Role Of Indian Armed Forces Politics Essay

23 Mar 2015

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1. External security depends on national power which requires a continuous enhancement of country's capacity to use its tangible and intangible resources in such a manner so as to affect the behavior of the other nations. A vibrant economy and a leading role in international affairs may be as important as a strong military for the preservation and development of national power. Power determines international relations.

2. National security can be conceived of as the preservation of core values and vital interests critical to the nation-state from external and internal challenges. Challenges to national security and measures to meet these challenges would cover a wide spectrum ranging from political to economic to diplomatic to territorial to intellectual property rights to direct military issues. With increased globalization which necessitates greater international interaction, national security assumes greater importance to ensure a secure environment for economic development. This capacity will also depend on the nation's ability to use defence as a foreign policy tool to neutralize threats to national security and enhance its own defence capability. The three key goals for Indian foreign policy identified by erstwhile Indian Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon are, "Firstly, ensuring a peaceful periphery, secondly, relations with the major powers; and thirdly, issues of the future, namely food security, water, energy and environment". In order to achieve these goals, it is imperative that conservation of resources is given prime importance. With advent of transnational and home grown terrorism there is tremendous strain on nation's resources. Resources can best be conserved with eliminating or reducing the bane of terrorism.

3. The geographic location of the country is not an inconsequential factor in the development of sub conventional conflict in the country. Historically South Asia has been viewed as a region of protracted animosity. The region thus remains volatile and a threat to peace and stability in areas within and beyond. Needless to say, repetitive ethno religious problems in India, particularly in J & K, the Maoist insurgency expanding its roots, the problems in NE states coupled with pervasive crisis in Pakistan has put India in an unenviable neighbourhood [1] .

4. Modern diplomacy represents a complex set of skills, institutional and extra institutional international relations, which are not limited to formal contacts between representatives of governments of various countries, as opposed to traditional diplomacy [2] . Today's diplomacy is taking place between the representatives of social associations, informal institutions, non-governmental organizations, intellectuals, analysts and researchers, than diplomacy between two or more ministries of foreign affairs, which is achieved through diplomatic missions in relevant states. This, however, is not the only characteristic of modern diplomacy, although it results in numerous other characteristics of diplomatic communication. Often termed as multi

track diplomacy, there are now numerous actors participating much more with their own new interests, access and ideas [3] .

5. One of the essential objectives of effective diplomacy is to prevent other states from combining against one's own state. Diplomacy as a means to gain political objective will remain operative both during peace and war. Military diplomacy would cover all those defence related actions to further one's national aims and objective. These actions could be unilateral, bilateral and multilateral; within or outside one's national territory, with or even without consent of the other parties concerned. The benefit would primarily accrue to the initiator and any benefit to the other party or parties would be incidental. If the unilateral armed action is at one extreme of the spectrum then bilateral and multilateral defence cooperation would be other extreme of military diplomacy spectrum.

6. On the other hand sub conventional conflict, especially transnational terrorism has become the central security challenge of the post-cold war world, the defining moments of which were 9/11 in New York and 26/11 in Mumbai. Transnationalism is one of the primary causes for increase in political violence by varied groups, as a globalised interlinked world provides greater scope for getting support for disparate causes. It becomes imperative that one of the best tool of diplomacy, military, is utilized for countering the biggest threat to nations, transnational terrorism, for superlative results.

Statement of the Problem

7. The aim of the dissertation is to study and analyse the employment of military diplomacy to enhance global cooperation against sub conventional conflicts with specific reference to transnational terrorism and role of Indian Armed Forces in furthering own national interests.


8. The biggest impediment to Indian development and security is the sub conventional threat which in today's world has advanced to a new spectrum of transnational terrorism. The bane of transnational terrorism can best be tackled with collective global effort and military diplomacy is the best tool to tackle the problem.

