Airpower At 18,000′: The Indian Air Force In The Kargil War, by Benjamin Lambeth
This is a very short volume that I may finish reading tonight or tomorrow, and it may take longer to write and refine the review than it does to read this volume. I received this particular book today from the Air & Space Power Journal, and it fits right in with their general readership, as this particular book discusses the role and behavior of the Indian Airforce during the Kargil War with Pakistan in 1999. Few people know much about the Kargil War, and I am not one of them, so I am hoping that this book does a good job of describing the conflict and not assuming its readers will be deeply familiar with it.
Aside from the fact that I would like to see a bit of a summary of the overall operations in the Kargil War as a way of familiarizing me (and presumably other readers of this book), there are a few other expectations that I would have going into a book like this. For one, it would be expected that there will be a great deal of comparison between different branches of the Indian military during this conflict as well as between the Indian and Pakistani military branches. After all, it is difficult to skillfully analyze one unit’s performance in a conflict without at least an attempt at a comparative analysis. I would expect this book to be skillful, given that it was published with a Carnegie Endowment.
Given the brevity of the book and the obscurity of its subject, hopefully there is not a high charge for this book for its potential readers, as is sometimes the case. With only 58 pages of written material, including notes, this is a slim volume that would interest just about anyone who had an interest in military affairs in South Asia, as well as policy analysis. I happen to be one of those people. How many other people are among that group of people who read my blog, I am not sure, but it is a book that looks like it will be quite intriging to read, and thankfully short enough not to bore with tedious repetition. Hopefully my review will be at least as direct and to the point.