After years of deliberations, India has recently started the process of bringing in a National Security Strategy and the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS) has started collating inputs from several Central ministries and departments.
GS III: Security Challenges
Dimensions of the Article:
- National Security Strategy
- India’s Persistent Need for a National Security Strategy
- Way Forward for National Security Strategy
National Security Strategy:
- A National Security Strategy (NSS) is a comprehensive document outlining a nation’s security objectives and the means to attain them.
- The NSS is a flexible document subject to periodic updates, adapting to evolving conditions and emerging threats.
Addressing Diverse Challenges:
- The NSS encompasses a broad spectrum of contemporary challenges and threats, including both conventional and modern warfare issues, reflecting the interconnected nature of today’s world.
- It encompasses not only traditional concerns like military and defense but also non-traditional ones such as financial and economic security, food and energy security, information warfare, critical information infrastructure vulnerabilities, supply chain disruptions, and environmental issues.
Comprehensive National Security View:
- By presenting a holistic perspective of India’s national security landscape and a strategic plan to confront these challenges, the National Security Strategy plays a pivotal role in guiding significant defense and security reforms.
- It serves as an indispensable tool in safeguarding the nation’s interests and promoting its security.
India’s Persistent Need for a National Security Strategy:
- India has frequently discussed the idea of formulating a National Security Strategy, but practical implementation has been elusive, primarily due to the absence of a unified, whole-of-government approach.
- The government has not publicly disclosed its national security objectives, which has added to the complexity of developing and implementing such a strategy.
- In light of the multifaceted emerging threats and increased uncertainties in global geopolitics, the development of a comprehensive National Security Strategy for India is a critical necessity.
Call for Strategy Revision:
- Notably, former Army Chief General emphasized the outdated nature of the existing political direction for the Armed Forces and advocated for its revision.
- The sole existing political direction for the Armed Forces is the Defence Minister’s operational Directive of 2009.
- Experts stress that substantial military reforms, like the theaterization of the armed forces, should be grounded in a comprehensive national security strategy.
- The absence of such a strategy is likened to initiating military reforms without a clear roadmap.
- Most developed countries with advanced military and security structures have established National Security Strategies, subject to periodic updates.
- Examples include the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, and China, which has a Comprehensive National Security strategy closely integrated into its governance structure.
- Even Pakistan has introduced a National Security Policy 2022-2026, elucidating its national security objectives and priority areas.
Way Forward for National Security Strategy:
Defining Key Assets and Adversaries:
- The 21st-century National Security Strategy should distinctly outline the assets that need protection and identify potential adversaries employing unconventional tactics to disorient the population.
Focusing on Technological Priorities:
- Prioritize the development of departments and initiatives to support innovation and technology advancements.
- Areas of focus should include hydrogen fuel cells, seawater desalination, thorium for nuclear technology, anti-computer viruses, and new immunity-boosting medicines.
Multi-Dimensional Anticipation and Deterrence:
- Develop a strategy that anticipates threats from multiple dimensions.
- Employ demonstrative yet limited pre-emptive strikes to deter potential adversaries.
- China’s cyber capabilities represent a new threat, necessitating a tailored strategy for countering it.
- Allocate a separate budget for cybersecurity to address evolving cyber threats.
- Establish a centralized body of cyber experts to counter state-sponsored hackers.
- Leverage India’s software development talent pool by offering career opportunities in the field.
- Bootstrap cybersecurity capability programs in states through central funding.
Defense, Deterrence, and Exploitation:
- Emphasize the defense of critical information infrastructure, with individual ministries and private companies required to transparently report breaches.
- Deterrence in national security should be addressed comprehensively, similar to nuclear deterrence, by establishing clarity on adversaries’ capabilities.
Military Intelligence and Preparedness:
- Initiate preparations for a robust national security strategy by focusing on military intelligence gathering, target evaluation, and the development of specific tools to ensure long-term national security.
-Source: Indian Express