India needs a separate military command structure to face future security challenges: General Bipin Rawat

General Bipin Rawat suggested that the new structures will emerge within a year

New Delhi:

India needs a separate military command structure and a complete paradigm shift to deal with emerging security threats such as gray zone warfare, the Chief of Defense Staff said on Friday , General Bipin Rawat, justifying the ambitious process of theatricalization of the Indian armed forces.

Referring to the drone attack on Jammu Air Base, he said if such strikes impact India’s national security, India should reserve the right to respond to the location and when she chooses and how she wishes to respond.

During an interactive session at the Global Counterterrorism Council (GCTC), a think tank, Gen. Rawat said the armed forces have developed a mechanism to counter drones, but added that the country needed a very large number of such systems if it was to defend all strategic assets.

He also strongly supported the proposed theater commands integrating the capabilities of the Army, Air Force and Navy, saying restructuring was necessary to ensure optimal use of their resources for future challenges, wars and operations.

He suggested that the new structures will see the light of day within a year.

The Chief of Defense Staff said one of the theater commands will look at the overall management of the country’s airspace while the maritime theater command will be responsible for the security of the region. ‘Indian Ocean.

“You have an opponent in the west and another in the north and east. We want to create two separate commands that will be responsible for facing the opponent West and the opponent North,” he said in referring to Pakistan and China.

“If a two-front war is imposed on us, we will decide on the main front and the secondary front depending on where the greatest threat emerges. On this basis, the allocation of resources will be taken into account. one theater can be made available in another theater, ”he said.

General Rawat said the northern command in Kashmir will remain a command for the time being.

The Chief of the Defense Staff said there will be air component commanders who will be advisers to the western and northern commands.

Speaking of the role of the IAF, he said that in addition to its core areas, it remains a support weapon for the armed forces just like artillery support or engineer support for army fighters.

“In a comprehensive assessment, it is a known fact that there is resistance to change and one must be aware of this and combat this inherent resistance. The nature and character of conflicts will continue to change,” he said. .

He said the emerging threats require a separate command structure for the Indian armed forces and that efforts are underway to reorganize and restructure the upper defense put in place without compromising their “core competencies”.

“The leadership of the armed forces must be able to operate in the gray area while advanced technologies will aid in the planning. It is necessary to move it forward and look to the future. The next attack will not necessarily be an attack. drone attack, ”he said.

General Rawat said the character of war is changing and weaker nations will always try to play by resorting to gray zone warfare.

“The tendency is to enter a gray area war by non-contact means. We have to prepare for it. I think our armed forces have to reorganize their structures to ensure that we are fighting the next war through technological developments.

“We need to have boots on the ground, but I think they need to be supported by the technological advancements that are going on. There is no need now to keep the whole border with the boots on the ground when you can do the same. using technology, ”he said.

“I think a complete paradigm shift needs to be made in the way we are going to wage future wars,” he said.

Referring to the drone attack in Jammu, General Rawat said that “the ceasefire does not mean simply stopping the fire between adversaries on the line of control. If you are using indirect systems, disrupt it. “harmony and cause damage to each other … it amounts to a violation of the ceasefire. We will deal with it that way,” he said.

The Indian and Pakistani armies announced on February 25 that they would stop firing through the LoC while re-committing to a 2003 ceasefire agreement.

On Thursday, Army Chief Gen. MM Naravane said there had been no infiltration along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Casmir after the two countries agreed to ” observe the ceasefire in February.

Speaking about regional security concerns, Gen. Rawat said the Asian region has seen rapid changes in geopolitical and geoeconomic landscapes with the rise of China.

At the same time, he said the region faces a large number of challenges such as the presence of nuclear-weapon states, territorial disputes on land and at sea, insurgencies, terrorism and demographic reversals. .

He said these threats could lead to greater challenges.

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