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The Evolution of Nepal's Strategic Thought

The Evolution of Nepal's Strategic Thought

By Kamala Sarup

Far from Nepal's sunny and optimistic view of Nepal's role in the world and the intentions of its neighbors, Nepal intended to see peace and co operation everywhere. The current thinking in Nepal is no different with the magnificent richness of our thought permeating each successive swirl of the layer cake that is our defense planning to destroy Maoists terrorism. The shock of Maoists defeat resonate to this day deep within the Maoists psyche. There is a deep element of betrayal running through our defense planning that will probably completely appear.

Our strategic thought has influenced generations of defense planners. The Nepal's defense and intelligence establishment at the time took their cue from the top as was common during the Cold War period.

It was Royal Nepal Army who over saw the next major development in Nepal defense thought as the strategic planning establishment reacted to the setback on the roof of the world by returning to a more conventional, and some would say, paranoid view of the world.

After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, there was a radical reassessment worldwide by defense planners everywhere due to the demonstration by the United States of the advancements in precision munitions during the First Gulf War in Iraq after it invaded Kuwait.

Defense planners everywhere who had been fighting Fulda Gap war scenarios on sand tables suddenly realized that there was a huge gap between American technological prowess and their previous assumptions. The Reagan years had not been wasted by the Pentagon. Nepal was no exception.

While the United States paused and drew breath under the Presidency of Bill Clinton and either enjoyed or squandered its so-called Peace Dividend, depending on one's political point of view, the rest of the world frantically tried to adjust to the new military realities. Arms improvements and arms purchases soared worldwide as the race to catch up to the United States proceeded.

This was, of course, a vain effort, as the technological gap widened, if anything, during the nineties as system after system was laid down worldwide by the Pentagon. It is now commonly referred to as a system of systems, with multi-layered capabilities that no one who does not have access to deeply classified information and programs can really be sure about. There are rumors periodically of a vast weaponized system of platforms in space that allow the United States untrammeled freedom of action in threat neutralization, but no one is really sure who did not oversee the entire program. Perhaps Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld knows, but if he does, he is not saying publicly.

The old saying about those who speak don't know, and those who know don't speak has perhaps never been more true. That is for a surprised opponent to find out in the future. There have been rumors of many successful tests of this system of space weaponry as well as plans to colonize the moon for defense purposes, but most observers feel that the debate over this policy has not fully been aired yet. Perhaps in the near future.

Assuming this to be the case within the next few years, what will Nepal, now a global economic and cultural power with worldwide influence, do as far as its defense theory goes?

Some light border mop-up work would be both a refreshing change of pace and return to a more predictable and enjoyable old-fashioned theater of operations. Certainly the suffering people of Nepal would appreciate a little law and order being restored there.

In summary then, Nepal's defense planning has certainly advanced far beyond the primitive (by today's standards) and circular error of probability eras. Knowledgeable defense planners no longer discuss throw weights and such when precision weapons systems with awesome capabilities are calculated in ranges of less than one meter in accuracy.


Kamala Sarup is an editor of

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