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Joint operational doctrine for army, navy, air force unveiled

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A “joint doctrine” envisaging deeper operational synergies among the army, navy and air force was unveiled on April 25, 2017.  The three defence services will now follow a unified approach to deal with all possible security challenges including conventional and proxy wars.

  • Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba, the Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC) released the document in presence of Army Chief Gen. Bipin Rawat and IAF Chief B S Dhanoa. This document is the second edition. First edition was released eight years ago.

Key Aspects of ‘Joint Doctrine”:

  • Transnational threats, “proxy war” in Jammu and Kashmir and left-wing extremism in various parts of the countryhave been listed as primary security threats for India.
  • “Surgical Strikes” has been considered as an important option to counter terrorism.
  • Joint training of personnel, unified command and control structure and tri-service approach for modernisation of the three forces has been proposed.
  • A broad framework of concepts and principles will be established for joint planning and conduct of operations across all the domains viz. land, air, sea, space and cyber-space.
  • Deterrent capabilities will be enhanced to safeguard India’s strategic interests along the Northern, Western and Eastern borders including the Line of Control (LoC) and Line of Joint operational doctrine for army, navy, air force unveiledActual Control (LAC).
  • Disputed land borders with certain neighbours have been identified as main source of threats for India.
  • Steps initiated for establishment of the ‘Defence Cyber Agency’, ‘Defence Space Agency’ and ‘Special Operations Division’ have also been mentioned in the doctrine.
  • During war, doctrine has directed land, air and naval commandersto jointly formulate orchestrate and implement war plans.
  • Presence of external powers in Indian Ocean region and attempts by several countries to procure Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) has been acknowledged as concern areas for Indian security.
  • To ensure decisive victory across the entire spectrum of conflict in varied geographical domains, the doctrine has advocated having an ‘Integrated Theatre Battle’.
  • The doctrine has highlighted the necessity of coordination with relevant agencies like RAW, Intelligence Bureau and Intelligence organisations of the para-military forces as part of the Joint Intelligence Committee under the National Security Adviser.

India’s defence policy and responses to security threats in the coming times will be formulated as per guidelines and instructions mentioned in this ‘joint doctrine’.