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"Jointness" must for victory in modern warfare

The Defence Minister, Shri A. K. Antony with the Three Service Chiefs, Chief of Integrated Defence Staff Air Marshal S.C. Mukul and the Defence Secretary, Shri Vijay Singh at the Unified Commanders' Conference in New Delhi. Credit: PIB photo.

NEW DELHI (BNS): Indian Defence Minister A K Antony Thursday urged the top brass of the Armed Forces to further strengthen the Tri-Services approach to security related issues saying victory in modern warfare can be achieved only through “Jointness.”

Inaugurating the two-day Unified Commanders Conference here, Mr Antony said no one service can by itself protect the nation’s security as war-fighting is today a complex and highly skilled business, a Defence Ministry said.

“The traditional approach of combating threats with individual services acting according to their own plans must be shed. Jointness seeks the development of core competence by each service and synergising these capabilities. Requisite response can then be chosen from a “menu” of capabilities, to achieve specific military goals under varying conditions.

Some may view this as being counter-intuitive, but it saves the military force undesirable redundancy. At the same time, it allows each service to maximise its yield by utilising its core competences to achieve a common goal. Therefore, it is our duty to resort to joint planning and develop integrated capabilities,” he said.

Dwelling at length the threat perceptions, Mr Antony said there are forces at work that do not wish us well. “It is imperative for our Armed Forces to be prepared to face any challenges to our security that could in turn affect our growing economic prosperity.”

“Anti-Indian forces operating from Pakistan have been trying to destabilise us, as was evidenced by the dastardly attack in Mumbai last November,” he said and added, “We must be vigilant about the happenings on our Western Border, while at the same time, try to make peace with our neighbour.”

Underlining the importance of the Indian Ocean region, he said, with a rapidly growing economy our dependence on the Ocean is increasing by the day. He urged the Armed Forces to ensure that the sea lanes of communication are not dominated by any one power to the exclusion of others.

Sea routes can be used to transport weapons of mass destruction and arms and ammunition by terrorists. They are also commonly used for illegal migration and drug trafficking. Water-ways are used by terrorists to reach the hinterland, as was done by the perpetrators of the Mumbai terror attack,” he said.

The Government is trying its best to provide financial resources, surveillance equipment and adequate manpower to bolster Coastal Security. At the same time, he asked the Armed Forces to make optimum use of available resources both in terms of infrastructure and manpower. He said the onus lies on security forces, intelligence agencies and coastal police stations to work in tandem.

The Defence Minister assured the top brass that funds will never be a constraint for the modernisation of the Armed Forces and their welfare. He however asked them on improving efficacy and efficiency of our delivery mechanisms at all levels. He sought the cooperation of all Senior Officials to eradicate corruption and urged them to ensure “impeccable honesty, integrity and transparency in all transactions.”

He also called for increased and better synergy between the DRDO and the Armed Forces to achieve at least 70 % indigenisation in our procurements within the next ten years.

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