Book Review | Everyman’s War: Strategy, Security and Terrorism in India

 By Vishal Sengupta

In India the whole idea of internal security is very confined to terrorism, insurgency, extremism, failure of the Indian security system, etc. however the concept of Internal security is very deep-rooted. The term internal security includes a lot of things that due to the common man’s negligence are always missed out and later which turns into a demon and bites India from inside.

To have a better understanding of the inner issues the author tries to bring out important points that give a clear understanding of the deep-rooted issue of India’s internal security and how important it is to acknowledge it.

The author divided the book into three parts and each part carries few chapters. Part one of the book specifically deals with ‘Terrorism and asymmetric Warfare. In this section author tries to address the important issue of how to tackle the terrorist by using their methods, the new frontier of threat from cyber warfare, the limitations of Intelligence analysis, the author also covers a section where he describes six different ways to eliminate terrorism. As the book progresses it gives an alternative concept of how citizens can become a tool to deal with such threats, the author also touched on an important concept which is an eye-opener for Indian security first is about the impact and effect of suicide attack and second is the role of social media in terrorism. In the later period of the chapter, the author gave an eye-opener part where he describes the crime-terror nexus and how dangerous it can turn. As the chapter moves on the author included much more interesting information related to the logic behind suicide attacks, recruitment of child soldiers.

The second part of the book covers the lessons learned from the Armed forces. This part of the book unlike the first part mostly revolves around the amount of contribution ex-services man can put to shape society in a better way. Before moving into the role of ex-service in society. The second part deals with a lot of important topics like the importance of both human intelligence and technology intelligence, why common citizens are important in guarding the internal security, and to validate his argument author had dedicated chapters on examples of military operations that had implemented those strategies. The chapter also covers one of the important topics that is how India makes decisions regarding the purchasing of weapons as Rafael emerging common man asks a lot of questions of how India decides a perimeter in purchasing a weapon. This section of the book covers how military training can help not only society but big corporates to thrive and why there is more need for recruiting ex- servicemen’s incorporates.  The last chapter covers a very thought-provoking issue of why we need to thank the armed forces and how important a role this small thank you can play.

The third section discusses all ‘Understanding National Security and our Role in Safeguarding our Environment. This section mostly talks about the unnoticed issues of our society, the author argues that due to negligence we often ignore those issues that can convert into something else, something more dangerous for example the author bought the instances of street children, who due to their harsh lifestyle loses all hopes from the society and entered into the world of crime. As the book progresses the author draws out many important issues related to the mindset of our citizens when it comes to crime the part also discusses how persistent problems leads to the world of crime. In the later part of the section, the author addresses two important issues that are often neglected in internal security one is regarding the wars related to resources and the second one is terror against women. The book also covers topics related to the empowerment of women economically, the issue of rape in India, the disjointed ecosystem of departments, etc. The last chapter gives a brief and interesting idea of how the citizens can play the role of a superhero in safeguarding the national boundary from internal conflicts.

Author Raghu Raman is a retired army officer. During his time, he served in Punjab and also served as an in-charge of the forward post in Siachen Glacier. He also served with the United Nations peacekeeping force in Angola. He was also part of a lead project in the Government of India after 26/11 and that is the reason why this book becomes a great read in terms of understanding the issue from all perspectives starting from security, corporate to civil society.

Unlike other books, the chapters of this book were short and more like a standalone article. The book covers a vast range of topics starting from strategies against Guerilla warfare to the role of society in curbing the issue of internal security. Due to its vastness, the book serves as a quick read to understand the underlying issues of internal security.

Overall the book was simple, short, and crisp. Due to its standalone nature readers will find it very easy to understand and also hats off to the author for doing a wonderful job in bringing certain important issues that are often neglected while considering internal security.