PERSPECTIVES OF FUTURE WARFARE AND PREPAREDNESS OF DEFENCE SERVICES
New Delhi: Asvina 14, 1932
06 Oct 2010
Field Marshal KM Cariappa Memorial Lecture
By Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Former President of India
Creative leadership will lead to empowered nation
I am indeed delighted to deliver the Field Marshal KM Cariappa Memorial Lecture as part of the celebration of Infantry Day. My greetings to all of you friends. I like the motto of infantry “The ultimate”, I have witnessed how the infantry’s are ultimate in the army formations. What tribute we can give to a great son of India, who transformed himself from infantry soldier to the field Marshal, the only one tribute all of us can give it to Field Marshal KM Cariappa, the vision of a “Soldier as a system”, making more powerful in handling sophisticated arms, communication equipments and life support system. Next-generation infantry Small Arms Systems with self-protection, surveillance & communication system Weighing 25 kgs. My best wishes to all of you on the “Infantry Day”.
Friends, Field Marshal KM Cariappa, the first Chief of Army Staff in Indian Armed Forces had a distinguished military career spanning over three decades. He is among the only two Indian Army Officers to hold the highest army rank as Field Marshal. When I am here with you all at this lecture, I am reminded of the words of Field Marshal Cariappa “in modern warfare, a large Army is not sufficient, it needs industrial potential behind it. If Army is the first line of defence, industry is the second”. This visionary thought, expressed about four decades ago, highlights the dynamic amalgamation of national development and national defence and the role of the Armed Forces in scenarios of peace and war. When I am here with all of you, I would like to express my thoughts about this topic “Perspectives of Future warfare and Preparedness of Defence services”.
First let me discuss about future warfare and how it is increasingly technology centric.
Future Warfare – Technology Centric
Friends, the challenge is to equip ourselves to combat the fast paced technology driven warfare. The whole war environment will be a network centric warfare and it could be electronically controlled combined with space encounters, deep sea encounters, and ballistic missiles encounters. The winner of future warfare will be the Armed Force which can visualize the strength of the enemy, not based on the previous wars but based on the current capabilities, and technological advancements in the global scenario.
Our officers serving in Armed Forces will have to get trained in virtual reality based simulated warfronts of all the terrains and all extreme conditions of warfare. Walk through during a space attack, chemical attack; nuclear attack and electronic encounters need to be visualized and proper counter measures, with decision making process, need to be propounded. The future battle field would require a synergized team work with joint services operation and use of land, aerospace and ocean as important war theatres. Future soldiers will be knowledge workers.
Above all, winners will be soldiers in the frontlines carrying maximum payload of weapon, life support systems and communication kits with minimum weight. We should remember that every gram of weight saving of soldier’s payload will add to the physiological and psychological capability of the soldier. Electronic Warfare – Computers with intelligent software will fight in the place of many strategic systems. They will be more powerful– which will travel at the speed of light - to destroy the economic capability of countries exceeding the power of nuclear weapons. As a leader in national defence, may I request you to develop all round capabilities in your assignments so that you can emerge victorious in all your missions.
Dear friends, remember, even at the end of victorious wars, the real situation is, countries lose certain territories because of underlying circumstances and inadequacies in strategic thinking. I have visited almost all the border areas wherever our Army units and Brigades are defending the borders. When I was addressing one of the Army formations, there was a large number of young officers from all the units of Armed Forces near by. There I asked a question to the young officers, what you would like to be remembered for? There was pin –drop silence. One newly joined young officer lifted his hand and said, Sir, I would like to be remembered as a soldier who got back the land lost during various wars. There was indeed a genuine cheer of all the members presents. I felt proud of being a part of such a great Army with such visionary officers.
