Defining The Future Of The Battlefield Politics Essay

Any efforts to foretell the hereafter and implement programs to fix for it are fraught with mystery. These anticipations do n’t ever turn true, as the US learnt late. Fortunately, the US was helped by Osama bin Laden, who broke a central regulation of scheme. Napoleon had famously said, ”Never disrupt your opposition when he ‘s doing a error. ” At the clip of the 9/11 onslaughts, USA was shiping on a major displacement in defense mechanism precedences, fixing to radically transform American military capablenesss, puting peculiar accent on missile defense mechanism, infinite assets, preciseness arms, and information engineering. In hindsight, Osama would hold been wiser to allow American military capablenesss transform themselves into an irrelevant box. Both civilian and military functionaries were misreading what truly constituted menaces to national security involvements, oriented as they were to idealized and out-dated versions of warfare. Had the US achieved the transmutation docket being put frontward, it would hold been placed at a significant disadvantage. Its capacity to support against ballistic missiles and to assail the space-based communications and intelligence assets of a fabulous antagonist might hold been superb. Its ability to rule the electronic spectrum would hold been unsurpassed, and nil within a 200-square-kilometer box could hold moved without being detected by some omnipresent ”unblinking oculus ” over the battlespace. The ”fog of war ” would hold as if by magic been blown off by America ‘s information laterality. In existent fact, this transmutation would hold been irrelevant in position of the security threats we face for the foreseeable hereafter. Alternatively, we now have the outgrowth of what the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London has late named ”complex irregular warfare ” -non-traditional manners of warfare that are doing violent disturbances to the bing universe order[ 1 ].

The British military historiographer, Professor Sir Michael Howard said

‘No affair how clearly one thinks, it is impossible to expect exactly the character of future struggle. The key is to non be so far off the grade that it becomes impossible to set one time that character is revealed ‘ . Indian Army Doctrine propounded in 2004 is, nevertheless, on the grade, holding taken a cue from the events that followed ‘9/11 ‘ , our ain ’16/12 ‘ the same twelvemonth and the emerging tendencies in warfare. It states the following[ 2 ]: –

“ Like terrorist act today, the likeliness of ‘asymmetric wars ‘ going the signifier of warfare of tomorrow is being discussed rather widely. However, the fact that all states continue to put accent on readiness for conventional war, underscores the prevailing position that asymmetric wars can non replace conventional wars, even though they can really much go an adjunct of and influence conventional wars themselves. Future wars are likely to be characterised by: –

Emerging at short notice, being of short continuance and being fought at high pacing and strength.

Non-linear behavior of operations.

Deeper and wider combat zones due to increased range of built-in firepower and surveillance resources, including space-based systems.

Added accent on the all-arms construct and demand for increased jointmanship between the land, naval and air forces.

Enhanced trust on a assortment of surveillance systems and, resultantly, greater handiness of information lending to increased transparence of the battleground.

Improved truth, deadliness and stand-off capableness of arms taking to greater destructive capableness.

Dominance of Network Centric Warfare ( NCW ) , Information Warfare ( IW ) and behavior of operations under the blaze of the media.

Menace from enemy particular forces, insurrectionists and terrorists to rise up countries which will ask earmarking of military personnels to supply security to lines of communicating.

A Vision of the Future. Analyzing the chance and nature of future menaces and struggles, in a spectrum that is much wider today than of all time earlier is non a precise scientific discipline. For India, the spectrum stretches from panic menaces, insurgences, asymmetric war, and limited or intense large-scale conventional war under atomic threshold to the remote but possible atomic, chemical and biological war. It is patient consideration of past experience ( non needfully one ‘s ain ) and future chances. Too frequently has it been said that ‘armies are fixing to contend yesterday ‘s war ‘ . This vision of the hereafter involves some premises, as propounded by Admiral J C Wylie in ‘Military Scheme: A General Theory of Power Control ‘[ 3 ]: –

Assumption One. Despite whatever attempt there might be to forestall it, there may be a war. Military history Tells us that states who neglect this, make themselves vulnerable to military surprise, licking, and shame.

