Tri-service integration or consolidation?

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Tri-service integration:

  • Supremacy and primacy of the Army in a joint services environment” should be maintained. 
  • The other services, the Navy and Air Force, will play a very major role in support of the Army which will be operating on the ground because no matter what happens, we may be dominating the seas or the air, but finally war will be to ensure territorial integrity of the nation.
  • The supremacy and primacy of the Army in a joint services environment becomes that much more relevant and important.
  • India has traditionally been a land power and, yes, the primary threats are still on land, from the northern and western borders.
  • But the threat matrix has changed since 1947 and the Indian Ocean region is fast metamorphosing into a major arena of friction, with increasing forays by the Chinese Navy and building up of regional navies with help from China.
  • Also, while the threat of war stills exists in the subcontinent under the nuclear overhang, the room for large conventional manoeuvres is over.
  • In a conflict situation, what would unfold are short and swift skirmishes which call for agility and swift action by the three services in unison.
  • With threat perceptions heightened in the neighbourhood and newer challenges rising in the region and beyond, it is unfortunate that the mighty ‘armed forces’, which are the drivers of the nationalistic discourse in the country, are engaged in squabbles.
  • The recently released ‘Joint military doctrine of the Indian armed forces 2017’ made the right noise on “jointness” and “integration”, but much work is needed on the ground to achieve even a fraction of what has been enunciated.