Defense Diplomacy will boost up Armed Forces Cooperation
Bangladesh Army under the leadership of dynamic and prudent chief General SM Shafiuddin Ahmed is moving in the right direction to become a world-class force through realistic and modern training including Artificial Intelligence.
Bangladesh Army is not lagging behind in the defense diplomacy.
There is no standard definition for defense diplomacy term but in a broader sense, military diplomacy is a form of diplomacy where the acts of a military leads to promotion of goodwill for the nation.
The main aim of the defense diplomacy are to build the interoperability and capacity among allies to have better understanding strategic culture of our states, to build capacity of one states and their military and establish a strong bilateral relationship.
The defense diplomacy can be exercised through training armed forces from friendly foreign countries, engaging in international military education, through joint military exercise, providing humanitarian assistance for disaster relief and contributing to peacekeeping forces.
In an effort to enhance Defense diplomacy Bangladesh Army Chief General SM Shafiuddin Ahmed has embarked the USA, India, Turkey and Korea after assuming power as the Chief of Bangladesh Army.
General SM Shafiuddin Ahmed has made an official trip to the United States of America in the middle of September last.
During his visit, General Shafiuddin attended the "Indo-Pacific Army Chiefs Conference (IPACC)-2021", jointly organised by US Indo-Pacific Command and the Papua New Guinea Defence Force.
On the first day of the three-day long conference, the army chief observed the competency of the 25th Infantry Division of US Army and witnessed a live fire drill conducted by US Army Pacific Command.
Chief of Army Staff of Bangladesh General SM Shafiuddin Ahmed with General Charles A. Flynn, commanding general of United States Army Pacific. Photo: ISPR
On the second of the conference, he attended plenary sessions titled "The Changing Physical Environment of Land Operations'' and "The Evolving Human Environment of Land Operations'' where Chief of Staff of the United States Army General James C. McConville delivered the welcome speech.
Apart from joining the conference, the army chief exchanged views with UK Field Army Commander Lt General Ralph Woods and several senior military officials of different countries.
On the concluding day of the conference, General Shafiuddin held bilateral meeting with General Charles A. Flynn, commanding general of United States Army Pacific.
In addition, he also exchanged views with Chief of Indonesian Army Staff General Andika Perkasa, Army Chief of Staff of South Korea General Nam Yeong-Shin, Assistant Commander-in-Chief of Royal Thai Army General Pornsak Poolsawat, Commander of the Papua New Guinea Defence Force Brigadier General Gilbert Toropo, Chief of Staff Singapore Army Brigadier-General Frederick Choo and Maldives National Defence Force Brigadier-General Hamid Shafiq.
During the meetings, the army chief discussed future plans and the areas of mutual cooperation between Bangladesh and the armies of those countries.
The Chief of Army Staff's visit to the United States is expected to open up new avenues of cooperation between the Indo-Pacific countries and the Bangladesh Army.
Chief of Army Staff of Bangladesh General SM Shafiuddin Ahmed has made a official visit to India in the beginning of September last.
Chief of Army Staff General SM Shafiuddin Ahmed with State Security Adviser of India Ajit Doval. Photo: ISPR
During his visit, the army chief met Indian National Security Advisor Ajit Kumar Doval; Lt Gen Vinod G Khandare, military adviser to the Secretariat of the State Security Council in the Indian Prime Minister's Office; Defence Secretary Ajoy Kumar; late Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat; Chief of the Army Staff of the Indian Army Manoj Mukund Naravane, and Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria.
The army chief inspected the 50th Indian Parachute Brigade 50 (Independent) in Agra, the Wargaming Development Centre, Defence Image Processing and Analysis Centre and the Indian National Defence College.
The Indian Parachute Brigade 50 (Independent) was the first to enter Dhaka through Tongi as a member of the Allied Forces during the Liberation War of 1971.
During his meeting with Lt Gen Vinod G Khandare, Shafiuddin discussed security issues.
