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Transnational Consequences of Conflict


Ali Ahmed

INTERNAL CONFLICTS: MILITARY PERSPECTIVES
By V.R. Raghavan
Vij Books, New Delhi, 2012, pp. 324, Rs. 1250.00

ASIAN RIVALRIES: CONFLICT, ESCALATION, AND LIMITATIONS ON TWO-LEVEL GAMES
Edited by Sumit Ganguly and William R. Thompson
Foundation Books, Delhi, 2011, pp. 259, price not stated.

VOLUME XXXVII NUMBER 2-3 February/March 2013

I nternal Conflicts, an output of the Center for Security Analysis, Chennai whose mandate is to look at the non-traditional security lens, of necessity reflects on the issue of internal security that has been germane to traditional security for at least a quarter century now. It comprises papers presented at seminars that notably were also conducted at places other than the national capital, organized as part of an ongoing three-year project on internal conflicts and transnational consequences. The editor in his strategic overview expands the coverage to include Sri Lanka and Myanmar. This widening of scope of the book is owed to the Center, co-founded by the editor along with M.K. Narayanan in 2002, also engaging with security of South and South East Asia. It is one of two organizations in India that are part of the strategic studies network of the Near East South Asia Center (NESA) Center for Strategic Studies, National Defence University, Washington D.C.. The second section of the book carries papers by retired military brass, with Ved Marwah being the exception. While the papers are India centric, there is one on consequences of inter-nal security operations on the Nepal Army. The editor’s extended essay over 150 pages is masterly. His discussion of internal conflicts in India covers North East India, J&K and Naxalism. The Maoist conflict in Nepal and ethnic conflicts in Sri Lanka and Myanmar are the other areas of focus. He discusses state responses, peace processes, economic consequences, militarization and political impact in its internal and external dimensions. The editor’s conclusion is that the four states have used some or a combination of the four approaches available: security approach wherein police forces are used, military approach, political accommodation and economic/development approach. India’s own case has been that of a ‘combination approach’ but with mixed results whereas for the other three, it has been predominantly a military approach. His reflection on peace talks, peace accords and ceasefire agreements, also termed Suspension of Operations agreements, is useful in extending the discussion on internal security otherwise restricted to the conflict management aspects to conflict resolution. He rightly highlights that the main deficiency in sustaining peace is inadequate political follow up. Given that most conflicts are about identity related greivances, ‘states have to address the possibility of accommodation in multicultural, multiethnic and multireligious context’ (p. 173). Lt. Gen. Raghavan’s military insight is in ...


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