15 January 2018

The Indian Army’s Role in Nation Building : Part - III

The Indian Army’s Role in Nation Building
Part - III

- Maj Gen P K Mallick,VSM (Retd)

Military Diplomacy 

Military diplomacy is an important adjunct of diplomacy. The military has earned tremendous good will of armies the world over for their professionalism. Over the recent past, armies of the US, the UK, France, Russia and a host of others have conducted joint training exercises to exchange military tactics and gain from experience of the Indian Armed Forces. In United Nations peace keeping operations the Indian Army has earned much appreciation of the local populations and armies of different countries for their helpful attitude, humane approach and expertise in WHAM operations. 

However, whenever the need arose to battle any rogue elements they have resorted to minimum force despite suffering casualties. Examples of their valour are many; the award of the Param Vir Chakra to Captain G S Salaria (posthumously), in Congo for his daredevil action is one such of many others. The military training imparted at the officers' academies and various schools of instruction are most sought after and subscribed by a host of foreign countries. The Indian Military Academy, Dehradun has to date, trained 1397 cadets from over 15 friendly foreign countries. In addition, with our expertise a number of military training academies have been raised in different countries. The professional courses at the Army War College, Defence Services Staff College, Wellington and the National Defence College, New Delhi and other defence institutes are reputed internationally.

We are being wooed by both the US and its allies and China with both sides trying to align us with themselves. In such a situation, military diplomacy, which is an extension of diplomacy by other means, has a crucial role in furthering our national interests. Carrying out joint military training with important players in the arena sends out signals which are most keenly watched and interpreted by the others. While we are keen to stay non aligned and preserve our autonomous decision making capability, it should not stop us from assuming the mantle of leadership in protecting common regional interests. Drug trafficking, piracy, protection of global commons and disaster relief are areas wherein the smaller nations of the region are hoping that India will take the lead. Our contribution to UN peacekeeping operations has enhanced our image in the eyes of the world. In all the peacekeeping missions across the globe, our military has acquitted itself admirably, resulting in greater demand for Indian troops wherever trouble has erupted lately and the UN decides to send its troops. Indian forces are seen as firm, fair, just and balanced in their approach, thus enhancing the image of the Country.

National Integration

There are few countries in the world that can boast of the kind of cultural, religious, regional, ethnic, linguistic, historical, economic and social diversity that is the hallmark of India. Every few miles one notices a change in topography associated with a change in dialect, custom and lifestyle. Throughout history, India has been known for being exposed to and for being able to assimilate within itself a plethora of socio-cultural impulses. 

Right from its inception, primarily in the form of British forces, the Indian army has been a symbol of multiculturalism and pluralism beautifully held together by the bonds of camaraderie in times of danger and an inherent discipline that flows from the highest to the lowest echelons. They have been known to safeguard the life and honour of people who are neither their kith nor their kin. Those that they protect they love not, those that they fight they hate not, yet they perform their duty without question, without complaint. In the line of their duty, they stand together with people who come from a variety of social, cultural, economic and ideological backgrounds, yet they come across as one uniform force with the singular aim of standing on sentinel duty to protect the integrity of their motherland.

The structure, the placement and the movement of the forces within the country ensures that the pan Indian identity within the forces is promoted and the regional identities are subdued albeit in a positive manner. The stationing of forces from the South in the rigorous terrain of Jammu and Kashmir, for instance, exposes them to the culture of the beautiful State. The help and service that they render to the people of the region endears them to the local populace who in turn become more accepting of people from other regions. All this promotes national integration.

The soldier of the Indian army is taught to respect the sentiments and traditions of all religions and regions of the country. No matter what part of the country the soldiers are posted to, they have no problems whatsoever in adapting to their local customs and traditions. This ability is also exhibited during the routine practice of the “Mandir Parade” wherein rituals of all religions are practiced and observed under the guidance of trained religious teachers. Promotion of national integration among the people of the country is one of the primary aims of the Indian Army since peace and development within the country is also a mandate given to the security forces.

