Indian History Part 65 The Bahmani Kingdom Section IV Last Days and Break-Up

Canberra, 8 April 2018 

 

The Divisions in Court

The Tarafdari system that was instituted by Hasan did not take long to become entrenched in the socio-political structure of the kingdom. Gradually, the tarafdars, the governors of the tarafs or provinces, started to acquire local prestige. This trend invariably led to greater separatist tendencies that became increasingly more difficult for the Sultan to control. These separatist forces continued to gain momentum till mid-15th century. At this time, the subterranean division that had been percolating amongst the elite nobles supporting the ruling dynasty came out in the open, clearly dividing them into two rival groups – the Deccanis who were the local Muslims and the Pardesis, meaning foreigners.

The Deccanis were domiciled Muslims of the region. No doubt a majority of them traced their origins outside the Deccan, but a few of the nobles of high standing were either direct converts or the offspring of converts. The outsiders, over a period of long stay in the Deccan had inter-married with the locals, changed their way of life vis-à-vis customs, eating habits, dress and social life style. A number of them were also of darker complexion than the Arabs and other foreigners, on account of the lineage from local marriages. Even foreign officers initially employed by Hasan had gradually become ‘Deccanised’ over a century and were considered to be ‘local’. In addition, a number of Africans – mostly Abyssinians – had also mingled with the local population and this mixed population was also counted amongst the Deccanis. They were dark-skinned and often were lesser educated and cultured, therefore treated with contempt by the Pardesis, the pure foreigners.

The Deccanis also contained Hindu converts. Two exemplary models were: Fathullah Imad Shah the founder of the Imad Shahi dynasty in Berar; and Ahmad Nizam Shah, who founded the Nizam Shahi dynasty in Ahmadnangar. Both these noblemen were originally Brahmin Hindus. The Deccanis looked upon the native land as their territory and were suspicious of any foreigner attempting to obtain a foothold, territorially or as officials in the royal court. These foreigners automatically became rivals in the mind of the Deccanis.

The Pardesis, as the name implies, were outsiders who were mostly first generation immigrants. The Bahmani kings employed them freely and this created a large flow of these foreigners into the country—their numbers increasing with each passing year. They came from all parts of the larger Islamic world outside the sub-continent – Persia, Turkey, Central Asia, Arabia and Afghanistan. The common trait that bound them was that they were all adventurers of reasonable military and administrative capabilities. The Deccan at that time was considered a land of adventure and opportunity where an individual’s valour was recognised and statesmanship rewarded without any questions being asked about his antecedents. The only qualification needed was to be a Muslim!

From the beginning of this process, the Pardesis exercised considerable influence in the kingdom’s politics as well as in the decision-making at court. However, in the initial days, the Deccanis did not feel the competition since the Pardesis were few in numbers and therefore their influence was negligible. There was another reason for the Deccanis not having considered them a threat to their hegemony. The Pardesis were few and therefore intermarriage with the locals was common, which in turn led to assimilation into the Deccani group. The creation of a separate identity for the Pardesis came with increased numbers in their immigration and the perpetuation of a Pardesi community that stood away from the local Muslims, the Deccanis. It was not long before two distinct factions were formed at court—the Pardesis and Deccanis.

The Pardesis were more active and energetic and therefore more successful than the Deccanis. The reasons are obvious. They had to work hard to prove themselves in an alien land and against the odds of not being liked by the locals. It was also not surprising that they considered the Deccanis inferior. The rivalry became entrenched and intense, often leading to riots and skirmishes. The division was exacerbated by the religious difference between the two factions, with the Pardesis being majority Shia and the Deccanis being of the Sunni persuasion.

By the end of the 14th century, the Deccanis had been pushed to the fringes of the court and almost completely displaced from power. However, during the reign of Ahmad Shah Vali, the Deccanis managed to insinuate themselves back into the Sultan’s favour at the cost of the Pardesis. In 1430-31 the Bahmani army was soundly defeated by the Gujarat forces three times in a row. The Pardesi Amir in-charge of the Bahmani forces attributed the defeat squarely to the cowardice of the Deccanis. However, the Deccanis managed to convince the Sultan that the debacle was the result of the bad advice rendered by the Pardesi officers. The rivalry finally led to the massacre of a large number of Pardesi nobles at a place called Chakan. The Deccanis had organised the ambush after getting the Sultan’s approval to do so, obtained through convincing him of a false story. The Sultan subsequently came to know of this deceit by the Deccanis and relegated them to subsidiary status. However, the rivalry continued and contributed directly to the weakening and subsequent fall of the Bahmani dynasty.

