The right budgeting is necessary for the Armed Forces, along with further streamlining of acquisitions and procurements. Maritime security needs serious review in light of enhanced Indian responsibilities in the Indo Pacific.
Right budgeting, greater coordination among intelligence services and a National Security Strategy Doctrine should be the focus of the new government.
“National Security agenda for new government must start from the elusive National Security Strategy doctrine, something not made available to the nation in the unclassified domain to act as the strategic guidance to diverse organizations which are involved in comprehensive security of the nation, says Lt Gen (Retd) Syed Ata Hasnain.
Sharing his views with the Financial Express Online, Hasnain, the former chief of the Srinagar-based 15 Corps, says “It should leave no one in doubt about the threats which are perceived as obstacles in the path of achieving the aspirations of the nation. National security is far too serious to be left to be guided by political sloganeering and there needs to be clear comprehension among stakeholders and strategic leaders on what constitutes National Security.”
There are five domains that need to be looked at, says Hasnain:
The right budgeting is necessary for the Armed Forces, along with further streamlining of acquisitions and procurements. Maritime security needs serious review in light of enhanced Indian responsibilities in the Indo Pacific. The Air Force has to be optimized closer to its mandated 42 squadron capability. The Army needs modernization of the Command, Control, Intelligence, Surveillance and Recce (C2ISR) capability.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has to be integrated and Jointness of structures of the three Services has to emerge. Theatrisation is eventually the answer.
Research & Development has to be made accountable and civil industry be given the confidence to partner the government in R&D and manufacturing.
Internal security is going to be a greater challenge with Islamic State (IS) attempting to make an entry. The intelligence services have done well but their ambit is increasing and their capability needs enhancing. Foreign intelligence capability must develop covert means as a domain of further socialization.
The domain of the Information and Influence operations needs to be studied in greater detail and adopted as a force multiplier through requisite structures. This has to be done in conjunction with artificial intelligence, cyber capability and media exploitation, especially social media.