The Sainik Schools that have been opened all over the country and activities carried out under the ambit of the National Cadet Corps, bring young boys and girls of different parts of the country together on a single platform in a fairly cohesive manner. The experience gained and the exposure received by the youth in the course of such activities opens their minds to new vistas and possibilities; it also instills in them pride for their country, its ideology and its achievements. Their horizons are broadened and they view themselves as citizens of a strong Nation rather than a small peripheral state or an obscure village. The Indian army thus serves as a vehicle for the promotion of national integration among the people of the country at large.


Chanakya told the Emperor of Magadh:

“The Mauryan soldier is the very basis, the silent and barely visible cornerstone, of our fame, culture, physical well-being and prosperity; in short, of the entire nation building activity.”

It is apparent that the military’s role in nation building is inherent in the fulfillment of its primary function. The spin offs from the role are many and varied with a fairly extensive coverage. The Army has always in the past and also in the future will continue to play a pivotal role in the Nation Building and for that it must emerge as a national symbol that represents the nation's unique characteristic which is “Unity in Diversity”. The military virtues of sacrifice, loyalty and discipline have always remained and must serve as objects of veneration for the rest of the nation.

The Army has and will continue to remain a steadfast partner in nation building with contribution in the spheres of security, infrastructural development, disaster management, aid to civil authorities, ecology and education.

India’s opportunity in a multiconceptual world

Our world is undergoing a series of transformational shifts occurring at an exponential speed. These shifts bear promise as well as peril. Galloping progress in science and the advent of cutting-edge technological developments have made our environment more intelligent and interconnected than ever. The Fourth Industrial Revolution has created a unique inflection point for the world and smart innovations have enabled us to attain unprecedented accuracy and speed in information flow.

America's Forgotten Wars

Emma Sky

Daniel Kurtz-Phelan discusses the November/December 2017 issue of Foreign Affairs magazine with contributors Emma Sky and Lisa Monaco. The latest issue puts U.S. interventions under serious scrutiny to sketch where things are, where they are going, and what the United States should do next.  I am Dan Kurtz-Phelan. I’m the executive editor of Foreign Affairs. I have been at the magazine for about two months, so I can take no credit for the issue that we’re talking about today. (Laughter.) But nor can you blame me for anything at this point, so save your complaints for my colleagues when you see them.

The Pakistan Conundrum


The big US error after 9/11 was to treat Pakistan as if it were an ally with which it is possible to assume a large degree of policy overlap. In fact, even a more calculated, transactional relationship will not bring the US and Pakistan closer together. Harold Brown, the US defense secretary under President Jimmy Carter, was reported to have described the arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union in these terms: “When we build, they build. And when we don’t build, they build.”

The ‘Indo-Pacific’: Redrawing the Map to Counter China


President Donald Trump, national security advisor H.R. McMaster and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson have begun using the term “Indo-Pacific” in recent months to refer to the region that extends from the west coast of the U.S. to the west coast of India. For decades previously, American leaders had called this swath of the globe the “Asia-Pacific,” or more recently as the “Indo-Asia-Pacific.” The new turn of phrases is significant, and it calls for strategic communications practices to reinforce this strategic concept. The shift reflects the Trump administration’s acknowledgement of several key factors: It treats India as a regional power and not just an isolated country on the southern tip of the continent. It emphasizes the contiguous maritime nature of this vast space, which spans two of the world’s three largest oceans, four of the of world’s seven largest economies, and the world’s five most populous countries.

Can the ‘Indo-Pacific’ compete with China?


The old but new geographical term “Indo-Pacific” is now increasingly used to replace “Asia-Pacific.” In August 2016, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe unveiled his regional vision called the “free and open Indo-Pacific strategy.” U.S. President Donald Trump echoed the phrase “free and open Indo-Pacific” during his first Asia tour in November and in his administration’s national security strategy released in December. Australia, which referred to the Indo-Pacific in its 2013 defense white paper, again cited the phrase in its 2017 foreign policy white paper. India’s strategic community also understands the geostrategic importance of the Indo-Pacific to their country. In November, senior diplomats from Japan, Australia, India and the United States met in Manila and agreed to ensure a free and open international order in the Indo-Pacific based on the rule of law.


by Matt Williams

It’s no secret that China’s growth in the past few decades has been reflected in space. In addition to the country’s growing economic power and international influence, it has also made some very impressive strides in terms of its space program. This includes the development of the Long March rocket family, the deployment of their first space station, and the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program (CLEP) – aka. the Chang’e program. Given all that, one would not be surprised to learn that China has some big plans for 2018. But as the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) announced last Tuesday (on January 2nd, 2018), they intend to double the number of launches they conducted in 2017. In total, the CASC plans to mount over 40 launches, which will include the Long March 5 returning to flight, the Chang’e 4mission, and the deployment of multiple satellites.

