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“War – Organization, in the 21st Century”


Book-3: War, Conflicts, Security, and The Military -1.0


War/conflicts today – organizing the military accordingly – necessity for an Integrated Defence Head Quarters and a Chief of Defence Staff and a National strategy policy.

Quotations for consideration:

  • “The organization of the Army is dependent on the answer to the question – ‘What is the Army for’?” – Anon.
  • “The only defensible war is a war of defence.” – G. K. Chesterton
  • “It is not the size, but the range and balance of capabilities within the Nation’s armed forces that are important. ‘Navy’s and Air Forces are about manning equipment, whereas Army’s are about equipping men.” – Anon.
  • “No Nation ever had an army large enough to guarantee it against attack in time of peace, or ensure of victory in time of war.” – Calvin Coolidge .
  • “In war there is no prize for runners up.” – General Omar Bradley .


As Tim Harford writes in ‘Adapt’ – any large organization faces a basic dilemma between centralization and decentralization. The way to resolve this issue is by thinking about information. Decisions taken at the centre can be more coordinated, limit wasteful duplication, and may be able to lower average costs because they can spread fixed resources across a bigger base. But decisions taken at the fringe of an organization are quick and local information will probably be much better, even if the big picture is not that clear. Most people overestimate the value of centralized knowledge, and tend to overlook the ‘Knowledge of the particular circumstances of time and place’.

A centralized organization, however extensively computerized with all information centralized and analyzed, does not work well when confronted with a diverse and fast changing tactical scenario. Hence decentralization, allowing for rapid adaptation to local circumstances, is what is called for, requiring well trained, adaptable soldiers with the authority to make their own decisions. This decision making authority should not only be for tactical operations but, in counter insurgency operations also include discretion to fund local development efforts, etc.

Our Military, especially the Army, was designed and organized to fight World War II type operations very well and to a great extent it still remains so. The only concession we have made to the needs of the present time is the addition of a small Special Forces Capability.

Such present organization of the Military does not allow for the Forces to be properly organized, trained and equipped to be most effective in the conflicts they are likely to be called upon today. Here specialized Forces for specific tasks are more appropriate.

Of course we also need a Bureaucracy both in the Ministry of Defence & the Ministry of External Affairs that understands not only our own Military and its capabilities but also that of our potential adversaries both in their Military and Economic arena. Thus enabling them to act in such manner and build such connections, cultural, economic and social, as to reduce or even negate the very chance

of conflicts. What Joshua Cooper Ramo calls ‘Special Effects’.  Lateral entry of Military personnel into such Ministries, both initially as interns on deputation, and later, on a permanent basis, and also ensuring that the Bureaucrats have some experience of the Military, would greatly help such understanding. (See – “Bureaucrats – Selection & Development”).

Key concepts:

As Carl. Von Clausewitz wrote – “War is (and still remains) an extension of diplomacy by other means”.

As Robert Greene writes – The critical elements in war are speed and mobility, simplicity, boldness and adaptability; the ability to move and make decisions faster than the enemy. These are hard to achieve today, but the goal is to build them into the very structure of the Military. We have more information than ever before at our fingertips, making interpretation and decision making more difficult. We have more people to manage, those people are more widely spread, and we face more uncertainty. We should learn from Napoleon, warfare’s greatest master: keep your plans bold and simple and your Organization flexible. Break your forces into independent groups that can operate and make decisions on their own. Make your forces elusive and unstoppable by infusing them with the spirit of the campaign, giving them a mission to accomplish, and then letting them run. Exercise Control in the manner a good rider holds the reins of a horse, so lightly that the horse feels no tug but senses the slightest change in tension and responds as the rider desires.

It means the Commander giving his Subordinates a sense of the overall goal, a clear understanding of the mission to be accomplished, and the latitude to take necessary action to meet the goal, execute the mission and being able to respond to events in the field as necessary, whilst ensuring that the orders themselves are clear but not so specific or narrow as will encourage them to stop thinking for themselves and reacting only like automatons. A classic example could be how Genghis Khan delegated responsibility to his Generals to achieve his aim, even as they operated at distances that did not allow proper oversight.

Finally it means motivating soldiers, creating an overall esprit -de-corps that gives them irresistible momentum. With forces organized in this manner, a General can adapt to circumstances faster than the enemy can, gaining a decided advantage.

