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World's (In)Security

Many a times, I seriously think man is delusional when he boasts himself of being the most rational being on earth. Many a times, at many a places I find our race to be the most idiotic.
US defense budget is $700 billion. China competes with it, India in turn competes with China, and Pakistan in turn tries to be at level of India. These kind of webs of mutual insecurities dot the world and makes the total milltary budget to be roughly equal to India's GDP (World's 4th largest economy in terms of PPP). I don't want to be a Pacifist because i believe world is a very nasty place to live in. But, If you ask me why do we maintain so mammoth conventional armies when most imminent threat seems to be non-conventional, low-intensity organisations>terrorism, insurgents? I dont find any answer except that we all want to fight each other in future and are making preparations for rainy season? If those fights dont happen, then we are idiots to maintain armies, if those fights do happen then also we are idiots engaging in wanton self-destruction . Do you have any solution for this paradox?
and Drona asked,"what do you see?","the sparrow's eye!"......and Krishna replied,"Turning their discerning mind to That, directing their whole conscious being to That, making That their whole aim and the sole object of their devotion, they go whence there is no return"

Comments

  • @AK_CS is philosophy your optional? ;)
  • should i suffer the ignominy of accepting it publicly/explicitly? :P :) (btw, i knew it was coming) ;)
    and Drona asked,"what do you see?","the sparrow's eye!"......and Krishna replied,"Turning their discerning mind to That, directing their whole conscious being to That, making That their whole aim and the sole object of their devotion, they go whence there is no return"
  • Also, there is enough strategic potential against UPSC hidden in the question viz. namely, significance of conventional defense/armies in the days of nukes/cyber war/globalisation/sub-conventional threats across the world(9/11 and Af-Pak quagmire) and blah blah blah :D
    (On the humorous note i just quote one statement of a taliban leader regarding the world power USA's post 2014 withdrawal and obama claiming victory over Al-Qaeda,"this has been the old habit of USA. They did it in Vietnam. They are doing it here. Claim victory and Run with its tail between its legs. " this made me laugh for minutes at US's huge millitary budget.
    and Drona asked,"what do you see?","the sparrow's eye!"......and Krishna replied,"Turning their discerning mind to That, directing their whole conscious being to That, making That their whole aim and the sole object of their devotion, they go whence there is no return"
  • edited March 2013
    Many a times, I seriously think man is delusional when he boasts himself of being the most rational being on earth. Many a times, at many a places I find our race to be the most idiotic.
    US defense budget is $700 billion. China competes with it, India in turn competes with China, and Pakistan in turn tries to be at level of India. These kind of webs of mutual insecurities dot the world and makes the total milltary budget to be roughly equal to India's GDP (World's 4th largest economy in terms of PPP). I don't want to be a Pacifist because i believe world is a very nasty place to live in. But, If you ask me why do we maintain so mammoth conventional armies when most imminent threat seems to be non-conventional, low-intensity organisations>terrorism, insurgents? I dont find any answer except that we all want to fight each other in future and are making preparations for rainy season? If those fights dont happen, then we are idiots to maintain armies, if those fights do happen then also we are idiots engaging in wanton self-destruction . Do you have any solution for this paradox?
    @AK_CS very thoughtful words.

    I think, you being a realist and probably a student of philosophy, shouldnt have got into such a dilemma, & that too, to such an extent.

    Anyway I'll try to pen down my thoughts about it as precisely as I can.

    Your words,
    If those fights dont happen, then we are idiots to maintain armies, if those fights do happen then also we are idiots engaging in wanton self-destruction

    My input,
    Justification-
    If you want peace, prepare for war, and to some extent Prevention is better than cure.

    Why does this happen?
    An empty mind is a devil's workshop. We need activity, any kind.
    You can also consider the concept of Existential anxiety here,

    http://www.ehow.com/facts_5675928_existential-anxiety_.html
    (Read the significance part of this article carefully).

    Soln?
    Keep playing by the rules!
    "ΓΝΩΘΙ ΣΑΥΤΟΝ"
  • edited March 2013
    Ok I see it. (Had missed that small comment of yours). :(
    You're a student of philosophy.

