Arjun Ray's book is based on the dialogue around the counterinsurgency doctrine, arguing that the main strategy towards this aim should be preventing people from feeling alienated. The central focus of this strategy, which the author in his capacity as an army man successfully executed in Operation Sadhbhavna, is the people. The author believes that killing is counterproductive and the army must change its role from ‘winning wars’ to ‘preventing wars’.

He also calls upon the media to be more responsible in discharging their role in nation-building rather than being a bystander.

The author proposes a three-pronged strategy to achieve success—preventing conflict by addressing human security through human development, pursuing a policy of atonement and forgiveness, and eliminating trust deficit between the State and the marginalized—the three pillars of Operation Sadhbhavna. The failure on the part of the State and the army to follow this strategy, with terrible human cost and devastating consequences, is charted through the examples of the Naxalite and Kashmiri experience.

Re-Education of the Security Forces

Re-education of the security forces

The illiterate of the future are not those who cannot read or write. They are those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.

—Alvin Toffler

Security forces give a good account of themselves when faced with a black and white situation—combating terrorists, an extreme law and order situation, or the armed forces of another nation. In all these examples the enemy is identifiable. The problem arises when you don't know who the enemy is, or where he is. The problem becomes even more challenging when security forces (and even the local police) are required to deal with an intifada—a people's rising. They are neither selected and trained nor psyched or strategized to deal with such a situation. The current ...

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