An Integrated Indian Military Strategy - 2040: A Perspective (Part-V)
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Issue Net Edition | Date : 18 Jul , 2017


The clear and present dangers that India faces across both its unresolved borders are as different as chalk from cheese. Hence there cannot be a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution to Military Strategy and Force Structuring. While the Western front would need highly mechanised and mobile forces, the mobility across the Northern mountainous borders has a different connotation. In the same manner, the Southern Maritime domain has its own characteristics, very different from the other fronts. Similarly, the logistics grid needed for each Front would be different and dissimilar.

This paper attempts to provide a perspective on possible Military Strategy for India in the near, medium and long terms. Such ‘integrated operations’ enables orchestration of an effective synergy to achieve a force multiplier impact over the battle space , thereby facilitating early achievement of military and political aims of war. It provides the broad capabilities that could be considered to ensure that future threats to India are comprehensively deterred and facilitate India to have the capacity to be a net security provider for the region in the medium to long term.

The strategy  with an ‘integrated war plan’ lays more stress on technology, fire power, maritime forces, manoeuvre forces and force multipliers thereby changing the need for conventional force ratios. This concept also envisages a ‘degrade, disrupt, destroy and defeat’ approach, a different way of waging war. In the medium to long term, India should look at achieving a ‘Prompt Regional Strike’ capability with its Tri Service assets of Strategic Forces to ensure its security is not compromised. Such a capability, backed by positive alliances in the region would ensure the stability necessary for the economic growth of the region (South and South East Asia), with India being the ‘net security provider’. The assets would be tri-service, with an effective 24/7 surveillance grid and a robust C4 network. 

The capabilities indicate the broad framework for the desired force structures, which each Service can codify for its acquisition, modernisation, force structuring and deployment and operational readiness plan as a component of the Integrated Armed Forces HQ and as per the Joint Directives and Doctrines issued by the CDS/PCOSC.

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The logistics set up would also be dictated from these strategies, which should ensure its smooth execution. The integration of the logistics of the 3 services would circumvent the current division of effort, thereby achieving savings through ‘economy of scales’.

The current geo-political flux in the region, and beyond, gives India the requisite space to rise as the net security provider for the region (South and South East Asia), thereby confirming its rise amongst the comity of nations. For that India has to ensure that it is in a position to cover the region with its CNP (Comprehensive National Power) under the overarching umbrella of its ‘hard power’.

A clear enunciation of likely Political Aims, Military Objectives and Integrated Strategies for the Western Front, Northern Borders and the Maritime Domain, coupled with the restructuring of both the MOD and the Service HQs, with the relevant changes in the AOB/TOB Rules and the creation of the CDS/PCSOC is the need of the hour. An integrated MoD will eliminate existing infirmities and result in higher levels of synergy, efficiency and decision making ability, thereby empowering India to further its National Aim.

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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

Maj Gen Rajiv Narayanan, AVSM, VSM

Retired after 37 years of distinguished service, as the ADGMO (B) in 2016,having been closely involved with Future Strategy, Force Structures and Force Modernisation.

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One thought on “An Integrated Indian Military Strategy – 2040: A Perspective (Part-V)

  1. I do not find anything new suggestion in this articles. I do not think CDS is a solution to operation problems. so long there is no change in the mind set of the top ranking defence officers of the three services. They consider their department is more important than countries security. They won’t talk each other. One thing is clear no war can be fought without troops. No other department can grab the position.of Army. No surgical operation can be done on the human body without Anathiest. IAF is like an atheist. But it is not only the duty of the Army to find out strategic points in the LOC/ Border. In that respect, Indian Army failed in the case of Kargil war, Chamb sector and Logowala and Siachen.
    Indian army is not keeping up to date information and development in military equipment and at the same time giving pressure to purchase obsolete equipment like field gun and helicopter gun ship etc. 155 mm field gun has become obsolete when the USA invented weapon locating radar(WLR) particularly in hilly areas. Similarly, helicopter gunship has become obsolete after the invention of stinger missiles. When DRDO developed Pinaka rocket why did the Army officers made a hue and cry for the field gun? I do not know in what way is the field gun is better than Pinaka rockets. Kindly read the article given below and tell me what is the problem and what is the solution to the problem. “Attack Helicopter: Should India have them?” By Capt AG Bewoor. Neither the IAF officers nor the Army officers suggested any solution to the problem but fighting to get the owner ship of Apache helicopter. Getting ownership is more important than solving the problem. First of all, it is an unwanted purchase. There must be drastic changes in the selection of officers post and their training. in the Indian army. to change their mind otherwise, CDS post will be a waste.

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