BIPSS “Defense Diplomacy” Roundtable






South Asia

ROLC partners with the Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies (BIPSS) for its Sri Lanka Think Tank Capacity Building (TTCB) project, supported by the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs (SCA). BIPSS invited ROLC’s Atif Choudhury to attend their roundtable on July 22. Their roundtable on Defense Diplomacy featured Dr. Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury (Former Advisor at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and Air Vice Marshal (Retd.) Mahmud Hussain as panelists. Key participants included the Filipino Ambassador to Bangladesh; defense attaches from the U.S, UK, India, and Pakistan; and diplomatic corps staff from the Danish, Swedish, and Norwegian embassies. Dr. Chowdhury discussed the importance of defense diplomacy as a supplemental diplomatic tool that is designed to enhance transparency on military operations, reduce the chances of miscalculation, and enhance peace and security. Air Vice Marshall Hussain discussed the Singapore Air Force as a case study of how a small nation can develop deterrence capability as a keystone of their national defense strategy and policy. During the Q&A session, Atif asked a question on whether China’s growing footprint in peacekeeping operations in the African continent represents a paradigm shift in peacekeeping, and what implications this may have for Bangladesh given its leading role in peacekeeping.