HPU News for October 2011

Former Indian naval leader speaks at HPU

October 25, 2011

Retired Indian Navy Adm. Prakash.

Retired Indian Navy Adm. Arun Prakash answers a question during a presentation focused on the Indian Ocean Region at HPU Oct. 17.

HONOLULU — Hawai‘i Pacific University hosted retired Indian Navy Adm. Arun Prakash, for a special talk focused on India and the Indian Ocean Region Oct. 17.

Prakash retired as India’s 20th Naval Chief and Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee in 2006. He was a naval aviator, and during a career spanning 40 years, commanded four warships including an aircraft carrier, two naval air squadrons and a naval air station. Post-retirement, he writes and speaks on strategic and defense-related topics.

“This was a unique opportunity for the students to interact with a military leader from one of the most important areas in Asia,” said HPU Associate Professor Dr. Patrick Bratton. Bratton is Program Chair, Political Science and International Relations, and Coordinator, Diplomacy and Military Studies Program.

“While most of our attention is on China, India is also a major rising economic and geostrategic power that is unfortunately off our radar screens most of the time,” Bratton  said. “This event gave our students a chance to get a new perspective and get insights from Adm. Prakash’s great experience.” 

Questions from attendees focused on relations between India and China, the world’s two most populous countries, which will be critical in the coming decades. 

Responding to questions about piracy in Somalia, Prakash calls for a multi-spectrum solution that not only involves a naval response at sea, but also a re-evaluation of maritime law dealing with piracy and addressing root causes in Somalia. 

The event was co-sponsored by the HPU Department of Social Sciences, and Diplomacy and Military Studies Program.