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Approach:

  1. Introduction – concept of National Security.
  2. Analyse the reasons for the need of such a doctrine.
  3. Conclusion – significance of the doctrine.

The concept of national security has evolved and expanded over the years. Earlier it was limited only to protection against external military attacks. However, now National Security means the ability of a country’s government to protect its citizens, economy, and other institutions. It includes non-military dimensions like economic securitypolitical securityenergy securityhomeland securitycybersecurityhuman securityfood securityenvironmental security and counter-terrorism etc. To ensure national security, governments rely on tactics, including political, economic, and military power, along with diplomacy.

Need for National Security Doctrine in India ?:

  • Hostile Nuclear-armed Neighbours: India has two hostile nuclear-armed neighbours, Pakistan and China. Both have antagonist approach towards India. Any error by either State might result in a nuclear conflict. Having NSD will be beneficial in reducing the threat posed by nuclear weapons.
  • Consistency and Political Consensus: The policy and approach keeps on changing with a change in the government. There is lack of agreement on threats from Pakistan, Maoism, insurgency, and so on. Having a National Security Doctrine will provide guiding principles that are more consistent and authoritative.
  • Calibrating National Security and Foreign Policy: Because there has never been a security doctrine, there has been very little effort put into calibrating national security initiatives with foreign policy. For instance, there is a lack of clarity on what form of foreign policy towards Pakistan would be most effective in tackling Pakistan-sponsored Terrorism at the international level.
  • Jointness in Tri-Services: The Government has created the post of Chief of Défense Staff as a first step towards jointness in the 3 services. Joint Theatre Commands is next on the agenda of the Government. However, there are differences among three services regarding the joint theatres. A National Security Doctrine can act as a guiding document to achieve the jointness and avoid the inter-service conflict.
  • Multiple Threats: India had long porous borders with many of its neighbours which are exploited for arms, drugs and human trafficking. India faces threat of external state-sponsored terrorism as well as self-radicalized domestic terrorism. A comprehensive doctrine will help in addressing these challenges.
  • New Challenges: The rising Indian economy is facing new challenges. Cyberterrorism, attacks on critical infrastructure have the ability to stall economic engine. The former CDS had talked 2.5 front war and hybrid warfare. Climate Change and climate-induced migration can also create potential security threats. A National Security Doctrine should foresee and anticipate these challenges and guide the response.

A national security doctrine will be a key part of internal security. It would help make decisions that are timely and useful because they would be based on the doctrine’s national security strategy. The Doctrine would guide various sub-doctrines related to external and internal security. It will fill a huge void in the higher defence management of the country. It would ensure a uniform security response taken during times of crises. It would help in maintaining effective coordination among security establishments at both the Union and State levels, hence averting terror attacks that occur even when intelligence agencies have input but fail to prevent the assaults owing to a lack of cooperation. National Security Doctrine would help protect India’s national interests that would ensure peace, growth, and development of the country.

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