But remember, quick decisions can only come from understanding and knowledge and careful advance mental preparation. Properly designed training, war gaming and exercises are an essential element. Keeping abreast of technological developments is also essential.

The great danger in the coming years will be from Commanders who put too much reliance on technology and machines, and who blindly assume that they can go virtually anywhere because their aircraft can always get them out if the situation gets critical.

In doing all this, the lessons of war must be kept in mind. Divided leadership is a recipe for disaster, the cause of the greatest military defeats in history. Hence you must

do whatever you can to preserve unity of command. That means having a single authority on top, avoiding the hesitancy and confusion of divided leadership.

“One bad General is better than two great ones”. Napoleon.

The nature and methodology of the execution of warfare changes over time with changes in technology and with changes in what is perceived as acceptable by other countries and powers that we have to deal or work with, both during and after any war or conflict. Resistance to change is a strong inherent characteristic of most people, however change is a must when circumstances change.

We should therefore now undertake to re-organize our Military with a clear vision of the nature of conflicts we are likely to face and a proper understanding of the effect of today’s Technological Innovations and of Information Technology in Command, Communication, Control and Intelligence and in the capabilities for identification, acquisition and precision targeting of selected targets. Also on the implications of such warfare on our, and on our enemy’s, Social and Economic Fronts, and the nature of the Weapons and Delivery Systems that we need to deploy and the Organization of our Military that we should undertake in view of all the above.

We are a Country that has no aggressive or acquisitive intent and hence calls on our Military to be organized mainly for Defence. But we all know that the best Defence is an effective Deterrence and thereafter, a good proactive offence or a good reactive counter offence.

Of course a good offensive capability adds to deterrence. In these times the ability to hit indentified targets and to also infiltrate covertly, into enemy territory and act against specific targets there in, and ex-filtrate safely is essential. Hence the military should mainly be organized as a strong and effective Offensive Force/a Special Forces Command.

Quoting Allan Mallinson – “Such special forces have never stood at a greater premium than now. It has always been and will always be the man who is the first weapon of war”.

The Military would also need to have to units with skeletal organization of officers and NCOs training young reservists (eg: TA) in conventional defensive and offensive operations ready to mobilize and hold ground, or move into enemy territory as may be required. Soldiers, to hold ground, can be trained fairly quickly but to train the leaders takes much more time. Career NCO’s and JCO’s are the backbone of the Military and are repositories of extensive professional experience, and producing them requires years of training and soldiering. A skeletal unit with trained leaders especially the young officers and NCOs/ JCOs, can be brought to fighting strength in a short time. Such units should also have the weapons and equipment to, regularly train the Reservists, and to quickly become fully functional when needed. Their role would be mainly defensive and to replace, or substitute for, the regular troops as necessary. Once occupied, the ‘Ground’ can then be held by such units or by the

paramilitary units.

We would also need to have the ability to not only initiate cyber attacks but to also defend against them and defend against other Weapons of Mass Destruction. Our Military also needs to understand the implications & effects of ‘Currency Wars’ and other ways of ‘Economic Warfare’ and also ‘Environmental and Ecological Warfare’ and be able to recognize such threat or initiation and act appropriately.

However we will still also need a strong Defensive Force / Security Forces to deter any old style adventurism by our adversaries and also to counter enemy attacks delivered through the use of proxies or guerillas. But as such defensive forces will be organized purely for defence, their requirements will be far less, and be a lot more focused, than those of the current multi-capability forces. All of such defensive forces therefore need not be under the Defence Ministry but preferably most of them can be under the Home Ministry as Border / Internal Security Forces, though under a Unified Military Command in times of war and training and Counter Insurgency (COIN) Operations.

The Base force – should not only be threat based, but threat and capability based and a right mix of Active and Reserve Forces.

The existing Military can be organized into two streams, one as an Offensive Force / Special Forces to undertake specialist, and targeted and limited actions / attacks and counter attacks, and the other as a Defensive/Security Force mainly to deal with conventional Military operations, even out of which as much of the tasks as possible should be handed over to the Security and Paramilitary Organizations (BSF etc – the defensive elements), into which lateral entry of the Military personnel after 10-15 years service may be allowed.

This will allow us to keep the Offensive elements younger, fitter & more appropriately armed, equipped and empowered and compact, flexible and capable of acting with speed.