Humayun Shah

On Ala ud-Din’s death some nobles set on the throne Hasan, Humayun’s younger brother. However, Humayun was the late Sultan’s choice for the position and he had no trouble setting aside the young upstart and assuming the throne. The nobles who had supported Hasan were either killed, imprisoned or fled the country in fear. Hasan was captured, blinded and imprisoned. Humayun was already known for his cruelty and this evil reputation was confirmed by his actions on assuming the throne. The savagery of his deeds earned him the title ‘Zalim’ or ‘Cruel Tyrant’. His cruelty was such that some historians compare him to the Roman emperors Nero and/or Caligula. It is interesting that contemporary Muslim chroniclers praise his wit, learning and eloquence while at the same time mentioning his ‘fierce disposition’. The description of his character as ‘fierce’ is nothing but a euphemism for savage cruelty, since they could not have mentioned anything more derogatory than this vague statement as death would have been meted out to them without doubt. Similarly, praise for his learning and wit was undoubtedly inserted to soften the reference to his cruel character.

Humayun favoured the Pardesis or foreigners above the Deccanis, whom he relegated to the background. He secured the services of an exceptionally able minister, Najm ud-Din Mahmud bin Muhammad Gawan Gilani who became known to history as Mahmud Gawan, and made him the lieutenant or Malik Naib, bestowing the governorship of Bijapur on him.

Mahmud Gawan

There is an authoritative biography of Mahmud Gawan written by Abdul Karim Hamdani from which details of his life and times can be understood.

Mahmud was a native of Qawan in Iran where his ancestors were Viziers, or ministers, of Shah Gilan. Mahmud himself was a trader who came to the Deccan when he was 45 years old, with the sole purpose of enhancing his trading activities. Noticing his administrative capabilities, Ala ud-Din made him an Amir (noble) in his court.

Humayun conferred the title of Malik-ul-Tajjar on him, raised him to First Minister and entrusted important duties to him. This is perhaps the only commendable act that was done by Humayun Shah during his reign.

Mahmud Gawan was an exceptionally gifted administrator and was prudent to a fault. He went on to serve four successive Bahmani sultans, most creditably and loyally for over three decades. He was a stabilising influence in the Bahmani kingdom during a period of extreme political turbulence and internecine conflicts that was debilitating the kingdom.

Humayun Shah ruled only for a short period of time – his reign marred by a series of rebellions and unrest. The major events recalled regarding his regime are neither military conquest nor expeditions nor administrative reform but the hideous cruelty that he perpetuated with savage brutality.

There were two major rebellions during Humayun Shah’s reign. The first was in Telangana by Sikandar Khan and his father Jalal Khan. The other was in the capital Bidar when Humayun and his trusted minister Mahmud Gawan were in Telangana putting down the rebellion there. True to form, Humayun put down both the rebellions with maniacal ferocity. The rebellion in the capital was instigated by the supporters of Hasan, the blinded and imprisoned prince. The rebels were captured by the then governor of Bijapur Siraj Khan, Mahmud Gawan having relinquished the governor’s post to be the First Minister in court, and handed over to Humayun Khan.

Hasan was thrown in front of a ferocious tiger in the presence of Humayun Khan and was devoured. Every single person connected to the rebellion in even very minor ways such as being the cook of a rebel, or seen to have assisted the rebellion in some way, were tortured and killed. The cruelty was such that it exceeded all bounds of normalcy, making even the court chroniclers describe the savagery in detail. Even though he had the king’s ear, Mahmud Gawan was unable to reign in Humayun’s spiteful and ferocious cruelty. Further, the talented queen Makhdumah Jahan also attempted to intervene to stop these acts but was unable to reason with the blood-thirsty Humayun. Humayun Shah was murdered in September 1461, reportedly by an African maid servant, who was ‘tired of his inhuman cruelty’.

Universal Joy at the Death of Humayun Shah

The poet Nazir composed a chronogram that expressed the universal joy felt by his subjects at his death. It indirectly provides the date of his death. It goes:

‘Humayun Shah has passed away from the world.

God Almighty, what a blessing was the death of Humayun!

