Soldier-turned-strategic analyst Gurmeet Kanwal no more

Soldier-turned-strategic analyst Gurmeet Kanwal no more

Brigadier Gurmeet Kanwal (retd.)

Brigadier Gurmeet Kanwal (retd.), soldier-turned-strategic thinker and a long time advocate of the institution of the Chief of Defence Staff, passed away here on Monday.

Kanwal, who led an infantry brigade in the icy heights of the Gurez sector along the Line of Control with Pakistan during Operation Parakram after the 2001 attack on Parliament, was an authoritative voice on strategic policy.

Kanwal also played a key role in counter-insurgency operations in Kashmir, served as the Deputy Assistant Chief of Integrated Defence Staff and United Nations Military Observer at UNTAG, Namibia.

Policy planning

He opted for voluntary retirement in 2003 and dedicated his life for furthering strategic policy planning, first as Director, Security Studies and Senior Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation.

He has also served as Senior Fellow, Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA); and Senior Fellow, Centre for Air Power Studies.

Kanwal was also a Visiting Research Scholar at the Cooperative Monitoring Centre (CMC), Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, USA, and in other think tanks in London and Singapore.

Kanwal was a regular contributor to several publications, including DH where his last article appeared on February 17.

Kanwal authored several books such as Nuclear Defence: Shaping the Arsenal, Indian Army: Vision 2020, Pakistan’s Proxy War, Heroes of Kargil and Kargil ’99: Blood, Guts and Firepower.

“His deep abiding relationship with strategic affairs made him a respected voice on security matters,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in his condolence message to Kanwal’s son Rahul Kanwal.

“With his passing, India has lost a brilliant security strategist and a gentleman officer,” Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said.

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