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A Comprehensive Overview

Pankaj Kumar Jha

Edited by Col. Harjeet Singh
Pentagon Press, New Delhi, 2009, pp. xiii 324, Rs. 1995.00


The South Asia Defence and Strategic Yearbook has been an important yearly publication highlighting the main events that have happened in the larger South Asian region. Comparing the yearbook with its contemporaries there is an Indian Defence Yearbook edited by Lt. General R.K Jasbir Singh which gives a detailed account of developments in Indian Defence with regard to procurements, research, personnel and defence industry. Among Asian publications the Asian Defence Yearbook published by the Asian Defence Journal gives a detailed account of 20 countries in Asia and pacific and discusses issues of importance in the Asian context. SP’s Military Yearbook gives a detailed perspective about strategic issues, deciphers technological advancement and gives an expert account of various military programmes and their viability along with defence modernization steps. In its last section it does give detailed military indicators of countries of East Asia and Pacific along with India. The contents list is very exhaustive but more than one third of the book acts as a business brochure of defence companies. Manas publication has also launched its Annual Defence Yearbook which follows a similar format like that of SP yearbook but has additional sections dealing with South Asia, business, global armed forces, intelligence as well as provides details about the Indian armed forces. In comparison to yearbooks like SP Defence Yearbook and the Manas Yearbook, the yearbook under review stands out due to the well documented opinion pieces by experienced people from the armed forces, think tanks and academics. It creates a space for dialogue and discussion on important topics. Remarks by Chief of Army Staff, General Deepak Kapoor flags the issues of intrastate and interstate conflicts in South Asia and raises apprehensions about the designs of extra regional powers in the region. The yearbook provides a comprehensive overview of the developments in the region.   The Yearbook comprises fifteen chapters and annexure discusses very topical aspects of terrorism, regional security cooperation, Pakistan, Afghanistan, energy security, Indian Ocean, Military transformation, Tibet, Disaster Management and Central Asia to name few. The coverage of book is vast and this gives an all round picture of the developments, not only in the South Asian region but also encapsulates different issues which have an impact on India’s strategic interests. The first chapter by Major General Dipanker Banerjee defines south Asia as a geographical entity and gives an overview of the ancient history related to South ...

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