Justification of the Study

9. Sub Conventional Conflict. The problems of sub conventional conflict have been with India right from independence. Moreover, since last few decades this home grown terrorism has been overtaken by transnational terrorism with non-state actor from our neighbouring countries carrying out terrorist acts within borders of India. Increasingly, India wants to play a bigger role in fighting international terrorism. In present conditions, the logical choice for India is to join the fight against terrorism with use of its armed forces in diplomatic manner to ensure minimum strain on its resources and avoid stretching the already overstretched army.

10. Peacetime Military Diplomacy. Peacetime military diplomacy is an important constituent of the five basic channels of nation-to-nation contact between friendly governments, i.e., political, diplomatic, economic, cultural/social, and last but not the least, military.

11. India has an abiding stake in peace and stability in its neighbourhood for its long-term security and projection on the regional and eventually the world scene. One of the objectives of India's foreign policy is the intensification and consolidation of ties with the neighbours and strengthening of peace and security in the region as a whole, through mutually beneficial cooperation.


12. Security related diplomacy is being carried out by various nations, not only with other nation states, but also with insurgent groups operating in their respective countries. In this dissertation, the scope would be limited to diplomacy between nation states to counter transnational terrorism.

13. A country is involved in diplomatic relations with almost with every other country. In international forum a country has to negotiate even with countries not even remotely concerned with a dispute to win over their support. Hence, military diplomacy concerning military to military cooperation with other countries and how this diplomacy is to be used as foreign policy tool to counter threat of terrorism would be taken up in this dissertation.

Sources of Data

14. The sources utilized in compiling this paper have been from DSSC library, books, journals, periodicals, research papers on the subject, lectures by guest speakers and internet research. Necessary bibliography has been enclosed in the dissertation at Appendix A.

Organisation of the Dissertation

15. The study has been divided into nine chapters. The main text is contained from chapter II to VIII, with chapters I and IX as the Introduction and Conclusion. The main aspects of the study covered in each chapter are enumerated in the succeeding paragraphs:-

(a) Chapter II : Environmental Scan. It focuses on emerging India, its global security challenges and methodology of securing its long term national interests.

(b) Chapter III : Transnational Terrorism(TT) Insights. To highlight that challenges of transnational terrorism have become varied ranging from surrogate criminal organizations, financial networks and use of information and cyber war tools for sustaining ideological support.

(c) Chapter IV : Components of Military Diplomacy. To highlight various methods the countries are adopting to create environment of peace and stability in their neighbourhood and across the globe through military diplomacy.

(d) Chapter V : Current Indian Approach to Military Diplomacy. An appraisal of the Indian efforts towards military diplomacy with respect to different countries.

(e) Chapter VI : Strategies to Counter TT. Strategies to counter terrorism in South Asia (in specific) with options available have been enunciated.

(f) Chapter VII : Analysis of Indian Approach to Military Diplomacy. Analysis of optimization of national military diplomatic ability on creating dedicated organizations and empowering them with policy guidelines, funding and authority to transact business.

(g) Chapter VIII : Road Map for India. Recommendations to optimize the military diplomacy have been elucidated.

(h) Chapter IX. Conclusion.



"It is a positive signal. But we cannot expect miracles".

- AK Antony, Indian Defence Minister

On Indo-Pak Talks, May 2011

16. After disappointing itself for decades, India is now on the verge of becoming a great power. The world started to take notice of India's rise when New Delhi signed a nuclear pact with former President George W Bush in 2005, but that breakthrough is only one dimension of the dramatic transformation of Indian foreign policy that has been in place since the end of the Cold War. After more than a half century of false starts and unrealized potential, India is now trying to emerge as the swing state in the global balance of power.

17. India's growth has been acknowledged by the world as a peaceful development based on democratic institutions, a pluralist and tolerant polity that respects human rights and freedoms and is based on the rule of law. It is based on the principles of Panchsheel i.e., peaceful coexistence. As it rises, India has the potential to become a leading member of the "Globe" and to play a key role in the great political struggles of the next decades. India will be called upon for global public goods like protection of global commons, peacekeeping, peace building and environmental mitigation. [4] 

18. India's grand strategy divides the world into three concentric circles. In the

first, which encompasses the 'Immediate Neighbourhood', India has sought primacy and a veto over the actions of outside powers. In the second, which encompasses the 'Extended Neighbourhood' stretching across Asia and the Indian Ocean littoral, India has sought to balance the influence of other powers and prevent them from undercutting its interests. In the third, which includes the entire global stage, India has tried to take its place as one of the great powers, a key player in international peace and security.

