Cooperation with countries like the UK is not only desirable, but necessary

It is good see that Bangladesh and the UK, two nations with a long history of friendship, have held face-to-face talks for the first time since Brexit, with a focus on an area of paramount importance -- defense and security cooperation. Right now, there are tensions simmering through the region, and there are emerging security concerns that need to be addressed. 

For example, presently, Bangladesh is hosting over a million Rohingya while Myanmar refuses to change its policies or acknowledge its crimes. A little to the west of us, the recent Taliban takeover of Afghanistan will, no doubt, have greater repercussions in the South Asia region in the weeks and months to come. Conflict should always be avoided, but Bangladesh, like any other nation, must be ready to protect itself. In that regard, cooperation with countries like the UK is not only desirable, but necessary.

In the unwanted -- and one hopes, unlikely -- event that a military response on our part is necessitated, our technologically out-of-date equipment will simply not do. Upgrades have long been needed and to that end, it is good to see our air force getting a much-needed facelift: We have obtained five C-130J Super Hercules aircrafts, with two already delivered, and three to arrive by April next year. With a number of other purchases in the works, this could be a game-changer for our military, and significantly improve the cards we hold in strategic situations and during diplomatic challenges. 

It must be said that direct conflict should always be avoided, because the consequences of warfare, as we have seen time and again, are catastrophic. Bangladesh, however, needs to do what it can to strengthen its position in the region, and stop other nations from perceiving us as a weak player that can be taken advantage of.  


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