Prime Minister Narendra Modi today saw a “rare” possibility of a full scale war but said that “force” will influence behavior of others as he asked the armed forces to be ready for “invisible” enemy and challenges which will be “less predictable” in a changing world.
In his first interaction collectively with top commanders of the three defence services, he emphasized that an atmosphere of peace and security was essential to enable India to achieve its goals of economic development and that his government has focused on creating a favourable external environment and on strengthening India’s security.
Outlining his strategic vision, he observed that in addition to the familiar challenges, India has to be prepared for a changing world, which demanded new thinking on our part with regard to economic, diplomatic and security policies.
“Full scale wars may become rare, but force will remain an instrument of deterrence and influencing behavior, and the duration of conflicts will be shorter,” he said.
His observation came against the backdrop of recent escalation of cross-border firing and shelling by Pakistan on the Line of Control and International Border as well as Chinese incursions in Ladakh.
“Beyond the immediate, we are facing a future where security challenges will be less predictable; situations will evolve and change swiftly; and, technological changes will make responses more difficult to keep pace with,” Modi said, adding, “The threats may be known, but the enemy may be invisible.”
He underlined that domination of cyber space will become increasingly important and control of space may become as critical as that of land, air and sea.
Feeling the need for transforming India’s defence forces, he assured them of his commitment to provide adequate resources to ensure full defence preparedness, overcome shortages and meet modernization needs.
“We should remember that what matters is capability of the force,” he said.