NA­TIONAL AGENDA : NA­TIONAL SE­CU­RITY STRAT­EGY

While threats are mostly iden­ti­fi­able, vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties may not be clearly iden­ti­fi­able as lat­ter are only in­di­ca­tors. Chal­lenge of im­ple­ment­ing NSS lies in pre­vent­ing vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties trans­form­ing into threats us­ing non-mil­i­tary el­e­ments of na­tional power.

SP's MAI - - FRONT PAGE - LT GEN­ERAL (RETD) P.C. KA­TOCH The views ex­pressed herein are the per­sonal views of the au­thor.

In­dia is all set for a new govern­ment which by all in­di­ca­tions will be a stronger one con­sid­er­ing the party around which the govern­ment is to be formed would have far larger base than in the ear­lier two gov­ern­ments elected in 2004 and 2009. This pro­vides In­dia the op­por­tu­nity to un­dergo the much re­quired strate­gic trans­for­ma­tion, set­ting in mo­tion the coun­try’s as­pi­ra­tion to at­tain its right­ful place in the comity of na­tions.

A pri­or­ity task for the new govern­ment would be to de­fine a Na­tional Se­cu­rity Strat­egy (NSS) fol­lowed by a Strate­gic De­fence Re­view (SDR), lat­ter iron­i­cally glossed over by the Naresh Chan­dra Com­mit­tee. It is not sur­pris­ing that for­mer Am­bas­sador G. Parthasarathy (him­self a mem­ber of the Com­mit­tee) has gone on record to say that the con­duct of the Naresh Chan­dra Com­mit­tee left much to be de­sired. The fore­most need is to enun­ci­ate the NSS to shape the en­vi­ron­ment in In­dia’s favour. In do­ing so, or­ga­ni­za­tions and en­ti­ties like the Min­istry of De­fence, Min­istry of Home Af­fairs, Mil­i­tary, Eco­nomic Min­istries, Depart­ment of Sci­ence & Tech­nol­ogy, Depart­ment of Atomic En­ergy, In­dian Space Re­search Or­gan­i­sa­tion, etc need to be closely in­te­grated.

Threats and vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties need to be taken into ac­count. While threats are mostly iden­ti­fi­able, vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties may not be clearly iden­ti­fi­able as lat­ter are only in­di­ca­tors. Chal­lenge of im­ple­ment­ing NSS lies in pre­vent­ing vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties trans­form­ing into threats us­ing non-mil­i­tary el­e­ments of na­tional power. The NSS should in­clude the fol­low­ing: one, In­dia’s po­lit­i­cal aims goals in terms of power pro­jec­tion, pro­mot­ing se­cu­rity, eco­nomic, tech­nol­ogy, en­vi­ron­men­tal and bio­di­ver­sity in­ter­ests; two, In­dia’s in­ter­ests in other coun­tries and re­gions ex­tend­ing out­wards from South Asia; three, in­ter­ests and re­la­tion­ship ma­trix with ma­jor pow­ers and the UN; and four, threats, chal­lenges and com­peti­tors to In­dia’s in­ter­ests in re­spect of the above par­a­digms.

Like NSS of any coun­try, there would also be a need to in­clude the fol­low­ing that may re­main un­de­clared: first, strat­egy to deal with com­pe­ti­tion and chal­lenges by set­ting time bound ob­jec­tives in diplo­matic, eco­nomic, tech­nol­ogy, and de­fence and se­cu­rity fields vis-à-vis the com­peti­tors; sec­ond, iden­tify eco­nomic, strate­gic, mil­i­tary and tech­nol­ogy lever­ages—in­ter-se pri­or­i­ties of coun­tries; third, lay down strate­gic choices for en­ter­ing strate­gic part­ner­ship in the short- mid- and long-term con­text; fourth, re­view of in­ter­nal dy­nam­ics of In­dia, its link­ages with trans­bor­der threats and chal­lenges posed for the se­cu­rity forces in­clud­ing as­sess­ing de­gree of ex­pected in­volve­ment of armed forces in the in­ter­nal dy­nam­ics.

As men­tioned ear­lier, the SDR must im­me­di­ately fol­low up from the NSS though work on both can progress si­mul­ta­ne­ously. The SDR should state present mil­i­tary strat­egy as de­rived from the NSS and project into the fu­ture or we would in­deed al­ways be fight­ing yes­ter­day’s wars. In this con­text, the NSS could be broadly rel­e­vant up to next 15 years and the think­ing into pe­riod be­yond that may be termed as vi­sion. The SDR should com­prise: anal­y­sis of the present mil­i­tary strat­egy and the changed goals; re­lated emerg­ing tech­nolo­gies and con­se­quent revo­lu­tion in mil­i­tary af­fairs (RMA); mesh fu­ture con­flict spec­trum and the bat­tle space mi­lieu; com­pare above with roles and in­di­vid­ual re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of the Army, Navy and Air Force, leading to de­vel­op­ment of joint force ca­pa­bil­i­ties in­clud­ing for net­work-cen­tric war­fare (NCW).

Fu­ture mil­i­tary per­spec­tive (short- mid- and longterm) or joint mil­i­tary vi­sion and mil­i­tary mis­sions so de­vel­oped would lead to for­mu­la­tion of Long Term In­te­grated Per­spec­tive Plan based on in­te­grated sys­tems dy­nam­ics and force de­vel­op­ment im­per­a­tives. The un­de­clared por­tion of the SDR should in­clude: ad­ver­saries or coun­tries that are in se­cu­rity com­pe­ti­tion, co­op­er­a­tion and friends; com­par­a­tive eval­u­a­tion of the na­ture of threats or com­pe­ti­tion; threat from com­pet­ing strate­gic and se­cu­rity al­liances; goals and ob­jec­tives of bi­lat­eral, mul­ti­lat­eral and in­ter­na­tional de­fence co­op­er­a­tion; pol­icy on role of armed forces in asym­met­ric threats and in­ter­nal con­flict; strat­egy for pro­tec­tion of crit­i­cal in­fra­struc­ture from cy­ber threats; de­fence re­lated as­pects of cy­berspace, space and per­cep­tion war­fare, and; strat­egy for en­ergy, wa­ter and food se­cu­rity. Ax­iomat­i­cally, ap­pro­pri­ate core groups would need to be es­tab­lished work­ing out the NSS and SDR.

Si­mul­ta­ne­ous to the NSS and SDR, work should also com­mence to holis­ti­cally re­view com­pre­hen­sive na­tional se­cu­rity, to in­clude: per­sonal se­cu­rity; com­mu­nity se­cu­rity; food se­cu­rity; health se­cu­rity; mil­i­tary se­cu­rity; eco­nomic se­cu­rity; en­ergy se­cu­rity, po­lit­i­cal se­cu­rity, and; en­vi­ron­ment se­cu­rity.

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