Letter from the Editor | January 2018

Happy New Year!

It is only fitting that we begin the New Year with a commemorative issue on the Indian Army which celebrates its raising day on January 15. And it is also fitting that the Indian Army special focuses on the future of military power — which can be achieved only through joint-ness amongst all battlefields of war. Since the army is the largest of the four Indian defence services, comprising army, air force, navy and coast guard, we feel that it should take the lead in developing joint-ness.

In earlier conventional wars with Pakistan, military victory has meant one or all the three objectives: capture of territory, heavy attrition of enemy’s mobile forces, and prisoners of war. With conventional war now being fought on six battlefields — land, sea, air, space, electronic and cyber — victory in war is best achieved without fighting — by successful military coercion, which is accomplished though joint-ness. The latter is not easy since it involves more than intra and inter-services training, and an understanding of each other’s capabilities, thinking and ethos.

It is also about understanding the role of military power in foreign policy. Even as the military remains on the fringes of India’s foreign policy, military leaders have to be prepared for the higher role, which is what they should learn at higher training institutions like the National Defence College and the soon to started, the National Defence University.

With this in mind, this issue brings an exclusive interaction with the Chief of integrated Staff to Chairman (CISC), Chiefs of Staff Committee, Lt Gen. Satish Dua. Our earlier readers would recall that the inaugural issue of FORCE in September 2003 had carried an interaction with the first CISC, late Lt Gen. Pankaj Joshi. To support the joint-ness theme, we have expert articles on joint-ness, military education and dirty war by known well experts. Since army needs plenty of modernisation, we have a plethora of articles on the service’s equipment deficiencies and progress therein.

We have deliberately avoided articles on counter-terror operations by the army for two reasons. One, we believe that the army should go back to its basics, which is preparing for conventional wars. 27 years of CT ops in Jammu and Kashmir have blunted army’s counter-offensive capabilities no end; both Pakistan and China are playing havoc on the military lines. And two, there will be no joint-ness if the army does not go back to its primary task.

This issue also brings two on-the-spot report by our executive editor who was invited by Russian Helicopters and Airbus Helicopters to visit their facilities in Russia and France. Enjoy the issue; and have a great 2018!


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