Military & Aerospace

Divergent Paths: India’s National Security Strategy & Military Doctrine
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Issue Vol. 30.1 Jan-Mar 2015 | Date : 18 Oct , 2015

From the beginning of the new century, the economic environment in India has rapidly improved despite the downturn of the last couple of years and our inability to live up to our potential. With an increasingly assertive and powerful China and a receding United States, there has been increasing pressure on India from the US, Japan and the other Asian nations to work in tandem with them to counter the former. However, a disjointed and poorly executed programme to enhance infrastructure along the Sino-Indian border has left India vulnerable with limited conventional ability to react against Chinese designs especially since infrastructure in Tibet has seen quantum improvement. While attempts are now underway to rectify the situation, it will take time for India to achieve conventional deterrence.

“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.”             —Thoreau

Policy paralysis in the Indian Government brought military modernisation to a complete halt…

Just as the nuclear bombardment of Hiroshima and Nagasaki changed the very nature of conflict and ushered in deterrence as a benchmark in strategic thought for the West and the Soviet Union, so too can be said for the Indian state with the demonstration of its status as a nuclear power at Pokhran.

This and India’s economic rise from the beginning of this century have greatly impacted Indian strategic thought and military doctrine. While the global community was required to come to terms with the events of September 11, 2001, and America’s Global War on Terror, India had already been deeply affected by the perfidy of Kargil in 1999 and what subsequent success in that conflict implied.

However, the economic meltdown of 2008 led to diminishing US influence in Asia which was sought to be filled by China. Policy paralysis in the Indian Government brought military modernisation to a complete halt and reduced India’s influence in the region, as rapidly evolving events in the Maldives and Sri Lanka have shown. India’s inability to respond to growing Chinese aggression and hegemonistic ambitions has only added to her woes.

We again find ourselves at the crossroads as the economy stabilizes and the citizens affirm their faith in the strong and clear headed leadership and the development agenda that Prime Minister Modi brings to the forefront. Undoubtedly, success will irrevocably transform the way India is viewed by the world but will also greatly impact the immediate region apart from impacting the Sino-Indian dialogue. It may even reverse the zero-sum game approach that now hinders any real progress on the border issues between both the pre-eminent countries of Asia. In the global context, we have to also come to terms with what the defeat of the US and its allies in Iraq and Afghanistan heralds, both politically and militarily.

That India does not have a national strategy document is common knowledge…

While the word ‘strategy’ has its roots in the Greek language, it was a Frenchman, Lt Col Gideon Joly de Maizeroy, who, in 1777, identified a second level in the art of war that he referred to as strategy and defined it as, “what happened off the battlefield and what happened on it.”1 It was JFC Fuller and his contemporaries who developed this further to differentiate between strategy and grand strategy. It was seen “to coordinate and direct all the resources of the nation towards the attainment of the political object of the war”.2 By the middle of the twentieth century, the advent of nuclear weapons and the concept of total war grand strategy came to be concerned with politics as well and involved “basically in the mobilisation and deployment of national resources of wealth, manpower and industrial capacity…for the purpose of achieving the goals of national policy in wartime.”3 Thus, in the context of this paper it is synonymous to national security strategy.

The Foundations of National Security Strategic Thought

That India does not have a national strategy document is common knowledge. India is probably the only country that has released a nuclear doctrine without having articulated its security strategy. Therefore, the Defence Secretary’s statement before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence in the 1990s remains true today, “But all the elements of the doctrine are well known and have been incorporated from our constitution downwards…So, our national security doctrine is well known and the absence of a written document…does not create any confusion or lack of clarity in this matter. I however accept that we do not publish it as a document as such.”4

Notwithstanding the bureaucratese, understanding strategic discourse through statements made by politicians at various fora is fraught with danger. These are; firstly, it can be a source of confusion within a government and misleading to adversaries and great powers. Over the last decade and a half, unclear signals in South Asia could have contributed to the outbreak of nuclear war, particularly in 1987, 1990, 1999 and 2002. Secondly, without a clear security strategy to follow, inappropriate defence capabilities can be developed.5