On the date of his death, the world was full of delight.

So ‘delight of the world’ gives the date of his death.’

The Persian words, which are the equivalent of ‘delight of the world’ are ‘Zauq-i-Jahan. The numerical values of the letters of that term comes to 865, the Hijra year of Humayun’s death.

Nizam Shah

Since he was murdered very early in his reign, Humayun Shah had not yet nominated any successor. Therefore, the three most powerful people in the court—the queen Makhdumah Jahan, the first minister Mahmud Gawan and Malik Shah Turk known by his title Khwaja Jahan—brought Humayun’s 8-year old son Nizam Shah to the throne. Some neighbours, Orissa and Warangal in particular, considered the boy-Sultan’s accession as an opportunity to make territorial inroads into the Bahmani kingdom, but were repulsed.

At the same time the Sultan of Malwa, Mahmud Khilji, marched towards Bidar and advanced almost unopposed. Mahmud Gawan and Khwaja Jahan assembled a force and marched to oppose the Malwa army. The Bahmani forces were routed in the battle that ensued, suffering a great defeat, and fled the field. Khilji now continued his advance, laid waste the countryside and occupied Bidar. Nizam Shah had been removed to Firuzabad on the River Bhima prior to the arrival of the Malwa forces. In complete distress at the turn of events, Mahmud Gawan appealed to the Sultan of Gujarat, Mahmud Begarha, for assistance. Begarha entered the Deccan with a large force, because of which the Malwa forces withdrew to their own territories. Khilji attempted another invasion the next year, but the coalition forces of Bahmani and Gujarat kingdoms frightened him and he returned to Malwa without engaging in battle.

The Dowager Queen – Makhdumah Jahan

Humayun Shah’s wife, Makhdumah Jahan, who was a granddaughter of Sultan Firuz Shah, was one of the most remarkable women to have appeared in the Deccan Plateau.

She aided Mahmud Gawan energetically in all activities of the court after her son Nizam Shah was brought to the throne. She was instrumental in rapidly dismantling the evil set up of her husband’s misrule. She ensured that all innocent persons who had been incarcerated without reason were freed and reinstated all servants who had been dismissed without cause. She took active part in reinvigorating the moribund administration. The Queen was almost single-handedly responsible for repelling the Orissa-Telangana combine that invaded Bahmani in the first year of Nizam Shah’s rule.

Unfortunately, Nizam Shah died suddenly on 30 July 1463, the day set for his marriage, after a brief rule of only two years.

Muhammad Shah III

Even though Nizam Shah’s death was unanticipated, the Council of Regency – the queen-mother, Mahmud Gawan and Khwaja Jahan – that had guided the kingdom during his short rule was sufficiently entrenched to effect a seamless transfer of power. They raised Nizam’s younger brother to the throne with the title Muhammad Shah III. However, the Khwaja Jahan had become ambitious and started to sideline the queen-mother from the decision-making process. The young Sultan, denounced Khwaja in the open court and had him murdered, also in the open. Mahmud Gawan was made Vakil-us-Sultanate, the deputy of the Sultanate, effectively becoming the Prime Minister. He continued in this position till 1481 when he was murdered.

Mahmud Gawan now had unlimited power, but conducted himself with considerable moderation and single-minded devotion to ensure the kingdom’s welfare. He fought a number of successful wars against the neighbours of the Bahmani kingdom, increasing its spread to the greatest extent ever. At its height, the Bahmani kingdom spread from Goa to Orissa, covering the entire breadth of the Peninsula. Goa was the best port of the Vijayanagar kingdom and its capture is particularly significant. The capture of Goa was not only a military victory over the hereditary enemy of the Bahmani dynasty, but brought the entire west coast trade under their control.

Gawan’s most important military exploit was the conquest of Hubli, Belgaum and Bagalkot that brought the full Bombay-Karnataka belt under Bahmani sway and consolidated control of the long Konkan coast. The young Sultan also participated in the military expeditions, earning him the title ‘Lashkari’, meaning warrior. There was a war of succession in Orissa, in which the Bahmani army intervened successfully that further increased the status of the kingdom. The new conquests also enriched the kingdom. A Russian traveller of the time, Athanasius Nikitin visited Bidar and wrote that it was ‘the chief town of the whole Muhammadan Hindustan’.

