Paris is burning
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 !