23 August 2015

The Diplomat: When India Almost Intervened in Mauritius

Operation Lal Dora, a shelved 1983 plan by the Indian government to militarily intervene in the small Indian Ocean island state of Mauritius to prevent a coup, is a fascinating piece of Indian Ocean history and sheds light on how New Delhi thinks about the region. A 2013 paper authored by David Brewster and Ranjit Rai highlights a range of interesting developments in Indian military planning and strategic thinking around the operation, long seen as a perfunctory footnote in India’s Cold War history. Contrary to received wisdom about India’s inability to extricate itself from “non-aligned” thinking during the Cold War, Indira Gandhi’s government was quite ready to apply the levers of hard power against to protect Indian interests. Finally, the episode highlights the embarrassing degree to which the different branches of the Indian armed forces were stove-piped at the time; the Indian Army had no idea what the Navy was up in the planning phase of the operation and vice versa.

No comments: