Fu­ture Wars in In­dia

The types of threats and chal­lenges ex­ist­ing cur­rently and those that are likely to arise in the fu­ture are, by them­selves, in­dica­tive of a threat-cum-ca­pa­bil­ity-based force struc­ture in which the po­ten­tial ad­ver­sary’s ca­pa­bil­i­ties and threats can both be

SP's LandForces - - FRONT PAGE - Lt Gen­eral (Retd) V.K. Kapoor

M ANY VIEWS HAVE BEEN ex­pressed on the sub­ject of fu­ture wars. Most ob­ser­va­tions and as­sess­ments de­pend upon the back­ground, ex­per­tise and bias of the in­di­vid­u­als con­cerned. Martin Crevald, the Is­raeli mil­i­tary sci­en­tist, states, “War will be com­pletely per­me­ated by tech­nol­ogy and gov­erned by it.” An­drew Mar­shall, former Di­rec­tor of the Of­fice of Net As­sess­ments in the Of­fice of the Sec­re­tary of De­fense, states, “A rev­o­lu­tion in mil­i­tary af­fairs (RMA) is a ma­jor change in the na­ture of war­fare brought about by the in­no­va­tive ap­pli­ca­tion of new tech­nolo­gies which com­bined with dra­matic changes in mil­i­tary doc­trine, op­er­a­tional and or­gan­i­sa­tional con­cepts, fun­da­men­tally al­ters the char­ac­ter and con­duct of mil­i­tary op­er­a­tions.” Such an RMA, he says, is oc­cur­ring. Colin S. Gray in his book Strat­egy for

Chaos de­scribes RMA dif­fer­ently. He says, “The char­ac­ter of war is al­ways chang­ing, but from time to time, the pace of change ac­cel­er­ates or ap­pears to do so with the re­sult that there is a change of state in war­fare. War must still be war but it is waged in a no­tice­ably dif­fer­ent man­ner.” This is what the cur­rent in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy driven RMA has ac­com­plished.

While the de­tails of each eval­u­a­tion and ap­praisal dif­fer in their con­tent and qual­ity, some con­clu­sions emerge quite clearly and th­ese are: Fu­ture war­fare will be highly un­cer­tain. Tech­nol­ogy will play a pre­dom­i­nant role in de­sign­ing the con­duct of war. Weaker states will use “asym­met­ric war­fare” to fight op­po­nents that are more pow­er­ful while the more pow­er­ful states will use pos­i­tive asym­me­try through tech­no­log­i­cal ca­pa­bil­i­ties to de­liver sig­nif­i­cant lethal and non-lethal ef­fects with pre­ci­sion, speed and crush­ing power. Glob­al­i­sa­tion and in­ter­con­nect­ed­ness will make wars trans­par­ent thus chal­leng­ing the po­lit­i­cal util­ity of us­ing armed forces. Mil­i­tary power is likely to be used se­lec­tively, in an in­te­grated and syn­er­getic man­ner and with in­creas­ing dis­crim­i­na­tion in choos­ing means as well as ends. There will in­vari­ably be an in­ter­na­tional pres­sure on war­ring par­ties. Two or three gen­er­a­tions of war­fare will co­ex­ist. State-to-state con­flict, when both par­ties act on na­tional ini­tia­tive, will be­come a rar­ity. Care will have to be taken to work within the lim­its of in­ter­na­tional law, in­clud­ing its pre­cepts on the min­i­mum use of force and pro­por­tion­al­ity of re­sponse.

Ex­ist­ing Threats and Chal­lenges

In­dia faces three types of mil­i­tary threats and chal­lenges cur­rently. The tra­di­tional va­ri­ety of threat is from Pak­istan and China re­spec­tively due to the ex­ist­ing ter­ri­to­rial dis­putes. Con­sid­er­ing their grow­ing col­lu­sion cur­rently and in the past, a si­mul­ta­ne­ous two-front threat also can­not be ruled out. This is likely to be in the form of lim­ited wars of mid/high in­ten­sity. In­ter­nal threat and the con­tem­po­rary chal­lenges are likely to take the form of low-in­ten­sity con­flict (LIC) like ter­ror­ism and in­sur­gen­cies em­a­nat­ing from tra­di­tional ad­ver­saries, in­ter­na­tional ter­ror­ist net­works, non-state ac­tors, and dis­si­dent groups of home-grown va­ri­ety. The con­ven­tional con­flicts are likely to be of short du­ra­tion, which may vary from a few days to a few weeks, due to the in­evitable in­ter­na­tional pres­sures.

LIC falls un­der the cat­e­gory of ‘politi­comil­i­tary con­fronta­tion’ be­tween con­tend­ing states or groups and are at a much lower scale than con­ven­tional wars but are above the rou­tine and peace­ful com­pe­ti­tion among states. LIC ranges from high-grade in­ter­nal se­cu­rity sit­u­a­tions to the ex­ten­sive em­ploy­ment of Army in counter-in­sur­gency op­er­a­tions. LIC is waged by a com­bi­na­tion of means, em­ploy­ing po­lit­i­cal, eco­nomic, in­for­ma­tional and mil­i­tary in­stru­ments. It in­cludes ter­ror­ism but ex­cludes purely crim­i­nal acts. Such con­flicts as op­posed to con­ven­tional wars may pro­long in­def­i­nitely be­cause con­flict res­o­lu­tion has to be achieved within many con­flict­ing in­flu­ences.

Fu­ture Chal­lenges

In ad­di­tion to the ex­ist­ing threats and chal­lenges, the new threat di­men­sions and chal­lenges that need to be ex­am­ined, in the fu­ture, say up to the next two decades or so, are: Se­cu­rity of our na­tional val­ues and pur­pose, as laid down in the Con­sti­tu­tion of In­dia. Se­cu­rity of our is­land ter­ri­to­ries sep­a­rated by large dis­tances from the main­land. Se­cu­rity of our re­sources rich area. Se­cu­rity of a large and un­pro­tected coast­line and the na­tional as­sets and in­fra­struc­ture along the coast­line. Se­cu­rity of sea-routes of com­mu­ni­ca­tions which pro­vide pas­sage to our trade. In­ter­nal dis­sent and claims to au­ton­omy and eth­nic recog­ni­tion by sub­na­tional en­ti­ties, who may be sup­ported from out­side. De­mo­graphic shifts in the South Asian re­gion. Non-mil­i­tary threats and their im­pact on the mil­i­tary (water, en­ergy, etc). In­im­i­cal ac­tions by pow­er­ful multi­na­tion­als which may af­fect own vi­tal na­tional in­ter­ests and which may be sup­ported by other states. The be­liefs of one or more pow­er­ful states, which view their se­cu­rity as more vi­tal than that of the world. Over­spill of eth­nic con­flicts in the South Asian re­gion into In­dia. Out of area con­tin­gen­cies to sup­port friendly states in the re­gion or evac­u­a­tion of own di­as­po­ras from con­flict zones. Global ter­ror­ism per­pe­trated by non­state ac­tors in our re­gion, which may be aided or sup­ported by other states. Cy­ber and space. Mil­i­tary aid in in­ter­nal se­cu­rity against: Ter­ror­ist Ac­tiv­ity Nar­cotics Trade An­tag­o­nis­tic Para­mil­i­tary groups Large-scale civil dis­obe­di­ence caused by a va­ri­ety of rea­sons Dis­tur­bances caused by ide­o­log­i­cal, eth­nic and re­li­gious ha­tred, anar­chy, food short­ages and ab­sence of gov­er­nance.

Fu­ture Force Struc­ture

The types of threats and chal­lenges ex­ist­ing cur­rently and those that are likely to arise in the fu­ture are, by them­selves, in­dica­tive of a threat-cum-ca­pa­bil­ity-based force struc­ture in which the po­ten­tial ad­ver­sary’s ca­pa­bil­i­ties and threats can both be coun­tered by ac­quir­ing a full spec­trum ca­pa­bil­ity but with­out over­stretch­ing the coun­try’s re­sources. This can be achieved by util­is­ing na­tional re­sources i.e. through syn­er­gis­ing the re­sources at na­tional level and not con­fin­ing the ca­pa­bil­i­ties to the armed forces alone be­cause wars are na­tional un­der­tak­ings and not the do­main of the mil­i­tary alone. Thus we need a joint war fight­ing doc­trine which com­bines the use of armed forces and other na­tional re­sources to­gether with mod­ern tech­nol­ogy and op­er­a­tional art, evolved con­tex­tu­ally into an In­dian way of warfight­ing.

Doc­trines and Con­cepts of Land War­fare

Three Gen­er­a­tions of Land War­fare Land war­fare has wit­nessed three wa­ter­sheds in which the change has been qual­i­ta­tive. The first gen­er­a­tion of war­fare con­sisted of the tac­tics of the era of the smooth bore mus­kets and the lin­ear bat­tle of lines and col­umns. The sec­ond gen­er­a­tion war­fare was a re­sponse to the ri­fled mus­ket, breechload­ers, barbed wire, ma­chine-gun and in­di­rect fire. Tac­tics were based on fire and move­ment and they re­mained es­sen­tially lin­ear. The third gen­er­a­tion war­fare was also a re­sponse to the in­crease in bat­tle­field fire­power. In World War I, the Ger­mans were aware of their strate­gic weak­ness be­cause of their weaker in­dus­trial base; and hence they devel­oped rad­i­cally new tac­tics, which were based on ma­noeu­vre

rather than at­tri­tion. The ba­sic con­cepts of third gen­er­a­tion tac­tics were in place by the end of 1918. The ad­vent of the air­craft and tanks brought about a ma­jor shift at the op­er­a­tional level in World War II. This op­er­a­tion was named ‘Blitzkrieg’ by the Ger­mans in which em­pha­sis was placed on ma­noeu­vre, speed and tempo, to carry out wide out­flank­ing move­ments avoid­ing en­emy’s de­fences, in the front, to strike at his rear ar­eas in or­der to lead to psy­cho­log­i­cal col­lapse.

The Amer­i­cans picked up the ideas of ‘ma­noeu­vre war­fare’ from the Ger­mans and the Rus­sians, of si­mul­ta­ne­ous en­gage­ment of op­er­a­tional com­po­nents of the en­emy’s de­fen­sive sys­tem, to cause ‘op­er­a­tional shock’ by devel­op­ment of an op­er­a­tional mo­men­tum far ex­ceed­ing the rel­a­tive re­ac­tion ca­pa­bil­ity of the op­po­nent. PostViet­nam doc­tri­nal re­form in the US Army led to adop­tion of the doc­trine of “Ac­tive De­fense” in the early 1970s. This was fol­lowed by a sharp rev­o­lu­tion in doc­tri­nal think­ing, which led to the sec­ond stage of post-Viet­nam doc­tri­nal re­form and the evo­lu­tion of the doc­trine of AirLand Bat­tle. The tenets of depth, agility, ini­tia­tive and syn­chro­ni­sa­tion, be­came the heart of the Airland Bat­tle doc­trine. The ba­sic idea, ap­pli­ca­ble to of­fence and de­fence, was to throw the en­emy off bal­ance with an of­fen­sive from an un­ex­pected di­rec­tion, to seize and re­tain the ini­tia­tive and de­feat the en­emy. Other sig­nif­i­cant con­cepts in­tro­duced were of the Ger­man Army prin­ci­ple of Auf­tragstak­tik (de­cen­tralised de­ci­sion-mak­ing and di­rec­tive style of com­mand) and the op­er­a­tional level of war. AirLand Bat­tle was ex­panded in 1986, clar­i­fy­ing the con­cept of op­er­a­tional level of war, and high­lighted the syn­chro­ni­sa­tion of the close, deep and rear bat­tles. The AirLand Bat­tle pro­vided the con­cep­tual ba­sis for the US Army to adopt an ini­tia­tive ori­ented readi­ness pos­ture. The con­cept devel­oped along with the prin­ci­ple of di­rect­ing the main strike into the op­po­nent’s prin­ci­pal op­er­a­tional weak­ness. The doc­tri­nal re­form was the sym­bol and ba­sis of mod­erni­sa­tion of the US Army in the 1970s and 1980s.