Premise Two. We can non foretell with certainty the form of war for which we prepare ourselves. It has rarely been possible to calculate the clip, the topographic point, the range, the strength, and the form of a struggle. This premise implies that our programs should provide for the complete spectrum of struggle.

Assumption Three. Most people assume that the military purpose of traveling to war is to get the better of the enemy. This would be a misunderstanding of Clausewitz ‘s celebrated statement ‘War is nil but a continuance of political relations by other agencies ‘ . It would besides disregard the current geo-political and strategic environment. The purpose of war is ‘some step of control over the antagonist for it to hold to our coveted post-war struggle expiration scheme ‘ .


The great trouble in calculating the hereafter strategic environment and the force construction needed in response is the overplus of variables that change the concretion. Merely hindsight reveals the failure of a ‘Maginot Line ‘ or the superb success of a mechanised ‘Blitzkrieg ‘ philosophy. In the concluding analysis, the predictor must judge the line of concluding. One fact is clear. Traditional warfighting has changed in the station 9/11 epoch. The Indian military must accommodate or endure the effects. Although the events of September 11th signified the terminal of the ephemeral post-Cold War epoch, they did non needfully render disused future war analysis and planning. Rather, future war constructs require version to the strategic environment. There is a pronounced diminution of large-scale state-on-state warfare and the rise of equivocal, drawn-out, indecisive struggle in complex environments. An of import characteristic of this post-cold war strategic and security environment has been the fast gait of alteration in the constructs, paradigms and complexnesss of national, regional and planetary security. There are several grounds for these alterations: ( a ) the revolution in scientific discipline and engineering, with accent on information-based engineering ; ( B ) Globalization and inclusive integrating amongst states. There is a displacement from ‘balance of power ‘ to ‘balance of involvements ‘ and from political orientation, to issue-based political relations ; and ( degree Celsius ) a tendency towards peace, development and security.

Regional Security Environment. India ‘s regional security environment continues to stay unstable. It is hemmed-in by the conniving atomic arms and missile development plans of China, Pakistan and North Korea, the lifting bogy of Islamic fundamentalism combined with drug trafficking, the forward line of the Global War on Terrorism ( GWOT ) , the instable environment in the autocratic/sham-democratic governments and a overplus of other corrupting factors. Two major countries of concern are: –

A Rising China. A resurgent and lifting China is likely to be a game modifier in the hereafter. After decennaries of following Deng Xiaoping ‘s pronouncement “ Hide brightness, Cherish obscureness ” , China ‘s leaders have realised that keeping economic growing and political stableness on the place forepart will come non from maintaining their caputs low but instead from actively pull offing events outside China ‘s boundary lines. As a consequence, Beijing has launched a “ travel out ” scheme designed to refashion planetary norms and establishments. China is transforming the universe as it transforms itself. The Chinese no longer want to be inactive receivers of information from the outside universe ; they want to determine that information for ingestion at place and abroad. And as their economic might expands, they want non merely to presume a greater interest in international administrations but besides to refashion the regulations of the game. The latest addition in their defense mechanism outgo by 12.7 % to a humongous $ 91.5 Billion ( in comparing, India ‘s defense mechanism outgo is $ 36 Billion ) has sent trembles down the corporate spinal columns of its neighbors, peculiarly India, particularly so since the existent outgo may about be dual this sum.

The Af-Pak Region. The Af-Pak part has now become the frontline in the GWOT. However, the USA finds itself progressively bogged down at that place. The 10 old ages of struggle has merely caused increasing casualties with minimum inroads in the GWOT. USA finds itself isolated and even Pakistan has started to oppose USA on certain issues. The USA will look for the best issue scheme sooner instead than subsequently, which may happen within the following 3-5 old ages. This part is expected to stay the hotbed of terrorist act. Radical spiritual fanatism in Pakistan has been responsible for a batch of political blackwashs in 2011, and the Pakistani President Asif Zardari has acknowledged in an article in the Washington Post on 05 March 2011 that Pakistan is sitting on a spiritual pulverization keg. Combined with the booming drug trade and the possibility of ‘loose atomic warheads ‘ , this part may be the flash point of the following major inferno in the universe.