U.S. Turns Military Focus to Afghanistan as ISIS Battles Ebb

The Pentagon is planning to double down on the Trump administration’s new approach in Afghanistan by reallocating drones and other hardware while sending in approximately 1,000 new combat advisers, according to U.S. and military officials. The idea is to bulk up the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan by the time the traditional fighting season begins in the spring. The military will send a larger number of drones, both armed and unarmed, to Afghanistan for air support as well as for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. The Pentagon also plans to bolster capabilities such as helicopters, ground vehicles, artillery and related materiel, according to U.S. officials, moves made possible by a reduction of combat operations in Syria and Iraq against the Islamic State extremist group.


Since the terrorist attacks on the U.S. homeland on 11 September 2001, the United States has been engaged in worldwide military operations. The initial campaigns during Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom demonstrated the unmatched conventional capabilities of the U.S. military, developed mostly during the Cold War, as they rapidly toppled the regimes of the Taliban in Afghanistan and Saddam Hussein in Iraq. These rapid victories soon turned into protracted irregular wars, for which the United States and its allies and partners were not fully prepared. In the years that followed, new concepts and capabilities rapidly evolved to fight these wars. Nowhere were these adaptations more profound—and costly—than in U.S. land forces. 

The Lingering Dream of an Islamic State

by Azadeh Moaveni 

It was inevitable, a young lawyer in Tunisia told me, that the first attempts at a modern Islamic state would flounder. Young Muslims had grown up under the paradigms of nationalism, European racism and harsh police states, he said. They carried these inherited behaviors into the caliphate formed by the Islamic State, a place that was supposed to be just and colorblind but instead reveled in violence and was studded with mini neocolonial enclaves, where British Pakistanis lorded over local Syrians, and Saudis lorded over everyone. It would take one or two generations to unlearn these tendencies and deconstruct what had gone so wrong, he said. But he remained loyal to the idea — partly because the alternative he currently lives under is worse. “When the police become the state itself,” he said, “it is truly terrifying.”

Finding A Path To A Post-Revolutionary Iran

by Matthew Bey

Almost four decades after the toppling of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, a revolutionary ideology continues to underpin the Iranian state. As the years have passed, the relevance of its governing philosophy risks being lost on the country's younger generations, and the internal and external challenges to its government continue to mount. The recent spate of demonstrations that quickly spread across the country highlighted one of the revolutionary state's largest shortcomings: It is a 40-year-old revolution that has not arrived at a sustainable economic model.

Russian military was behind ‘NotPetya’ cyberattack in Ukraine, CIA concludes

Ellen Nakashima

The CIA has attributed to Russian military hackers a cyberattack that crippled computers in Ukraine last year, an effort to disrupt that country’s financial system amid its ongoing war with separatists loyal to the Kremlin. The June 2017 attack, delivered through a mock ransomware virus dubbed NotPetya, wiped data from the computers of banks, energy firms, senior government officials and an airport.The GRU military spy agency created NotPetya, the CIA concluded with “high confidence” in November, according to classified reports cited by U.S. intelligence officials.

Nuclear Posture Review draft leaks; new weapons coming amid strategic shift

Aaron Mehta

A leaked copy of the Pentagon’s upcoming Nuclear Posture Review includes the development of a new low-yield warhead for America’s submarines, pushing for the creation of a new sub-launched, nuclear-capable cruise missile and a shift in America’s stance on when nuclear weapons may be used. A draft of the review was posted online Friday by the Huffington Post. The Nuclear Posture Review, or NPR, is scheduled to be formally released in February, and so the document may change somewhat between now and then. In a statement, the Pentagon did not deny that the draft is authentic, instead saying “Our discussion has been robust and several draft have been written.

