Military readiness is perhaps one of the least studied and understood concepts in the field of strategic studies. In the absence of any significant literature in the public domain, defence policy makers and practitioners worldwide tend to define military readiness in several different ways.
Money, manpower and material (3Ms) determine a state's capacity to leverage its hard power for fulfilling its national security objectives.
The changing security environment calls for re-fashioning the use of hard power, which may have to be managed differently in the future.
Human resources will remain a critical element to any professional military education system and this entails careful selection of the senior leadership, faculty, and managerial staff.
Given the fragility of ISAF’s southern lines of communication passing through Pakistan, India could consider offering a passage through its territory as a meaningful alternative.
It is time that the Indian government through its yet-to-be appointed interlocutors clearly laid the limits and boundaries of the autonomy debate to all the stakeholders.
India has been fairly successful in firewalling the radical blowback emanating from Pakistan in the past and need not be overly worried about the impending US withdrawal.
While explicit political control cannot be questioned, it is critical to involve the military as equal partners in the overall decision making process so as to leverage their knowledge, operational experience and unmatched organisational capacities for the well being of the state.
An absence of legal statutes in the insurgency affected areas would adversely affect the utility and efficacy of the security capacity of the state.
A military to military engagement between India and Pakistan could help pave the way for greater understanding and opening up in the troubled relationship.