A Nuclear war scene
Since I am in the midst of Defence experts, I would like to present a hypothetical scene of nuclear war and the typical leadership needed for combating such a war situation.
a) India as a nuclear weapon state has stated policy of “no first use”. This leads to a situation that our Armed Forces have to get a precious pre-knowledge about weapon sites, weapon dummy sites, weapon storage sites of multiple types and the actual weapons in land, air and sea of the adversary.
b) With the above situation, the reconnaissance and intelligence both electronics and manual has to be omni-directional and precious, so that preparation for nuclear warfare and camouflage nuclear warfare, combination of nuclear and conventional war systems can be detected well in advance.
c) This will need correct positioning of long range radar systems, phased array radar systems and weapon locating radar systems linked to typical antiballistic missile systems to intercept and destroy the incoming missiles and aircraft in the enemy territory itself.
d) When the attack is in progress, it is essential to continuously monitor and identify whether a conventional weapon has been used or a nuclear weapon has been used, so that the nuclear command can be activated within minutes of a nuclear weapon attack.
e) Entry into the nuclear weapon affected area has to be with a completed protected life supporting system. A rescue brigade with such protection system has to be immediately deployed to save precious lives. That means, the intensive virtual training is needed for strategic engineers and operation engineers.
f) Simultaneously, rescue mission has to start immediately within the 2 km to 3 km radius for protecting the people who have been exposed to nuclear radiation by moving to the hospital for bone marrow transplantation and other treatment. This has to be done in identified hospital located within 10 to 15 kms distance. Bone marrow banks have to be established and preserved in military and well known hospitals in 10-15 Km radius of possible nuclear attack sites.
Friends, I have discussed the scene of a Nuclear War since, all around our nation there are nations which possess nuclear arsenal. Now, I would like to discuss about elimination of nuclear weapons or making them insignificant, both politically and technologically.
In an electronically linked world, nations are increasingly connected economically. In a war, destruction will be more severe and fatal if the economy collapses. And the recovery process after the war will be long winding. Cyber technology is the tool for such type of war. The future war, that is powered by cyber war, can create destruction effortlessly at the speed of light. The ICBM and other nuclear weapons will be becoming insignificant in the cyber warfare environment.
Now-a-days nations have electronically connected all their economic, defense and national security establishments which will be the target for cyber attacks during a conflict or to create instabilities. In the present law, for example, the jurisdiction will correspond to the location where the crime is committed and where the damage occurs - very often both being the same location. Whereas in the digital world, the crime may originate from a strange place even outside nation’s shores and may damage organizational wealth which will be in the digital form in multiple locations. In the world of cyber crimes, the distinction between fun and crime, accidental and premeditated offences and even indirect and insinuated crimes become blurred. In such situations, the armed forces, the judges, the lawyers, the police and the law officers should be trained to be aware of such possibilities of technology centric crime and war much the same way they have been trained to understand, war and crime in the physical world. In the absence of such awareness programme, a country can be defeated even without a missile or aircraft attack just through intelligent cyber war.
Different threat perceptions of Cyber warfare
Cyber espionage: As the technology is advancing, cyber espionage may establish the economic assets of the country, if it is vulnerable to the external and internal threat perceptions. These may include any Secret and classified information such as sensitive, proprietary or classified information from individuals, competitors, rivals, groups, governments and enemies. Illegal exploitation methods on internet, networks, software and or computers for military, political or economic advantage have to be probed . If this information is not handled in a secure way, they can be intercepted and even modified, making it vulnerable for espionage from any part of the world.
Smart system to deduct vulnerabilities: Any information, physical infrastructure, communication and economic infrastructure and its access devices and methodologies may be vulnerable for disruption, if it is not secured. Even electrical power grid may be vulnerable to cyber warfare, hence we may need a smart system which can deduct the vulnerabilities and able to respond to the security loop holes dynamically. Massive power outages caused by a cyber attack, may disrupt the economy, cyber attack on airport infrastructure may bring down the countries to a standstill, distract from a simultaneous military attach or create a national trauma.
Electronic warfare: Computer network operations involve attacking, defending, or exploiting purely computer-based networks; whereas the electronic warfare involves any military action involving the direction of control of electromagnetic spectrum energy to deceive or attack the enemy. Electronic warfare is becoming more matured that there is a technology gap; capacity gap which leads to the gap in the effective laws and public polices to handle such cyber crimes in land, sea, air and space. Hence we need to have a multi pronged approach technically, managerially as well as with proper laws of the land to deal with that situation effectively to defend the economic assets of the nation. Legal frame work may have to consider several aspects such as individual privacy, inconvenience to honest public at large, agreed international norms and above all decision making at “electronic speed”.