On the last day of his visit, he paid homage to the National War Memorial where he looked at the inscribed names of those who sacrificed their lives for the Allied forces in the 1971 Liberation War and paid tribute.
He was given a guard of honour when he reached the South Block.
Later, he met Chief of Indian Army Staff Manoj Mukund Naravane and Defence Secretary Ajoy Kumar.
The army chief's called on Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria and Chief of Defense Staff General Bipin Rawat at their office. He later exchanged views with Indian National Security Advisor Ajit Kumar Doval at his office.
The visit of the Chief of Army Staff is expected to further strengthen the relationship between the armies of India and Bangladesh and the prospects for further cooperation.
Chief of Army Staff of Bangladesh General SM Shafiuddin Ahmed has toured to Turkey in the middle of last August, 2021.
Army Chief General Shafiuddin visiting the International Defense Fair-2021 in Turkey: Photo: ISPR
During his visit, the army chief met Turkey's President of Defense Industries Ismail Demer and Deputy Minister of National Defense Muhsin Dere.
The two top officials of the Turkish government assured all sorts of cooperation with Bangladesh, including those involving military equipment.
Later, the army chief visited different stalls of the International Defense Fair-2021, said the release.
Upon reaching Ankara from Istanbul, he visited the graveyard and museum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk and paid homage at the memorial.
During his stay in Ankara, General SM Shafiuddin Ahmed met with Commander General Musa Avsever, chief of Turkish land forces and General Yasar Guler, chief of Turkish general staff.
They discussed issues of mutual interest between Turkey and the Bangladesh army.
The talks focused on possible areas of defence cooperation between the two countries including training exchanges.
Apart from meeting several important officials of the Turkish army, army chief Shafiuddin had inspected the operation control room of Turkish Unmanned Aerial System (UAS), Army Aviation Headquarters and Turkish Air Spaces Industry.
Bilateral ties enhance
Relations between Bangladesh and Turkey have reached a new high with recent high armed forces visits.
Bangladesh became the fourth-largest arms buyer from Turkey, reportedly receiving up to $60 million in weapons from Ankara’s roughly $1 billion in defense products exports in the first four months of 2021.
Turkey appears to be fostering closer relations with Bangladesh through its Asia Anew initiative, turning its attention to countries including Bangladesh, a country with a $4.45 billion military budget allocation for the fiscal year 2021-22.
Bangladesh's chief of naval staff led a delegation to Turkey in late May days before retirement.
Then-Air Chief Marshal Masihuzzaman Serniabat led a visit in late April in response to invitations from his Turkish counterpart.
Bangladesh and Turkey are working to enhance ties and trade relations to $2 billion from the current level of around $1 billion, according to the Bangladesh foreign ministry.
Chief of Army Staff of Bangladesh General SM Shafiuddin Ahmed has also visited at the end of September last South Korea.
Chief of Army Staff General SM Shafiuddin Ahmed meets Minister of National Defense of the
Republic of Korea Suh Wook during his recent visit there. Photo: ISPR
During his visit, General Shafiuddin made a courtesy call on Chief of Staff of the Republic of Korea Army General Nam Yeong-shin on October 19. They discussed possibilities to take the existing relations between the armed forces of the two countries further.
The army chief later attended two military exercises titled 'Army Tiger 4.0' and 'Warriors' Platform', and different stalls at the Seoul International Aerospace and Defence Exhibition (ADEX)-2021.
General Shafiuddin also met and exchanged views with South Korea's Minister of National Defence Suh Wook, Army Chief General Nam Yeong-shin, Commander-in-Chief of the Angolan Armed Forces General Jaque Raul, and Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Ground Forces Oleg Leonidovich Salyukov, among others.
On October 20, General Shafiuddin attended an air show in honour of the President of South Korea Moon Jae-in at ADEX-2021and visited different stalls of military equipment at the exhibition.
The Army Chief General SM Shafiuddin Ahmed visit’s to these countries would open further doors of cooperation among the friendly countries and will improve the defense diplomacy.