Military Strategy

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  • Ensuring a Level Playing Field in the Indian Army

    The Indian Army is at the cusp of a huge change. It has to concurrently manage the matter of Women Officers as seamlessly as possible. Success in this venture is predicated squarely on the mindsets of the seniors in charge and the WO community

    February 19, 2020

    The Next Step in Building India-China Military to Military (M2M) Relations

    The incremental and calibrated improvement in the India-China defence ties has withstood the test of time. The next step in building M2M relations could provide the required impetus to further accelerate the process of strengthening peace and stability along the LAC.

    September 16, 2019

    Internet of Things Centricity of Future Military Operations

    Since the last decade of the twentieth century, network centricity has profoundly transformed warfighting and the outlook of the military. The next level of the networking ladder is Internet of Things (IoT), which has already started to disruptively change the ways in the civil domain, bringing a considerable autonomy to various processes by linking of a plethora of smart devices that are talking to each other. Militaries, in the near future, are also likely to see similar proliferation of IoT, which will bring a material change to their functioning and conduct of operations.

    April-June 2019

    Aravind asked: As reported in the media, does HAL just import components and assemble finished products instead of manufacturing them locally?

    Kishore Kumar Khera replies: The Hindustan Aircraft Limited, later named Hindustan Aeronautics Limited or HAL, was established in 1940. During the initial phase, HAL provided maintenance support to various combat aircraft of the allied forces in World War II and, subsequently, commenced licensed production of combat aircraft. After Independence in 1947 and its nationalisation, HAL grew in strength to design combat aircraft.

    Unpacking UK Combat Air Strategy

    The UK Combat Air Strategy unveiled on July 16, 2018 can actually be termed as the Combat Aircraft Industry Strategy. India, with a nearly non-existing aircraft industry, can benefit by understanding the key rationales underpinning the CAS.

    July 23, 2018

    A Longue Durée Perspective on Military Science in India

    This article posits that military science has been one of the most neglected subjects in Indian history in practice and in scholarship. Greater, popular scholarly focus tends to be mostly on subjects dealing with grand strategy and with it, abstract armchair theorising. While grand strategy is necessary at the political–military level, it is not sufficient as victory or defeat also depends on the capacity of the armed forces to achieve the desired results during the conduct of war.

    January-March 2018

    Vaibhav Vadera asked: How will China's War Zone Doctrine change in the light of the recently announced joint commands?

    Prashant Kumar Singh replies: The recently announced joint commands mark the next stage of China’s evolving military joint-ness or integrated warfare strategy. It is very much a part of China’s ongoing quest for integrated employment of the various components, mainly the three services (army, air force and navy), of its military in warfare. China began striving for joint-ness in early 1980s in the backdrop of its pyrrhic victory in the third Indo-China or Sino-Vietnam War in 1979.

    Cross LOC Strike and India’s Reputation for Resolve

    India needs to factor in the critical issue of reputation for resolve in future crisis situations in order to build its credibility and enhance its deterrence potential.

    October 21, 2016

    Tsering asked: What are the possible strategic and military implications of deep sea mining by China in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR)?

    S.S. Parmar replies: The strategic and military implications are enormous as they would permit a larger legitimate presence of the Chinese in the region. Economically, deep sea mining in the IOR would require a conduit for storage and transportation of the products mined as close to the mining area as possible. This would require setting up of infrastructure designed to cater for storage and transportation that could be established in a nation or nations close to the region. This infrastructure could be set up by China either as a bilateral or multilateral enterprise and could add to the strengthening of strategic ties between China and the concerned nations.

    Militarily, China would be in a legitimate position to increase its military presence specifically naval for ensuring security of the area from a variety of existing threats like terrorism and piracy. In order to sustain a military presence, it would have to rely on ports in friendly nations for re-supply and refueling purposes. This offers the chance of increased military-to-military cooperation with nations in the area. Overall, the implications of deep sea mining in the IOR could accord China the opportunity to increase its foot print in the region.

    Geraldine asked : What does ‘strategic relationship’ between two nations mean? Does it mean only military ties or more than that?

    Ali Ahmed replies: A 'strategic relationship', as the term suggests, involves a shared understanding between the two or more states involved on the nature of threats in the environment and the place of their collective power in helping mitigate the threats. This does not amount to an ‘alliance’, meaning a deeper relationship in which the states are treaty bound to come to each other’s assistance in case of materialisation of a threat against any member state. In a strategic relationship, the states involved, that could number two or more, discuss the role of power through periodic bilateral (multilateral as the case may be) confabulations at a high, ministerial and bureaucratic-military official, level. The ambit of these talks can be quite broad, to include technology, strategic perspectives, state of and progress in the relationship, future directions of international affairs and the relations in particular, etc. It need not be restricted to the military sphere and could include civilian areas, such as nuclear technology, space, agriculture, etc.

    The relationship has material and physical dimensions in that there may exist a buyer-seller relationship between the states in terms of armaments and high technology, military training, exchange between subject matter experts, assistance to the position of the other in global forums to an extent, etc. The relationship is usually forged through a written document that brings out the demands on and expectations of all sides. Usually this may not have any hidden clauses, but there would be confidential exchanges and areas of such high end cooperation such as in the intelligence field and technology. The across the board relationship, its strength and depth make for a strategic relationship or partnership. Clearly, it amounts to more than military ties. There are mutual benefits in that the strategic or relative power (political, diplomatic and military) position of both stands to increase by maintaining the relationship. The relationship is not usually directed at any other adversary state or group of states, but the fact that it exists helps the participating states in respect of increasing their bargaining position in respect of that state.