Survivable systems: We are moving towards air defence networks and weapon systems with the computer systems, wireless systems, command and control systems, radars, signals which have to be protected against the vulnerabilities and have to be built with survivable technologies even if there is an external attack crossing the security systems.
When the internet technologies are developing and the world is moving towards cloud computing paradigm with the ubiquitous access devices, the vulnerabilities and threat perceptions from the internal and external forces is also increasing. This possibility creates more opportunities for the interested elements to decipher the flow of information to their own advantage and disrupt the whole transaction or a mission to their own advantage which ultimately will have a negative impact on the economic infrastructure of the nation. These technologies bring borderless world in the economy irrespective of its physical national borders, will challenge the legal systems which are not updated for effectively dealing with the technological challenges of today and will further complicate the nation’s ability to deter threats and respond to contingencies.
Cyber warfare challenges the sovereignty of the nation: The cyber warfare will use more and more internet and its related technologies against the socio, economical, political technological and information sovereignty and independence of any other state as per the research project called the International convention on Prohibition of Cyberwar in Internet according to a Ukrainian professor of International Law, Alexander Merezhko. Professor Merezhko's project suggests that the Internet ought to remain free from warfare tactics and be treated as an international landmark. He states that the Internet (cyberspace) is a "common heritage of mankind.
Technology in counter terrorism
In the recent times we have witnessed a growing tendency of usage of modern technology in the various terrorist operations across the world. This comes in the form of upgraded explosives and weapons, better detonation mechanism and advanced communication systems. Remember, every terrorist or extremist can acquire best of weapons and communication systems for ideological support or for money. As we evolve strategies for tackling terrorism we will have to upgrade our understanding and application of technology.
We also saw how the terrorist operations were commanded and controlled using mobile communication devices in midst of people, armed forces and paramilitary forces. In the modern day, fight against terrorism blocking these communication devices using local high powered jammers. In such missions, one of the important strategic needs is: fast and secure encryption and decryption. It would be an essential tool towards preventing terrorists from achieving coordinated attacks and we should have independent secured channels for our communication.
If this trend of terrorism is allowed to continue, it is possible to even see terrorists attempting biological attacks on consumable like water and milk, which are sourced from multiple points, stored and processed in a central location and distributed to multiple regions simultaneously.
To match and counter such threats, there is a need of assimilation of better technology and cutting edge systems in all agencies involved with security of the nation. As defence experts all of you may like to study, research and deploy the counter terrorism technologies of the future in all its training.
The role of Armed Forces is beyond being confined to merely war scenarios. With its skilled human resources, technological expertise and the spirit of national service, the Armed Forces has contributed to make even in time of peace which the Armed Forces are already doing to the happiness of the people of the nation.
I was asking myself how you all present here can contribute towards national development. I believe, definitely one way or other each member present here can work for the national development by defending the nation and bringing peace or participation in social changes and economic development.
Here I would like to discuss with you an example which I witnessed, showing how the engineers of the US Army are playing an important role in managing the entire river system of their nation.
National Development and Army Corp
Friends in April 2010, I was in USA, primarily to take a course titled “Evolution of Happy, prosperous and peaceful societies” at Gatton College of Business and Economics at University of Kentucky. Apart from teaching assignment, I was interested to know, how Ohio and Mississippi river basins have been managed for flood control and smart navigation. I wanted to explore how such models can find application in the context of of Bihar which is quite often affected by floods from Kosi river. I studied how the Corps of Engineers of the US Army has responded to changing Defence requirement and played an integral part in the development of the country’s infrastructure, from the time it was established by the decree of order by First President of the United States, George Washington in 1775.
From the 19th century onwards, the Corps has built coastal fortifications, surveyed roads and canals, eliminated navigation hazards, explored and mapped the western frontiers and constructing buildings and monuments in the nation’s capital. In the 21st century, the Corps became the lead federal flood control agency and smart river navigation provider and significantly expanded its civil works activities, becoming among other things a major provider of hydro electric energy and the country’s leading provider of recreation. The river navigational routes provide right time at reduced cost of transportation of coal to the hundreds of thermal power plants. It’s role in responding to natural disaster dramatically.
