Lt Gen Ashok Joshi (Retd)
AN INTERPRETATION OF ‘SECURITY’
A Worldview of Security
This is an effort to interpret ‘security’. The term is used in so many ways that unless most of what goes under the rubric is presented with reference to a framework[i], a deliberate and systematic study of security would be difficult. It is obvious that security means many things to many people. The plethora of definitions of national security[ii] is a testimony to this. There is something very innocuous and righteous about ‘security’ because it connotes, prima facie, a totally just and unexceptional proposition: protection and guarding of own assets. To that extent, it is comparable to ‘defence’; in no need of justification of any kind. It is a small wonder therefore that towards the end of World War II, a lot of ministries and departments of ‘war’ dropped that word, which had become odious by then, and replaced it by ‘defence’ or ‘defense’. In itself a cosmetic change but not to be slighted for that reason. Democracies show as much panache for nice sounding words as do totalitarian systems. It is only right to fight for anything that needs to be defended—democracy, free-trade, human rights, capitalism et al; and security of course cannot be denied to anyone.
In the worldview presented here security appears as a set of enabling preconditions that facilitate pursuit of interests. ‘Interests’ is rather vague. What is meant by interests is both preservation and protection of assets, as also, acquisition and assimilation of new assets. ‘Assets’, obviously, implies not just material assets, although they too stand included. Anything and everything that is essential for collective existence and happiness may be included under that rubric. ‘Security’ implies not only preservation and protection of existing assets but also freedom and opportunity to take up preferred activities and pursuits.
Apart from lack of vision or energy what inhibits ‘endeavour’ is the fear that it may entail an unacceptable level of risk which eventually may degrade or wipe out the original assets. What is meant by endeavour here is the totality of productive activity that an individual or a community undertakes. Fear is one of the ‘inhibitors’, and it can be of many kinds, and on many accounts. Some of the other inhibitors are—actual loss, pain, overwhelming costs, uncertainty, loss of hope, or obstructions.
Fear of rise in oil prices
induces caution amongst all entrepreneurs except major oil producers. The
actual rise is even worse because it cuts into profits and slows down the
economy. The possibility of inadequate availability of energy presents a
hopeless situation to many under developed countries. Repeated strikes by
terrorists impose pain on the surviving victims and the bereaved which, in
turn, impacts enlarging numbers till it reaches a level at which normal
activity comes to a standstill as happened in
Unit of Analysis
In our times the nation state signifies the highest level of the architecture of collective identities to which individuals willingly subscribe and without reserve. It is perceived by most people as an expression of their sovereignty and uniqueness. Individuals willingly accept the nation state as the highest repository of its values and aspirations. It has been possible to seek at this level, though not always, a convergence of authority, responsibility and accountability in a manner that stable conditions can be maintained on the one hand and individuals do not feel suppressed on the other hand. This makes matters of trade and commerce and of war and peace somewhat manageable, alike for the decision makers at all levels, and for those affected by the decisions. If the decision makers had also to cope up with the claims made on them on account of conflicting values, things would be that much more difficult. Many more things can be demanded of the population, and many more things can be justified by the national leadership in the name of patriotism[iii]. An experiment to create a higher architecture like European Union is on hand but it remains untested at present.
The nation state remains the prime unit of
security related analysis at present, as it has indeed been for the past two
centuries or more. The primacy of the
national security as the principal highway to all other genres of
security—individual, global, that of the unborn, and so on—has been reinforced
by the reactions of the US, and other nations of the industrialized North, in
the wake of ‘nine-eleven’. The nation state remains the most palpable and
convenient entity for enforcing accountability[iv] on the non-state actors. It is
obvious that nation-building in
The nation state as the building block of the international system has outlasted global ideologies[v] because it confers, on the one hand, a justification for claims of absolute sovereignty and uniqueness on the part of every nation, and on the other hand, assures the international community that accountability can be enforced on it. In short, it lends itself to being a suitable building block of the international system that has to adapt itself to an uneven and ever changing distribution of power.
Global security may achieve real meaning and urgency only when a truly global actor emerges in a world in which boundaries get softened, if not eliminated, and desire for pre-eminence no longer drives the powerful. The United Nations Organization has not fulfilled the expectation of being a true representative of the world, any more than it has of being responsive to its real needs. One wonders if it was ever intended to. The UN Security Council looks after the security interests of the permanent members to the extent that there is a consensus amongst them. At present, and for many years to come, global security is unlikely to be anything more than the cumulative effect and resultant of the security of nation states. The cumulative effect and resultant is an algebraic sum: when the most powerful nation is insecure, the whole world feels insecure.