19. Even as the Kashmir and China questions have remained unsettled, India's profile in its extended neighbourhood has grown considerably since the early 1990s. India's outward economic orientation has allowed it to re-establish trade and investment linkages. New Delhi is negotiating a slew of free - and preferential - trade agreements with individual countries as well as multilateral bodies including the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and the Southern African Development Community. Just as China has become the motor of economic growth in East Asia, a rising India could become the engine of economic integration in the Indian Ocean Region.

20. After decades of being marginalized from regional institutions in different parts of Asia, India is also now a preferred political partner of ASEAN, the East Asian Summit, the GCC, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), and the African Union. Moreover, it has emerged as a major aid donor; having been an aid recipient for so long, India is now actively leveraging its own external assistance to promote trade as well as political objectives.

21. China's Aggressive Defence Diplomacy. The year 2011 marked the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and also the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the Foreign Liaison Office of the Central Military Commission (CMC), the predecessor of the Foreign Affairs Office of the Ministry of National Defence (MND) of the People's Republic of China (PRC). Qian Lihua, Director General of the Foreign Affairs Office of the MND of the PRC, during a special interview of the PLA Daily, said that after the Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh Central Committee of the CPC, the focus of the Party and the country was shifted to economic construction. [5] The military diplomatic work of China established its guiding ideology which was subjected to and in service of China's overall diplomacy and national defence and construction of military modernization.

22. The Chinese military diplomacy carried out the military strategic guideline of the new period and the pragmatic exchanges and cooperation kept expanding. The mutual trust and cooperation between the Chinese military and the militaries of its neighbouring countries were further enhanced. China has signed agreements with several countries on strengthening mutual trust in military field and established a series of defence consultation mechanisms. China for the first time sent its peacekeeping troops to participate in UN peacekeeping operations and strengthened professional exchanges with militaries of other countries, so as to learn from their advanced experience in such aspects as army building concept, organizational structure, personnel training, logistic support and equipment technology [6] .

23. China has strengthened strategic consultations and dialogues with major powers, consolidated and developed military exchanges with neighbouring countries and developing countries, actively participated in multilateral security dialogues and cooperation of the SCO and the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), organized such foreign-related military actions as joint exercises and joint training, international rescue, maritime escort and UN peacekeeping, playing an important role in maintaining global and regional peace and stability.



"The expansion and sophistication of transnational crime represents one of the most dangerous threats we confront in the next millennium".

- Rand Beers,

Under Secretary

Homeland Security for National Protection and Programs, USA

24. Transnational terrorism remains the defining security paradigm of the post modern era. Terrorism is increasingly becoming a weapon of choice for people, non-state actors as well as states on the political margins. [7] Thus when individuals and groups perceive that they are unlikely to gain justice in the prevailing socio political environment, they take to this form of organized violence, sometimes as a last resort. They justify violent behavior by lack of peaceful options for achieving socio-economic and political objectives.

25. It is expected that terrorism or fight against terrorism also termed as Sub Conventional Warfare is known to pursue and are not being explained in great details in the dissertation. The main problem of globalization of terrorism termed as transnational terrorism is being explained in this chapter.

26. Transnationalism is one of the primary causes for increase in political violence by varied groups, as a globalised interlinked World provides greater scope for getting

support for disparate causes. News of terrorist act in a remote corner in North East

India, an attempt to hijack an aircraft in the Middle East, a failed bomb attempted in New York City, an ambush on security forces in jungles of Central India or storming of the parliament building in Africa will spread instantly through television and internet news or social media at the local, national and global level. Information and communication channels not only provide greater visibility to terrorist groups but act as a medium to spread their ideology more rapidly and to a wider audience than ever before in human history.

