Shiv Aroor has published a series of insightful interviews with Admiral Arun Prakash, who he rightly refers to as “one of the most articulate and admired military chiefs of our time” on his blog:
“Our dilemma vis-à-vis China is two-fold. On the one hand, we need to moderate the school of thought within the political establishment (encouraged no doubt by exhortations from the Left), which focuses exclusively on China's declarations about her “peaceful rise”. Indulging in a great deal of naive self-delusion, this school points to the ongoing dialogue and the dramatic increase in bilateral Sino-Indian trade, which is pushing the US$20 billion mark, as proof of China's good intentions.
On the other hand, our strategic establishment has to make a hard headed assessment and find answers to three straight questions before we decide on the future course of Sino-Indian relations: What is the rationale behind China's "string of pearls" strategy through which she has assiduously and neatly encircled India with states which are either her clients or beholden to her for economic and weapons related assistance?”
“In international relations you cannot go wrong if you proceed on the basis of two premises: It is not altruism but self-interest that invariably motivates nations. There are no free lunches, and a price will one day have to be paid for everything. And, when you negotiate in the big league, you should be prepared to play hard ball.”Admiral Arun Prakash on What Platforms The Future Indian Navy Needs:
“Navies have, for centuries, been accepted and used as instruments of diplomacy and state policy. Therefore, unlike the other Services, they derive their raison d’etre not merely from a nation’s maritime security, but from its larger economic interests and geo-political aspirations.”
“We were fortunate that the seeds of a self-reliant blue water Navy were sown by our farsighted predecessors when they embarked on the brave venture of undertaking warship construction in India four decades ago. Since then, our shipyards have done very well to have delivered more than 85 ships and submarines, many of Indian design, to the IN.”Admiral Arun Prakash on the Need For Nuclear Submarines:
“I must convey with all the emphasis at my command that in India’s case nuclear weapons are NOT meant for war-fighting. In fact they must not even be thought of as “weapons”, but as “political instruments” of state policy to be used to deter an enemy from contemplating a nuclear attack, and if required for persuasion, coercion, or compellence.”
For the full interviews, head over to LiveFist - this material is solid gold.