Sunday, July 14, 2024

Warfare and national security of India

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India’s security environment is dynamic and its fast evolving, it is imperative that challenges are tackled using new means

War is perhaps one of the most common features of the human civilisation. Having said that war and its nature has evolved over time.

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Contemporary Warfare- nature and psychology

Contemporary warfare is fought for strategic and tactical considerations.

Warfare in the modern period is driven by the desire to establish hegemony over other nation-states.

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It is because the international political order is anarchic with the non presence of a sovereign regulatory authority.

States should continue to acquire power and exercise it by defining their national interests, this is the realist perception of warfare.

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Contemporary warfare is fought a lot less by soldiers, the emphasis is on the increasing use of unmanned weapons.

The psychology of the actors is a romanticized vision of an imperial and glorious past. Attempts are made to revive such a nation-state by the means of war.

National security concerns of India

Internally, India’s biggest challenge remains the issue of radical Islam which promotes fundamentalism, jihadism and other mortal threats. To tackle these threats maritime security has been tightened to prevent the recurrence of a 26/11 type attack.

National Security Advisor Ajit Doval stated he stated that civil society is the new frontier of warfare, it is being hijacked by vested interests and are using it against national security interests.

From the Indian perspective, national security concern of India will remain incomplete without a discussion of India’s maritime security.

Over 95% of India’s trade in value and 70% by volume come from strategic sea lanes like Bab-el-Mandeb, Strait of Hormuz etc.

Particularly important is the Indian Ocean Region.

India has as a part of its SAGAR vision has articulated strongly the need to keep the strategic sea lanes of communication open and free.

Tackling India’s chronic security concerns

The first thing that is necessary is to become economically robust.

Economics and commerce is directly related to national security in that an economically prosperous population will have more to spend.

Hence Indians will not be subsistent in their spending habits.

Having large disposable income will allow the economy’s cycle to keep moving thereby allowing the virtuous cycle of growth to continue.

The second method of tackling national security is to have a resilient social contract which is flexible and strong enough to withstand exogenous shocks.

This is what Markus K Brunnermeier in his book The Resilient Society- Economics after Covid argues.

Thirdly, a new security paradigm is required.

This one which makes increasing use of technology to develop a robust security framework.

Fifthly, the need to adopt what Yuval Noah Harari, in his book 21 Lessons for the 21st century has written.

He has stated that the need to bolster national security is to promote humility.

Nationalism must be kept on leash which was already responsible for much destruction and carnage in the 20th century.


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