27. The post-modern political organization has also transformed from state monopoly of all fields of human activity to growth of multiple groups designate commonly as non-state actors. A variety of factors such as porous border regimes and increased volume of trade moving in unchecked containers aids activities of these groups, as do strained and antagonistic inter-state relations.

28. Thus the phenomenon of nationalism and transnationalism has become self-supporting. Terrorists are increasingly assuming a hybrid character combining criminals and ideologies. They are unmindful of the illegal source of their money whether it is from crime or drugs. Challenges of transnational terrorism have thus become varied ranging from surrogate criminal organizations, financial networks and use of information and cyber war tools for sustaining ideological support. The "fused criminal-terrorist organization is a tie up with like-minded ideological movements thereby exploiting current capacities which are relevant for conduct of terrorist acts such as surveillance, money transfer, weapons and bombs purchase and assassinations. [8] 

29. India's Vulnerability to Terrorism. India's vulnerability or susceptibility to terrorism is denoted by a number of factors:-

(a) The geographic location of the country with a periphery of weak and

ungoverned states which have a huge youth bulge. These youth lacking in opportunities for education and employment are pushed into armed rebellion while steady growth of fundamentalism and extremism in this region over the past many decades has taken deep roots in the tribal areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan with a spillover of support in other parts of the countries attracts the young to join the rebels even as suicide bombers.

(b) India's peninsular configuration with a long coast line makes surveillance challenging as there is a scope for infiltration from land while defending coastal areas takes considerable resources.

(c) Furthermore, India's diversity in terms of ethnic composition, linguistic variety, religious multiplicity, caste legacy, regionalism and tribal divides are some of the socio political challenges faced by the state which can be exploited by an adversary to advantage.

(d) India's political economy is another vector contributing to the growth of discontent leading to militancy and terrorism.

(e) All these challenges can be tackled by proactive governance. Yet governance remains a key deficit. The delivery to people is low with weak structural political and administrative problems.

30. Terrorism in South Asia. Post-modern terrorism is evolved from a number of socio-political and economic trends particularly in the developing World in South Asia. Broadly the waves and forms of terrorism today can be classified as anarchist, left wing, separatist or nationalist, religious fundamentalist, millenarian, as tool in militancy and finally the hybrid form combining one or more evident in a number of cases today. Each form of terrorism is geographically and situationally typical; however, core identification of the form of terror facilitates evolving counter strategies and is therefore essential to address the threat holistically, for terrorism is primarily a battle of ideas and therefore questioning the roots of philosophy that supports violence in the most viable foil against it. [9] The main forms of ideological support to terrorism in South Asia are as follows [10] :-

(a) India. Separatism, Sub Nationalism based on ethnicity, identity and historical legacy, Left Wing Extremism and Right Wing or Religious Fundamentalism and transnational terrorism.

(b) Pakistan. The Right Wing or Religious Fundamentalism, Separatism, Sub Nationalism based on ethnicity, sectarianism and International Extremism.

(c) Afghanistan. Right Wing or Religious Fundamentalism and International Extremism.

(d) Bangladesh. Right Wing or Religious Fundamentalism and Left Wing Extremism.

(e) Nepal. Left Wing Extremism.

(f) Sri Lanka. Separatism and Sub Nationalism based on ethnicity.

(g) Myanmar. Separatism and Sub Nationalism based on ethnicity and Left Wing Extremism.

31. Defining Transnational Terror. Joseph S Nyne Jr and Robert O Keohane noted foreign policy analysts denote transnational interactions involve movement of "tangible or intangible items across state boundaries when at least one actor is not an agent of a government or an international organization". [11] Thus the basic definition of transnational terror would entail individuals or nationalities other that the home state influencing political activities of countries across borders by their acts.

32. Regulation of transnational fault line be it terrorism, crime, drugs, arms smuggling and others is weak and in many cases non-existent. The need for an international, regional or bilateral code and collective security mechanism particularly targeting malign actors is thus need for the hour.

