"All three services need to work together to maximise potential," asserted Chief of Army Staff General Manoj Pande while speaking at the third edition of the biggest news event of the year - Republic Summit 2023 in Delhi on April 25. He also talked about lessons India can draw from the war in Europe.
"All three services need to work together to maximise potential".
General Manoj Pande flagged the importance of synergy between the three services i.e. Army, Airforce and Navy. Modern warfare often requires a coordinated effort involving multiple branches of the military. Army, navy, and air force each bring unique capabilities to the table. The army provides ground-based operations and occupation of territories, the navy enables power projection and maritime control, and the air force provides air superiority and strategic mobility. When these branches work together in a coordinated manner, they can execute comprehensive and integrated operations that leverage their respective strengths and capabilities.
"In the context of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, I believe there are very profound lessons for us".
The Russia-Ukraine war has highlighted the importance of hard power, stated General Manoj Pande. He added that the war suggests that nations won't hesitate to go to war to defend their core national security interests. He also highlighted the importance of land.
"Land will always remain a decisive domain of warfare," the Chief of Army Staff said.
He suggested that the notion of victory will always be land centric. Especially for nations who have disputed borders, which India does. The Chief of Army Staff's views are backed by scholarly literature. One of the most notable thinkers of Security Studies and International Relations, John Mearshiemer, in his classic work "The Tragedy of Great Power Politics", dedicates two chapters to explain why land power remains the determining factor in war.
"The notion that future wars will be short was perhaps wrong".
General Manoj Pande also said that self reliance has now become a strategic necessity. He talked about the importance of developing a domestic military industrial base. He highlighted the fact that the Indian Army has already set up cells in major Indian universities.
"On our own side, within the last 8-10 years, a lot of impetus has been given to border development".
He said that we often hear about infrastructure development on the other side (China), but "we are on the right track". He was alluding to the fact that the current government has prioritised developing the border regions, to ensure better connectivity, which is not just important for civilians in the region but also for troop movement.