In this context, probably the superlative work of George K Tanham, Indian Strategic Thought: An Interpretive Essay6, though dated, still provides a relevant foundation for understanding the factors that have shaped current strategic thinking. These deductions are:

The demise of the Soviet Union left India seemingly unprotected from great power interference…

  • Geography has had a profound impact on historical and cultural aspects. Firstly, the strategic location, size, population and the natural barriers have resulted in a belief among the people of their relative standing in the world. Secondly, the barriers have made the people insular and inward looking over most of history with little interest in matters beyond the subcontinent, apart from trade.
  • The growth of Hinduism over several millennia with its sophisticated thoughts, wide appeal and pervasiveness enabled it to absorb and synthesize all manner of religious and cultural influences of the numerous invaders to bring about a feeling of ‘Indianness’ based on a cultural identity that has evolved over 2,500 years.
  • The Indian belief in life cycles and repetitions makes them take a very complex view of life in which logic is only one of many influences that impact. This makes them seem realistic and pragmatic but also passive and fatalistic which impedes preparation for the future in all aspects of life including the strategic.
  • The British colonisation of India had some very diverse consequences. Firstly, their emphasis on technology, infrastructure and modern administrative and legal processes led to the rise of India as a modern political nation state. Secondly, since India became the mother base for the British domination of the Middle East and the Asia Pacific, it provided them the manpower to raise a modern army that became an effective instrument for the control of the region and the subcontinent. All of this resulted in the formulation of a dynamic security strategy aimed at the defence of India and in maintaining the status quo in the region.

A disjointed and poorly executed programme to enhance infrastructure along the Sino-Indian border has left India vulnerable…

While undoubtedly, much has changed the underlying tenets continue to be of relevance even today. To this, we need to add the findings of new research on events leading to Partition that clearly show British involvement in creating sectarian division on religious lines.

There is evidence that this was done as the British leadership believed an Indian National Congress government in an undivided India would never accede to British requests for military bases to control their other assets in the region. Their ambition for a footprint in the subcontinent was met by the formation of Pakistan and its subsequent membership in the South East Asia Treaty Organisation (SEATO) and the Central Treaty Organisation (CENTO) which provided them just this opportunity.7

The subsequent balkanisation of Pakistan and its emergence as the epicentre of Islamic terror are issues they were unable to envision with rather tragic consequences on their own population today.

Evolution of a National Security Strategy and Current Strategic Thinking

The roots of Indian strategic thought can be traced to Kautilya and his six-pronged policy mentioned in Arthashastra, his treatise on statecraft, prepared in the wake of Alexander’s invasion. Post- independence strategic thought can be clearly divided into four distinct phases.

The first phase that continued till the end of the Sino-Indian conflict was shaped by Prime Minister Nehru and others who had faced colonial and imperial domination and went on to reject capitalism as a model of development and to opt instead for a mixed economy dominated by the state. They were also driven by a deep dislike for the British trained senior officers of the Indian Army.

This dislike was also tinged with fear that the military, like others in the region, would interfere in affairs of state. In the idealistic belief that the principles of “Panchsheel” would dominate inter-state relations, non-alignment was developed as a strategic doctrine.

The second phase lasted from the mid–sixties till the early nineties and break-up of the Soviet Union saw a focus on the strengthening of the armed forces and the building of capability to be able to deter another Chinese aggression while simultaneously enhancing capability to neutralize Pakistan by offensive action.

The unequivocal support of Pakistan by the US and its allies resulted in a strategic tilt towards the Soviet Union and a strengthening of measures to insulate the economy from that of the industrialised world. While India’s world view subsequently continued to be defensive, the decisive campaign that led to the creation of Bangladesh gave the political leadership self confidence in India’s ability to achieve its aims despite blatant superpower posturing and coercion.