33. Dynamics of Transnational Terror. The demand for transnational terrorism is created by various factors. These include ineffective or non-existent governance, thus promoting availability of infrastructure. Another major factor for transnational terrorism is ethnic and religious divergence and coagulation across borders is being exploited by base for terrorism. The 'New Terrorism' is characterized by global and amorphous nature, wide ranging motivation, innocent victims, more lethal attacks and diverse support systems [12] .

34. Issues Providing Impetus to Transnational Terror. The influx of people in global world in terms of migration of people as well as availability of information in form of mass media; a cause adopted by a terrorist groups receives widespread support from those who have some linkages with the same but may be far away from the scene of violence. Fast communication media tools such as internet, web sites, blogs and social media tools provide terrorist groups ideal means to keep contact with a larger audience at very low cost. They use these tools to network, fertilize and form new groups, disseminate information to their operatives, collect funds, recruit and even provide limited training. [13] Social media can also achieve targeted penetration to reach out to like-minded groups and individuals facilitating exponential growth.

35. Easy availability and accessibility of internet has assisted in growth of self-

radicalisation. The EU TESAT Report for 2010 indicated that in October 2009, a 20 year old Lithuanian woman was influenced and converted to Islam after exposure to extremist propaganda on the internet and was apprehended on that way to Russia to commit suicide attacks. The web also helps in supporting the financial transactions to a great extent. [14] 

36. Another effect of globalization has been tremendous growth of news and proliferation of channels such as Al Jazeera, reporting sensational events. This has added a new dimension to the news reporting and in many ways encouraged growth of transnational activities particularly the deviant ones which are linked to politics get instant worldwide publicity. [15] 

37. The Indian Ministry of Home Affairs Annual Report 2010-11 explains transnational terrorism as; "the modus operandi of perpetrators or potential perpetrators of crime, particularly of those engaged in international terrorism, organized crime and illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs has evolved a change rapidly with the advancement of technology and has assumed a transnational and a global dimension" [16] .

38. The foreign migrant worker is another factor. Indian citizens working in foreign countries are extremely vulnerable to being lured by intelligence agencies of other countries which carry out talent spotting.

39. Intelligence Requirements. The biggest challenge today in fighting transnational terrorism is lack of intelligence. The main problem for intelligence agencies in collecting information of terrorist groups and non-state actors is that they are unstructured, lack shape, size or identity of a state or a military organisation. The problem is compounded by anonymity of target being attacked as transnational objects are without an identity and can be envisaged only as a generic profile.

40. Ajit Doval, former head of IB states that even National Intelligence Agency (NIA) of India is purely an investigating agency and does not bring us any closer to preventing a strike, thus becoming another stand alone non integrated platform [17] . Intelligence cooperation will only happen when states have a common interest in neutralizing the terrorist networks or are strong allies. The best way to overcome this trust deficit is to boost mutual trust and confidence.

41. It is amply clear from the above that normal strategies as being executed for countering terrorism will not work for transnational terrorism. A dynamic and fresh approach has to be identified and implemented for having any effect in efforts to counter transnational terrorism. Hence, there is a need for nations to collaborate closely at the multilateral, regional and bilateral levels to tackle these terrorist outfits. A particular tool would be the augmentation of international cooperation [18] .



"Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and help them to become what they are capable of being".

- Johanan Wolfgang Von Goethe

German Diplomat (1749 - 1832)

42. Diplomacy is broadly defined as a country's engagement and communication with foreign publics. It can take form of monologue, dialogue and/or collaboration. It has three main components - new management, strategic communication and relationship building - and encompasses the broad, interrelated objectives of promoting a country's goals and politics, communicating about its ideas and values and building common understanding. Attempting to analyse all public diplomacy instruments would be an impossible task and out of preview of this dissertation. Here we would focus mainly on 'Military Diplomacy'.

43. The Planning Commission's "India Vision 2020" states that external security depends on national power which requires a continuous enhancement of the country's capacity to use its tangible and intangible resources in such a manner as to affect the behavior of other nations. It goes on to state that a vibrant economy and a leading role in international affairs may be as important as a strong military for the preservation and development of national power. [19] The capacity of a nation to preserve and build lasting peace for all citizens will depend, in major part, on the

capability of its military to defend itself in the face of an external threat including threat of terrorism.