The Myth of the Limited Strike on North Korea

By Abraham M. Denmark

Faced with the rapid advance of Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile capabilities, Americans have begun to debate the possibility of a limited, preventive U.S. strike against North Korea—one that could deter the regime from further testing while avoiding a full-blown war. One possibility is a so-called bloody nose strike, which would involve destroying a North Korean missile launch site (bloodying the regime’s nose, as it were) in order to demonstrate the United States’ resolve. Some have gone even further, calling for “air and missile strike[s] against all known DPRK nuclear test facilities and missile launching and support facilities” in the event of a North Korean atmospheric nuclear test over the Pacific Ocean.

Could the UK Join the TPP?

By Li Jie Sheng

Earlier this month, as uncertainty lingers over the exact nature of Brexit, U.K. Secretary of State Liam Fox announced that the United Kingdom could join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). This announcement is a significant move, coming after the foreign secretary’s comments that the U.K. is returning “East of Suez” and an announcement that more British military assets would be deploying to the region. The TPP comment thus appears to seal the economic presence of Britain in Asia as it attempts to leave the European Union.

Turkey Breaks With Iran and Russia

By Jacob L. Shapiro

The “Astana troika” is in danger of breaking up. After meeting in Astana, Kazakhstan, in mid-September, Turkey, Iran and Russia agreed to serve as guarantors of a cease-fire agreement in Syria. Four “de-escalation zones” were established with the goal of a six-month pause (subject to further extension) in fighting between the forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime and anti-government rebels in these zones. The problem with this arrangement is that these countries don’t see eye to eye. Turkey supports the anti-government rebels. Russia and Iran support Assad’s regime. Now the two sides are accusing each other of supporting their favorites rather than keeping the peace.

Trump’s Netherlands ambassador struggles to answer for past remarks at grilling by Dutch journalists

Louis Nelson

U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands Pete Hoekstra struggled Wednesday, in his first news conference with Dutch journalists, to explain previous remarks he had made about the Netherlands and the supposed danger brought there by the “Islamic movement.”  According to a report from The Washington Post, reporters repeatedly asked Hoekstra to offer proof of his claim that politicians and cars have been burned and that there are “no-go zones” in the Netherlands. Hoekstra, who was born in the Netherlands and represented Michigan’s 2nd Congressional District for 18 years, was unable or unwilling to offer such proof Wednesday, promising only that he would be “revisiting the issue.” Pressed further by Dutch reporters, the U.S. ambassador simply refused to answer. At one point, a reporter referenced a quote from John Adams, the first U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands, who wished that only “honest and wise men ever rule under this roof.”

Russian military shows drones it says came from Syria raid

Russia’s Defense Ministry on Thursday displayed a pair of drones that it said were captured following attacks on two Russian military bases in Syria, saying the attack required know-how indicating it was carried out with outside assistance. Russian President Vladimir Putin accused outside powers he wouldn’t name of staging the attack to derail a deal between Russia, Turkey and Iran that is intended to reduce hostilities in Syria. The Russian Defense Ministry said Saturday’s raid on the Hemeimeem air base in the province of Lattakia and Russia’s naval facility in the port of Tartus involved 13 drones. It said seven were downed by air defense systems and the remaining six were forced to land by Russian electronic warfare units. Of the latter, three exploded when they hit the ground and three more were captured intact, the ministry said.


United States ground forces are and will be significantly vulnerable in present and future conflicts due to a dangerous reliance on satellite communication (SATCOM) and a degraded readiness to fight in the face of a growing counter-space and communications electronic warfare (EW) threat. Although SATCOM provides significant advantages over terrestrial communication systems, it carries liabilities for which the U.S. Army is ill-prepared. 


Nearly two decades into the 21st Century, the United States finds itself immersed in a security environment of unprecedented complexity; one defined by re-emerging nationalism, religious radicalism, uncertainty and volatility. America faces a number of existential threats, ranging from the emergence of several capable regional peer competitors to the extension of war into cyber and space domains. The offensive cyber capabilities of America’s enemies continue to evolve and have now reached the point that the Army’s weapon systems, the industrial controls used to manufacture them and the supply chain employed to sustain them are vulnerable to compromise.



