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India’s National Security Strategy


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鈥檚 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鈥檚 infrastructure.

Issues in India鈥檚 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  • Former Army Chief General NC Vij mentioned outdated political direction to the Armed Forces.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.

 

Theaterisation

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 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.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 Its main purpose is to achieve 鈥楯ointness鈥, 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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