Leaving the security and integrity of our Borders and internal security matters to what are essentially Security Forces which could be under the Home Ministry, though for operational purposes under a Unified Command Authority headed by the Military. Many of such units as well as the conventional elements under the Military could be held as skeleton units (TA or Reserve Strategic or Tactical Forces) ready to be manned up and deployed at short notice.

Command Structure:

We should also reorganize our Command Structure especially at the very top, where strategy is more important than just tactics, integrate the officers of all the Services into a truly Integrated Service Head Quarters. Remember that the Supreme commander of all the Allied Forces in Europe in WW-II was General Dwight D. Eisenhower, and in the Eastern sector was General Douglas Mc Arthur . Even in the Gulf War the Allied Forces were directed by an Army Commander, even as the US Air Force demonstrated the ability to act alone in the conflict. The recent appointment in the United Kingdom of Air Marshall Sir Stephen Hillier as its

Naval Chief proves the validity and acceptance of such a concept.

With their foundational Military training (NDA), and experience throughout their career and exposure to NDC and other such courses, there is no need to insist on only the Army officers commanding multiple ground formations or only Naval Officers commanding the multiple fleets or only Air Force Officers Commanding multiple Air units. From Lt. Gen. and equivalent rank and above, consider having a common command structure and let talent and merit be the consideration, not just seniority. This would do away with the present need to reduce the ranks of the top Army Commanders to allow Naval and Air Force Commanders an artificial parity. Perhaps this would now call for a short orientation and adaptation course to encourage better integration and development of a more comprehensive strategic vision. Prior service at Junior Ranks in such an Integrated Service Head Quarters and as interns in the Ministry of Defence would gradually decrease the need for such courses in future.

The Gulf War also compelled the US Military to reorganize. The US Air Force into Combat, Mobility, Equipment and Intelligence verticals, and the US Army into a ‘21 st Century Army’ seeking to also set up ‘Digital Combat Units’. However, inter-service rivalry prevented them from going further and fully integrating their top command structure. We can learn from them and from others whilst avoiding the mistakes they made.

Media in War / Conflicts:

In this Information Age, as seen in the Media coverage of the Gulf War, the whole world could get detailed information on the progress of the war at about the same time as the Political Leaders in the Government would. Hence the regulation and guidance of the journalists, and their access to the conflict zone and personnel must be appropriately controlled.

Media power is likely to become an ever more important weapon in the wars of the future. Unlike propaganda from the warring sides, media coverage with its veneer of objectivity will be very influential. Yet Media power is a two-edged weapon and can confuse and effect proper decision making. Hence the journalists must be handled professionally. The Military must have its own media savvy personnel trained to interact with them and be an interface between them and the Military / Security Forces, Personnel / Commanders. Lessons must be learnt from the Media coverage during the Kargil, the 26/11, the Myanmar operation and the many COIN operations.

1.Objective of War:

As Robert Greene writes in “33 strategies of war” – the objective of war is to most economically and quickly win the war by identifying enemy targets, and killing / destroying their Commanders and the nodes of the command network and thus destroying the cohesiveness and coordination of their Forces and thereby reducing them to a bunch of isolated and ineffective rabble easy to deal with. What good is an Army, if it can no longer properly process enough information to make decisions, if it does not know

where to go and what to do and when?

Today’s Information / Technological Age Weapon is designed to apply just the required tiny amount of force at the precise point to get the desired effect. Such a Weapon would be a greater force multiplier than an Industrial Age Tank in an Agricultural Age Battlefield.

Information / Technological Age Warfare does not favour massive Army attacks, as the Army can be stopped by affecting the Command and Control centres, and the tanks, heavy artillery and large concentration of troops can easily and effectively be targeted and destroyed by UAV’s, smart & precision missiles and stand – off weapons etc. Without proper Command and Control an attacker cannot orchestrate his moves and may even end up attacking his own forces. This forces an attacker to retreat and become a defender to avoid defeat. In Defence far less Command and Control and other resources are required. A smaller Defence Force, properly equipped with appropriate sensors and smart standoff weapons, and with well equipped reserves sited appropriately, can hold off a much larger offensive enemy force.

Reserves are essential for all operations and are to be committed only when exploiting success or salvaging failure.

