Info@NationalCyberSecurity
Info@NationalCyberSecurity

Our combat orientation has the world watching | #childpredator | #onlinepredator | #sextrafficing


India’s defence plan of integrated tri-service theatre commands is finally getting off the ground. In March, an enabling bill was introduced in Parliament. Senior officers of the Indian Army, Air Force and Navy are set for cross-postings, following similar orders for mid-level personnel. Combat orientation is the big idea. This requires structural readiness for our forces to engage enemies jointly in potential war zones defined by geography. We are aiming for three joint commands to face the northern front with China, our western border with Pakistan and the seas around our peninsula, with Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Anil Chauhan, appointed last September, in charge. This rejig, long overdue, was held back by the demise of India’s first CDS Bipin Rawat in a 2021 air crash, apart from a few qualms among the forces that have since been sorted. The Air Force is short of fighter squadrons, for example, so these will not be split into theatres, but assigned as and when needs arise. If all goes as planned, it’ll be a major defence upgrade.

India’s defence plan of integrated tri-service theatre commands is finally getting off the ground. In March, an enabling bill was introduced in Parliament. Senior officers of the Indian Army, Air Force and Navy are set for cross-postings, following similar orders for mid-level personnel. Combat orientation is the big idea. This requires structural readiness for our forces to engage enemies jointly in potential war zones defined by geography. We are aiming for three joint commands to face the northern front with China, our western border with Pakistan and the seas around our peninsula, with Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Anil Chauhan, appointed last September, in charge. This rejig, long overdue, was held back by the demise of India’s first CDS Bipin Rawat in a 2021 air crash, apart from a few qualms among the forces that have since been sorted. The Air Force is short of fighter squadrons, for example, so these will not be split into theatres, but assigned as and when needs arise. If all goes as planned, it’ll be a major defence upgrade.

As China’s clout grows, this century’s global power play is likely to draw the Indo-Pacific region into focus. It follows that any role New Delhi could play in deterring Beijing from misadventures has Washington all ears. In the run-up to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit this week to the US capital, defence minister Rajnath Singh and US defense secretary Lloyd Austin formalized a ‘roadmap’ for cooperation on military technology. While it envisions collaborations on hardware that could raise our game in air combat, land mobility, surveillance, reconnaissance and much else, defence mavens look forward to India acquiring Predator drones supplied by US-based General Atomics and also locally-made General Electric jet engines for Tejas fighters to plug squadron gaps. From the US perspective, all this must go with a closer capability alignment, if not full-fledged alliance. Given India’s strategic neutrality and hence discomfort with too tight an embrace, this aspect has proceeded gingerly. In March 2022, we held our 19th Military Cooperation Group meeting in Agra with the US Indo-Pacific Command. As for pacts of mutual aid, our preference has been for enablers instead of hard-bound commitments. In 2002, we signed the General Security of Military Information Agreement with the US, which enabled some data sharing. In 2016, we inked a Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement to grant the forces of both countries access to each other’s supply and repair facilities, though on a case-by-case basis with no obligation on either side. In 2018, we had the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement to allow tech transfers, encryption sharing and interoperability. And in 2020, the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for access to geospatial intelligence.

As China’s clout grows, this century’s global power play is likely to draw the Indo-Pacific region into focus. It follows that any role New Delhi could play in deterring Beijing from misadventures has Washington all ears. In the run-up to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit this week to the US capital, defence minister Rajnath Singh and US defense secretary Lloyd Austin formalized a ‘roadmap’ for cooperation on military technology. While it envisions collaborations on hardware that could raise our game in air combat, land mobility, surveillance, reconnaissance and much else, defence mavens look forward to India acquiring Predator drones supplied by US-based General Atomics and also locally-made General Electric jet engines for Tejas fighters to plug squadron gaps. From the US perspective, all this must go with a closer capability alignment, if not full-fledged alliance. Given India’s strategic neutrality and hence discomfort with too tight an embrace, this aspect has proceeded gingerly. In March 2022, we held our 19th Military Cooperation Group meeting in Agra with the US Indo-Pacific Command. As for pacts of mutual aid, our preference has been for enablers instead of hard-bound commitments. In 2002, we signed the General Security of Military Information Agreement with the US, which enabled some data sharing. In 2016, we inked a Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement to grant the forces of both countries access to each other’s supply and repair facilities, though on a case-by-case basis with no obligation on either side. In 2018, we had the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement to allow tech transfers, encryption sharing and interoperability. And in 2020, the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for access to geospatial intelligence.

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Since freedom in 1947, full autonomy in war and peace has been a cardinal principle of sovereignty for us. So, while we need live-wire capacity to operate with the US, our tooth-to-tail ratio duly upped by high-tech arms to go with a long-awaited theatrical thrust, we must never end up fighting America’s battles. In recognition of this, the US seems bent on arming Aukus rather than the four-nation Quad for power projection in the East. This suits us. Since modern warfare is increasingly about information (or ‘intel’), though, we should keep our prospective interfaces ready and up to scratch. This logic applies to India’s Defence Space Agency as well, even if space is not—and must never become—a theatre of war.



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