Maritime doctrine makes subtle changes in principles of war

Special Correspondent

Talks about the laws governing armed conflicts for better understanding of legal aspects covering combat

NEW DELHI: Having been tasked with the overall national coastal security in the wake of Mumbai terror attacks, in its latest Maritime Doctrine, the Navy subtly stresses on the “principles of war” and expanding it to include synergy and intelligence sharing.

In the wake of the 26/11 attacks last year, the Centre had come up with a revised national policy earlier this year with the Navy having the overall responsibility for coastal security bringing the Coast Guard and State Coastal Police in the command chain.

The outgoing Naval Chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta released the updated version of the Indian Maritime Doctrine on Friday. Changes in the geo-strategic environment, the growing needs of the country and the navy, led to a review of the document first published in 2004.

While it continues to cover the fundamental framework of the principle practices and procedures that govern the development and employment of the military maritime power, the latest document makes a conscious effort to move forward from the commonalities of maritime thought as applicable to most sea faring nations and address India and its Navy’s specific concepts, concerns and development, the Navy spokesman said on Saturday.

The document talks in detail of the security concepts at the national level and about the laws governing armed conflicts for a better understanding of the legal aspects covering combat.

Expanding on the principles of war, the document envisages a scenario building upon the emerging geo-strategic environment that may require the Indian Navy to be prepared for expeditious warfare, amphibious operations and deployment at long distances.

The analysis also has a concept of the kind of platforms the Indian Navy would require to meet these challenges in the form the aircraft carriers, Landing Platform Docks, Landing ships and other assets to compliment these platforms.

“Synergy” and “Intelligence” are obvious conclusions from the lessons from the Mumbai terror attacks leading to review of the existing operations and improvements incorporated in the new coastal security plan that has been put in place.

The documents has a chapter on concepts of maritime power to reflect the contribution of the government, the people through a maritime attitude and consciousness and ship building etc, the spokesperson said.

The chapter on India’s maritime environment and interests has been revamped to large extent.

It includes the geo-strategic importance of India and the Indian Ocean Region, maritime terrorism, piracy and coastal security.

A new chapter on Naval Combat Power has been added underlining the ever changing demands on three critical components – conceptual, physical and human - in the context of rapid changes in technology and consequently tactics.