Fourth Gen­er­a­tion of War­fare

Mil­i­tary an­a­lysts in USA have de­lib­er­ated on a fourth gen­er­a­tion of war­fare in which the tar­get is the whole of en­emy’s so­ci­ety (ide­ol­ogy, cul­ture, po­lit­i­cal, in­fra­struc­ture and civil so­ci­ety). This gen­er­a­tion of war­fare will be char­ac­terised by dis­per­sion, in­creased im­por­tance of ac­tions by small groups of com­bat­ants, de­creas­ing de­pen­dence of cen­tralised lo­gis­tics, high tempo of op­er­a­tion and more em­pha­sis on ma­noeu­vre. Con­cen­tra­tion of men, ma­teriel or fire­power may be­come a dis­ad­van­tage, as it will be easy to tar­get. Small, highly ma­noeu­vrable, ag­ile forces will tend to dom­i­nate. The aim would be to cause en­emy to col­lapse in­ter­nally rather than phys­i­cally de­stroy­ing him. There will be lit­tle dis­tinc­tion be­tween war and peace. It will be non-lin­ear, pos­si­bly to the point of hav­ing no de­fin­able bat­tle­fields or fronts. Ma­jor mil­i­tary and civil fa­cil­i­ties will be­come tar­gets. Success will de­pend heav­ily on joint op­er­a­tions. If we com­bine th­ese gen­eral char­ac­ter­is­tics with new tech­nol­ogy we see one pos­si­ble out­line of the new gen­er­a­tion.

The In­dian armed forces are nei­ther in­te­grated nor do they pos­sess th­ese ca­pa­bil­i­ties, re­gard­less of some “stand-alone” ca­pa­bil­i­ties ex­ist­ing within each ser­vice

Case for Dis­crim­i­nate Force

An­other view­point of the new gen­er­a­tion of war­fare is the Case for Dis­crim­i­nate Force put for­ward by Pro­fes­sor Ariel Le­vite and Elizabeth Sher­wood-Ran­dall. Ac­cord­ing to them, West­ern democ­ra­cies are fac­ing in­creas­ing con­straints on the use of their over­whelm­ing mil­i­tary power be­cause the logic of use of force to safe­guard na­tional in­ter­ests is be­com­ing less ap­pli­ca­ble. State and non-state ad­ver­saries who threaten im­por­tant val­ues and vi­tal in­ter­ests are no longer de­terred by the West­ern mil­i­tary might. At the same time, glob­al­i­sa­tion and the grow­ing trans­parency of the bat­tle­field and chang­ing west­ern value sys­tems are com­pelling civil­ian and mil­i­tary lead­ers to wield mil­i­tary power se­lec­tively and to use fine judge­ment in the choice of the method adopted to achieve the po­lit­i­cal and mil­i­tary aims. It seems that even in the postCold War era, pre­ven­tive di­plo­macy has to be backed by cred­i­ble threat of use of force and it is ac­knowl­edged that clas­sic de­ter­rence is less re­li­able against asym­met­ric chal­lenges such as ter­ror­ism and in­sur­gen­cies. It is also seen that non-mil­i­tary means of co­er­cion of­ten fail to change the be­hav­iour of ad­ver­saries while mil­i­tary re­sponses have not changed fun­da­men­tally de­spite the new re­al­i­ties and con­straints. The au­thors state that un­less the mil­i­tary changes its struc­tures and meth­ods to adapt to the chang­ing na­ture of war, it will be weak­ened in three respects. First, it will not be able to re­pel at­tack on its ter­ri­tory or its in­ter­ests abroad. Sec­ond, it would not be able to co­erce or com­pel the ad­ver­sary to cease hos­tile ac­tion and third, it would be weak­ened as a vi­able warfight­ing tool, if di­plo­macy and de­ter­rence fails. Se­lec­tive and dis­crim­i­nate use of force will re­in­force the three ar­eas men­tioned and in­crease the ef­fec­tive­ness of mil­i­tary ac­tion and this can come about through doc­tri­nal and tech­no­log­i­cal in­no­va­tion. Dis­crim­i­nate force de­mands a com­bi­na­tion of in­ten­sity, pre­ci­sion and ef­fect that is ver­sa­tile and dy­namic. It re­quires fine-tuning of mil­i­tary ac­tions with po­lit­i­cal ob­jec­tives and con­straints and hence re­quires a close politico- mil­i­tary in­ter­ac­tion through­out the cam­paign against the ad­ver­sary who in the face of con­ven­tional su­pe­ri­or­ity will make use of asym­met­ric means to pri­mar­ily at­tack civil­ian tar­gets as well as in­ter­ests abroad.

