India’s two adversaries – China and Pakistan – are strategically close. From an Indian standpoint, this means its rising tension with both countries raises the possibility of a simultaneous conflict on both fronts – a conflict, moreover, in which China and Pakistan may use an integrated strategy. The Round Table will focus on the military and political dynamics of the nuclear-strategic triangle and discuss India’s options on how it might respond to the two-front threat.
About the Speakers
Brig. Gurmeet Kanwal (Ret.) is a distinguished fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) in New Delhi and an adjunct fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C. He is former director of the Centre for Land Warfare Studies (CLAWS) in New Delhi (January 2008-March 2012). Brig. Kanwal commanded an infantry brigade on the Line of Control with Pakistan and an artillery regiment in counterinsurgency operations in the Kashmir Valley. He has served as deputy assistant chief of Integrated Defence Staff (IDS); director MO-5, Directorate General of Military Operations, Indian Army Headquarters; and military observer, UN Transition Assistance Group (UNTAG), Namibia. He has also served as director for security studies at the Observer Research Foundation (ORF) in New Delhi and senior fellow at the Centre for Air Power Studies in New Delhi. He has been a visiting research scholar at the Cooperative Monitoring Centre (CMC) at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and at other think tanks in London and Singapore. Brig. Kanwal is the author or editor of several books, including Nuclear Defence: Shaping the Arsenal (Knowledge World International, 2001); Indian Army: Vision 2020 (HarperCollins, 2008); The New Arthashastra: A Security Strategy for India (HarperCollins, 2016) and Sharpening the Arsenal: India’s Evolving Nuclear Deterrence Policy (HarperCollins, 2017).
Lt. Gen. (Retd) Prakash Menon is the Director of the Strategic Studies Programme in the Takshashila Institution and Adjunct Professor at the National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS) in Bengaluru, India. He was also a former visiting fellow at the South Asia Programme, IDSS. He joined the Indian Army in 1972. He has extensive operational experience in commanding counter-insurgency operations in Central, North and South Kashmir. He was the Major General General Staff of the army’s Northern Command responsible for operations in J&K and the Commandant of the National Defence College, New Delhi. After his retirement in 2011, he continued in government as the Military Advisor and Secretary to Government of India and from 2015 as Officer on Special Duty in the National Security Council Secretariat. He has a PhD from Madras University for his thesis “Limited War and Nuclear Deterrence in the Indo-Pak context”. He was appointed by the Union Cabinet as a member of an expert group for the creation of the Indian National Defence University. Lt. Gen. Menon has been decorated with three Distinguished Service awards – PVSM, AVSM and VSM.