India’s National Security Strategy

By Amigos IAS

Why is it in the news?

  • India has recently initiated the process of creating a National Security Strategy with the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS) collating inputs from various Central ministries and departments for the strategy’s draft.
  • This is India’s first attempt at formalizing such a strategy. Though, discussed multiple times in military circles but never formalized.

National Security Strategy

  • Outlines the country’s security objectives and methods to achieve them.
  • Provides a holistic view of national security, threats, and ways to address them.
  • Updated periodically and defines both traditional and non-traditional threats.
  • Will include challenges like financial security, food and energy security, information warfare, and vulnerabilities in India’s infrastructure.

Issues in India’s National Security

  • Inconsistent security responses, for instance, calling National Security Guard (NSG) in Pathankot even when local army personnel, familiar with the terrain, were present.
  • In the Mumbai attacks, despite the NSG being in the city, there was a delay in action.
  • Ignored or unacted upon intelligence inputs.
  • High casualties due to lack of coordination among security agencies.
  • Absence of accountability post agency failures.

Need for India

  • Given rising geopolitical tensions and a mix of traditional and non-traditional threats, there’s an increased urgency.
  • Major military reforms should ideally be based on a national security strategy. Without a clear strategy, reforms might be misguided or inefficient.
  • Ensure prompt, relevant, and consistent security responses during insurgencies.
  • Responses would be based on the national security strategy outlined in the doctrine.
  • Foster better coordination among security agencies at both central and federal levels.
  • This could prevent attacks, especially when there are prior intelligence inputs.
  • Increase accountability within the security establishment.
  • Ensure swift and effective handling of threats for the country’s peace, progress, and development.
  • Former Army Chief General NC Vij mentioned outdated political direction to the Armed Forces.
  • Former National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon emphasized the need for a national security strategy.
  • Last year, former Army chief General MM Naravane stressed its importance before further theaterization.



·       It refers to the Integrated or Joint Theatre Commands (JTCs) where all the manpower and assets of the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force will be under single operational control in a geographical region.

·       Its main purpose is to achieve ‘Jointness’, i.e., to increase cooperation and integration between different branches of the military.


Reasons for Absence in the Past

  • Hesitation at the political level.
  • Government possibly not wanting to publicly disclose its national security objectives.
  • Lack of a cohesive, whole-of-government effort.
  • Potential accountability in defence management.


Countries with National Security Strategy

  • Developed nations like the US, UK, and Russia have their own national security strategies.
  • China’s strategy is named the Comprehensive National Security and is tied to its governance.
  • Pakistan has a National Security Policy for 2022-2026.

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