Expedition to Kanchi

A military raid on Kanchi or Kanchipuram is considered the most remarkable exploit of Muhammad Shah. Kanchi was extremely sacred to the Hindus and housed several temples that were immensely wealthy. In 1481, Mahmud Shah force-marched to Kanchi and defeated the Hindu forces. However, the Muslim chroniclers mention that the Hindu army fought valiantly and ferociously to defend the temple-town. This is high praise coming from the Muslim writers who habitually belittled the Hindu armies. The Hindu army must have been of exemplary quality to gain such praise. The chronicles go on to state that the city was razed to the ground along with all its temples. It is obvious that Kanchi was plundered and many atrocities committed in the name of victory, which were also religiously motivated. However, the claim of the entire city being razed is an exaggeration. The Bahmani army collected immense booty and returned. On Muhammad turning 15 years of age, the queen-mother, one of the most sagacious ladies to honour the position, retired and died soon after.

The Story of Mahmud Gawan

The Bahmani kingdom was traditionally divided into four ‘tarafs’ or provinces and ruled by centrally appointed governors called tarafdars, essentially provincial governors. Since factionalism—between the Pardesis and Deccanis—was rampant in the kingdom, the tarafs were equally divided between them. The Pardesi nobles ruled Gulbarga with Bijapur under Mahmud Gawan and Daultabad under Yusuf Adil Khan; and the Deccanis ruled Telangana through Malik Hasan and Berar under Fathullah Imad-ul-Mulk.

Administrative Reforms

Mahmud Gawan was relatively not involved in factional politics and the Sultan reposed complete faith in him. With the support of the Sultan he commenced administrative reforms aimed at improving the kingdom’s position and consolidating central control. Gawan divided each of the four tarafs into two and appointed new governors for the newly created provinces. Further, of the resulting eight tarafs, he kept several under central control so that the revenues from them could be used exclusively by the Sultan. This curtailed the enormous power so far wielded by the tarafdars. In addition Gawan appointed district collectors who were directly responsible to the royal court of the Sultan in Bidar. Only one fort in each taraf was left to the governor with the rest being manned by officers appointed by the king and directly responsible to him. These moves effectively curtailed all possibilities of rebellion against the Sultan.

Mahmud Gawan strictly enforced the reforms. He also enforced the collection of revenue and was extremely strict in ensuring that allowances were provided in a timely manner for the maintenance of the stipulated number of troops by all governors. Needless to state, these measures meant for the betterment of the administration was unpopular with the governors who had so far enjoyed unlimited freedom and power.

Gawan’s Murder

As mentioned earlier, Mahmud Gawan was a Persian by birth and therefore nominally belonged to the Pardesi faction, although he was personally not biased either way. He held the highest position in court and obviously had precedence over the Deccani faction, which was led by the tarafdar of Telangana, Malik Hasan Nizam-ul-Mulk Bahri. The administrative reforms that Gawan had instituted while improving the efficiency of the central control over the kingdom, also curtailed the uninhibited power that the tarafdars had so far enjoyed. It is no wonder that the reforms were unpopular amongst the nobles and that there was growing and widespread resentment against Mahmud Gawan.

The Deccanis led by Hasan decided to put an end to Gawan and resorted to deceit to achieve their nefarious purpose. They bribed the keeper of Mahmud’s personal seals, forged a letter purporting to invite the king of Orissa to invade the Bahmani kingdom on which the seals were affixed and produced it in front of the Sultan as proof of Mahmud Gawan’s disloyalty. Prior to this act, the Deccanis had poisoned the Sultan’s ears with many imagined tales of Gawan’s duplicitousness and acts of betrayal of the Sultan. On receiving the forged letter, the Sultan already biased against Gawan, flew into a rage and called Mahmud Gawan into his private chamber. There he had him summarily executed without even giving the loyal minister a chance to explain himself. The date was 5 April 1481 and Gawan was 78 years old.

‘Thus perished by the ignoble hand of the assassin a veteran public servant, who had a glorious record of military triumphs and administrative achievements to his credit. The besotted Sultan discovered afterwards that he had been tricked by the fallen minister’s enemies, but the injury that he had done to himself and the state was irreparable.’

Ishwari Prasad,

History of Medieval India, p. 371.