High technology along with the rise of new media has given an immense boost to globalization…

Thus, India saw itself and attempted to behave as the dominant power in the South Asian region and disapproved and discouraged all attempts by other major powers to increase their influence within the region. The Maldives intervention and the Sri Lankan adventure were clear examples of this outward looking and proactive policy.

The third phase could be considered to be the period of the nineties from the time of Soviet disintegration to the end of the Kargil conflict by which time an effective and operationalised nuclear weapon programme was being put in place. While the demise of the Soviet Union left India seemingly unprotected from great power interference in its sphere of influence, it was the shock of the balance of payments crisis in 1991 that left the country feeling vulnerable and isolated. It forced India to revisit its policy of non-alignment and also to reconsider the viability of its socialistic economic developmental model.

The disastrous consequences of the Sri Lankan adventure and increasing menace of Islamic fundamentalism and deterioration within Kashmir forced emphasis to shift towards stabilising the internal situation with little resources, ability or interest in playing the role of a benign big brother in the region.

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However, by 1996, with the internal situation stabilising and the economy growing attention refocused on regional interests and global aspirations leading to a demonstration of our nuclear capability on Vajpayee’s assumption as Prime Minister in 1998. Along with establishing a nuclear weapons capability, the Government categorically declared a ‘no first use’ nuclear policy that has continued to be the mainstay of our declared nuclear strategy.

From the beginning of the new century, the economic environment in India has rapidly improved despite the downturn of the last couple of years and our inability to live up to our potential. With an increasingly assertive and powerful China and a receding US, there has been increasing pressure on India from the US, Japan and the other Asian nations to work in tandem with them to counter the former.

However, a disjointed and poorly executed programme to enhance infrastructure along the Sino-Indian border has left India vulnerable with limited conventional ability to react against Chinese designs especially since infrastructure in Tibet has seen quantum improvement. While attempts are now underway to rectify the situation, it will take time for India to achieve conventional deterrence.

This, along with the inability of the DRDO and the Defence Public Sector Units to keep apace with technological innovations has resulted in the modernisation of the defence forces, already heavily dependent on imported weapon systems and a complex procurement process, being not just adversely impacted but also finding maintaining existing capabilities challenging.

The raising of the Mountain Strike Corps and increased focus on infrastructure development along the border will enable India to regain conventional deterrence…

The building up of nuclear capabilities while ensuring the status quo, has not been able to deter Pakistan from a continuation of its low intensity conflict in Kashmir, probably aided by our declared policy of no first use.

However, as we shall discuss later, India’s conventional military advantage has impacted Pakistani strategic thought and led to a decision to introduce tactical nuclear weapons as a counter.

This, along with the attempt to introduce the concept of flexible response, bodes ill for the region and is likely to be a cause of serious de-stabilisation within the region.

From all this we can conclude that prevalent thinking on our national security strategy appears to be based on the following ingredients:

  • Maintenance of territorial integrity at all costs.
  • A declared policy of ‘no first use’ of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states.
  • Focus on economic development, diversifying energy sources and building a robust defence industry
  • Extend and deepen cooperation with all regional neighbours, including those with large Indian emigrant communities.
  • Enhance naval capabilities to protect India’s SLOC, Island territories and the EEZ.
  • Implement a more nuanced and realistic foreign policy with emphasis on improving relations with all major powers.
  • Counter Chinese hegemonistic designs with better policy synchronisation and improvement of border infrastructure and military capability.
  • Continue with the existing defensive posture against Pakistan obviating any chances of escalation to a full-fledged conflict.
  • Upgrade Police and PMF capabilities to independently handle and neutralise internal conflict.

The focus on RMA led to modifications in force structures and a changed emphasis on tactical concepts and training methodology…

Emerging Nature of Conflict in the 21st Century

High technology with increasing convergence of computers and communications along with the rise of new media have given an immense boost to globalisation and led to an increasingly inter-dependent world community faced with growing economic disparity within society and between nations. Paradoxically, this has led to a gradual decline of State structures as the State has been unable to fully control new media resulting in citizens being instantaneously exposed to vastly differing opinions, ideas and calls to action which the State is unable to contest due to its inherent lack of flexibility and promptness.

