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Viruses could be used as bioweapons: Vice Chief of Army Staff

Lt. Gen. S.K. Saini .   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement.

While countries are struggling to rein in the virus, “certain countries” have seized the opportunity to extend their influence militarily, economically and politically, which does not augur well for the world community, said Vice Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General S.K. Saini on Wednesday.

Virtually addressing participants at the ‘National Defence Course Bangladesh on post COVID-19 security challenges’, he said that “future wars may gravitate towards zero cost wars, wherein a very virulent pathogen may immobilise high-technology arsenal”. He said that “weaker militaries will continue to seek an asymmetric advantage in an unrestricted warfare milieu” while “social media will continue to be the vector of choice for the battle of narratives”.

On the impact of the pandemic, Lt. Gen. Saini said that strategic security of most nations has been impacted due to reduction in funds for military capabilities and projects, since vast sums of money have been diverted for urgent health requirements. “Many countries fuelled by ultra-nationalism are experiencing accelerated process of de-globalisation leading to closing of borders for movement of goods, people, services and even ideas,” he remarked on the trend of “de-globalisation”.

Talking of the impact of COVID-19 on the military, Lt. Gen. Saini said “force sustainment is a challenge due to delays in delivery schedules owing to production halts and workforce disruptions” and called for “technology-enabled solutions for integrated identification, control and management of such threats”.

On the way forward, he emphasised that “militaries of the region must evolve a defence cooperation plan since they will become the first responders during such health disasters”.

Lt. Gen. Saini had attended the National Defence College of Bangladesh in 2011.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2021 9:11:06 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/viruses-could-be-used-as-bioweapons-vice-chief-of-army-staff-lieutenant-general-sk-saini/article33233083.ece

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