Emerging Security Challenges. India is destined to emerge as an of import participant in the balance of power game, peculiarly in Asia. However, we are situated in one of the most volatile parts where our state is an ‘Island of Stability ‘ in a ‘Sea of Instability ‘ . India is viewed upon by the universe as an of import stabilizing factor in the future balance of power. For India, this implies that while keeping paid relationships with bing power Centres of the universe, it will hold to use the chances to construct on its strength and cut down its exposures. Emerging planetary and regional complexnesss that could trip struggles in the twenty-first century and the dimensions of these struggles are facets that need our focal point in order to measure their impact on the battlespace of the hereafter.

External Challenges. As has already mentioned, India ‘s drawn-out vicinity is rather volatile. It extends in an discharge from Iran to the Af-Pak part to Myanmar in the East. The common yarn in most of these problem musca volitanss is instability and struggles, compounded by the bogy of Islamic radicalism and the spread of the Jihadi civilization. The increasing presence of two major powers, China and USA, in the Indian Ocean Region is adding to the complex state of affairs. Asia, with its turning economic system, offers a trade name new market to the universe. As a consequence, there is a batch of jostling for elbow room in this country. Since India is sitting at the helm of this part, it is bound to acquire affected straight. The of import external challenges that India faces today would be: –

The aggressive revival of China and its accompaniment radioactive dust for India. The unsolved boundary difference will go on to be a factor in sing any confrontation scenario in the hereafter.

The Af-Pak kineticss and hereafter of the part. Within this part, the interplay of US led forces, Pakistan ‘s vested involvements and the ‘never say dice ‘ Taliban will supply an explosive mix with stating consequences which will rock the power game well.

The importance of the IOR and the SLsOC within it. The liquid gold called oil flows from the Gulf part through the Indian Ocean and on to power hungry states like US and China. These states will do an aggressive drama in protecting their involvements and the combination with increasing incidents of buccaneering makes for a volatile country.

The internal conditions and stableness in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Myanmar. Coupled with the fact that China is get downing to court these states with its ain trade name of soft power i.e. an highly inexpensive fabrication base, the manner these neighbors of India bend is an of import factor.

Finally, the state of affairs in peripheral provinces in India ‘s vicinity will necessitate to be closely watched. The inferno ignited in Tunisia, spread to Egypt, Libya and now Bahrain may hold a radioactive dust here. The nuclearisation of Iran and North Korea coupled with their combatant policies will besides act upon India. And the Central Asiatic Republics with the power drama of US, Russia and China will besides hold long term effects for India.

Internal Security Challenges. India ‘s current internal security state of affairs in J & A ; K, the North East and the Red Corridor farther adds to the riddle. Most of these struggles have been fanned by cultural and socio-economic factors. States with vested involvements find it peculiarly suited to supply existent or ideological support to these seditious motions, thereby maintaining India tied down and relegated to taking slow cumbersome stairss on its manner to universe or regional power. India will therefore hold to take concrete stairss to decide these jobs and interrupt the bonds that are decelerating her gait towards modernisation and development.

Non-Traditional Challenges. Sometimes the most innocuous of challenges that seem benign bend to be the cause for a future struggle. These challenges are foremost, the energy challenge, looking for new countries for energy coevals for a power hungry state and the ubiquitous environmental challenge that seems to travel manus in manus ; secondly, the challenge posed by demographic displacements, the inflow of refugees and the polarisation of civilizations ; and in conclusion, H2O security and sharing of river Waterss between upper and lower riparian provinces.


The future battlespace expands the construct of armed struggle by puting the operational facets within a broader context to include political, economic, societal, ecological, demographic, legal, diplomatic, and technological facets. Adversaries will use complexness, ambiguity, and dissymmetry to forestall, deter, and perplex outside intercession, and should that neglect, avoid rapid, decisive operations. Adversaries will utilize any device ( information warfare, the UN legalist paradigm inclinations, aggravation onslaughts, and human shields ) to shackle military power. The chance of a atomic war is going more and more remote. The atomic nine is likely to increase in the hereafter, farther restraining large-scale, sustained conventional war. In such an environment, if a province does utilize force against a neighbor, it is likely to set about a speedy incursion, limited in continuance and aims. Decisive war between major provinces is quickly traveling toward history ‘s ashcan. As Martin Van Creveld wrote[ 4 ], “ the consequence of atomic arms, unanticipated and possibly unforeseeable, has been to force conventional war into the nooks and crevices of the international system. . . . The marks are that, faced by existent atomic arms or by the ability to construct them rapidly, provinces have grown wary non simply of territorial enlargement but of conventional war itself. ”