This, with a corresponding rise in the influence of ideology based non-state actors is tending to result in political instability and growing fissiparous tendencies within States. Thus, while nations continue to prepare and organise their armed forces to be able to protect their perceived national interests from states inimical to them as in the past, the real challenge today appears to be the necessity of protecting the state from opposition within, whether it be from stand-alone groups or those supported by outside elements, whether those are other nation states or ideology based non–state actors.

While different terminology such as Low Intensity Conflict (LIC), Asymmetric Warfare and Irregular Warfare has been utilised to describe this kind of warfare, probably the most appropriate terminology to understand the emerging nature of conflict would be to refer to it as “Fourth Generation Warfare”, a term first enunciated in the Marine Corps Gazette of October 1989. In this, the authors have theorised on the development of modern warfare in generational terms and suggest that “…while military development is generally a continuous evolutionary process, the modern era has witnessed three watersheds in which change has been dialectically qualitative…. and comprises three distinct generations.”8

In their view, the two major catalysts for generational changes were the influence of technology and ideas and identified four central tenets that carried over and developed from generation to generation and helped explain as to how fourth generation warfare was likely to evolve. Thus, they saw fourth generation warfare as undefined with the line between war and peace and civilian and military being blurred, if not completely absent. Interestingly, they saw fourth generation warfare developing along two divergent lines driven either by technology or by ideology.

The challenge of asymmetric or irregular warfare accentuated the inadequate availability of “boots on the ground” and lack of social and cultural awareness of the enemy…

While the West evolved based on technology, such as witnessed during the First Gulf War, ideology based non-state actors, as events in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Syria show, have challenged Western dominance and shaped conflict in a manner that mere technology is unable to provide the winning edge.

The proponents of fourth generation warfare probably never envisioned that there was a possibility of either high technology-based conventional forces and ideology-based irregular forces working synergistically or of ideology based irregular forces obtaining high technology weapons systems, something that we are now witness to in Iraq/Syria with ISIS and in the Ukraine Pro-Russian separatists. Also, in such situations will technology driven forces that tend to restrict use of full combat power on moral and humanitarian grounds still do so if they continue to face defeat in future?

In the Indian context, the Kargil Conflict was a watershed in defining how future conflict is likely to develop against our adversaries amidst a nuclear backdrop. This conflict clearly showed not only the limitations of a no first use policy with regard to nuclear weapons but also showed how Pakistani nuclear blackmail deterred Indian forces from crossing the LOC to launch punitive attacks. The major lesson that the Pakistani leadership is likely to have learnt is that despite the high costs to its international reputation, “violence, especially as represented by Low Intensity Conflict (LIC), remains the best policy for pressuring India on Kashmir and other disputes.”9

That being said, LIC is likely to be kept to the covert spectrum rather than leading to a limited war as witnessed in Kargil. This is primarily because neither side is in a position to gain dominance and to avoid escalation that could easily result in a nuclear conflagration. In this context in view of skewed ratio in force levels in favour of India, Pakistan is unlikely to initiate conflict in the plains and deserts.

In the Sino-Indian context, the issue of conflict under the shadow of a nuclear threat will ensure that the conflict is limited in time and space despite China’s superiority in conventional forces. Despite this, in the event of a limited border conflict, it does face some very serious difficulties given its extended lines of communication and the level of internal conflict in Tibet.

The raising of the Mountain Strike Corps, repositioning of air assets in the East and increased focus on infrastructure development along the border will enable India to regain conventional deterrence in the near future. Similarly, as India operationalizes its nuclear second strike triad and puts in place capability to target all of China in the next few years, it will act as an added incentive for China to agree on a mutually acceptable border through dialogue and dissuade it from unnecessary adventurism.