In view of the above ra­tio­nale, apart from ac­quir­ing nu­anced means, the three doc­tri­nal im­per­a­tives ad­vo­cated for mak­ing a suc­cess­ful tran­si­tion to a dis­crim­i­nate force strat­egy in or­der to del­i­cately bal­ance the re­quire­ment of re­solve and re­straint in­clude “pre-emp­tion, im­age wars” (in­flu­enc­ing im­ages and pub­lic per­cep­tions in de­ter­min­ing the out­come of con­tem­po­rary mil­i­tary en­gage­ments) and “mod­i­fy­ing the con­cept of vic­tory”. The au­thors rec­om­mend that the goal of war has to be re­de­fined as success rather than vic­tory where success is mea­sured as much in avoid­ing ex­ces­sive civil­ian causal­i­ties, suf­fer­ing and de­struc­tion as in fur­ther­ing po­lit­i­cal goals un­der­ly­ing the mil­i­tary op­er­a­tions.

Use of In­te­grated Mil­i­tary Ca­pa­bil­ity

With the chang­ing na­ture of war, the logic, le­git­i­macy and ef­fec­tive­ness of em­ploy­ing force to safe­guard na­tional in­ter­ests is be­com­ing more in­tri­cate and so­phis­ti­cated due to a large num­ber of pres­sures on both po­lit­i­cal and mil­i­tary lead­ers. It is ac­cepted that clas­si­cal de­ter­rence is not re­li­able against asym­met­ric chal­lenges such as in­sur­gen­cies and ter­ror­ism. More­over, fu­ture wars will man­date use of higher tech­nol­ogy, seek a quick end to war, de­mand ex­per­tise in con­ven­tional, un­con­ven­tional and hy­brid forms of con­flict, re­quire use of smaller and “tai­lored” bi/tri-ser­vice task forces for in­te­grated op­er­a­tions and char­ac­terise “com­bat power” as a prod­uct of smaller, highly lethal, ag­ile and bet­ter ed­u­cated forces. All point to­wards greater util­i­sa­tion of an in­te­grated mil­i­tary ca­pa­bil­ity which may be smaller in size but more lethal and ca­pa­ble of in­flict­ing very heavy pun­ish­ment when re­quired.

Use of Spe­cial Forces for Spe­cial Op­er­a­tions

Anal­y­sis of fu­ture wars man­dates a larger quantum of Spe­cial Forces for Spe­cial Op­er­a­tions which can be re-en­gi­neered out of our present ca­pa­bil­ity. The Spe­cial Forces, more skilled, bet­ter trained, or­gan­ised and equipped to face var­i­ous types of op­er­a­tional chal­lenges pos­sess spe­cial char­ac­ter­is­tics such as “rapid re­sponse, reach, ver­sa­til­ity, pre­ci­sion, dis­cre­tion and au­dac­ity”. Th­ese char­ac­ter­is­tics en­dow the Spe­cial Forces with the abil­ity to con­duct spe­cial op­er­a­tions as well as out of area and con­tin­gency mis­sions. They will in­vari­ably con­sti­tute an im­por­tant part of the tri-ser­vice power pro­jec­tion ca­pa­bil­ity when it is as­sem­bled. In­dia should struc­ture a Spe­cial Op­er­a­tions Com­mand to ef­fec­tively utilise the Spe­cial Forces of the three ser­vices and to train and equip th­ese forces for fu­ture con­tin­gen­cies.