The Broad Concept of Military Diplomacy

44. Broadly military diplomacy concept revolves around the necessity of forces provided to meet the varied activities undertaken by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to dispel hostility, build and maintain trust and assist in development of armed forces of identified countries, thereby making a significant contribution to conflict prevention and resolution. The key point to note is that international cooperation as a tool against transnational terrorism requires focussed efforts beyond political rhetoric supported with political will of the nations involved [20] . There are numerous tools that are available to defence for building relationships and shaping the environment for international defence relations thus assisting in our fight against transnational terrorism. Some of these tools are high-profile, such as Ministerial and senior level visits, or major defence agreements and arrangements with key partners. Others can be less visible but no less important, including strategic policy engagement, personnel exchanges and training activities.

45. At one level, its importance in a changing environment and use for foreign and security policy purposes are recognized in principle, whereas, at another level, military diplomacy has become an overarching term for defence foreign relations. As a result, military diplomacy does not receive the recognition it deserves. Conceptually, this is less due to the precarious relationship between various foreign policy instruments and more to an underestimation of the nature, scope and utility of military diplomacy.

The Military and Diplomatic Instruments of Foreign Policy

46. Paradoxically, the concept 'military diplomacy' fuses two apparently incommensurable extremes, namely violent-coercive (armed force) and pacific-persuasive (diplomatic) means to pursue policy objectives. The 'incommensurability' originates from the traditional distinction between four categories of instruments to implement foreign policy once formulated, namely political, economic, cultural (propaganda) and military techniques. Accordingly, as the political technique of the first resort diplomacy is the traditional, peaceful and most direct instrument of foreign policy, practiced by official representatives authorized to act on behalf of the governments of states or other recognized entities. In addition, diplomacy is also an instrument in the utilization of other techniques. As a technique of last resort, the military instrument involves the use of military means. Although associated with the coercive use of armed force (offensive, defensive or deterrent) in a situation of war (conventional or unconventional), it also includes military approximations short of war, such as military threats, military intervention, military aid and assistance and use of the military in peace support operations. Apart from being functionally distinct, these techniques are also ranked in an escalating order.

Military Diplomacy

47. Diplomacy related military activities are an accepted and long-established part of routine military matters, predating the contemporary era. Over time, these activities have gained more recognition. In a more coherent and ambitious context, the concept military diplomacy gained acceptance and official recognition in the World. In this respect, the designation of military diplomacy is similar to that of economic diplomacy, the latter pertaining to welfare, economics and matters such as trade and finance.

48. In a narrow context, military diplomacy is defined as the "use of military personnel, including service attaches, in support of conflict prevention and resolution. Among a great variety of activities, it includes providing assistance in the development of democratically accountable armed forces".

49. In a broader context, it has been described by Du Plessis as "the use of armed forces in operations other than war, building on their trained expertise and discipline to achieve national and foreign objectives abroad" [21] . Cottey and Forster's inclusive definition of military diplomacy (alternatively international defence diplomacy) relates it to "the peacetime use of armed forces and related infrastructure (primarily defence ministries) as a tool of foreign and security policy" [22] and more specifically to military cooperation and assistance.

50. Military diplomacy must not be confused with the related concepts of military diplomacy, naval diplomacy, gunboat diplomacy and coercive diplomacy; concepts that also occupy space at the military-diplomatic nexus. Based on the assumption that defence is the function of diplomacy, military diplomacy has accordingly been described as "the (defence ministry's) vital component to assist (foreign affairs ministry) in achieving government's foreign relations objectives".

51. Objectives of Military Diplomacy. To the extent that "all those involved in defence have a role to play as ambassadors for peace and security worldwide", military diplomacy serves specific foreign and security policy objectives. Firstly it fosters and sustains cooperative relationships with former or potential enemies. Thus, by preventing conflict-inducing conditions and building trust, it facilitates conflict prevention. Secondly, by establishing civilian control over armed forces, military diplomacy promotes democracy and good governance. Thirdly, military diplomacy is a means to enhance the peace support capacities of partner states. This takes the form of peacekeeping training and education; multilateral peacekeeping exercises and providing equipment to states for peacekeeping operations.

