A Postcolonial Record
Rana Banerji
INDIA'S NEIGHBOURHOOD: THE ARMIES OF SOUTH ASIA by Vishal Chandra Pentagon Press, New Delhi, 2013, 194 pp., 795
February 2013, volume 37, No 2-3

This compilation on neighbourhood armies in South Asia is a timely academic effort by a team of area experts at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) and brings together a bird’s eye perspective of the security environment, geo-political and strategic background under which armies in different countries in India’s neighbourhood have evolved. Threat perceptions of these countries, doctrinal orientations, organizational principles, relationships with civilian counterparts and possible future trajectories are looked at from the point of view of their own evaluation of key domestic, external or even environmental challenges, all of which seem inevitably coloured by the dominant geographical presence of the ubiquitous neighbour, India.

Armies play a significant role in the maintenance of sovereignty and integrity of states. Their role, reputation and status may vary, depending on the nature of political system, strength of civil society and institutions of state inherited from the colonial experience, intensity and maturity of popular participation in governance, as also the attitude, ambition and relationship of the leadership of the armed forces themselves with power brokers in the overall political structure.

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