RSIS Seminar by Lt Gen (Ret.) Prakash Menon, Visiting Fellow, South Asia Programme, IDSS, RSIS
Missing the Forest for the Trees: Professional Military Education in India
Does professional military education in India adequately prepare military officers for the higher command of war? In Lt Gen Prakash Menon’s view, it focuses predominantly on the tactical level of operations and is significantly weaker at the strategic level. What is missing is a comprehensive understanding of the linkage between military force and political purpose. A deeper appreciation of political nuances must therefore pervade the Higher Military Education System even if it runs counter to the military’s instinctive dislike of politics. Reforming Higher Military Education as traditionally viewed will address only one side of the politico-military equation. The political side of the equation also needs to be tackled, which requires a continuous dialogue between political and military leaders.
About the Speaker:
Lt Gen Prakash Menon retired from the Indian Army in October 2011 after nearly 40 years of service. From May 2011 to July 2014, he served as Military Advisor in India’s National Security Council Secretariat. During the course of his service in the military, Lt Gen Menon has had extensive operational experience, including at the Siachen Glacier, the Line of Control in Jammu & Kashmir, and in counter-insurgency operations. From 2009 to 2010, he was the Commandant of the National Defence College, New Delhi. He has been nominated by the Government of India as a member of the expert group for the establishment of the Indian National Defence University. Lt Gen Menon holds a PhD in Defence Studies from the University of Madras.
Organised by IDSS South Asia Programme and RSIS Events Unit.