52. Activities of Military Diplomacy. Within the ambit of military cooperation and assistance, military diplomacy includes a broad range of activities. In the Indian context, the activities were restrained due to our stated policy of non-interference in third country affairs. However, with change in environment of world affairs and with the 'Global Village' concept there has been tremendous boost to non-state players in countering state authorities by using various national places. This has forced Indian authorities to increase the activities of military diplomacy. This in turn has shifted the emphasis to MoD training courses and education programmes; the provision of loan service personnel, short term training teams, and civilian and military advisers; visits by ships, aircraft and other military units; visits by ministers and by military and civilian personnel; staff talks, conferences and seminars; exchanges of military and civilian personnel; and joint exercises.



"To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; Supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting."

- Sun Tzu, The Art of War

53. The Indian approach to Military Diplomacy was insignificant due to the stated policy of non-alignment. The basic proposition of 'Panchsheel' as proposed post our independence led us to disregard strength and positivity of military diplomacy. However, with changing global environment and increasing essentiality of engaging militaries of various nations has forced the Indian state to look towards 'Military Diplomacy' as an effective tool of achieving its stated aims and objectives.

54. India is expanding defence relationships with other countries through the purchase of major defence platforms and the associated technology transfers and co-production agreements while continuing engagements in field of human resource development, humanitarian assistance in disaster relief (HADR) and other fields.

55. India has endeavoured to combine military diplomacy or cooperation to support its larger strategic interests as in Sudan for its oil, Yemen, Botswana, Lesotho and Zambia in Africa, China's neighbours - Laos PDR, Tajikistan, Mongolia and Vietnam, Pakistan's neighbour, Afghanistan and the Central Asian Republic of Kazakhstan. Furthermore, the present Prime Minister's stated 'Look East Policy' has effectively given impetus to military cooperation between India and countries of South East Asia, Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Australasia including Japan.

Status of Military Diplomacy

56. India has a long history of successful international military cooperation ranging from armed military assistance, on specific invitations, in Sri Lanka and Maldives; to training and infrastructure development assistance to various countries; participation in numerous United Nation Peace Keeping Operations (UNPKOs).

57. The 9/11 terrorist attacks on America and the subsequent American led Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) radically changed the global security scenario. With India's geo-strategic location and successful long term democracy suddenly India was much sought after as a military cooperation partner. This phase saw increase in India's self- confidence due to glut of exploratory offers for defence cooperation and led to a tremendous increase in quantum of countries being engaged in defence cooperation activities in past decade.

58. South Asia. South Asia has become the playground of the bloodiest terrorist violence in the world. Combined with nuclear weapon powers and weapon proliferation, terrorism is the most urgent challenge to the nations in the sub continent [23] . India's defence cooperation activities are correctly focussed on countries of South Asia. Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Myanmar and Sri Lanka enjoy a special status in India's matrix of defence cooperation. There is tremendous pressure from China to gain favourable status with these countries and China is thrusting vast amount of funds in garb of financial aids to these countries. [24] Presently relations are at a junction where South Asian countries are showing willingness of engaging India

over China, however, the window of opportunity for India is narrow and would vanish in near future, if not addressed by India.

59. Indian Ocean Region (IOR). Maldives, Mauritius and Seychelles have always favoured India over any other partner country. This is more so due to the location and vast resources available to India. China is engaging the countries of IOR in an effort to gain bases for its navy in Indian Ocean. In return China is promising infrastructural development, financial aid and military cooperation. [25] The latest offer of Seychelles to China for a new port has raised heckles in Indian bureaucracy and will force India to increase its present level of engagement with IOR countries.

