Interaction with ACM Sir Stuart Peach, KCB CBE ADC, VCDS (UK)
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The Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF) hosted Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach KCB CBE ADC, UK’s Vice Chief of the Defence Staff on April 21st, 2015 for an interaction on issues relating to India’s security and defence. With General NC Vij, Director, VIF, presiding over the session, a wide galaxy of security experts, Amb Kanwal Sibal, former Foreign Secretary, Lt Gen RK Sawhney, former DGMI, and Vice Admiral Anup Singh, former C-in-C, Eastern Naval Command, among others, interacted on the broader dimensions of India’s strategic environment, increasingly defined and influenced by factors such as the US pulling out of Afghanistan and leaving behind a region in flux, China making deep inroads into South Asia and the increasing vulnerabilities to the shipping lanes in the Indian Ocean both on account of traditional and non-traditional threats. Presentations by the above experts illustrated both the prevailing security environment in the adjoining region as also the perceptible changes in India’s foreign policy especially since the change in government last year.

In his opening remarks, General Vij underscored that the UK and India have had a shared history of military cooperation dating back to the First World War. He further stressed that while the growing number of joint military exercises and the frequent high level visits between the two countries indicate a high level of defence cooperation already exists, further avenues in bilateral security cooperation needs to be explored, especially in joint defence manufacturing and fighting radicalism together. As part of the interaction, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach shared a historical perspective on the process of integrating the three wings of the UK armed forces under a joint command, a structure India has begun to seriously explore, especially keeping in view the evolving nature of modern warfare. The changing geopolitical scene and the prospect of more UK forces being deployed in theatres around the world was one of the main driving forces that speeded up the process of integrating the services in the UK, the ACM elucidated. He further opined the joint command has brought in more operational efficiency, effectiveness and financial savings to the UK military. The VCDS also shared a perspective on the UK military’s experiences in handling joint operations across multiple theatres, especially in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Event Date 
April 21, 2015
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