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- Former Army Chief General NC Vij mentioned outdated political direction to the Armed Forces.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.