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Past Event

Lessons from the Past: 1965, 1971, and the Future of India’s Military Planning

Event Report

The 1965 and 1971 India-Pakistan Wars stand in stark contrast to each other in their execution and outcomes. Both conflicts, and the changes between them, hold lessons for the formulation of national policy and war aims, and for the effects they had on the battlefield. Brookings India organized a private roundtable with Arzan Tarapore to discuss these historical cases.

The concept of ‘strategic effectiveness’ was the central theme of the discussion with an examination of the concept at three levels namely national policy, military planning,  and operational effects. The 1965 and 1971 India-Pakistan Wars were then compared to each other in relation to this concept. Finally some lessons were drawn for the future of Indian military planning : political leadership has some latitude in framing security problems; force might have to be used asymmetrically; war cannot solve political problems but can manage or deter them; shaping the battlefield ahead of time matters but carries risks; manoeuvring requires significant investment and preparation, however, doctrinal change can be slow.

This event report has been written by Shruti Godbole. The views are of the author(s), discussant(s).

Event Announcement

The 1965 and 1971 India-Pakistan Wars stand in stark contrast to each other in their execution and outcomes. Both conflicts, and the changes between them, hold lessons for the formulation of national policy and war aims, and for the effects they had on the battlefield. To discuss these historical cases, and lesson for how India might plan and fight wars in the future, Brookings India is organizing a private roundtable with Arzan Tarapore.

Mr Tarapore is a PhD candidate in the War Studies Department at King’s College London. He previously served for 13 years in the Australian Department of Defence.

Participation in this event is by-invitation.

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