In the late 60s, the Corps became leading environmental, preservation and restoration agency. It now carries out natural and cultural resource management programme at its water resources projects and regulates activities in the nation’s wetlands. Today, the Corps of Engineers is a federal agency and a major Army command made up of some 34,600 civilian and 650 military personnel, making it the world’s largest public engineering, design and construction management agency. The Corps have constructed more than 400 major artificial lakes and reservoirs, built more than 8,500 miles of levees and implemented hundreds of smaller local flood protection projects. The Corps of Engineers’ lakes store more than 372 BCM of water. I am giving you this example to illustrate, how the role of one arm of the Army has been changing with time based on national priorities. We, in India, lose every year, 1500 BCM of flood water which flows into the sea. If we can store even half of this water, India’s water shortage problem can be solved for the entire nation.
While country is grateful to the role played by the Indian Armed Forces in national development through various dimensions, such experiences from elsewhere can add value to your future plans. I was studying an article about this year flood situation in India. It said, that while the north-western India suffered flood through an excess rain fall of 13%, at the same time the east and northeastern part had a short fall of 18% rain. If our rivers were connected and managed well, this excess from one part, and short fall in another could offset each other, leading to prosperity and protection against nature’s fury. Development of State wide Smart Waterways – will act as a reservoir and excess flood can be shared among the short fall regions and vise versa. Interlinking of rivers is easy if the state wide waterways are established for easy distribution and storage during flood and drought seasons. State wide Water ways and rivers have to be the national asset and I believe armed forces can play a very important role in management of the national rivers and make them transform into smart waterways.
Friends, I have been involved with the defence services for more than four decades in various capacities. I have interacted with many defence scientists, leaders from defence services and soldiers who dedicate themselves completely to the nation and its people. I have witnessed multiple occasions where the defence services have gone beyond their call of duty and actively participated in missions of development and relief, often in the most difficult terrains. There is another changing role of the armed forces where they are actively participating in developmental missions. Army is working in the difficult environment like desert, glaciers, mountainous regions, sea coasts, islands and forest areas, and at every place you have unique challenges and roles. Every aspect of terrain of the nation is known to you. Even when the nation sleeps, the men and women of Indian Armed Forces are vigilant and vigilantly safegurarding the nations interests and above all you are ensuring peace in the nation so that it can concentrate on the economic development and strategic importance.
Strategic dimensions for vision 2020 Developed India Dear friends, our focused vision is to become a developed India before 2020. We have to, through a well orchestrated strategic approach, foresee and deter any impediments to this vision. On multiple fronts India is facing challenges of war and its dynamics, due to its economic growth and the vision to become a developed India before 2020. When the nation progresses with economic strength and youth power, the international dynamics completely takes new dimension, some enjoy our progress, few make the progress as the target. You have to be prepared to safe guard our progress at all costs and we cannot afford to compromise our national unique culture.
In this scenario, India has to focus and strengthen its capacity on four fronts. Hence we should visualize the following five scenarios in place before the year 2020. They are:
1. Space based surveillance and Reconnaissance
5. Strategic alliances
Space based Surveillance and Reconnaissance
a. Positioning Space based surveillance and reconnaissance satellite network for armed forces.
b. Positioning the reusable super sonic and hypersonic cruise missile for reconnaissance and delivery of payloads.
c. We cannot depend on the public domain GPS systems or Glosnows in view of our strategy, the availability is not assured at the time of critical requirement. India should go for its own GPS satellite and SMB Satellite, because most of our systems are strategic systems have got linked with Global position systems.
a. Regular electronic intelligence collection and manual intelligence gathering have to be strengthened. Most important thing is to strengthen our cyber warfare technologies with the capability to penetrate any kind of network of the adversaries’.
b. India has to achieve mastery over encryption and decryption of certain unique languages which we are not accustomed to. At the same time we have to evolve a scheme to respond quickly and be able to jam the network with our intelligent software agents.
c. We also need to establish the intelligence gathering network by observing the behaviour of the mobile systems, wireless systems used and to build the possible war scenarios and its dynamics.
a. Multiple centers with Anti Ballistic Missile system with two layer interception to be ready for deployment.
b. Aircraft surveillance with Deep Penetration Strike Aircraft to be in position
c. Long range weapon locating radars
d. Integrated war theatre for armed forces, with virtual war scenarios built with its command and control system for taking integrated decision.
e. Nuclear command able to be integrated with the conventional war system.