Some movements like the World Social Forum stress the divide between the governments and the governed and belabour the former. It is true that governments do attach a great deal of importance to their own security but that need not necessarily imply insecurity for the governed. If there is a dissonance between the two, the security of both will be in peril. That is an argument against bad governance and not against the nation state system. It is not being suggested that the World Social Forum is for globalization; it is not. But criticism of governments often gives the impression that nation state system is under attack. Movements such as these do serve a useful purpose in creating awareness of genuine security concerns of the individual and the disadvantaged, but for want of organizational strength and tools of power, they are unlikely produce any direct impact. Over a long period of time they may bring about the necessary changes in the value system and indirectly produce a positive impact on global security.
Mankind does face truly common threats in our
times: polluted environment; global heating with threats of submergence;
shortage of water; AIDS; fears of nuclear winter and so on. But there is no
agreement on the primacy of threat. One hears less and less of the nuclear
winter and more and more of the weapons of mass destruction in the hands of the
rogues. This is so because even the threat perception lends itself to
exploitation in the present system. In the absence of an appropriately
empowered organizational structure that is not only sufficiently representative
but also competent to address the truly global issues, there is very little
likelihood of global threats being addressed globally. What is theoretically possible
is the concerted action by nation states in addressing global security[vi]. But fate of the
Security of individuals—enshrined in the bill of rights and the rule of law—has little meaning if it is at the cost of national security. On the other hand, a collection of insecure individuals cannot be gang-pressed into contributing to national security over a long period of time. Individual needs will assert themselves. If individual and collective security are not aligned and do not complement each other, one or the other, or both would suffer. As a rule, in developing nations concerns of collective security are more dominant whereas in the developed world, for so long as stable conditions prevail, it is the individual who asserts himself against the state. This is not without irony in that it is in the developing world that large sections of the population are impoverished besides being routinely ill treated by the state which spends a great deal of money on raising and maintaining the heavy handed police and the armed forces. It is here that butter versus guns dilemma is projected as the major security concern. The elites in developed world attribute the attitude of the people in underdeveloped countries to their ignorance and helplessness on the one hand and the cussedness of their governments on the other hand. This analysis has some merit but it is far more likely that the people in the underdeveloped countries consciously equate stability with security. What they mostly fear are anarchy and chaos. Perhaps the longevity of the nation state is to be attributed, at least partially, to its ability to balance the often conflicting demands of national and international security. It is for these reasons that national security remains the valid unit of analysis in not only international affairs but also in truly global concerns. Individuals and sub-national entities have also to seek security primarily in the context of their nation states.
The Proposed Framework
What is proposed here is to construct a framework for incorporating security related concepts by amalgamating two interrelated approaches. The first approach posits three overlapping ‘domains’ contained within national endeavour. Domains delineate and describe the spaces in which security related activity takes place and how various domains relate to each other. The second approach embraces the view of security as a set of processes. It is felt that processes of this nature at the national level are driven by a host of factors including the feelings of national identity and consciousness. That may well explain why security concerns are conceived and pursued so very differently by nations who are comparably placed with regard to their material conditions. It is felt that if both the approaches—signifying structure and operations—are combined a more reveling picture may emerge. The purpose is to be able to separate wheat from chaff so that chaotic and inane actions, often thoughtless, that are passed off as security, can be excluded from analysis
If security is indeed a meaningful activity, and if there is a national security domain, then it should be possible over a period of time to arrive at and establish principles of national security—comparable to principles of war. It is true that when the idea of principles of war was mooted, it was not well received. It was a major struggle for those who propounded such a scheme. They went about mining tons of ore before arriving at nuggets. It must at once be stated that this author has not been able to arrive at principles of national security.
THREE OVERLAPPING DOMAINS
‘Domain’ is taken to be a field of purposeful and well directed activity. In other words, it is a field of activity which originates in deliberate policy. It is goal oriented and guided by strategy. A domain analysis may prove to be a good idea. No domain exists in isolation. The concept of national security domain gives rise to thoughts of the super-domain of which it is a part; it also raises questions about other connected domains.
