Paris is burn­ing

SP's MAI - - EDITOR’S DESK - Jayant Baran­wal Pub­lisher & Ed­i­tor-in-Chief

The ISIS (Is­lamic State of Iraq and Syria) has struck a vi­tal blow to hu­man­ity with its das­tardly ter­ror­ist at­tacks in Paris, knock­ing the day­lights out of not just the city of lights but the world. With at least 129 peo­ple killed and over 300 in­jured, this has been one of the worst at­tacks in Europe and France has rightly de­clared ‘war’. Elim­i­nat­ing the ISIS and its ji­hadist fight­ers who may have spread them­selves across the world is go­ing to be a tough job for any coun­try, even the US. It calls for co­or­di­nated ef­forts of all right think­ing na­tions to come to­gether on shar­ing vi­tal in­for­ma­tion on ter­ror­ist ac­tiv­i­ties. A lot more needs to be in­vested in terms of hu­man in­tel­li­gence, cy­ber in­tel­li­gence, sur­veil­lance, border con­trols, etc.

At the time of writ­ing, for the first time af­ter World War II, we are see­ing France and Rus­sia com­ing to­gether to pound ISIS tar­gets in Syria. While the strat­egy to at­tack the core of ISIS in Syria is the way to go, some of the Euro­pean na­tions need to se­ri­ously think on ef­fec­tive se­cu­rity cor­dons, keep­ing in mind the in­flux of refugees. The bat­tle has come nearer home.

In the back­drop of the trans­for­ma­tion of the battlefield which now seem­ingly has no bound­aries, tech­nolo­gies are go­ing to play cru­cial role in de­ter­min­ing se­cu­rity. The fu­ture is of course Tac­ti­cal Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Sys­tem (TCS) which is noth­ing but a digi­tised battlefield. In this is­sue, we have fo­cused on devel­op­ments of TCS in the In­dian Army. Writes Lt Gen­eral V.K. Kapoor (Retd) that the TCS is a revo­lu­tion in com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nol­ogy and is a quan­tum jump about the tech­nol­ogy cur­rently in use. “It will be the In­dian Army’s fu­tur­is­tic back­bone for a digi­tised battlefield com­mu­ni­ca­tion net­work.” In the In­dian sub­con­ti­nent, fu­ture wars will be a hy­brid na­ture, a mix of mod­ern wars and wars of the in­dus­trial age. Both will de­mand knowl­edge-based war­fare tech­niques and digi­tised com­mu­ni­ca­tions.

In his forth­right view­point, Lt Gen­eral P.C. Ka­toch (Retd) talks about the in­or­di­nate de­lays in the TCS pro­gramme. He writes that the ab­sence of TCS and patchy avail­abil­ity of OFC in TBA have ad­versely af­fected tri­als and field­ing of op­er­a­tional in­for­ma­tion sys­tems. The TCS, when fielded with req­ui­site mo­bile ter­mi­nals net­work, will ful­fil a long-stand­ing crit­i­cal op­er­a­tional void of the In­dian Army.

Mean­while, the In­dian Gov­ern­ment has opened up the de­fence sec­tor with an­nounce­ment of in­crease in for­eign direct in­vest­ment from 26 to 49 per cent. In a cri­tique, Air Mar­shal B.K. Pandey (Retd) states that this in­crease is not suf­fi­cient alone to en­thuse OEMs to look at In­dia as an in­vest­ment des­ti­na­tion. Lt Gen­eral P.C. Ka­toch (Retd) com­ments that there is a need to re­visit the FDI in de­fence and make the de­fence sec­tor un­am­bigu­ously lu­cra­tive for FDI. More needs to be done and we hope the gov­ern­ment keeps its ears to the ground.

Happy read­ing !

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