    PS: One more point in justification, Practicality (Had missed it too). :(
    "ΓΝΩΘΙ ΣΑΥΤΟΝ"
  • edited March 2013
    Alternate Soln:

    Realize the futility of all actions, distance yourself from worldly affairs, go in search of nirvana/moksha (If it exists, or if u believe so). (Supposed to be a more enlightened approach, but I dont see any realistic aspirations being fulfilled in this case. Hence was in 2 minds to post this comment).

    If you take this further and ask why doesnt every one follow this?
    Try using maslow's pyramid to ans this question, probably you'll get the ans.
    "ΓΝΩΘΙ ΣΑΥΤΟΝ"
  • @abhinrao: thanx for such an hearty response. you are right..man is restless and he needs security and he finds security mostly in overpowering others. so, we are perfectely rational in maintaining armies to avoid future colonialism and invasions from brutes (as one previos comment on a thread quoted napolean that one doesn't reason but shoot intellectuals...Nalanda library burnt for months! so, nukes are pre-requisite for peace and development.) But, at the same time, as you mentioned in alternate solutions, this paradox testifies the ancient knowledge that from a larger point of view that 'evrything is maya':P Having said all this, i have a deep faith that we are evolving towards being a greater race. a time will come when armies will lose significance.(an opinion only)
    But, my question had another aspect(realist one) too. Armies cant protect us in today's world. Just develop a code, sneak into enemy's industrial, nuclear, critical control systems and boooom!lo! destruction everywhere. and it may be the case enemy never knows who did this for sure.
    It took 8 fanatics to hold mumbai at hostage. it took three days for procedures to be completed and SPG commandos to start fighting them and kill them after they were able to dispropotional loss. It took 3-4 persons to hijack plane and bring down WTC. Realistically speaking , conventional armies are fast losing significance. More informal security architecture would be needed, i believe.
    and Drona asked,"what do you see?","the sparrow's eye!"......and Krishna replied,"Turning their discerning mind to That, directing their whole conscious being to That, making That their whole aim and the sole object of their devotion, they go whence there is no return"
  • I heard Kapil Sibal say something about "Cyber Security" recently. :O
  • minimum credible deterrence..unfortunately this "minimum credibility translates" into magnimous proportions of capital and revenue expenditure in the insatiable arms race..
    Ex-railwayman,Indian Police service
  • edited March 2013
    @AK_CS First of all, I would like to point out sth, which I guess, you've not taken in the right perspective. I felt that ur understanding of the quote of napoleon, was a lil misplaced.
    Napoleon probably(as I've understood it) was not against reasoning, but his quote was more directed towards the ego factor of the intellectuals(they're considered to be so, from ages). Napoleon, as I've known thru various books etc was a very hard working and learned man(not at all averse to credible, constructive reason. But mostly wouldn tolerate it if someone used it against the state(himself ;) ) ).

    Had he been so against reasoning, he should have shot himself, the very first time he would've been in an dilemma(highly principled view, in an ideal world, so hypothetical).

    What I wanted to tell you, other members of the forum and whoever would be reading this, is that-

    It is very important to see things in the right perspective. Knowledge is formless, its like clay, which could be moulded the way one wants. Knowledge in itself is sth, which cannot be commented on, its more or less a fact(provable maybe). What matters more than the amount of knowledge is the way u put to use the knowledge avl to u.
    I remember an incident where one of our polticians ended up comparing dawood and buddha(I guess, not sure). I guess he was trying to make a similar point, but his timing was awful.

    I also remember, and would like to borrow the Jaina theory of tri-ratna to make the point more clear.

    Jaina theory of Tri-ratna-
    1. Right Faith
    2. Right Knowledge
    3. Right Conduct

    I quoted this to emphasize the aspect that in the jaina theory faith and conduct are also given equal importance along with knowledge.

    Hope I'm clear and sorry for the lecture.
    "ΓΝΩΘΙ ΣΑΥΤΟΝ"
  • edited March 2013
    Answer to your question regarding terrorism/non-conventional, low intensity organizations.

    I would like to point out that, although we face a threat from terrorism, its nature is different from that of an army.