The Super-Domain: National Endeavour
The totality of productive national effort is described here as national endeavour. National endeavour includes myriad activities, products, and processes in all spheres of life that are carried out in pursuit of individual and collective goals and aspirations. It is inclusive of development intended to ensure survival with dignity and honour. More specifically, and in the context of the model presented here, national endeavour encompasses, amongst others, three partially overlapping domains, namely, those of security, war, and ‘enterprise’. Here, enterprise implies productive effort that is especially directed at creating ‘exchange value’. Collective endeavour without enterprise tends to make nations self centered and inward looking; it diminishes their capacity to interact with the rest of the world.
There are overlaps between domains of security and war; as also between those of security and enterprise. Additionally, there is also an overlap between domains of enterprise and war. This may best be visualized by imagining that the three partially overlapping domains—security, war, and enterprise—girdle the surface of the globe that represents national endeavour.
Domain of Security
A beginning is made by describing rather than defining the domain of security. It includes feelings, thoughts, vision, policies, processes, plans, organizations, and action that deal with visualizing and creating appropriate pre-conditions for pursuit of national endeavour without undue risk, loss, cost, obstructions, or uncertainty.
There is a strong linkage between
use of force and security and that is so for very good reasons. (1) Destruction
caused by sudden use of force can be so severe that the resultant losses may
well be ‘final’: some of the assets lost may turn out to be beyond renewal or
replacement. If that were to happen, the whole concept of ‘security’ may be
rendered meaningless. Losses in
The thrust of action in the
domain of security is in minimizing the use of force and in bringing about the
desired results through ‘exchange of prizes’. The emphasis is on understanding
the contender’s views and compulsions and bringing about a livable
outcome through give and take. There is no great change in approach whether the
contender is a group within the nation state or outside. A ‘political’ solution
implies precisely this approach while dealing with separatist movements and
insurgents. Force is certainly used and never wholly abjured, yet an effort is
made to make room for adjustments rather than adopt an intransigent attitude.
The main difference in approach to international and ‘internal’ security is
that force within the nation state has to be used within the letter and spirit
of the law of the land. Sometimes, efforts are made to bring about changes in
the law so that force can be used and individual freedom can be curbed. We have
seen this happening while the government has dealt with the Nagas,
and the Bodos, and the Hurriyat
While dealing with other nations,
prizes for exchange have to be created or secured. Something has to be offered
in return for what is sought. If a nation has economic or commercial or
technological prizes to offer it may find it agreeable to bring about an
exchange without undue risks or uncertainty. Since
Use of hostile force has the potential to suddenly and irrevocably alter the preconditions essential for collective endeavour. What may not be so readily appreciated is that the use of reactive force may be unavoidable and necessary, and yet it may not prove to be fully efficacious in restoring a feeling of security or the intended normalcy.
Trends which can lead to imperceptible ebbing of strength and vitality, and those that are likely to result into increasing deprivation may lead to passivity or violence or both. Eventually they too are likely to turn into major security concerns.
The purpose of security is best
served by preventing and preempting the use of
hostile force in the first instance rather than by countering it in reactive
mode. Such actions may worsen the already vitiated security environment by
producing cycles of escalating violence leading to a disaster. Examples of both
kinds come to mind: the signal effect produced by prompt and effective action
by our Army to put down the uprising in Mizo Hills in
1960s prevented the spread of disturbance to unmanageable proportions. But such
examples are few. As against that we have many more examples of self-defeating
use of force after the event. The Jallianwala Bagh massacre of 1919 proved to be disastrous and did not
serve the purpose intended by the British. It was meant to teach a lesson to those
who had rioted and molested a woman but ended up by shaking the foundations of
the British presence in
The use of preemptive
force mentioned in the above paragraph is not in support of preventive war—of
the kind undertaken by the
The need to restore tranquility as quickly as possible places natural limits on how much force can be used, and in what manner, and this is a principal divide between the domain of security and the domain of war.
Security implies denial of access to hostile force rather than its elimination, although that too may have to be undertaken. It implies management of inhibitors rather than their uprooting or elimination by force.
No matter how undesirable it is, some use of force is necessary in fulfilling security functions, and this being so, security remains a prerogative of government. Government is the principal actor and the security community is created and maintained by government. Some non governmental organizations and individuals may lend a helping hand in some situations. The citizenry at large plays an indirect and passive but not insubstantial role.
