Armed forces need to prepare for 'long forms' of war say defence experts

PUNE: The Indian Armed forces need to focus on the long form’ of wars rather than preparing for ‘short term’ conflicts to counter future security and strategic challenges, said defence experts on Monday.
The ongoing Russian and Ukraine crisis is a testimony to prove that the forces need to prepare for a long war. The world leadership had thought the Russia- Ukraine war would finish in a few days. But it went on for months. And it is still going on, they said.
The experts were talking at a symposium on ‘The Ukraine crisis: Challenges to India’s foreign policy.’ The Pune International Center (PIC) in association with Takshashula Institution had organised a day-long event.
Air Marshal Bhushan Gokhale (retd), former vice chief of air staff, said, “The present Russia and Ukraine crisis has shown varied aspects of modern warfare and military tactics. The Indian Armed forces need to take lessons from it to face the future security challenges.”
Rear Admiral SY Shrikhande (retd), former assistant chief of naval staff, said, “The highest standard of strategic planning is the most essential part of modern warfare today. The US armed forces’ failure in Afghanistan was a classic example of strategic failure. All these years, the US could project its supremacy in Afghanistan. However, eventually, they lost the war and left the country. Hence the armed forces need to focus on this front. And it can be achieved by fine-tuning their military doctrines at prominent military establishments.”
He said that the Ukraine armed forces had learned hard lessons from the 2014 conflict with Russia. “This time they had shown more resilience than the last time. On other hand, the Russian military leadership failed to forecast it.
“As a result, they (Russians) could not achieve the objectives that they had thought to get within a short period. But it was again a strategic failure,” Shrikhande added.
Lt General Shokin Chauhan (retd), former director general of Assam of Rifles, said a strong ground force with the highest order of military ethos is needed to fight the war.
“Technology alone will not help any military to win the war. Thus, any force needs professional soldiers, not conscripted soldiers. This is what the Russian military leadership is facing the problem today. The military leadership should draw lessons from it,” Chauhan pointed out.
Former ambassador Gautam Bambawale talked about the lessons for India’s foreign policy choices.
Representatives from private companies, who are working in defence productions, said, “They have got the necessary support from the government under its ‘Atmanirmbhar Bharat’ initiative in the last few years. And hence they are working on various niche military technologies and systems positively.”
Some of them pointed out that the armed forces need to give clarity on the systems that they are planning to acquire. “It will help them to work on it extensively to meet their operational requirements,” they said.
Senior retired armed forces personnel, defence and strategic analysts, security experts, serving army officers and academicians attended the event.

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