2.Characteristics of the Organizations now required:

In order to enable us to effectively and rapidly execute such strategies in today’s complex and chaotic environment keeping in mind the fundamental Principles of War, and the Weapons and Systems available, we need to organize our forces differently – very differently. Organize for a much smaller yet more efficient Military Force based on smart Weapons, Systems and Technologies to operate in the threat environment we are likely to face now and in the near future. The personnel will necessarily be young (with great emphasis on physical fitness and endurance) have high educational requirement and be very comprehensively trained for multi – skilled capabilities. (See – “Choosing & Training to be a Soldier / Special Forces Soldier / Leader”).

Studies of the cognitive ability of an individual’s brain to control and coordinate, demonstrates a limit of about 7 +/- 2 input streams, while the ability to handle the relationships of a group show that the natural human group size is about 125 to 150. Working with larger groups in our modern society is only possible because of the trust that the others in various elements of the society will function as they are expected to, and hence that things will work as they should. You are thus trusting in, and being dependent on the railway man / the pilot / the hospital staff etc because of your trust in the system that selects, trains, and appoints them, even if you personally don’t really know their capabilities. The military network has to be even more stable and trustworthy than the social network, with a clear understanding of, and confidence in the training and capability of the personnel. Hence the indicative ribbons and insignia and badges that adorn one’s uniform.

At any level, decision making

in teams or groups involving more than 20 members is ineffective. It is near impossible for such a group to reach a consensus quickly as required, while teams or groups of less than 10 members are found to be highly effective. These studies should be kept in mind when re-organizing our Military.

To allow downsizing and economizing as necessary, come up with creative ways of substituting. Consolidating ‘Agency’ or ‘Organizational’ functions, or even ‘Agencies’ and ‘Organizations’, and sharing facilities and combining product uses or services. Combining varied talented people into small teams in a manner that the sum is greater than the total of the parts. Sometimes eliminating some of the Qualitative Requirements (QR’s), and unneeded embellishments and reorganizing the methodology of use, could save costs and time.

Consider reversing existing policies and practices if needed. Doing this takes courage. But it pays off when you realize you can redeploy those troops, reinvest those monies, use the time saved to do more and live to fight another day. Eliminate Bureaucracy and unnecessary layers of ranks and protocol. Make the ranks functional titles in the new organization as they once were in the old. Do not fall into the Bureaucratic trap of seeking equivalence of ranks, seek instead equivalence of pay grades, if at all deemed necessary. Considering the service conditions and capabilities of the military, it may be better to have a separate Pay Commission for them.

The best way of eliminating waste and duplication is through outsourcing. Many times it might be cheaper and more effective to delegate the work that is essential but not critical to outside Agencies and save costs. The US Army did this in the Iraq war. True, in many instances, it went too far, especially when it allowed such ‘outsiders’ to function without proper accountability to the Military Command. But the concept is worth considering.

We need to therefore organize to be better able to act or react appropriately to all the type of threats we may face in this the 21 st century.

a)Offensive Force:

Military units, organized primarily for offensive operations, must not only be small, but highly mobile, self contained and autonomous. This calls for Special Forces and for a new type of regular Military Force and for developing new strategies and tactics.

The operational unit should be small sections / teams as part of larger unit of a maximum strength of about 125 – 150. Special transport / medical / logistics teams could be part of their own units and be delegated to operate and in support of the operational teams as may be required for any operation. All such units can be grouped together under a Special Forces Head Quarters. Such SF HQ’s should ultimately also be under the Unified Command Authority that also oversees the border security and para military units used for military type operations (including Counter Insurgency Operations in support of Police & other Security Forces) as distinct from purely Police Operations.

John Arquilla and David Ronfeldt

postulated small ‘pods / teams / squads’ that could ‘swarm’ around an enemy as required and then disperse.

As Napoleon said – “Separate to live, unite to fight”.

Specialist and Ariel teams can be called upon for supporting fire by the ground teams as required. Several such teams could form a cluster. Each team would need to be self sufficient, autonomous and supplied directly instead of from a central logistics system organized around much larger military organizations. Such teams would form a group.

i.A group that is mobile. Often the smaller the better, but not so small as to lose effectiveness. The question to be answered is – can it be smaller and still be as, if not more, effective if better equipped and trained. Speed and adaptability come from a flexible Organization.

ii.Superior coordination between the elements of the group that can operate and make decisions on their own. Good coordination is a major force multiplier. The ‘elements or pods / teams / squads’ should be able to disperse and regroup, even in different configurations as necessary, to take up the tasks effectively.