The advent of cyber conflict should push us to reassess and update the ethics of war. The ethical rules that have informed political and military leaders for generations do not provide adequate moral guidance on cyber operations in war because those rules are based on assumptions that no longer apply. The existing ethics of war can be summarized as follows: A country is justified in waging war only in response to aggression that has violated its rights (primarily, its territory) or those of another country. War should be waged only after less lethal approaches have been tried and failed, and after the country’s legitimate political authority has publicly declared its decision. A just war’s aims must be limited to resisting the aggression, restoring the victim country’s rights and taking reasonable steps to prevent a recurrence of the aggression. The rights of countries that choose to remain neutral in a conflict should be respected.

Cybersecurity firm: US Senate in Russian government hackers’ crosshairs

The same Russian government-aligned hackers who penetrated the Democratic Party have spent the past few months laying the groundwork for an espionage campaign against the U.S. Senate, a cybersecurity firm said Friday. The revelation suggests the group often nicknamed Fancy Bear, whose hacking campaign scrambled the 2016 U.S. electoral contest, is still busy trying to gather the emails of America’s political elite. “They’re still very active — in making preparations at least — to influence public opinion again,” said Feike Hacquebord, a security researcher at Trend Micro Inc., which published the report . “They are looking for information they might leak later.”  The Senate Sergeant at Arms office, which is responsible for the upper house’s security, declined to comment.

Update on Pawn Storm: New Targets and Politically Motivated Campaigns

Feike Hacquebord (Senior Threat Researcher)

In the second half of 2017 Pawn Storm, an extremely active espionage actor group, didn’t shy away from continuing their brazen attacks. Usually, the group’s attacks are not isolated incidents, and we can often relate them to earlier attacks by carefully looking at both technical indicators and motives. Pawn Storm has been attacking political organizations in France, Germany, Montenegro, Turkey, Ukraine, and the United States since 2015. We saw attacks against political organizations again in the second half of 2017. These attacks don’t show much technical innovation over time, but they are well prepared, persistent, and often hard to defend against. Pawn Storm has a large toolset full of social engineering tricks, malware and exploits, and therefore doesn’t need much innovation apart from occasionally using their own zero-days and quickly abusing software vulnerabilities shortly after a security patch is released.

Cyber weapons Now A ‘Core Tool’ Of Iranian Statecraft

A new report by the Carnegie Endowment says Iran’s cyberoperations have become increasingly sophisticated and damaging to its adversaries and are now a prime policy tool for its security agencies. The report, released on January 4, said Tehran has used offensive cyberoperations to influence regional affairs, thwart opponents and rivals like Saudi Arabia and the United States, and conduct espionage. “Iran has demonstrated how militarily weaker countries can use [cybertools] to contend with more advanced adversaries,” the report said.


U.S. military dominance is no longer guaranteed as near-peer competitors have quietly worked to close the gap while the United States was preoccupied with two low-intensity wars in the Middle East. Recognizing that warfighters might no longer have a guaranteed technological advantage, the Department of Defense (DoD) is in the midst of an ambitious modernization program that seeks to ensure superiority in the future battlespace. The Third Offset Strategy, a successor to the Second Offset Strategy of the Cold War (which saw the development of the Army’s current big-five platforms to counter numerically superior Soviet conventional forces) is focused on leveraging emerging and disruptive technologies. In particular, human–machine teaming, also referred to as manned–unmanned teaming, will integrate people with autonomous systems or artificial intelligence to enhance decisionmaking speed. This will enable U.S. forces to react faster than future threats and achieve decision dominance.


Twenty years ago, the Officer Personnel Management System (OPMS) XXI Task Force published its final report, launching landmark personnel reform for the Army officer corps. The year-long task force—commissioned by then Chief of Staff of the Army (CSA) General Dennis J. Reimer and chaired by then Major General David H. Ohle in 1996—opened its report with the argument that the existing OPMS required “field-grade officers to do too many things today for them to excel at any one of them.” Today, the pendulum has swung in the opposite direction.