The only councillor of the Bahmani kings who combined loyalty and ability in equal measure and which raised him to the status of a statesman, who had served the dynasty for 35 years with unstinting devotion, was eliminated in a fit of misplaced rage by the impetus Muhammad Shah. Not only was this a great crime but it led to the almost immediate dissolution of the Bahmani kingdom. Mahmud Gawan was the glue that had so far held the state together.

Mahmud Gawan – The Statesman

Mahmud Gawan deserves high praise as one of the foremost, if not the greatest, statesmen of the Deccan in medieval times. His entire career was about unswerving loyalty and devotion to the Bahmani kingdom and dynasty, being completely focused on the concepts of territorial expansion and administrative reform. In his private life, Gawan was simple, generous, charitable, learned and of a blameless character. It is even conceivable that he could have healed the widening rift between the Pardesis and the Deccanis had it not been for the habitual rancour of Malik Hasan who finally brought him down.

‘Simplicity of living, courage and determination in times of difficulty, generosity and magnanimity of temper, love of justice and benevolence, a character that defied temptations so common in a state despotically governed, a lofty conception of morality in an age when the grossest vices were condoned or connived at—all these are traits attributed to him by the unanimous testimony of Muslim historians.’

Ishwari Prasad,

History of Medieval India, p. 372.

Mahmud Gawan was not the paragon of virtues as he is made out to be by contemporary Muslim chroniclers. There was a complete downside to his character. Gawan was single-mindedly relentless in his pursuit of non-Muslims, showing absolutely no mercy on anyone not of the Islamic faith. He was intolerant to the extreme while also being a devout and fully observing Muslim in his private life. More than any of his predecessors, Mahmud Gawan was responsible for the subjugation of the Hindus in the Deccan, through acts of commission and omission that ground the non-Muslim population continually into the dust.

It is recorded that Mahmud Gawan subordinated all personal considerations to carry out his public responsibilities. His murder was the death knell of the Bahmani dynasty.

The Curtain Falls on the Bahmani Kingdom

When Mahmud Gawan was murdered, the Pardesi amirs left the capital for their provinces without seeking the permission of the Sultan as was customary. Even though Malik Hasan became the Prime Minister, some of the Deccani nobles, the more even-handed ones, also disapproved of the treacherous murder of Gawan. Having realised his mistake, Muhammad Shah was full of remorse and took to heavy drinking. He died within a year of his illustrious minister’s murder.

Some chroniclers opine that amongst the Bahmani Sultans, Muhammad Shah was next to Firuz Shah in learning. He was also an energetic ruler and a good soldier. His undoing was the fact that he was unduly fond of wine and made a number of brash and dubious decisions while in an inebriated state. The execution of Mahmud Gawan was one such. Muhammad is the last king of the Bahmani dynasty worth mentioning separately. He was followed on the throne by five more ‘Sultans’ who were mere puppets in the hands of unscrupulous nobles.

Muhammad Shah III was followed on the throne by his 12-year old son Mahmud, while all power was wielded by Malik Hasan. The boy-king attempted to have Hasan assassinated but the plot failed and resulted in Mahmud being placed under stricter control, becoming a helpless virtual prisoner. Very rapidly the authority of the Sultan, wielded by Malik Hasan, started to be questioned by the nobles. Most of the governors of the provinces started to disobey royal orders. Yusuf Adil Khan, now the leader of the Pardesi faction, instigated revolts in Goa and Chakan, while in the east the governor of Telangana rebelled.

The boy-king Mahmud, managed to have Malik Hasan caught and strangled while the latter was proceeding to capture the royal treasury. To make matters worse, Mahmud on reaching maturity, proved to be an imbecile, preferring the company of buffoons and others of the same ilk; indulging himself in debauchery and idleness. The Deccanis now attempted to dethrone Mahmud, but was stopped by the intervention of the Pardesis. This led to the massacre of the Deccani and African factions by the Pardesis that is reported to have continued for three consecutive days and nights. After this episode, the balkanisation of the Bahmani kingdom gathered pace.

In 1490 Yusuf Adil Khan declared independence in Bijapur and Fathullah Imad-ul-Mulk did the same in Berar, with both assuming royal titles. There was no attempt from the Sultan to bring the rebels under control. Two decades later Qutb-ul-Mulk declared independence in Golconda and Barid ul-Mulk did the same in the capital Bidar itself. Prior to this declaration of independence, Amir Barid had been in full control as the Prime Minister after the murder of Malik Hasan. Barid had kept Mahmud the Sultan in humiliating conditions before his death in 1518. This could be considered the virtual end of the dynasty.