Net­work-Cen­tric War­fare

Net­work-cen­tric war­fare, also known as in­for­ma­tion-based war­fare, is the prod­uct of con­ver­gence of cer­tain key tech­nolo­gies such as com­put­ers, com­mu­ni­ca­tions, sen­sors and pre­ci­sion fires and their ex­ploita­tion to bring to bear max­i­mum com­bat power at the right time and the right place. NCW uses in­for­ma­tion for the ben­e­fit of the warfight­ers in peace and in war. The mil­i­tary calls it “si­t­u­a­tional aware­ness” which im­plies aware­ness re­gard­ing ter­rain, in­clud­ing ob­jec­tives/tar­gets, en­emy, and own forces. This in­for­ma­tion is passed from the sen­sors de­ployed on the ground, at sea, in the air and in the space (satel­lites, un­manned ae­rial ve­hi­cles, air­craft, radars, etc) through broad­band dig­i­tal com­mu­ni­ca­tion net­works to front­line units and the de­ci­sion-mak­ers in the rear in real/ near real time frame, thus mak­ing the bat­tle­field trans­par­ent and re­duc­ing the re­sponse time. Net­work-cen­tric op­er­a­tions (NCO) is an um­brella term which en­com­passes the con­cepts of net­work-cen­tric war­fare. Net­work­cen­tric op­er­a­tions have also been de­scribed as high tempo, pre­cise, ag­ile style of ma­noeu­vre war­fare fo­cused on ef­fects based op­er­a­tions (EBO) that de­rive their power from ro­bust net­work­ing of ge­o­graph­i­cally sep­a­rated en­ti­ties, while EBO them­selves are co­or­di­nated sets of ac­tions di­rected at shap­ing the be­hav­iour of friends, foes and neu­trals in peace, crises and war. This im­plies timely, ap­pro­pri­ate and skil­ful use of all or se­lected el­e­ment(s) of na­tional power which in­clude po­lit­i­cal/diplo­matic, eco­nomic, tech­no­log­i­cal, so­cial, psy­cho­log­i­cal, in­for­ma­tion/me­dia and mil­i­tary among oth­ers. The fi­nal aim is to achieve strate­gic (po­lit­i­cal) ob­jec­tives of war with the least amount of tac­ti­cal ef­fort which in­ci­den­tally is also the essence of “op­er­a­tional art”.

The In­dian armed forces are nei­ther in­te­grated nor do they pos­sess th­ese ca­pa­bil­i­ties, re­gard­less of some “stand-alone” ca­pa­bil­i­ties ex­ist­ing within each ser­vice. The mil­i­tary in­stru­ment of net­work-cen­tric war­fare will have to be forged on suit­ably in­te­grated or­gan­i­sa­tions, new tech­nolo­gies, joint con­cepts and doc­trines, and joint train­ing.

Cy­ber War­fare

This ca­pa­bil­ity has been de­fined by the US Government se­cu­rity ex­pert Richard A. Clarke, in his book Cy­ber War (May 2010), as “ac­tions by a na­tion-state to pen­e­trate an­other na­tion’s com­put­ers or net­works for the pur­poses of caus­ing dam­age or dis­rup­tion.” The Econ­o­mist de­scribes cy­ber war­fare as “the fifth do­main of war­fare,” and in the US armed forces, the Pen­tagon has for­mally recog­nised cy­berspace as a new do­main in war­fare which has be­come just as crit­i­cal to mil­i­tary op­er­a­tions as land, sea, air and space. As we au­to­mate our sys­tems and con­nect them through dig­i­tal com­mu­ni­ca­tion net­works, we will be­come more and more vul­ner­a­ble to cy­ber at­tacks. In the re­cent times, we have al­ready seen me­dia re­ports of Chi­nese cy­ber at­tacks on many In­dian es­tab­lish­ments. In­dia as a na­tion and the In­dian armed forces as an en­tity will have to ac­quire this ca­pa­bil­ity for the fu­ture wars.

Fifth Gen­er­a­tion War­fare

Cur­rently, no com­monly ac­cepted def­i­ni­tion ex­ists for fifth gen­er­a­tion (un­re­stricted) war­fare (5GW). How­ever, given the rate at which change in war­fare is ac­cel­er­at­ing, it is rea­son­able to ac­cept that fifth gen­er­a­tion (un­re­stricted) war­fare is al­ready mak­ing its ap­pear­ance.

