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Be prepared for 'black swan' events, expect the unexpected: Indian Army Chief to force


The Chief of the Army Staff, General Manoj Pande addressing officers undergoing 79th Staff Course at Defence Services Staff College (DSSC), Wellington, in Tamil Nadu on April 08, 2024. (Photo: PIB)

NEW DELHI (PTI): Indian Army Chief Gen Manoj Pande on Monday called upon the force to be always prepared for 'black swan' events and "expect the unexpected" even as he identified technology as the new area for strategic competition among nations.

In an address at the Defence Services Staff College in Wellington, Tamil Nadu, Gen Pande highlighted the weaponisation of technology, especially its extension across various domains - from information to supply chains.

The Army Chief emphasised the importance of cross-functional synergy among the three services to effectively assess threats, articulate strategies, identify capabilities, formulate policies, achieve preparedness, and respond appropriately within the national security framework.

He further delved into the expansion of warfare into new domains, including space, cyber, electromagnetic spectrum and information technology, sources in the Army headquarters in Delhi said.

Gen Pande noted the rapid technological advancement in kinetic war instruments, saying it has made the battlefield increasingly complex, contested, and lethal.

The Chief of Army Staff urged the officers to be always prepared for 'black swan' events and "expect the unexpected".

A black swan event is a high-impact event that is difficult to predict.

The Army Chief pointed out the emergence of new trendlines triggered by this rapid change, underscoring how disruptive technologies are reshaping conventional combat force ratios.

Highlighting India's ascent on the global stage, Gen Pande stressed the growing need to safeguard India's national interests across expanding strategic horizons.

The Army Chief called for strategic balance, underscoring the necessity for India to be strong and self-reliant in defence capabilities.

He also shed light on the Indian Army's ongoing "transformative initiatives", particularly emphasising the forces' approach in making 2024 the "year of technology absorption".

He highlighted the key areas of focus in the process and said it includes aligning and synergizing technology at strategic, operational, and tactical levels within existing systems.

Under the new initiative, mapping futuristic and emerging technologies as drivers of military technology is a priority, he said, adding strengthening the defence technology ecosystem to maintain a lead in the military technology curve is another focus area.

The Army Chief said the force is ensuring that acquisition and procurement facilitates the seamless induction of technology and it fosters "techno warriors and commanders".

Gen Pande was addressing the faculty and officers of the 79th Staff Course, including 36 officers from friendly foreign nations.

His address covered critical topics such as national security, the geostrategic landscape and emerging trends, and the Indian Army's transformational initiatives.

Addressing the geo-strategic landscape and emerging trends, Gen Pande highlighted the unprecedented scale and speed of change in the current global arena.

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