Activities in the security domain may hold the key to protection of the country from internal turbulence or war, and creation of preconditions for development and progress. It is appropriate that the security community is headed and guided by the highest political leadership rather than by professionals.
Good governance is the essential precondition for effective security. Law and order is inseparable from good governance which has a major political content but it may not be right to include all those who are connected with governance in the ‘security community’. Security related functions are performed by very diverse classes of departments and individuals. For example, diplomats and other specialists who, through trade negotiations and deals that stabilize prices, may contribute to security by preventing unrest and possible violence in a critical situation. They may be performing security related functions. Numbers of those who perform security related functions at one or two removes are very large, and yet their views and contributions have to be acknowledged, evaluated, and acted upon when necessary. This need is met by the National Security Council. So, separating out those who perform security related functions at one or two removes, the security community may be described as those functionaries who are directly responsible for the prevention of the use of hostile force and its harmful consequences.
Since the use of reactive-force
is to be avoided as far as possible, preventive action holds the key in the
domain of security. Therefore the importance of early, reliable, and actionable
intelligence cannot be overemphasized. Administrators, intelligence apparatus,
police, and paramilitary forces—including those who manage the border and the
coastline—are the core of the professional element in the security community.
They are the principal actors, although they are not the only ones. The armed
forces have been extensively employed in
It is well known that the
principal actors in the domain determine the nature and quality of activity
that is carried out. They also decide how far the domain should expand. Domain
of security can expand to occupy a great deal of national endeavour, and in the
process, impoverish it. We in
Security can easily be mistaken for the comfort zone, or the feel-good factor. The truth may be otherwise. Great Britain in early 1930s; India in the wake of a quick campaign to overcome the Portuguese in Goa, and before the debacle in the face of the Chinese aggression, felt comfortable but later events proved that they were far from secure.
Security as a state of mind of people in comfort zone may prove to be a poor indicator, and feel good factors may flatter only to deceive. In point of fact, a state of alertness and keenness to undertake substantive enterprise are the true indicators of national security.
Domain of War
War relies principally on threat and use of force to achieve war-aims which often include elimination or eradication of inhibitors, rather than their management. In that sense, war is the very anti-thesis of security, and it is not without considerable irony that war implies opting out of security domain and acceptance of great risks, costs, suffering, and uncertainty in the hope that the inhibitors, which have become intolerable, can be conclusively eliminated, if not forever then for a considerable duration. War implies a willing suspension of considerations that dominate life in the domain of security. The domain of war is readily understood and the field of strategic studies and military science has been in vogue for many centuries. A credible capacity to go to war, and a reasonable chance of surviving it with honour, after inflicting greater punishment on the adversary, if not winning it outright, is often perceived as the best guarantor of security[viii]. It is war preparedness, and not actual fighting, that is directly relevant security.
Spirit of enterprise need not
always sore into outer space, but outer space has certainly helped the
The most important aspect of the
domain of enterprise is that it is not dependent on governments, although
governments are not excluded as promoters or supporters. We in
Though distinct, there is no sharp dividing line between the domains of security and war. There is a considerable overlap between domains of security and domains of war. The domain overlap between security and war encompasses activities to bring about a stable equilibrium that contributes to security. Paradoxically enough it is the capacity, preparedness, and determination to wage war—if and when the need arises—that is actually employed to substantially reduce the chances of hot war breaking out. Agreements on arms limitations, arms reduction, and confidence building measures go some way in this direction.
Effective deterrence and the underlying philosophy lie in this domain overlap: avoidance of war by making risks unacceptable to the likely victims. The logic of deterrence rests upon a mutually shared belief that defence is not a feasible proposition on account of the near certainty of terrible losses and punishment. It is the availability of numerous nuclear weapons, combined with an array of delivery means, which creates the near certainty of punishment and brings about the stated or unstated understanding that nuclear weapons are not for war fighting. It is this conviction that prevents the adversaries from hurling nuclear weapons at each other, or even raising temperatures to a level at which the adversary may be provoked into irrational behaviour. That is how nuclear weapons remain firmly in the domain overlap between security and war. They delimit but do not eliminate possibilities of war and all that is associated with it. Nuclear weapons are political weapons since they can never be used to fight wars. This is so because their likely use holds a credible threat of punishment of an unacceptable kind to the user, amongst others.