The acquisition of a capability to fight a two–front war implies that existing force levels are insufficient… of the enemy…

Evolution of Current Army Doctrine, Areas of Divergence and their Impact

NATO defines doctrine as, “Fundamental principles by which the military forces guide their actions in support of objectives. It is authoritative but requires judgment in application.”10 To amplify, this then is a formalised guideline that broadly visualizes the nature of the conflict, the preparations required and methods that can be adopted to achieve success. It is, therefore, “an authoritative guide, describing how the army thinks about fighting, not how to fight. As such it attempts to be definitive enough to guide military activity, yet versatile enough to accommodate a wide variety of situations.”11 Strategy, on the other hand, provides the fulcrum on which military doctrine hinges, laying down the broad objectives which the military must aim to achieve, military doctrine must necessarily be very closely aligned to the enunciated national security strategy.

In our context, where strategic objectives have only been inferred it may be fair to state that the difficulty of preparing a military doctrine and the likelihood of it being at odds with our strategic intentions is undoubtedly very high.

As doctrine shapes the military for the role it is required to successfully fulfill, the importance of visualising the existing and future technological environment cannot be overstated. Weapons and equipment profile, force structures and tactics are very closely interlinked and inter-dependent.

While visualising the impact of technological advances in itself may not be too difficult, the complexity of the problem is increased manifold due to such factors as the rapid rate of technological obsolescence and the inevitable time lag that is associated with the R&D and procurement cycle that normally tends to extend over 15 to 20 years on an average.

Even more importantly, once this technology has finally been introduced into the military, it needs to remain in service for another two to three decades to be economically viable and provide an acceptable return on investment apart from issues connected with skills development and training infrastructures.

The American experience in this regard is particularly illustrative and relevant in our context. The end of the Cold War left the United States as the only military power of consequence with relatively weak opponents and the possibility of large scale conventional wars drastically reduced. With the need for ensuring minimal casualties, and a rapid and successful termination of any crisis that required US intervention, the military looked towards its economic and technological edge to achieve its objectives.

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It embraced Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA) and Network Centric Warfare (NCW), based on superior Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), as the cornerstone of what former Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, referred to as his “Force Transformation” agenda.

The new form of combat involved the ability to move rapidly over great distances and simultaneously engage the enemy in depth and destroy or severely degrade his command and control elements and destroy his war-fighting capabilities, while avoiding collateral damage.

The focus on RMA led to modifications in force structures and a changed emphasis on tactical concepts and training methodology. The Gulf War of 1991 and the initial phases of the subsequent offensives in Afghanistan and Iraq initially validated the doctrine till its limitations were clearly brought out in the continuing and protracted campaign of attrition that followed. The challenge of asymmetric or irregular warfare accentuated the inadequate availability of “boots on the ground”, lack of social and cultural awareness of the enemy and poor understanding of and training in counter insurgency operations. While the US political establishment must have been aware of what post-Cold War global engagement entailed, the fascination of the US military leadership with technology and its version of RMA along with its utter contempt for capabilities of its potential third world adversaries led it to ignore the implications of what “Operations Other than War” (OOW) involved. Subsequent events have now forced them to initiate corrective measures and adopt a more realistic view of the global threat environment.12

India has always tended to exercise extreme restraint as a politico-military option…

Within the Indian military, the Air Force first published its Air Power Doctrine in 1997, which was last updated in 2012. The Army followed when Headquarters Army Training Command (ARTRAC) published it doctrine in October 2004. This was followed up with the Indian Navy publishing its Maritime Doctrine within two months and subsequently updating it in 2009. The Integrated Defence Staff (IDS), not to be left behind, published the Joint Forces Doctrine in May 2006 and the Joint Doctrine for Amphibious Operations along with the Joint Doctrine for Special Forces Operations in September 2008.The necessity for the three services and the IDS to bring out their separate doctrines can be attributed to the competition for “operational and bureaucratic space in the inter-Service competition, and joint doctrines are a major instrument of such assertion… Thus, it is clear that articulation of the doctrines has been an essential component of inter-Service interaction in the face of the failure (or unwillingness) of the government to carry through the recommendations of the Kargil Review Committee pertaining to the office of the Chief of Defence Staff.”13 Given the prevailing circumstances, despite academic articulation of intent, the ability of the Services to undertake integrated joint operations that modern war-fighting demands appears to be questionable.