We would therefore need to develop;

i.The ability to send orders and information quickly and reliably up and down the chain of command using the latest technology but without over dependence on ‘Technology’. Technology tends to encourage too much information to be processed thus slowing down response times. Such tendency has to be resisted. Organize as short a chain of command as realistically possible.

Technology may also provide a real time view for distant commanders and political leaders, tempting them to interfere in the operations. This must be resisted, except in circumstances where such oversight can lead to better coordination of, and also additional support to, the Forces in the field.

“It is essential for victory that (once the objectives have been specified) the Generals are unconstrained by their political leaders” – Sun Tzu

ii.Weapons that are the modern equivalent of an effective Sniper / Assassin, and Organizations that are small, mobile, coordinated, and flexible, to use them are what are needed. UAV’s have proved their worth, from their use in the Serbian campaign for observation and targeting, to their present use as weaponized drones for observing and taking out targets in the Afghan war and now in Western Pakistan and Syria.

iii.Specially trained and superbly qualified Special Forces strike teams to infiltrate and deploy, and if necessary control such weapons and to also take up tasks that cannot be left to unmanned or remote controlled systems.

Such Forces would need, light and effective body armour, appropriate weapons and communication links and enough self contained IT capability. Maximum fire power, protective armour & communication capabilities, and stealth transport for infiltration / ex-filtration and support, (these could be larger versions of the standardized platforms for weapons) would all need to be developed.

If this calls on us to start from scratch and redesign our Forces based on a clear understanding of the purpose of each element and of what

tasks can be left to be undertaken by the Forces under the Home Ministry such as the BSF, the R.R, the Police etc, then we should do so without fear or favour or unnecessary attachment to what we are used to.

“The difficulty lies, not in the new ideas, but in escaping from the old ones.” – John Keynes .

Holding skeletal units organized for conventional offensive operations, training reservists and being ready to quickly mobilize and move into enemy territory for limited conventional offensive operations as may be required can also be under the Military.

We would also need skilled and trained personnel to operate remotely the unmanned aircraft / submersibles / vessels and satellites. These could include personnel retiring from the Special Forces.

The Gulf War proved the great superiority of helicopters over tanks. We should recognize this fact and organize helicopter units both for offensive and defensive operations.

b)Defensive Forces:

The Defensive Forces would mainly be those in a Border Security / Paramilitary Forces role, and the existing Para Military Forces and BSF with some additional orientation and training especially for Counter Insurgency Operations and for better integration with the main Defence Forces. These Forces will not need to be as multi capable as our current all purpose Forces. Defence / Security Units can be smaller, especially if, as stated earlier, they are properly equipped with smart sensing and precision targeting weapons and are backed up by appropriately sited and equipped strong Reserve Forces. Such Defence Forces can be under the Home Ministry though under the operational command of the Military in times of war/conflict and in areas declared as ‘Disturbed’.

Allowing for lateral entry into such Defence / Security Forces from the Offensive Military Forces will permit better co-ordination between all elements and will also enable the personnel to serve longer. Those from the Military who choose not to join such Defence / Security Forces can be given the option of further education / retraining and a lump sum payment for resettlement as compensation for pension. They as veterans, should however be allowed to continue their medical insurance cover. They may also be given the choice to be selected for lateral entry into the other Central Administrative Services with due consideration for period served, again permitting for better coordination. All this will ensure better quality of enrollment into the Military and will also improve the discipline and attitude of service of the Bureaucracy.

3.Forces for other forms of Warfare / Conflicts:

a)Nuclear, Chemical, Biological and Genetic Warfare (WMDs)

Enough has been written elsewhere about these sort of threats and how to react to them and what preventive measures to take against them, so we will herein restrict ourselves to only stating that we need to build and deploy suitably trained and equipped detection and reaction teams to identify and neutralize such a threat before it can be realized, and if necessary to be able to function in such an environment. Such capability is

required in the Military and also separately, and with greater emphasis on detection (Intelligence Operations) and neutralization (in the Police arena).

