Brig Gurmeet Kanwal (Retd.) is Distinguished Fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) and former Director, Centre for Land Warfare Studies, New Delhi. Click here for details profile [+}
India should seek a regional solution to the Afghan conflict, involving a regional force under a UN flag to provide a stable environment for governance and development till the Afghan National Army can take over.
Manpower costs are increasingly becoming unmanageable and are driving national security planners towards thinking creatively about what used to be called ‘affordable defence’. Despite leap-frogging from third to fourth generation weapons technologies in the short span of about two decades, modern armed forces are still far from being able to effect substantive reductions in manpower by substituting fighting personnel with innovative technologies while ensuring operational effectiveness.
Since the US and its allies have no additional troops to contribute for the fight against the radical extremist forces in Afghanistan, the net must be enlarged to include military contributions from Afghanistan’s regional neighbours, perhaps under a UN flag.
Cold Start is a good doctrine from India’s point of view, but one that could adversely impact strategic stability given since Pakistan’s nuclear strategy is premised on countering Indian conventional military superiority with a nuclear shield.
Modernisation has been grossly inadequate in the field of command, control and communications systems that link the ‘shooters’ and ‘sensors’ together to achieve synergy through network centricity and effects-based operations.
India is justified in seeing the US move to go ahead with the sale of the F-16s as an attempt to balance America’s strategic partnership with India by once again propping up Pakistan as a regional challenger.
China will develop much greater depth and sophistication in its understanding and handling of information warfare techniques and operations. With Indian security becoming increasingly dependent on date processing and network centricity, it will become extremely vulnerable to such information warfare campaigns. India needs to adopt a multidisciplinary approach towards dealing with the emerging cyber warfare threats and develop appropriate response.