The original publication was in two parts, of which Part I was for open dissemination and document broadly covered the geo-strategic environment, operational perspectives and preparations and conduct of operations.14

The first review of the doctrine was undertaken in a closed door seminar at the end of 2009. The main issue of consequence that emerged in public domain was the necessity for preparing to fight a two- front war simultaneously against China and Pakistan and the concept of cold start.

The acquisition of a capability to fight a two–front war implies that existing force levels are insufficient because plans for switching forces from East to West and vice-versa are no longer relevant.

While undoubtedly, the army must prepare for the worst case scenario, its reasoning for change from the earlier threat assessment appears questionable and not in consonance with our likely strategic objectives.

Common sense dictates that we have always adopted and will continue to do so in the future all necessary measures, both political and diplomatic, to avoid confronting both China and Pakistan at the same time. Moreover, were such a scenario to come about and the Indian leadership faced unacceptable territorial losses or its very survival at stake, the likelihood of a nuclear first strike, despite its stated doctrine, would not have escaped the Chinese.

Thus, while the need to strengthen our capabilities against China is understandable, force accretion could have been avoided and redeployment and reorganisation of forces carried out after a more realistic threat assessment.

The government must issue a national strategic security policy directive at the earliest…

The adoption of the concept of “cold start” has generated much speculation worldwide. Analysts trashed it and referred to it as, “stillborn…a non-starter for a number of political, diplomatic, logistical and tactical reasons”.15 This concept was conceived after the failure of OP Parakram, an operation aimed at “coercing Pakistan into curbing its sponsorship of and presumed connivance with India-centric terrorists.”16 This failure could be attributed to two major reasons, firstly, “inordinate delay in mobilisation”17 and more importantly, once these forces had completed their deployment and were poised “(they) seemed unequipped to offer a response sufficiently finessed to avert nuclear retaliation.”18

This doctrine aims to ensure that viable forces were effective and in position to launch limited offensives along a wide front. These shallow offensives by divisional size “Integrated Battle Groups” (IBG) would commence within 72 to 96 hours “before the international community could intercede, and at the same time, pursue narrow enough aims to deny Islamabad a justification to escalate the clash to the nuclear level”.19 Where analysts have erred is in their assumption that the Strike Corps would be reorganised to form the IBGs.

In fact, reports suggest that IBGs have been created from within the holding Corps resources. Depending on the prevailing political and operational situation, the Strike Corps would utilise the successes achieved by the IBGs for further operations. This has been borne out by whatever open source information has become available on military exercises conducted in 2012 by South Western and the Western Army Commands (Ex Shoorveer and Ex Rudra Akrosh).

However, this doctrine has wholly ignored the political reality that India has always tended to exercise extreme restraint as a politico-military option. Resultantly, pre-emption or pro-action as visualised in “cold-start’ is of purely academic value and the Strike Corps are primarily countervailing forces meant to respond to Pakistan’s GHQ reserves. Contrary to the conclusions drawn this concept has been extremely effective in neutralising Pakistan’s stated plans of “offensive-defence” forcing it to take the dangerous step of deciding to introduce tactical nuclear munitions into the battlefield.

War is inextricably linked to politics and the political leadership must ensure that the military leadership is given clear cut directives…

In fact, one can go so far as to say that the very effectiveness of the concept has been at cross purposes with our strategic security objectives leading to increasing instability. There is an urgent need to initiate discussions and take substantive measures that will reassure Pakistan and force a rethink on deployment of tactical nuclear weapons. Since, likelihood of large scale conflict is limited, India needs to review its force profile and look towards reducing its mechanised forces. Savings here will go a long way in enhancing capabilities in our mountain sector.