One of techniques that can be effective against such warfare or terror strikes, is to undertake Sentiment Analysis and use Big Data Analytics to analyze the patterns of movement of suspect personnel, and the purchase and movement of specific components and elements of such warfare, and thus identify and act against the enemy before he can be ready to launch.

This is where cyber capability meets the Nuclear, Chemical, Biological and Genetic (NCB&G) Counter warfare requirement.

b)Insurgency and Terrorism:

History shows us that no insurgency has been overcome in less than ten years and also that no insurgency has ever been defeated by purely Military Force. (See – “Insurgency / Naxalism / Terrorism – Response to,”)

Again enough has been written elsewhere about these sorts of threats and how to react to them and what preventive measures to take against them, so we will herein restrict ourselves to only stating that we need to take a more comprehensive view, especially with regard to domestic insurgency, remembering the words of President Theodore Roosevelt as they apply to all Countries.

“This Country will not be a permanently good place for any of us to live in, unless we make it a reasonably good place for all of us to live in”.

Seek to eradicate the causes leading to terrorism / insurgency. However it must be recognized that no comprehensive economic steps for settlement can be taken up until a realistic level of security is attained by targeted Security / Military actions.

4.Non Conventional Operations / Warfare:

This does not include insurgency and terrorist operations, or special operations as they really are no longer non conventional.

Today, the enemy is more likely to employ not Military might, but other levers of State power, say economic and information efforts, to achieve his aim.

Hence our Military also needs to develop capabilities and build organizations, to be in a position to understand and call on such capabilities as required, to meet threats and act decisively when faced with the newer threats of the day in addition to the Chemical, Nuclear, Biological and Genetic and Insurgency & Terrorism considered above. Threats delivered, even semi anonymously, such as Cyber, Currency warfare and Environmental and Ecological Warfare.

The new non conventional operations / warfare include:

a)Cyber Warfare:

The next War may start not with a ‘Bang’ but with a ‘Black Out’ caused by a few lines of Malicious Computer Code sent to the Control Computers at key locations to cause ‘Black Outs. One may not even recognize it as the start of a War. Let alone know by whom.

Hence it is essential that we develop proper strategies against such threats and organize, as part of the Military – ‘Cyber Warriors’ and as part of the Civil System – ‘Ethical Hackers’, with proper interaction between them, to hack into, collect intelligence and disrupt enemy

Power, Financial, Communication, Transport and other Control Systems etc, and to prevent that from happening to us.

The Corollary to understanding and using the Internet is to know and follow the links in the language of your adversary. How many fluent Arabic, Persian, or Chinese speaking Computer experts do we have who are monitoring the Internet in these Languages and who really understand what is being done thereon?

A Cyber attack could create effective diversion and a lot of confusion leading to an attack elsewhere and make the response to it ineffective. An insider with detailed knowledge could target a specific System, or a Hacker could launch an anonymous Internet assault from another Country.

Cyber Security has to be seen as a reliability issue. Old Systems need regular security updates with redundant capability and flexibility to make them more robust & more resilient, more like the Internet itself.

Protection as recommended by Schneir

  1. Bring about awareness and education amongst all the Employees of Infrastructure facilities. They should not fall prey to common ‘social engineering tricks’. (Trojan horses, deceptive facts etc).
  2. Keep insiders happy. Dissatisfied employees are dangerous. Split-up Network between multiple employees. Keep, and regularly verify, a detailed inventory of all equipment needed to Monitor and Maintain Industrial Control Systems.
  3. Place proper ‘Fire Walls’ between Command / Corporate or Administrative Networks and Control Systems. Install effective Access Control Software (especially on old equipment).
  4. Where the Control Systems are for a Grid, it is essential to use intelligent Grid technology to re-route the networks during a crisis.
  5. Cyber security also often means physical security. Especially in remote locations. All Wireless Control Systems should be Password / Encryption protected and also regularly physically monitored.
  6. Develop and incorporate suitable Encryption capabilities and Redundant Networks.

b)Psychological warfare (Psywar/Ops):

To go beyond dropping of leaflets and spreading selective propaganda through rumours and radio broadcasts, we need to understand and make effective use of Net connectivity and the entire spectrum of ‘Social Media’. To do so we need to build up a cadre of competent individuals who can identify and call on professionals to properly study the enemy / adversary and to effectively plan the Psywar/Ops and execute them. viz: the ‘Arab Spring’ uprisings in the Middle East, even if these were the spontaneous and not properly planned, it speaks volumes of the effectiveness of the methodology.

