Commentary September 10, 2020

Rethinking the Defense Doctrine of India

The security threats India faces along its borders require new strategies, and in order to manage and prevent future risks, the military needs to overhaul its traditional playbook of deterring and defending against conventional attacks says Arzan Tarapore.
A regiment of the Indian Army practices in dress uniform for Republic Day
A regiment of the Indian Army practices in dress uniform for Republic Day. Mitul Gajera, Unsplash

This op-ed by Arzan Tarapore originally appeared in The Hindu.



Over four months ago, the Chinese army entered territory that India has long considered its own, and never left. In effect, the multiple incursions have changed the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and India has lost territory, at least for the time being. How could this happen?

In part, it was a failure of the warning-intelligence system. Either Indian intelligence services did not collect sufficient data of Chinese intentions and early moves, or they did not interpret it correctly, or their policy and military customers failed to take the warning seriously. Wherever the fault lay, the system apparently failed.

In part, however, the problem also lay in the Army’s concepts for defending the country’s borders. It is, as the current crisis shows, simply not postured or prepared for the type of security threat China presents. (Continue reading the full article in The Hindu.)

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