Causes of Armed Conflict. Harmonizing to Prem Singh in his book ‘Future of War and Future of Battlespace ‘ , three causes of armed struggle will be most prevailing in the coming decennaries[ 5 ]. While big graduated table, conventional, state-on-state warfare will be rare, the tensenesss that generate force will, if anything, addition. These three causes are explained below: –

The first cause is the go oning battle for power and resources among cultural groups, religious orders, and kins as the long procedure of decolonisation continues. This may look like a unusual thought, since it is common to believe of decolonisation as complete. But the huge bulk of national boundary lines that exist today were drawn during the epoch of European and Ottoman colonialism. They more frequently reflect the administrative divisions of the colonial powers or diplomatic agreements between them than they do societal, economic, spiritual, and cultural worlds on the land. The relationship between recent decolonisation and big graduated table force is clear. Of the 140 violent struggles underway in the universe today, merely 10-all in North or South America-are non related to former colonial divisions and boundaries, or to the power structures that emerged from colonialism. The rearranging of national boundary lines to reflect current worlds instead than colonial 1s is likely to take several more decennaries.

Globalization will be the 2nd major beginning of struggle in coming decennaries. Like any great displacement, globalisation has victors and also-rans in footings of parts, provinces, corporations, and persons. As the also-rans see their criterion of life, power base, influence, and chances erode, they sometimes will flog out against those they hold responsible. This may be establishments like the World Bank or, more frequently, the universe powers ( USA ) or regional powers ( India ) . A loose web opposed to globalisation is already fetching form and flexing its musculus. Finally this could blend into a more formal motion and even engender some kind of new, extremist political orientation. After all, communism emerged from the efforts to mobilise the also-rans from the procedure of industrialisation. Globalization ‘s also-rans are as defeated and angry as nineteenth century Europe ‘s industrial labor. If a new extremist political orientation does take form, it could animate force runing from terrorist act and sabotage to full blown war. In fact, a instance can be made that this is already go oning: the Islamic universe has proven unable to accommodate to modernisation and globalisation, and therefore remains involved in stagnancy, poorness, and repression. This leads to defeat, bitterness, choler, and terrorist act. But instead than altering the civilization that causes the failure, groups like those in al Qaeda seek to convey down those who have succeeded in the globalizing universe, peculiarly the United States. It is no happenstance that al Qaeda targets the American economic system, since its prostration would decrease the spread between the United States and the Islamic universe and therefore decrease the day-to-day reminders that Islamic civilization in its current signifier can non supply a foundation for modern, powerful democratic provinces.

The 3rd major beginning of struggle will be an intensified competition for resources, peculiarly in the poorer parts of the universe. While the universe ‘s population is turning at a slower rate than a few decennaries ago, it will transcend 8 billion by 2030, with about all of the addition in the poorer parts. Urbanization besides continues unabated. By 2030 over three-fifths of the universe ‘s people will populate in metropoliss. This growing is accompanied by debasement of the physical environment. The mounting emphasis on the universe ‘s H2O supplies, deforestation, desertification and the eroding of farming area are peculiarly distressing. These, in bend, fuel farther urbanisation and migrations. So far, efforts by authoritiess to command and pull off the inauspicious effects of these tendencies have proven uneffective. Should this continue- and everything suggests it will- the competition for resources, whether cultivable land, H2O, or capital, can supply a foundation for future struggles. This might take the signifier of province aggression as governments seek entree to H2O, land, minerals, ports, or other resources. In most instances, though, provinces will recognize that any additions attained this manner will be negated by the high economic and political costs of aggression. Most resource-based struggles, so, will be sectarian or cultural, much like those in Western and Central Africa today.

