IASbhai Daily Editorial Hunt | 26th July

Dear Aspirants
IASbhai Editorial Hunt is an initiative to dilute major Editorials of leading Newspapers in India which are most relevant to UPSC preparation –‘THE HINDU, LIVEMINT , INDIAN EXPRESS’ and help millions of readers who find difficulty in answer writing and making notes everyday. Here we choose two editorials on daily basis and analyse them with respect to UPSC MAINS 2021.

EDITORIAL HUNT #328 :“India’s Military Convergence Formula | UPSC

India’s Military Convergence Formula | UPSC

Commodore G. Prakash
India’s Military Convergence Formula | UPSC

Commodore G. Prakash, a Nau Sena Medal recipient, served the Indian Navy for 35 years. He is a specialist in aviation and anti-submarine warfare

      HEADLINES:

Getting India’s military convergence formula right

      CENTRAL THEME:

For genuine military jointness, a blending of minds and tailor-made solutions are critical

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:DEFENCE

      MAINS QUESTION:

Is there a problem with air power?  What about the IAF warning against splitting it into ‘penny packets’? Is air power an adjunct?. Substantiate -(GS 3)

      LEARNING: 

  • Significance of Airforce
  • Issues before Airforce
  • Finding a common ground
  • Synergy and Hurdles
  • Way Forward

      INTRODUCTION: 

Analysing the experience of the United States, the greatest exponent of air power in history, the air power theorist Tami Davis Biddle wrote in 2019 that ‘aerial bombing cannot control the ground.

  • WHY AIR FORCE ? It is fundamentally a coercive activity in which an attacker seeks to structure the enemy’s incentives — using threats and actions to shape and constrain the enemy’s options, both perceived and real.

  • RESULT ORIENTED ATTACKS : However, its ability to produce results varies, and students of strategy must understand the circumstances under which it is more or less likely to achieve particular results or political ends.
  • AIR POWER AND VICTORY : Holding and controlling land or water is essential in conflict. From Vietnam to Afghanistan, air power failed to deliver the promised results to the U.S. But everyone acknowledges how greatly air power can aid victories though.

      BODY: 

ISSUES BEFORE THE IAF

  • AGEING AIRCRAFTS : Media reports suggest that counting even ageing aircraft, the IAF is 25% short on fighter squadrons.
  • PILOTS SHORTAGE : A pan service shortage of about 400 pilots, almost 10% of their authorised strength, further aggravates this.
  • PLANNING : The shortage alone is not at the core of the IAF’s objections. It is also the prospect of operational plans for the IAF being made outside the service.

FINDING COMMON GROUND

  • KEYSTONE : A common understanding of the nuances of military air power is the key.
  • OPERATIONAL PLANS : Confidence needs to be developed that rightly staffed apex joint organisations can draw up professional operational plans for air power.
  • MILITARY EDUCATION : This will need some effort in the short term towards enhancing professional military education though, at the staff level.

SYNERGY AND HURDLES

  • BUDGET ALLOCATION : With dwindling budgets, a steadily deteriorating security situation and the march of technology, the armed forces understand the need to synergise.
  • HUMAN INTERFERENCE : Bitter fights over land, buildings, facilities, etc. mar optimal operational synergising. Then there is the issue of giving each other the best, or of wanting to be with each other.
  • RESOURCE ALLOCATION : The Andaman and Nicobar Command suffered from the lack of a substantial operational charter, and the services not positioning appropriate personnel or resources there.

  • REFORMS AND ORGANISATION : Major reorganisations must strictly follow the sequence of written concepts, their refinement through consultation, simulation or table top war gaming, field evaluation and final analysis before implementation.
  • COMMAND AND CONTROL : This would help address command and control, asset adequacy, individual service roles, operational planning under new circumstances and the adequacy of joint structures.
  • LEADERSHIP AND ROLES : The Western Command between the Indian Army and the IAF, the Northern Command with the Indian Army, Maritime Command with the Indian Navy and the Air Defence Command with the IAF may be an acceptable formula.

      IASbhai Windup: 

WHAT IS NEEDED

As we hurtle towards inevitable reorganisation, some specifics are required.

  1. The first is the need for a comprehensive National Security Strategy to guide the services develop capacities required in their respective domains.
  2. The second is the need to transform professional education and inter-service employment to nurture genuine respect for others.
  3. The third is that the armed forces must resolve their differences among themselves, as the politicians or bureaucrats cannot do it.
  4. The fourth is to ensure good quality staff, in adequate numbers, at apex joint organisations, to reassure individual services and those in the field that they are in safe hands.
  5. The fifth is the acceptance of the fact that what works for other countries need not work for us. We may need tailor-made solutions which may need more genuine thinking.

For genuine military jointness, a genuine convergence of minds is critical. Decrees have limitations.

       SOURCES:   THE HINDU EDITORIAL HUNT | India’s Military Convergence Formula | UPSC

 

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