Dissuasion on the other hand rests on different logic: that defence is eminently possible, and the punishment that the aggressor will take would far exceed that which the defender is likely to suffer. Dissuasion achieves its purpose by setting a price on aggression that would be unacceptable to the aggressor. Dissuasion also lies in the domain overlap but is closer to the domain of war than deterrence. The political leadership cannot ‘articulate’ dissuasion and it is left to the professionals in the armed forces to achieve the desired result with supporting roles being played by the media and the political leadership.
Missile defence whether of the national or the theatre variety, may take nuclear weapons from the domain of deterrence into the domain of dissuasion with very dangerous portents. Actual military operations at whatever level—tactical, operational, or strategic—is the business of the professional soldiers, but the choice of warfare and the design of the force structure including its raising, equipping and maintenance very much lie in the domain overlap between security and war.
The decision to go to war, war
objectives, and the exit policy firmly lie in the security-war domain overlap.
These are amongst the most serious decisions that nations take. The
professional advice from the principal actors from both the domains is vital,
but ultimately it has to be a political decision. President Kennedy’s handling
of the Cuban Missile crisis is an arch example of pulling back from the brink
of war and opting to remain in the security domain. And this was done against
professional advice. It is equally educative to recall that the Prime Minister
of India did not seek professional advice when opting for peace during July,
1972 at Simla. A nagging doubt remains about what the
outcome would have been if professional advice had been sought. At the time,
Indian decision not to go to war
Unlike in the domains of security and war,
there is no well defined community that sponsors or creates enterprise. Public
sector undertakings in the former
The domain overlap between war
and enterprise is of some interest. It is antithetical to security, so to say.
Activities in this overlap aim at creating ‘disequilibrium’ with a view to
creating, acquiring, and assimilating assets. The principal actors, whether
governmental or private, including those in the corporate world, tend to look
after their own interests. Sometimes the mother country may benefit, but there
is an equal likelihood that the security of the mother country may actually get
jeopardized. It is quite true, although many in India do not believe so, that
the tribal militias from the North West Frontier Province had set out to
‘liberate’ Kashmir with some help and support of the local government without
any central directive from Karachi where the Pakistani government was located
at the time. They started off a process which ‘acquired’ for
Risks and opportunities on the edges of domain are significant and are likely not to attract attention unless special care is taken. If the National Security Council were to particularly watch over the domain-overlaps, many opportunities may get exploited and many risks may be averted.
A SET OF PROCESSES
We have looked at security as the sine qua non—essential preconditions—for national endeavour in general and enterprise in particular. We have also concluded that these preconditions are established by keeping the inhibitors in check so that they do not rise above the threshold. That is another way of saying that security implies a desired ‘regime’ that is maintained by a set of processes. This interpretation of security—as a set of processes—focuses attention on how the security regime is realized.
The motive power to launch
processes resides in the consciousness of the main actor—in this case the
nation. It is the national consciousness which determines the end product and
produces the prime impulse which is distinct from the machines actually
employed and the physical energy supplied to them. It is the national
consciousness which creates the nation state. It is the polity that expands to
conform to the space that is already occupied by national consciousness. Had it
been otherwise, German unification would be inexplicable. It is the nature and
quality of collective consciousness which determines the essence of attitudes
and ambitions of nations. American exceptionalism has
often been talked about and justified on the basis of the stupendous
achievements of the
Major changes in quality, intensity, and coherence of collective consciousness come about in response to the impact of dominating influences and personalities.
The spirit of time (zeitgeist) is
a factor difficult to define but easy to describe. It is the spirit which
brings about changes in the general outlook about life and propriety. It
reflects what an overwhelmingly large number of people think and feel about. If
there is a gap between what is in law books and the spirit of time, it is the
law books which have to be modified. Perhaps that is what explains why there
are definite shifts in how the highest judiciary interprets the law of the land
and even the constitution. Ultimately, the law has to be enforceable without
undue coercion. Do we notice that there is a shift in favour of productivity
and efficiency, and away from distributive justice in
The opinion makers in
There is an inexorable movement
towards civil society although the current in the underdeveloped world is
somewhat weak. If the nation state stands in the wake of this movement the
discontented may drift in the direction of the superpower, as has happened too
often in the past, but not on a significant scale. Nation states in the
developing world tend to subsume this very significant movement and often act
counter to it. Creation of regional forums to which the oppressed can turn to
may be a better answer than their having to take recourse to the United Nations
The geopolitical context
determines the natural continuities and fault-lines. It tells us that the Sub-continent
has the potential to evolve into an effective association; it also tells us
that China need not necessarily be our adversary, but there is a fault-line
that divides China from India and special care would have to be taken to avoid
a confrontation or conflict, if not in near future, then in distant future.