Finally, in the context of asymmetric warfare and counter insurgency operations, in the absence of any government directives specifying end state and specific objectives to be attained the army has reportedly taken it upon itself to lay these down.20 Since all internal conflicts and insurgencies are political in nature and require political solutions to be successfully ended, the army is in no position to suggest such a objective, or for that matter implement it. In fact, by laying down specific objectives that it cannot achieve on its own, the army has played into the hands of an extremely cynical and short-sighted politico-bureaucratic establishment that prefers the status quo.

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War is inextricably linked to politics and it is, therefore, incumbent on the political leadership to ensure that the military leadership is given clear cut directives. Based on this it can organise, equip and prepare itself to secure its military objectives that will meet our political aims. In our context therefore, the absence of a written national security policy clearly laying down our objectives is not just a debilitating flaw, but criminal negligence that must be strongly and unequivocally condemned.

This is further compounded because the military has been forced to make assumptions on the basis of which it has organised, trained and equipped itself to meet the challenges it is likely to confront. As we see, this has resulted in a divergence of views and the resulting impact on our geo-political environment can never be to our advantage. It is, therefore, obligatory for the government to issue a national strategic security policy directive at the earliest to ensure that the military is able to meet its expectations to the fullest.


  1. Strachan, Hew; The Direction of War: Contemporary Strategy in Historical Perspective; Cambridge University Press, UK, 2013; p. 28.
  2. Ibid p. 33.
  3. Ibid., p. 34.
  4. Ahmed, Ali; Clarifying India’s strategic Doctrine; IDSA 25 Oct 2010.
  5. Burgess, Stephen S; India’s Emerging Security Strategy, Missile Defense and Arms Control; INSS Occasional Paper No 54; USAF Institute for National Security Studies, USAF Academy, Colorado; Jun 2004; p. 3.
  6. Tanham, George K; Indian Strategic Thought: An Interpretive Essay; RAND National Defense Research Institute; 1992.
  7. Sarila, Narendra Singh; The Shadow of the Great Game: The Untold Story of India’s Partition; Harper Collins Publishers, India; 2005.
  8. Lind, William S;Nightengale, Col Keith (USA);Schmitt, Capt. John F(USMC); Sutton, Col Joseph W (USA); Wilson, Lt Col Gary I (USMCR); The Changing Face of War: Into the Fourth Generation; Marine Corps Gazette, Oct 1989; pp. 22-26.
  9. Tellis, Ashley J; Fair, Christine C; Medby, Jamison Jo; Limited Conflict Under the Nuclear Umbrella: Indian and Pakistani Lessons from the Kargil Crisis; Rand 2001; pp. 5-8.
  10. AAP-6(V) NATO Glossary of Terms and Definitions.
  11. Canada Department of National Defence. The Conduct of Land Operations B-GL-300-001/FP-000, 1998: iv–v.
  12. Freedman, Lawrence; The Counterrevolution in Strategic Affairs; The Modern American Military; Ed David M Kennedy; Oxford University Press, New Delhi 2013; pp. 13-39.
  13. Anand, Vinod; Review of the Indian Army Doctrine: Dealing With Two Fronts; CLAWS Journal Summer 2010 pg264.
  14. Indianarmydoctrine_1.doc from
  15. Joshi Shashank; India’s Military Instrument: A Doctrine Stillborn; The Journal of Strategic Studies, 2013, Vol. 36, No. 4, pp 512–540,
  16. Ibid., p. 514.
  17. Ibid., p. 515.
  18. Ibid., p. 515.
  19. Ladwig, Walter C; ‘A Cold Start for Hot Wars?’, pg 164;
  20. As stated by a former Corps Commander responsible for counter insurgency operations in J&K in a discussion with the author.
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The views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of the Indian Defence Review.

About the Author

Brig Deepak Sinha

is a second generation para trooper and author of “Beyond the Bayonet: Indian Special Operations Forces in the 21st Century.” He is currently a consultant with the Observer Research Foundation.

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