    Yes, terrorism requires too less resources and is very difficult to control. But no matter how successful a terrorist attack would be, they cant(want to, but incapable of) question the sovereignity of a nation, for that they need a lot more(an army, maybe). All that they achieve is to draw attention, and create obstacles in the smooth functioning of a state. That is to say, they achieve nuisance value(not enough power to take over, but at the same time powerful enough to cause harm/troubles).

    Ex- WTO crashed- terrorism.
    China occupies Tibet- not terrorism.
    Russia attacks georgia- not terrorism.
    "ΓΝΩΘΙ ΣΑΥΤΟΝ"
  • @abhinrao24 : dude! i had understood u in right perspective only, but, anyway its good that you tried to make the point clearer. (I am in a fix right now whether i erred in communicating or you erred in comprehending but lets not argue about this further )
    regarding sovereignty also, you are true but i accepted this earlier itself. i said conventional armies are fast losing significance not that they aren't needed anymore. Terrorism/Low intensity conflict is certainly more than a nuisance. What i hinted towards was cyber war, space war(Anti-satellite weapons)- these new threats are very complex and dynamic. There is need of moving beyond conventional capabilities-only that much i intended to convey. Pardon me if i exaggerated any idea, for the sake of making things interesting for, after all, I am a Philosophy student :P (you made me accept that atlast).
    Please post your views on Cyber threat preparations of India.


    and Drona asked,"what do you see?","the sparrow's eye!"......and Krishna replied,"Turning their discerning mind to That, directing their whole conscious being to That, making That their whole aim and the sole object of their devotion, they go whence there is no return"
  • edited March 2013
    Armies losing importance is sort of impractical, thats what I'm trying to stress.

    If you want an example from recent developments, take Mali, see what state it is in coz of a weak/neglected army.

    Maybe u r not realising its importance bcos of the country u live in, which has put the doctrine of deterence to good use(though after learning it the hard way), & given u the luxury, liberty, & conducive atmosphere to think this way(I'm telling this bcos when China attacked India in '60s, we had not seen it coming, and hence were not prepared to handle the situation well, we couldn defend ourselves. And 50 yrs is not a lot of time in the life of a nation.).


    Now, regarding cyber threat perceptions of India, even I'm not aware of it(ll post, if I get anything relevant in future).


    I'm drawing parallels b/w conventional, non-conventional and cyber warfare.

    Category- War(W) - Terrorism(T) - Cyber warfare(C)

    Participants- Armies vs Armies -Terrorists vs Army -Respective state proffesionals


    Tools- All kinds of arms
    Nuke, ship, aircraft - Lower scale arms - S/w programs (viruses n antivi)
    etc - normally dont have tanks etc



    Fund needed- Mainting Army in - Arms and training - R&D (New s/w and tech)
    for ready condn + arms
    etc-


    Why I'm doing this is to highlight the point that they all basically fall under warfare, though they may vary in form, scale/magnitude. One cannot afford to neglect any one of them, all are equally important(including conventional armies). This may require a lot of expenditure, but its sort of a necessity, we may look paranoid about these things(the enhanced security checks, defence budgets etc), maybe because we are, for every one is speaking the same language(like trying to fight fire with fire, no one is thinking of using water, atleast for now).
    "ΓΝΩΘΙ ΣΑΥΤΟΝ"
  • edited March 2013
    That table like structure got distorted, so writing again.

    Category- -War -Terrorism -Cyber

    Participants- Army vs Army -Terrorists vs Army -Professionals of resp states.

    Tools- Army, Navy etc -Lesser scale, Bombs etc -Viruses and Anti viruses.

    Funds for- Maintenance -Training & Arms -R&D (s/w and tech)
    "ΓΝΩΘΙ ΣΑΥΤΟΝ"
  • @abhinrao24: Jainism talks about relativity too. Mali's and India's and USA's perception of security and security priorities are all at different levels. btw 1962 and 2013 a lot has changed. try to understand my viewpoints holistically and in their proper context. But anyhow, you are entitled to have your opinions and i respect them too. this too i learnt from Jainism.:P
    and Drona asked,"what do you see?","the sparrow's eye!"......and Krishna replied,"Turning their discerning mind to That, directing their whole conscious being to That, making That their whole aim and the sole object of their devotion, they go whence there is no return"
  • edited March 2013
    Haha.............!! True, Syadvad, I get it. :)

    Fine man. :)
    "ΓΝΩΘΙ ΣΑΥΤΟΝ"
  • edited March 2013
    @AK_CS, I just wanted to tell u a small observation,

    I see in you a strong optimist, but I'm not able to understand, why are you using such words,

    "I don't want to be a Pacifist because i believe world is a very nasty place to live in."