Indian Sub-continent devoid of internal strife has the potential to be a
countervailing entity to
Access to and actual availability
of technology, military technology in particular, produces a major impact on
how nations approach their security processes. Capacity of a nation to forge
ahead in the field of military technology with a decisive edge can bring about
such drastic changes in its mindset. The US it would seem equates it security
with its capacity to punish and destroy: shock and awe. It hopes to save its
precious lives by making abundant use of its superior and undoubtedly
impressive technology. Nations like
The dominating influences cited above are indicative and they certainly do not represent the entire field. Depending upon the worldview many could be added to the list.
Charismatic leadership brings about coherence in collective consciousness by aligning and orientating elements already there. It rarely introduces something new. It energizes people by raising intensity of collective consciousness to levels at which individuals cannot but act feeling all the while that they are acting of their own volition to live up to ideals that they themselves have selected. Leadership converts this coherent energy into mass movements, selects achievable ideals, creates organizational strength, and directs the efforts.
The late Mr. MA Jinnah did not create
Was it Napoleon who created the mass armies and led them to unprecedented victories, and ultimately, to their unprecedented humiliation? Or was it that Frenchmen of those times showed these nascent aspirations for war and glory? Did Napoleon merely provide them an opportunity? Answers to these questions with finality cannot be produced; nor is charismatic leadership available on order. What is of importance and relevant in the present context is that this factor needs to be taken into reckoning while reckoning possibilities.
As we have seen that war, security, and enterprise are interlinked; similarly processes that lead to war or an era of security and enterprise cannot be considered separately. These processes are considered to be an ongoing interaction between two triads: the stimulus triad, and the response triad. It is the matrix of national consciousness that contains, as it were, both the triads. It is for this reason that it is the most single significant factor amongst those that govern the security processes. The nature and intensity of national consciousness holds the key to understanding these processes.
The Stimulus Triad
The stimulus triad has for its
three sides the self-image, national assets, and the environment. It is the
self-image that propels the national endeavour, just as it creates the envelope
within which the effort would be directed, and satisfaction sought. It is of
interest to note that it is the self image, not necessarily a product of
rational or objective factors, that determines the ‘value’ of values, and the
value that is attached to the range of assets that nations command or aspire
to. No one can really think of an asset without thinking of related threats to
those assets, real or imaginary. How many times do we ‘touch wood’? How many
times do grown men and women say a prayer to ward off an ‘evil eye’? These
superstitions are overlaid by a fundamental truth: perceptions of precious
assets and warding off threats to them are inseparable. Would the rising
population be perceived as a national asset, or something to be ruthlessly cut
down? Is secularism as an ideology so very important that it must deny the
concept of theocratic states in the Sub-continent? Is
The self-image is a creation of national consciousness and nothing more needs to be said about it, except that nations try to live up to their self image.
‘Environment’, here, is meant to contain all ‘material’ reality that supports and sustains or threatens and denies national endeavour in entirety. It is most relevant, and if properly expanded could fill a lot of pages, but this is what mostly gets written about in the context of war and peace, and no special emphasis is necessary.
The Response Triad
This triad comprises policy,
strategies, plans and action. Lasting policy represents the national consensus
although in democracies this consensus is deliberately subsumed for political
purposes and minor differences are highlighted to make a bid for votes. If the
policy is in consonance with what already lies in minds of the people in latent
or nascent form, the people respond with a fervour by which even they
themselves are surprised. Policy inspires when it draws upon the inner strength
of the collective consciousness. The methods of Mahatma Gandhi worked wonders
because they were an extension of a long-standing tradition in
Strategy encompasses creation of organizations and instruments essential for achieving the selected security objectives. As we have seen earlier, the security objectives cannot be achieved without effective armed forces although their actual use in primary role is no part of the security domain.
