David Smith will discuss his new book, The Wellington Experience: A Study of Attitudes and Values Within the Indian Army.
The Wellington Experience: A Study of Attitudes and Values Within the Indian Army by Col. David O. Smith (retired) offers an in-depth analysis of India’s premier professional military education institution and challenges some conventional wisdom on the Indian armed forces. Based largely on structured interviews of U.S. military personnel who attended India’s Defence Services Staff College at Wellington over a nearly four-decade period, this work explores the Indian military’s training and education, a range of socio-cultural and organizational dynamics, internal and external threat perceptions, and attitudes towards the state and security issues. Insights from this analysis apply far beyond Wellington and carry implications for the doctrine, readiness, and role of India’s armed forces; for India’s approach to great power competition; for regional strategic stability; and for the future of the Indo-U.S. defense relationship.
David O. Smith is a Distinguished Fellow with the South Asia Program at the Stimson Center, a nonpartisan policy research center in Washington, D.C. and an independent consultant to Sandia National Laboratories on issues related to South Asia. He regularly participates in quasi-official (Track 2) engagements with senior Pakistan and India officials sponsored by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, and the Woodrow Wilson International Center and the U.S. Institute for Peace in Washington D.C. Smith retired from government service in May 2012 after serving in a senior executive position in the Defense Intelligence Agency. Prior to that he was Senior Country Director for Pakistan in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Policy) in the Department of Defense. During thirty-one years of active duty service in the U.S. Army, he spent twenty-two years dealing with politico-military issues in the Near East and South Asia, including two three-year tours of duty as U.S. Army Attaché in Pakistan. He retired as a colonel. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army War College, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Armed Forces Staff College, and the Pakistan Army Command and Staff College. His most recent publication is The Quetta Experience: A Study of Attitudes and Values Within the Pakistan Army, published by The Woodrow Wilson Center in September 2018.