Spectrum of Conflict. The menaces, challenges and specifying parametric quantities of the future battlespace leads us to infer that the Indian Army must be prepared to contend and win future wars and Operations Other Than War ( OOTW ) over the complete spectrum of struggle, from sub-conventional war to large-scale conventional struggle under the atomic shadow, both in the mountains and the fields. The ground forces ‘s committedness to internal security responsibilities will go on, but it must at the same time stay prepared to be engaged in struggles with both Pakistan and China.

Strategic Issues. The Army will be called upon to set about diverse and varied operations in the hereafter and must, hence, be organised, equipped and trained consequently. Flexibility in its organizational construction and the adaptability to face unanticipated contingencies will be the key to success across the complete spectrum of struggle. Two strategic issues stand out in any future struggle: –

Centre of Gravity ( C of G ) . The gaining control of district is improbable to be the chief military aim, though it will stay built-in in the executing of conventional military operations. The purpose of future operations will bit by bit switch to the devastation of the enemy ‘s war-waging machinery. The C of G of the enemy ‘s combat power will besides see a displacement from tactically or strategically of import land and value aims to his bid, control, communications, computing machines, intelligence, inter-operability, surveillance and reconnaissance ( C4I2SR ) webs and his nomadic militias[ 6 ].

End State. The chapter ‘Our Wars in Future ‘ in the book ‘Air Power and Joint Operations ‘ provinces that ‘the issue of specifying triumph in a limited war airss unique challengesaˆ¦another state can non be capturedaˆ¦nor would it be possible to destruct the military power of the antagonist in a limited war. A limited war is more likely to ensue in a stand=off or stalemateaˆ¦ ‘ . It is inferred that a deadlock between unequal powers is seen as a triumph for a smaller power[ 7 ]. What should be the terminal province we should look for? The purpose should be the employment of 4th coevals warfare, puting accent on tactic, high pacing of operations, actions by little squads utilizing NCW and minimal dependance on centralized logistics to do the enemy to fall in internally instead than destructing him physically. Ultimately, there should be some step of control over the antagonist in order to coerce it to hold with our desired post-war ( conflict expiration ) objectives.

Specifying Parameters. Four specifying parametric quantities of the future battlespace are likely to be Asymmetric Warfare or 4th Generation Warfare, Net-Centric Warfare, Swarming and Precision. Tiing it all together would be the undermentioned interrelated tendencies: WMD proliferation, globalisation ( “ Golden Straightjacket ” ) , the blaze of the information age, U.S. conventional military laterality, the positive and negative effects of rapid alteration on provinces, and the rapid diffusion of cognition and engineering. Each of the four shaping parametric quantities has been explained briefly here.

Asymmetric Warfare / 4th Generation Warfare. The CIA defines asymmetric warfare as the ‘use of advanced schemes, tactics and engineerings by a weaker province or a sub-state antagonist that are intended to avoid the strengths and work the possible exposures of a larger and technologically superior opposition ‘ . This includes two facets. First, the selective usage of arms or military resources by a province or sub-state group to counter, deter, or perchance get the better of a numerically or technologically superior force ; and secondly, the usage of diplomatic and other non-military resources or tactics by a province or sub-state group to deter or restrain military operations by a superior force. ‘Asymmetrical Threat ‘ is a term used to depict the arms and tactics that comparatively weak enemies use to foil or besiege the technological high quality of advanced states. The purpose is non to claim district or to even endanger the sovereignty of the opposition. The primary aim is to weaken the antagonist ‘s resoluteness and ability to utilize its superior conventional military capableness efficaciously to step in in regional struggles or to queer the ends of knave provinces or other insurgent groups.

Net-Centric Warfare ( NCW ) . Network-centric warfare is a military philosophy or theory of war that seeks to interpret an information advantage, enabled in portion by information engineering, into a competitory advantage through the robust networking of intelligent geographically dispersed forces. This networking, combined with alterations in engineering, organisation, processes, and people – may let new signifiers of organisational behavior. Specifically, the following four dogmas are indicated in NCW[ 8 ]: –

A robustly networked force improves information sharing ;

Information sharing enhances the quality of information and shared situational consciousness ;

Shared situational consciousness enables coaction and self-synchronization, and enhances sustainability and velocity of bid ; and

These, in bend, dramatically increase mission effectivity.

