic and Diplomatic lessons to be learnt by India from the conflict in Ukraine – Lieutenant General Prakash Menon stated that no country can ever be self-reliant and the endeavour of any responsible leadership should be to ensure availability of diverse supply chains of critical weapons of global warfare, whenever required.

Self-reliance is a mirage and Atam Nirbhar is at best a slogan, Lt. General Menon remarked, while referring to Atam Nirbhar campaign of the central government. A country should ensure only the best and most capable officers are chosen to lead; the veteran officer added in reply to a question from the audience over incapability of Russian Military officers to inform Putin regarding true aspects of the war on Ukraine.

Putin must have been told that it would be a cakewalk and he seems to have been misled by his Military advisors. The lesson for us here is that we must have Military Leaders who can convey the exact picture to politicians about the likely cost of a war.

Dialogue, clarity and the ability to speak the truth are vital for an ideal Civil-Military relations ecosystem to thrive. We don’t have a National Security Strategy and it is a lacuna we might have to pay dearly for, Lt. General Menon cautioned. A leadership must also know the utility of using force to settle conflicts with the adversary. When the force is to be employed is critical, he said adding that the only recourse left to a weakened adversary to hit the attacker is the garb of terrorism.

Sharing his thoughts on the issue, Brigadier Deepak Choube said that in present times it has become necessary that all instruments of policy are used in resolution of a conflict. The lesson to be learnt from ongoing Russia-Ukraine war which is now already 647 day long is that wars have become protracted and it acts as a drain on national resources, a factor which needs to be evaluated.

On the Nuclear arsenal as a deterrence, Brigadier Choube said that it comes at a huge cost for the side which uses it first must be over prepared to expect and negate the overwhelming retaliatory position which the other side would take.

The Session was moderated by Major General Harvijay Singh who in his opening remarks laid out the need for wide ranging lessons to be learnt for not only avoiding the colossal human tragedy which the Russian-Ukraine war has witnessed but also to be forearmed and forewarned.

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