• News
  • Columns
  • Interviews
  • BW Communities
  • Events
  • BW TV
  • Subscribe to Print
BW Businessworld

India Witnessing Trailers Of Future Wars, Says Army Chief

Ready & capable forces required to counter creeping aggression by adversaries

Photo Credit : Indian Army


File Photo of Chief of Army Staff General MM Naravane

India is witnessing “trailers” of future conflicts, with adversaries resorting to “grey zone tactics” instead of all-out war, Indian Army Chief General MM Naravane has said.  

Adversaries like China and Pakistan will continue these tactics in a bid to achieve their strategic aims without going to war, General Naravane said at an online webinar on Contours Of Future Wars And Counter Measures organised by the Army think tank CLAWS.  

General Naravane also expressed the opinion that the ceasefire on the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan continues to hold because India had negotiated from a position of strength. The LoC ceasefire was restored last year. 

The Army Chief, who has led the Indian Army response to Chinese bid to change the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh since May 2020, suggested that India’s adversaries China and Pakistan were colluding to exploit the military threshold below war with impunity to change the status quo. 

“We have observed some nations are challenging globally-accepted norms and the rules-based order. This challenge has manifested in various forms of creeping aggression and opportunist actions to alter the status-quo, keeping the threshold below all-out war,” said Gen Naravane, said. 

“Our adversaries shall continue with their efforts to achieve their strategic aims, short of conflict, by use of grey zone activities in the political, military and economic domains, and do so in a collusive manner,” he added. 

The Chinese military action in Eastern Ladakh has underscored the requirement of “ready and capable forces”, with an optimal mix of “boots on ground” and modern technology, to preserve the country’s sovereignty and integrity. 

The challenges were diverse. Trailers of future conflicts are being enacted on a daily basis on the information battlefield in cyberspace and also along India’s unsettled active borders, he said.
“If you look around, you will realise that the ‘sci-fi’ of yesterday is the ‘reality’ of today. We too have to leap-frog to the future, skipping many stages, to an entirely new configuration,” the Army Chief said.  

Chiefs of the IAF and Navy Air Chief Marshal V R Chaudhari and Admiral R Hari Kumar also spoke at the webinar. The military leadership called for a “whole of nation approach” in developing multi-domain military capabilities to prepare for wars of the future.  

“The traditional domains of land, sea and air have further expanded to include cyber and space domains which will be the battlegrounds of the future. China’s doctrine of “Winning Informatized Local Wars” enshrines the centrality of information as an instrument of prosecuting and winning contemporary wars,” Air Chief Marshal Chaudhari said. 

Admiral Kumar said technological edge would determine the outcome of future wars. “Therefore, there is a requirement to innovate and evolve mechanisms that foster development and incorporation of niche technologies at a rapid pace. Anyone who lags behind in this aspect, may face difficulties,” he said.