Fifth gen­er­a­tion (un­re­stricted) war­fare in­cludes the ap­pear­ance of su­per-em­pow­ered in­di­vid­u­als and groups with ac­cess to mod­ern knowl­edge, tech­nol­ogy, and means to con­duct asym­met­ric at­tacks in fur­ther­ance of their in­di­vid­ual and group in­ter­ests. Ar­guably, its first iden­ti­fi­able man­i­fes­ta­tions oc­curred in the United States dur­ing the an­thrax at­tacks of 2001 and the Ricin at­tacks of 2004. Both sets of at­tacks re­quired spe­cialised knowl­edge, in­cluded at­tacks upon fed­eral government of­fices and fa­cil­i­ties, suc­ceeded in dis­rupt­ing gov­ern­men­tal pro­cesses, and cre­ated wide­spread fear in the pub­lic. Till date, no in­di­vid­ual or group has claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity for ei­ther at­tack, and nei­ther at­tack has been solved. The at­tacks were quite suc­cess­ful in dis­rupt­ing government pro­cesses and cre­at­ing pub­lic fear but so far, their mo­ti­va­tion re­mains un­known.

To­day’s com­puter hack­ers, ca­pa­ble of dis­rupt­ing gov­ern­ments and cor­po­ra­tions on a global scale by at­tack­ing the In­ter­net with ma­li­cious com­puter pro­grammes, may also be fore­run­ners of su­per-em­pow­ered in­di­vid­u­als and groups. They have al­ready demon­strated that they are ca­pa­ble of sin­gle-hand­edly wag­ing tech­no­log­i­cal cam­paigns with over­tones of fifth gen­er­a­tion (un­re­stricted) war­fare

The po­ten­tial power of fifth gen­er­a­tion (un­re­stricted) war­fare was also demon­strated in the Madrid bomb­ings of 2004. On this oc­ca­sion, a se­ries of mass tran­sit bomb­ings con­ducted by a net­worked ter­ror­ist group in a sin­gle day, on the eve of na­tional elec­tions, re­sulted in a new Span­ish Government be­ing voted into of­fice, and the im­me­di­ate with­drawal of Span­ish mil­i­tary sup­port to on­go­ing coali­tion op­er­a­tions against the in­sur­gency in Iraq.

The Fu­ture

The “realm of un­cer­tainty” is the na­ture of wars as stated long time ago by none other than Clause­witz him­self. Hence let us en­sure that the trans­for­ma­tion we are seek­ing will pro­duce a mil­i­tary ca­pa­bil­ity which is able to face all types of sit­u­a­tions which pol­icy will throw its way. This ra­tio­nale points to the con­clu­sions which are both neg­a­tive and pos­i­tive in their con­tent. Th­ese are: The ap­proach to wars and war­fare must not be di­vorced from its po­lit­i­cal, so­cial and strate­gic con­text. De­fence plan­ners usu­ally pro­duce im­pres­sive so­lu­tions to prob­lems they pre­fer to solve but not the prob­lems that wily and in­tel­li­gent foes might pose. Trend anal­y­sis and strate­gic fu­tur­ol­ogy is not very help­ful in pre­dict­ing the fu­ture which is guided more by the con­se­quences of the trends that we see to­day rather than the trends them­selves. We must al­ways be pre­pared for sur­prises ir­re­spec­tive of how con­fi­dent we feel about the fu­ture. Based on In­dia’s se­cu­rity pa­ram­e­ters, we need to pre­pare for a broad spec­trum of threats and chal­lenges that may be thrust upon us and our ge­nius should re­side in util­is­ing the avail­able bud­get in build­ing a su­pe­rior mil­i­tary ca­pa­bil­ity through tri-ser­vice syn­ergy and not through ex­clu­sive, sin­gle ser­vice fo­cus. A Par­lia­men­tary Di­rec­tive to en­force in­ter-ser­vices in­te­gra­tion is in fact long over­due.

IL­LUS­TRA­TION: SP Guide Pubns

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