Wednesday 06 Oct 2021 | 13:07 | SYDNEY
Wednesday 06 Oct 2021 | 13:07 | SYDNEY

Mehta banished to Wellington?


Rory Medcalf


13 January 2010 12:59

Admiral Suresh Mehta (pictured, at a 2008 event at the Lowy Institute) has one of the wiser minds in the Indian strategic community. This speech last year was the most sensible and balanced piece of advice on Indian defence policy uttered publicly by a military officer. It has also been one of the most misunderstood. He did not argue that India should not try to protect itself from Chinese power. He argued, rather, that India should adopt a clever strategy of asymmetry – just as China has done against the US.

So why has this former Chief of Navy and Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee (in other words, India's head of the defence force) been sent as High Commissioner to New Zealand? Is he being sidelined, rewarded or both? Somehow I doubt it signals a New Delhi-Wellington strategic axis.