    The way I see it, You seem to be a believer in optimism(which is really good, you need a lot of heart for that), who has seen a couple of (minor) setbacks.

    Maybe I'm wrong, You are the authority on this matter.

    PS: I hope you'll put the jaina theories to good use here. :P Just kidding. :P :)
    "ΓΝΩΘΙ ΣΑΥΤΟΝ"
  • I see in you a strong optimist, but I'm not able to understand, why are you using such words,

    "I don't want to be a Pacifist because i believe world is a very nasty place to live in."

    bhai..that was a purely subjective opinion..and demands a pure subjective answer and completely goes into domain of philosophy..transcending me and you...you yourself will find many of the answers seeing around..i wont soil this thread by putting my philosophical views here.

    Still i have some objective points.. some repeated and some new as why world is nasty and requires millitary
    Holocaust
    Indo-Pak partition
    Daily communal clashes..have you imagined the nastiness which a person experiences residing on faultlines of religion. a religion over which one has no control but purely a social thing(i have not experienced this..this is just empathy)
    Cambodia PolPot
    Rwandan Genocide
    Extreme Poverty

    Lets end our such speculations/grand theorising here only(i am also a guilty of it) on this thread. this all is no use in our exam. lets focus on whats importan for the exam w.r.t. World's Security.we will be wasting precious minutes doing all this.


    P.S. If you still are interested in those subjective, personal answers. `Lets start a new thread in the Philosophy section. I know many aashiqs including me will be tempted and comment there. Though, mind you, philosophy is a highly addictive drug (i must say most dangerous narcotic in the world. it is opium of the intellectuals :P). Some say it is intellectual masturbation :D




    and Drona asked,"what do you see?","the sparrow's eye!"......and Krishna replied,"Turning their discerning mind to That, directing their whole conscious being to That, making That their whole aim and the sole object of their devotion, they go whence there is no return"
  • LOL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! =)) =))
    "ΓΝΩΘΙ ΣΑΥΤΟΝ"
  • @all and @abhinrao24 : it seems china is hell-bent on proving me wrong :D
    increasing defense outlay despite lowered economic growth estimate for "peace and stability of region"
    :-O
    http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/world/chinas-new-leadership-hikes-defence-budget-by-107/article4478165.ece

    Also, UPSC includes new threats e.g. cybers ecurity and other in new syllabus somewhere, as i remember
    and Drona asked,"what do you see?","the sparrow's eye!"......and Krishna replied,"Turning their discerning mind to That, directing their whole conscious being to That, making That their whole aim and the sole object of their devotion, they go whence there is no return"
  • edited March 2013
    LOL ROFL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! =)) =))
    "ΓΝΩΘΙ ΣΑΥΤΟΝ"
  • on a humorous/filmy note with academics hidden in it. In Gangs of Wasseypur, Ramaadhir singh says,"jis tarah loha lohe ko katata hai usi tarah ch***ya hi ch***ye ko katega na! (the way iron cuts iron in the same way only an a*shole will neutralize a**hole only) " may be China is forcing whole asian region/neighbours to go ch***ya ;)
    and Drona asked,"what do you see?","the sparrow's eye!"......and Krishna replied,"Turning their discerning mind to That, directing their whole conscious being to That, making That their whole aim and the sole object of their devotion, they go whence there is no return"
  • edited March 2013
    @AK_CS
    Is it academics in fims or films in academics? :P

    Which way is it? ;)
    "ΓΝΩΘΙ ΣΑΥΤΟΝ"
  • the way you see it ;) jaina's elephant story :)
    and Drona asked,"what do you see?","the sparrow's eye!"......and Krishna replied,"Turning their discerning mind to That, directing their whole conscious being to That, making That their whole aim and the sole object of their devotion, they go whence there is no return"
  • the way you see it ;) jaina's elephant story :)
    :) :)>-
    "ΓΝΩΘΙ ΣΑΥΤΟΝ"
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