Such a cadre could be part of the cultural and media team and their actions be overt (using cultural exchanges, movies, TV serials, etc) or covert (encouraging the raising of questions regarding the competence of their leaders and ideologues and collaborating in protests coordinated via the ‘Social Media’), to effect the enemy’s population and of its troops, motivation and morale.

c)Currency Warfare:

Today’s scale of financial markets, leverage and globalization expose our country’s economy to currency and financial wars.

“The costs of a financial war could be far less than the costs of an arms race or an actual war, but it could be much more effective

at undermining the currency of an enemy country and thus destroying its economy than a Military confrontation.” – James Rickards .

Was the USSR a victim of such Economic Warfare arising from an Arms Race?

The effects of such currency wars go well beyond just economics and financial management. They give rise to civil unrest, food riots, looting, refugee influx and such matters that may even encourage military adventurism by our enemies. Such effects go beyond the capability of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to control, and then societies and governments turn to the Military (always the final and fall back option of last resort) for solutions. Hence the Military too has a large stake in early recognition of any such acts of ‘Currency War’ and in understanding the potential it has for an economic catastrophe, and in planning on how to respond to, or act when called upon to do so in such a situation.

The Military would thus need to have a panel of experts to regularly ‘war game’ different financial and currency war scenarios to be able to recognize at the early stage itself whether we are in such a war. Perhaps this could be done in collaboration with the RBI and carefully selected major investment bankers and financial traders with appropriate security clearances.

Introducing counterfeit currency into another country is also an act of war. The best way to defeat a counterfeit currency war is for the target country to make such a tactic uneconomical by de-monetizing all its high value currency. An eminently possible option in these days of plastic money and cashless transactions.

d)Environmental and Ecological warfare:

In 1997, at a counter terrorism conference, William Cohen, US Secretary of Defense , stated: “Others [terrorists] are engaging even in an eco-type of terrorism whereby they can alter the climate, set off earthquakes, volcanoes, remotely through the use of electromagnetic waves. So there are plenty of ingenious minds out there that are at work finding ways in which they can wreak terror upon other nations and it’s real, and that’s the reason why we have to intensify our [counterterrorism] efforts”.

Such weapon could be deployed without the target country even being aware of the real cause of the damage happening, let alone knowing who is doing it.

Even though the development of environment modifying weapons – ‘ENMOD’, designed to alter ocean currents and water courses, melt polar ice caps or mountain glaciers, deplete the ozone layer, produce greenhouse gases or manipulate local weather, are officially denied by all governments, many are working on them (See annexure). Our military would thus need to work with DRDO and other scientific bodies to properly understand such capabilities and develop the technologies to counter them.

Teams of doctors and scientists dealing with such matters should be inducted into the Military Reserves, so that they can be brought under the Military Law and activated rapidly for effective deployment when required.

5.War Gaming:

The Military should undertake more extensive

War Gaming: again as Tim Harford writes – War Gaming should encourage a variety of responses to a situation to determine the many which fail and the few which succeed. Such a pluralistic approach encouraging new innovations leads to recognition of options that turn out to be the best even if they at first sight seem unpromising.

  1. Command Structure:-

Though each of the Services can continue to be separate, especially up to the Command levels of the Operational units, perhaps some sort of Unified and truly Integrated Command Structure could be developed for the higher Headquarters. This is more understandable when one recognizes that the Special Forces personnel would need to be skilled across diverse capabilities whilst specializing in some, and hence would need inter – service training and experience and will be often working together in joint operations even at the Operational unit levels. Also recognizing that at higher levels of Command, the General / Admiral / Air Chief Marshal and officers one rank lower are all really strategic thinkers and each is well qualified and experienced to understand and direct overall strategy with the support of Staff Officers from all Operational Commands. This will eliminate the present Inter Services rivalries and the resulting inefficiencies and duplication.

  1. Policy Formulation and oversight:-

It is about time that the Chief of Defence Staff is appointed and a proper integration of military personnel into the Ministry of Defence is instituted. Even the Bureaucrats could be made to undergo atleast some initial and continual Military training as Territorial Forces Officers (See “Bureaucrats – Selection & Development”), so that the government gets prompt, proper and comprehensive advice on all Military and National Security Issues.