Strategic Weapons have to be in position
a. ICBM with Multiple Independent Reentry vehicles (MIRV) – beyond 5000 km.
b. IRBM – with nuclear war heads (within 5000 km).
c. Long range and short range ballistic missile which are already available should be in a ready situation to tackle the threat perceptions deployed on the field.
d. Medium Combat Stealth Aircraft in position along with Light Combat Aircraft.
e. Nuclear Submarines with Strategic Missiles.
f. Long range supersonic cruise missile.
g. Integrated Electronic Warfare system operating in millimeter wave.
Our strategic alliances, the strategic public policy has to be restructured and should take a lead role in a partnership mode by wining over the confidence of our neighbours. We need to create a situation that it is always better to align with India, a democratic nation of billion people for achieving peace and prosperity, rather than get into war dynamics which will ultimately detrimental to their national interest and their growth towards development, peace and prosperity.
a. India should evolve strategic friendship with our neighbours and critical locations.
b. Establish mutually benefit economic cooperation and revitalize the relationship with meaningful partnership with neighbours for the win-win situation
c. Imbibe the confidence among the neighbouring nations that aligning with democratic India is the paramount importance for their internal peace and prosperity rather than certain infrastructural assistance getting with vested interest to suit their military and economical ambitions.
d. A strategic public policy for external affairs for this region and carry out the specific diplomatic useful campaign among the friendly nations and win over the confidence towards India.
Strategic Military Leadership
Now friends, in such a situation, what type of leadership quality are needed? What type of training is needed to build such a capacity among our youth?
a) Courage, Courage and Courage.
b) A visionary thinking to predict, how and what type of damages, the enemy is likely to inflict upon us. How many simultaneous attacks are possible if we miss the positive interception? A totally “out of the box” thinking is needed for precise prediction and action.
c) The leader must have the capacity to defeat the problem and succeed. Empowerment decision making is needed at all levels.
d) The leader must be able to simulate models of various types of encounters and have most effective solutions for each one of the simulated models.
e) In-spite of all the preparation, if the enemy really springs a surprise, the leader must be able to quickly react and win.
f) The leader has to delegate authority to different teams, coordinate and work with a unified purpose. He should also plan for contingences for unexpected causality arising during the encounter.
g) The aim of the leader must be to minimize our loss and maximize damage to the enemy.
h) The leader must work with integrity and succeed with integrity.
Conclusion: Defence, Development and Integrity
Friends the world has been witnessing and continue to witness many transformational technologies that enhance the quality of life, accelerate the development and contribute to defence needs. However the same tools can become dangerous weapons in wrong hands. This is true not only of the technologies, but also phenomenon like social networking. Past animosities, real or perceived enmities and large inequities in development within nations and globe are waiting to use such networking and technologies for vicious purposes and future warfare strategists have to be well aware of this. Such potential threats have not only to be transmitted right at the time of induction training but also get embedded in every aspect of preparedness including decision making, legal frame work and public awareness. Social evil of corruption forms the other dimension and it cannot be allowed to intrude into the defence systems. So the perspectives of the future warfare in addition to the known experiences and current developments should address the future dimensions. Warfare is not just about fighting wars, but also enabling peace. Development, integrity are integral to peace.
For achieving all the missions, what we need is the determination and indomitable spirit. Hence, I am reminded of the Maharishi Pathanjali’s Yoga Sutra written 2000 years ago.
“When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extradinary project, all your thoughts break their bounds, your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, you will find yourself in a new great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.”
Dear friends, Our young Armed Forces officers should dream and work for the great military leaders like Field Marshal Cariappa. My best wishes to all of you in your endeavor to make a better nation and the world.
May God bless you.