The four sons of Mahmud Shah were brought to the throne one-by-one as mere figureheads and done away with at the whim and fancy of Amir Barid. Even though the Bahmani princes were nominally ruling in Bidar during this period, it will not be incorrect to put 1490 as the date for the rise of the Barid Shahi dynasty that ruled from Bidar. The life and times of the four sons of Mahmud who ‘adorned’ the throne for about a decade is not worth a mention in the history of the Bahmani kingdom. The last of these princes, Kalimullah, appealed to Babur for assistance after which he fled to Bijapur and then to Ahmadnagar where he died. With this death the Bahmani dynasty officially came to an end. An inglorious end to an inglorious dynasty.

This is the story of the Bahmani kingdom, not an edifying tale. The Bahmani dynasty did not by any means write an attractive chapter in the annals of Indian history, quite the contrary.

The Bahmani Dynasty – An Assessment

Of the 18 kings/sultans who ruled the Bahmani kingdom, only very few were not debauched drunkards. Further, all of them were religious bigots—their bigotry varying only in the brutality of their treatment of non-believers—who had absolutely no sympathy for their majority Hindu subjects. The Bahmani kings wholeheartedly supported forced conversion. The sultans lived in self-created bubble of factionalism and often tended to make blunders and calamitous decisions.

Even though marriage to local women were encouraged and was common place, the Muslims did not exceed a mere 15 per cent of the total population of the kingdom at any time. However, the sultans were evenly blood-thirsty, ferocious and cruel, who gloried in the persecution of Hindus, from the time of the founding Sultan Hasan Bahmani. The reports of the Bahmani kings being patrons of learning has to be understood within the limits that was placed by the Sultans themselves. They built many mosques and imparted religious education to the Muslim population and treated the Hindus as second class citizens with no benefits given in return for their contribution to the betterment of the state. Thus the sultan felt responsible for only 15 per cent of the entire population that he ruled. Contrary to the reports of contemporary Muslim chronicles and even some modern day historical analysts who praise their rule, the Bahmani Sultans come across as being inhuman oppressors, sucking the land dry to live their own lives in exaggerated luxury.

An unbiased analysis of the recorded annals of the Bahmani kingdom shows that they are replete with instances of organised murders and massacres of the predominantly Hindu population; desecration of countless temples, primarily to loot the wealth stored in them; and disgraceful orgies conducted in the court and which went on for days at a time. The Bahmani army, much praised by both Muslim chroniclers of the time and some modern day historians, was nothing but a rampaging rabble that was a law unto itself. The huge armies that were maintained were little better than armed mobs who were extremely inefficient in actual battle. The only redeeming factor in this sordid tale of butchery and intolerance, if there can be one, is that all this took place in medieval times and therefore could in some ways be considered ‘normal’ for the era. In Europe during these times, the tactics of burning so-called heretics at the stake and using the rack to obtain confessions and punish dissidence, was normal.

Whatever the reasons given to make the Bahmani rule look normal, it is certain that none of the Bahmani Sultans were enlightened rulers. Each one of them revelled at being deceitful, treacherous and bigoted, holding on to power by any and all means at their disposal. Self-aggrandisement, the forced spread of Islam, and ensuring a rapid shift in the cultural milieu of the Indian sub-continent were their primary aims.

The Bahmani kingdom was split between five succeeding dynasties—the Imad Shahi in Berar; Nizam Shahi in Ahmadnagar; Adil Shahi in Bijapur; Qutub Shahi in Golconda; and Barid Shahi in Bidar. Thus ended the rule of the Bahmani dynasty, not going down in a flourish of trumpets, but drowning in their own ignoble deeds with not a single person sorry to see their unholy demise.

© [Sanu Kainikara] [2018]
All Rights Reserved
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About Sanu kainikara

Sainik School Kazhakuttam (Kerala), National Defence Academy 39/A, 108 Pilot's Course IAF, fighter pilot, QFI, FCL, psc, HACC, Voluntary Retirement as Wing Commander. Canberra-based Defence Analyst specialising in air power and national security. PhD in International Politics from University of Adelaide Adjunct Professor, University of New South Wales, Distinguished Fellow Institute For Regional Security (IFRS)

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