As Sumit Ganguly notes in his ‘India Defence Policy’ – India needs to develop a long term strategic vision. Putting in place institutional mechanisms and planning capabilities. For the most part it has been unable to develop a professional cadre of personnel who are knowledgeable about questions of defence budgeting, acquisitions, capabilities and policy making. The absence of such a body of skilled personnel has ill served Indian defence policy making, and has rendered many decisions subject to political whims and financial constraints.

  1. Leadership maintaining the cutting edge:-

As General Colin Powell writes in ‘My American Journey’ – Leadership like nature, abhors a vacuum, hence if competent leaders are not selected and put in place, incompetents will claim leadership and that is the way to disaster and defeat.

Rules for picking people: Look for intelligence and judgment, most critically, a capacity to anticipate, to see around corners. Also loyalty, integrity, a high energy level, a certain passion, a balanced ego and the drive to get things done

The military system is based on competence and performance. You are either ‘up’ or ‘out’. Know how your performance is going to be measured and what parameters count. Then set about doing the things necessary to attain to them. Time scale promotions for those who did not make the grade and are now left

to man, even if only non critical posts, is deleterious to the system. If passed over for promotion more than once, you have to retire to make place for the next generation by either electing for lateral entry into other government services at equivalent rank, with period of service allowed for, or seeking voluntary retirement with a lump sum benefit. However, sometimes you are ‘not up’, not because of any incapability but because of circumstances, like lack of a suitable vacancy, then you should either opt for a lateral move into the Defensive Forces and Paramilitary or the Civil Services at the next equivalent rank as approved for, or retire voluntarily with a lump sum benefit, and join the Corporate or Entrepreneurial world.

Retirement before 30 years of service should not qualify for pension, except for disability reasons. They can however be allowed to qualify for scholarship / stipend for education, and opt out with a lump sum benefit, or elect for lateral entry as given above, carrying forward their service seniority for Pay grade purposes, after appropriate training and aptitude tests to join Para Military and Police, Counter Terror / Intelligence organizations or even Civil Services. All veterans should however be allowed to continue to avail their health and medical cover.


Our Military Forces now need to be reorganized into Offensive / Special Forces and Defensive Forces. Keep the Standing Forces, especially the Offensive Forces, as ‘lean’ and fit and better equipped as practical for their specific roles. Just adding numbers is not the answer. Build in the ability to quickly mobilize extra strength as required from the Reserves, the Para Military / Coast Guard, Territorial Army, NCC etc. The Defensive Forces should be part of the Home Ministry but under the Unified Military Command.

The Military needs to overcome the effects of Inter Service rivalry and function under the Chief of Defence Staff, in a fully integrated Ministry of Defence, and be able to offer competent and comprehensive strategic advice and perspective to the Defence Minister and the Prime Minister and to successfully carryout what it is tasked with, even in the areas of new and unconventional warfare.


Example of ‘ENMOD’ weapons

  1. HAARP (High Altitude Auroral Research Program of the USA) uses High Frequency radio waves to ionize and affect the ionizing layer (over 50 kms above the Earth’s surface) to induce electromagnetic effects that can cause; power station and grid failures, lightning storms, severe hail storms to destroy crops, affect jet stream patterns and so affect the weather etc. Better communications with submarines is also one of the stated purposes, even as it very adversely affects whales and other aquatic mammals.
  2. Cloud dispersing chemicals used to clear airspace and enhance visibility, that may also cause droughts that may even last several decades, severely effecting farming and life in the region (see Prof. Michel Chossudovsky’s article – ‘Washington’s New World Order Weapons have the ability to trigger climate change).
  3. Cloud seeding to cause untimely rains and  storms.
  4. Thermo lighting bombs that can be used to cause heavy hail storms (see report of Prof. Dr. Dimitrije Stefanov and Prof. Dr. Milovan Purenovic of the University of Nis).
  5. Dispersing copper needles into the ionosphere to enhance radio communication with its subsequent adverse effects on the local weather.
  6. Introduction of, plant viruses or fungi to destroy crops and plants, and also of aggressive non local plant and fauna to adversely affect or even to destroy local eco systems.


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