Teeming. Teeming goes hand-in-hand with NCW. The nexus between the two is information engineering. Whenever military operations are non-linear, dispersed, and decentralized, teeming is an effectual maneuver. Today insurrectionists are using teeming as a signifier of asymmetric warfare against superior conventional ground forcess from the mountains of Afghanistan to the metropoliss of Iraq. In the hereafter, friendly forces may use teeming tactics themselves if several technological promises are fulfilled. Whether we want to get the better of enemy droves or emulate them, we need to understand how military swarming plants. Teeming occurs when several units conduct a convergent onslaught on a mark from multiple axes.[ 9 ]Attacks can be either long scope fires or close scope fire and tip-and-run onslaughts. Teeming can be pre-planned or timeserving. Teeming normally involves pulsating where units converge quickly on a mark, onslaught and so re-disperse. In a swarming onslaught,

members of the drove ( particular forces, vehicles, ships, aircraft etc ) are interconnected by communications. Each member on occasion “ Pings ” its brothers to happen out what they are making and what information they have. When they spot their mark, they pounce to assail, perchance at the same time from several waies or when the mark is most vulnerable. Five primary variables most of import to successful swarming are ( a ) superior situational consciousness, ( B ) elusiveness, ( degree Celsius ) draw capableness, ( vitamin D ) blockade, and ( vitamin E ) simultaneousness.

Preciseness. Preciseness will be the key to both operational and strategic success in this environment. Taken entirely, that is surely non a new thought. Increasing preciseness has long been considered a cardinal component of the ongoing revolution in military personal businesss. George and Meredith Friedman, for case, rank the development of preciseness guided weaponries ( PGMs ) along with the debut of pieces, the phalanx, and the chariot as “ a defining minute in human history ”[ 10 ]. But many of the designers of the revolution in military personal businesss position preciseness narrowly, specifying it merely as the ability to hit the coveted mark with truth and limited collateral harm. Tactical preciseness grows from improved intelligence, counsel systems and, progressively, from the ability to set or “ melody ” the effects that a peculiar arm has. A proposed electro-magnetic gun, for case, could be adjusted from a nonlethal scene to an highly deadly one. This is so a utile capableness. But preciseness has at least two other every bit of import dimensions. One is strategic preciseness, specifically the ability to set about military operations without damaging or interrupting neighbouring provinces, a part, or the planetary economic system. Globalization and interconnection are increasing the importance and the trouble of strategic preciseness. If the lone option available is to oppress an opposition by destructing its substructure and economic system as in World War II or the Kosovo operation, the consequence will be unintended harm to neighboring provinces and the planetary economic system, and therefore a rapid eroding of support for the operation. Such operational methods may look attractive, peculiarly if they are based entirely on stand-off work stoppages and therefore assure to restrict casualties, but they will be counterproductive in the long term and contribute to a diminution in influence. A 3rd signifier of preciseness is psychological preciseness. This entails determining a military operation and run to hold the exact coveted psychological consequence. Like so much of the revolution in military personal businesss, this is a new discrepancy of an old thought. Military minds have long understood that war is integrally, possibly even basically, psychological. Sun Tzu, of class, crafted the quintessentially psychological attack to scheme, postulating that “ all warfare is based on misrepresentation. ” Psychological preciseness requires tactical preciseness but besides other capablenesss such as non-lethality, other new engineerings, a certain gait and strength of activity, or even forbearing from the usage of force if that is what is required to hold the coveted consequence. Psychological preciseness frequently requires extended, direct human contact in order to estimate and adjust effects. What causes fright in one cultural context, for illustration, might do choler and intensified opposition in another[ 11 ].


In the Information Age, it ‘s non merely smart arms that will win wars. It ‘s the entire bundle – the entire information image – that is of import. Information high quality works on many degrees. It can be in the counsel system of the arm. It can be in our ability to see the enemy. It can be whether we even know a peculiar enemy exists. About the lone thing we can be certain of is that a smart opposition will seek to larn what our weakest nexus is. It does n’t count what the scheme is, information is decisive.