India’s latest military doctrine has added surgical strikes, including across the border, among India’s possible responses to terrorist attacks.
The ‘joint doctrine Indian armed forces’ prepared by the Headquarters, Integrated Defence Staff was released by Admiral Sunil Lanba, Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee and Navy Chief in the South Block on Tuesday. The first joint military doctrine was released in 2006.
“The response to terror provocations could be in the form of ‘surgical strikes’ and these would be subsumed in the sub-conventional portion of the spectrum of armed conflict,” the doctrine states.
The reclassification of surgical strikes, officials said, shows that they are not a one-off event any more but part of several options that would be considered. In the last two years, the Army had carried out surgical strikes across the border with Myanmar and Line of Control (LoC) Pakistan, targeting terrorist camps.
The doctrine will serve as a cornerstone document for application of military power in a “synergised manner leading to enhanced efficiency, optimum utilisation of resources and financial savings,” the Navy said in a statement.
The revised doctrine was formulated in a record time of nine months, a senior officer said. Last year’s event of surgical strikes and increased tensions on the border gave further impetus to it.
“Doctrines are always works in progress and keep evolving from time to time. A colligate approach was adopted and all three service Headquarters actively participated in the formulation of this capstone document,” a senior officer told The Hindu .
In the past decade or so, a lot of integration has taken place in the Indian armed forces which is highlighted in this doctrine, especially integration in the field of operations, training, management, and perspective planning. The officer stated that this will be followed by formulation of other keystone doctrines like information warfare, training and so on in due course.
“It speaks of the threat posed by radicalisation of youth and also lays emphasis on a proactive philosophy of the Indian armed forces,” the officer added, highlighting the key points in the document.