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Even If It Ain’t Broke Yet, Do Fix It: Enhancing Effectiveness Through Military Change



Publisher: Pentagon Press
ISBN 978-81-8274-919-1
Price: Rs. 795 [Download E-copy]

About the Book

Bringing about change in any setup, especially major shifts, is a challenge. This challenge is accentuated further in a strictly hierarchical organisation like the army, presenting an unenviable contradiction to both senior military practitioner and the governing elite, wherein, change is inevitable, yet, it is most likely to be resisted.

Military change is a relatively nascent area of study, especially in the Indian scenario. This book attempts to analyse this subject through an examination of existing literature, thereby co-relating some of its primary conclusion in the context of the Indian Army. This is done in relation to both conventional and sub-conventional threats and challenges, with a number of case studies as illustrative examples.

The book concludes that given the wide spectrum of threats faced by the Indian Army, as also most major armies across the world, attempts at understanding military change only through the prism of conventional wars could be misleading. It suggests that change need not only be revolutionary to enhance effectiveness. It could be both revolutionary and evolutionary, top-down and bottom-up. While effective change is primarily major in conventional conditions, it could well be tactical and yet make a substantial impact in sub-conventional scenarios. The book reinforces the importance of operational changes in the sub-conventional domain, even as an assessment of strategic and organisational changes is undertaken. It attempts to answer important questions related to the drivers, shapers, facilitating conditions and limitations related to effective change. It also relates military change with organisational change in the corporate world to provide an interesting comparative analysis. Finally, the book reinforces its conclusions through a survey of officers from the Indian Army, to highlight existing limitations that need to be corrected in order to better innovate and adapt in pursuit of effective military change.

About the Author

Colonel Vivek Chadha (Retd) served in the army for over 22 years before joining IDSA in 2011, as a Research Fellow, His areas of research include defence studies, counter insurgency and terrorism finance. His published books include, Lifeblood of Terrorism: Countering Terrorism Finance, Low Intensity conflicts in India: An Analysis and Indo-US Relations: Divergence to Convergence. He has also edited, Armed Forces Special Powers Act: the Debate. He is on the editorial board of the Journal of Defence Studies



List of Tables and Charts


  1. Existing Theoretical Frameworks
    What is Military Change?
    Why Do Militaries Change?
  2. PART I

    Military Change in the Indian Army: Case of External Threats

  3. An Assessment of Organisational Change
    Changes Post 1962 Sino-Indian War
    Reforms Post K.V. Krishna Rao Report
  4. Strategic Military Change
    Changes after the 1962 Sino-Indian War
    Changes Post 1975 Krishna Rao Recommendations
    Cold Start or Limited Pre-emptive Offensive
  5. Assessment of Military Change in a Conventional Environment
    Drivers of Military Change Pathways of Military Change
    Desirables for Successful Change
    Long-term Strategic Assessment
    Support from Political Establishment
    Visionary and Committed Military Leadership
    Strong Institutional Structures
    Follow-up Action
  6. PART II

    Adaptation to Change

  7. Change in Military Strategy
    Frontier Warfare
    CI Operations in the Mid-fifties and Early Sixties
    CI Operations from Mid-sixties till the Seventies
    Iron Fist and Velvet Glove Strategy
    Major Increase in Force Levels
    Change in Legal Provisions
    LoC Obstacle System
    Use of Local Militia
    Use of Offensive Air Support
    Change in Goals
  8. Organisational Change
    Creation of Ad Hoc Rifle Company
    Rashtriya Rifle Battalions
    Army Commander Special Financial Powers
    Commando Platoon
  9. Change in Conduct of Operations
    Changes in Conduct of Operations
    Readjustment of Battalions
    Strengthening and Buffering Vehicles
    Use of Captured Equipment
    Modification of SLR
    Technology-driven Changes
    Night-vision and Surveillance Devices
    Creation and Deployment of Ashi Pillai
  10. Army’s Ability to Cope with Change
    Type of Change
    Approach to Change and Its Manifestation
    Drivers of Change
    Impact of Military Change
    Source of Influence
    Quality of Change
    Speed of Implementation
    Constraints of Military Change
    Applicability of Military Change to Specific Regions
  11. PART III

  12. Contextualising Military Change
    Relating Lessons from the Corporate World
    Does Existing Theory Explain Military Change?
    Drivers of Military Change
    Who Drives Military Change?
    Pathways to Military Change
    Direction of Military Change
    Scale of Change
    Level of Change
    Type of Change
  13. Concluding Observations

    1. Illustration of Military Change in Counterinsurgency (CI) Operations
    2. Region-wise Assessment of Military Change


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