[Editorial Analysis] India urgently needs a national security doctrine, clear red lines

Mains Paper 2: International Relations

Prelims level: FATF

Mains level: India and neighbourhood relations

Context

• The tragic loss of 40 gallant CRPF jawans this is certainly not the work of high school drop-outs or amateurs.

• A vehicle-borne IED being used in J and K new phase in the ongoing counterinsurgency operations.

• Any knee-jerk or emotional response another opportunity for reflection and introspection about our management of crisis situations in general, and of Pakistan’s role in Kashmir, in particular.

• Crisis after crisis has caught our nation by surprise unprepared and invariably in the reactive mode.

• They have allowed, this issue to become a pressure-point for exploitation by our western and eastern neighbours, separately and in collusion.

Significant conventional superiority

• Given India’s significant conventional superiority and Pakistan’s geographic vulnerability, it is ironical that the latter should have been able to wage war on us four times since Partition.

• On a parallel track, Pakistan’s “bleeding India by a thousand cuts” — using terrorists and religious fanatics its own nuclear capability.

• Pokhran II would bring strategic stability, Pervez Musharraf’s audacious but Kargil misadventure.

• “Cross-border terrorism” in an “acts of war” by Pakistan.

• The acts of training and arming fighters on its territory launching them, under its army’s covering fire, to wreak death and destruction on Indian soil.

• Pakistani perpetrators as “non-state actors”; providing Pakistan the opening to declare that they were Kashmiri “freedom fighters”.

• The Pulwama attack on our security forces marks just another step in the continuum of ISI’s ongoing “grab-Kashmir” campaign

• The Indian voter needs to focus on the vexed issue of national security neglect for decades.

• Pathankot air base, Uri and Nagrota army camps and now, Pulwama showed, little had changed.

• We remain deficient in intelligence-analysis, inter-agency coordination, and, above all, a national security doctrine.

The three dimensions

• There are three dimensions to the suicide attack by Masood Azhar’s Jaish-eMohammad (JeM) in Pulwama on February 14.

• The first dimension is Kashmir related Pakistanis in pole positions and Kashmiris in sacrificial roles.

• The second dimension is Pakistan-related and has two sub-dimensions.

• The third dimension is regional regions like China, Russia, Saudi Arabia and UAE an intra US Taliban to shift of focus.

• Among the coercive steps that India sought mobilisation of international diplomatic pressure against Pakistan, massing of troops on the land border and naval ships in the Arabian Sea, and the surgical military strikes across the Line of Control in Kashmir.

• None of these worked because of the political constraint imposed by nuclear weapons. The withdrawal of the MFN status is unlikely to make much of an impact.

• Target Pakistan’s greatest current vulnerability a troubled financial condition. FATF is putting Pakistan on a black list that will trigger major sanctions.

Way forward

• We remain deficient in intelligence-analysis, inter-agency coordination, and, above all, a national security doctrine. Having created an elaborate national security framework, post Pokhran II, India has strangely shied away from promulgating a doctrine.

• Apart from diplomatic and economic steps that are being initiated, the current juncture would be apt for the urgent promulgation of a security-cum-defence doctrine.

• Such a document, whose public version defines India’s vital interests, aims and objectives will not only become the basis for strategy-formulation, contingency-planning and evolution of SOPs, but also send a reassuring message to our public.

• Setting in place clear “red lines” for adversary nations and non-state entities will mean that, in future, no further notice is required for instant punitive or retaliatory actions for any infringement of India’s red lines.

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Prelims Questions:

Q.1) Global Ratings on RTI is conducted by?

(a) World Economic Forum

(b) Centre for Law and Democracy

(c) World Bank

(d) Amnesty International

Answer: B

Mains Questions:

Q.1) Having created an elaborate national security framework, post Pokhran II, India has strangely shied away from promulgating a doctrine. Comment.

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