After the end of World War II,
both the super-powers opted for undeclared limited wars and wars by proxy. No
matter in which garbs they came about—whether in
Beyond the creation of the infrastructure, strategy also includes planning—including contingency planning—for the employment of the created means to achieve the desired ends. What is so very important about the planning process is the habit of planning rather than specific plans. Most plans do not withstand the first contact with reality and have to be modified or changed. Those in the habit of planning develop a capacity to bring about modifications in the existing plans and also to improvise. Detailed contingency planning also reveals gaps in intelligence and an effort can then be directed to fill them, if need be by creating new structures and organizations. The process of planning brings about interaction between departments and agencies cutting across boundaries and yields improved understanding of each other’s capabilities.
Action it is for which policies
and strategies are worked out and plans made. If action is halfhearted
or pusillanimous, or is not in conformity with the immediate and the higher
purpose, the entire exercise may be robbed of its meaning. The above may give
an impression that the activity determined and guided by governments is the
main components of the response triad. It is of importance to recall that the
Handling of crises is the first
test of the security process. Numerous crises are a firm indication that there
are inherent flaws in the security structure and processes. Crisis has a way of
creating conditions in which unforced errors are committed and precedents
established. Crises by their very nature cannot be fully avoided but their
management sends strong signals to hostile elements. A close scrutiny of the
actions of the security community in the wake of the hijacking of Indian
Study of security affairs can indeed include most things under the sun in which case the study may lose all focus and usefulness. A framework needs to be created so that security affairs can be studied with reference to it. This paper has made such an effort by interpreting national security related activities as a process that takes place within three partially overlapping domains and by emphasizing that neither war, nor security, nor enterprise can be appropriately considered in isolation.
[i] The last paragraph of Mr. Bidwai’s article titled ‘Security Paradigm as Mirage’ reads as follows:
“The conclusion is inevitable. The dominant Indian ‘National Security’ paradigm is based on assumptions that are, at best, tenuous and, at worst (or rather, normally), downright adventurist, unreliable or false. Such doctrines and strategies cannot possibly provide security, not even stability. They are a recipe for disaster”
Praful Bidwai, South Asian,
The effort in this paper here is to create a framework for security studies so that a particular security paradigm can be evaluated.
[ii] A perusal of even a few definitions reveals that the scope of ‘security’ remains what a person makes of it.
"Security means development into a modernizing society; security is not military hardware though it may include it, security is not military force, though it may involve it, security is not traditional military activity though it may encompass it." Robert McNamara: The Essence of Society, 1968.
means] Protection of a nation from physical attacks and safeguarding its
economic activities from devastating outside blows".
The nation-state concept put down firm roots in
Aldous Huxley, ‘Grey Eminence, A Study in Religion and
Politics’, Chatto and Windus,
We need not go very far. We have our very own ‘Vande Mataram.’
The quotes are from ‘The National Security Strategy of the
“The events of
“For freedom to thrive, accountability must be expected and required.”
The US Security document gives us a clear indication
That is what explains the nation-building exercise in
[v] “He is no Socialist who will not sacrifice his Fatherland for the triumph of the Social Revolution.”
The above quote ascribed to Lenin has been mentioned by
Winston S. Churchill.
‘The World Crisis, The Aftermath’, Thornton
We have come a long way since then.
[vi] This is an idea of circa 1918. In a very imaginative portrayal of what could be under consideration of the World leaders—Clemenceau and Lloyd George—at the time, Churchill has the following to say:
Op. cit.; Page 27.
[vii] Two important aspects of asymmetrical warfare are its cost-effectiveness to the weaker party; and its capacity to bridge the economic and technological gap to hit out at the most powerful nation.
“The decision to refuel in Aden claimed the lives of seventeen young Americans, caused $240 million in damage to one of the U.S. Navy’s most advanced destroyers, and signaled the United States’ impotence in the face of what defense experts call asymmetrical warfare—a fancy term for David killing Goliath.”
Peter L. Bergen, ‘Holy War Inc., Inside the Secret
World of Osama bin laden’, The Free Press,
[viii] This quote is from the US National Security Strategy:
“To defeat this threat we must make use of every tool in our arsenal—military power, better homeland defenses, law enforcement, intelligence, and vigorous efforts to cut off terrorist financing. The war against terrorists of global reach is a global enterprise of uncertain duration.”