[Answered] Assess the need for a comprehensive national security strategy in India. How would it enhance India’s response to both conventional and non-conventional threats?

Introduction: What is a national security strategy?

Body: What is the need for the strategy and how will it enhance India’s response to threats?

Conclusion: Way forward

National security strategy guides the military as well as critical defence and security reforms with strategic implications, providing a holistic view of the overall national security, the threats, and the roadmap to address them.  The National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS) is in the process of framing such a strategy and placing the strategy before the cabinet for final approval.

Need for National Security Strategy in India

  • Nuclear-armed Neighbours: Pakistan and China are India’s two nuclear-armed adversaries. Both take a hostile stance toward India and hostility from either side could trigger a nuclear exchange. Possessing a National Security Strategy will help lessen the threat that nuclear weapons represent.
  • Numerous Threats: India’s lengthy, porous borders with several of its neighbours are used as a point of sale for drugs, weapons, and people trafficking. Both externally sponsored state terrorism and domestically radicalized individuals pose a threat to India. Developing a comprehensive security strategy will aid in resolving these issues.
  • Resource Allocation: Strategic and effective resource allocation is made possible by a national security plan. By enabling the government to allocate limited funds for military, intelligence, and other security-related projects according to priority, it makes sure that the most urgent threats are taken care of first.

How does it enhance India’s response to threats?

  • Non-Conventional Threats: Things like cyberattacks, chemical warfare, and climate change have become more well-known in recent years. Capabilities and policies to counter these risks can be developed under the direction of a comprehensive strategy. It can discuss the effects of climate change on national security and provide guidelines for handling cyberattacks.
  • Joint theatre command: A national security strategy can serve as a roadmap for achieving armed forces integration and coordination while preventing inter-service conflict. To prevent mismanagement of resources, close gaps, and guarantee a coordinated response to threats, such coordination is essential.
  • Developing Deterrence: India can develop deterrence in non-conventional domains as well as conventional military ones with the aid of a national security plan. A clear understanding of India’s security goals and capabilities can deter possible enemies from taking aggressive action.

Conclusion

It is the right time for India to stand alongside nations like the UK, USA, and Russia in framing a comprehensive national security strategy that caters to the threats of the 21st century faced by India. This will require strong political will, coordination among civilian and military bureaucracy, and military reforms suggested by the Kargil Review Committee report (2000), and the Report of the Naresh Chandra Task Force on Security (2012).

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