60. South East Asia and Australasia. India has engaged the countries of Brunei, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Japan, Laos PDR, Malaysia, Philippines, Republic of (South) Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Island countries in various levels and numerous activities. The intensity of cooperation has been fluctuating and there is no standard concept followed by India in engaging these countries. On the other hand, China is ensuring all efforts are delegated in engaging countries of South East Asia. China is major trading partner of Australia and it manifests into defence cooperation activities between them. India's defence relations with Australia are dictated by political compulsions and at best presently are restrictive in nature.

61. Central Asian Region (CAR) and North Asia. India is focused on engaging CAR countries and has put in fresh energy for the same. Defence cooperation between India and China fluctuates between luke warm to stand still depending on the current policy decisions and levels of engagement at government level. There are numerous impediments to be resolved between India and China before they are able to achieve working cooperation in any field less trade. The countries of CAR are

constantly requesting India for assistance in various fields and needs to be exploited by us. [26] 

62. Middle East. In the Middle East the closest ally of India is Israel. However, in recent times with reduced technology dependence and arms trade with Israel, the relations are at lower ebb with India. There is tremendous scope in this region for India to engage Israel, Iran, Oman and UAE in defence cooperation. [27] 

63. Africa. The countries of Africa have been deprived of economic development and been witness to long internal struggles. The continent is being wooed by US, China and also India in various activities. India's efforts in defence cooperation activities of training teams, capacity building and UN participation have been widely successful but still fall short of the desired level for the envisaged aim. [28] There is urgent need to address these countries by India before the window of opportunity closes in favour of China.

64. Americas. The major defence cooperation activities between India in Americas are with USA and to some extent with Brazil. However, there is tremendous scope, especially so in the field of expanding military cooperation to increase the levels of activities with countries of Americas.

65. Europe. In Europe the major partners of India are UK, France, Czech Republic and Russia. However, the level of defence cooperation with France is at a nascent stage and needs to be developed further. Russian and Indian relations are presently at its lowest ebb with reduction in orders of military equipment to Russia by

India. The intensity and scope of relations between India and Russia have to be

redefined and require a boost for enhancement. Relations with UK have been at an average level since long. It is time to provide adequate boost for enhancement of these activities with countries of Europe.

66. India has a very wide ranging international military cooperation with numerous countries. It has been effective tool of foreign policy and forms one of the main forms of engagement with many countries. However, analysis of levels of cooperation indicates that many countries are not being adequately engaged through international defence cooperation, particularly those located in the strategic footprint.



"Challenges to governance and regional stability remain, but there is also growing recognition throughout the hemisphere that we must stand together against common threats."

- Robert Gates at American Forces Press Service

67. According to the USA, national strategy for combating terrorism involves the application of all instruments of national power and influence to kill or capture the terrorists; deny them safe haven and control of any nation; prevent them from gaining access to Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD); render potential terrorist targets less attractive by strengthening security; and cut off their sources of funding and other resources they need to operate and survive. However, if a study of approach to countering terrorism in South Asia is carried out, it would reveal state centric focus, poor implementation of regional and international initiatives and limited perception of how to manage state employment of terror as a political tool. C Raja Mohan indicates that post 9/11 conditions for a new beginning in South Asia were ripe but political obstacles prevented evolution of a common approach or strategy to tackle terrorism. [29] 

68. A review of the policies on counter terrorism in South Asia also indicates that there are agreements and memoranda of understandings to counter terrorism, crime and drug trafficking, SAARC mechanisms, joint bilateral working groups, high level

leadership discussions, joint conferences of police and Para Military, capacity building initiatives and many more activities. However, despite these measures the growing challenge is acknowledged by India's Ministry of Defence Report for 2010-11 thus, "Even though the probability of conventional full scale inter-state wars is reckoned by many analysts to have reduced, the security environment has become complex, with incidence of low intensity conflicts and asymmetric threats taking various forms, including domestic and transnational terrorism, narco-terrorism, cyber warfare and piracy". [30] The issue is further substantiated by the annual report of India's Ministry of External Affairs for 2010-11 which states India's foreign policy is dedicated to the furtherance of our national security and developmental priorities in a globalized and interdependent world. [31] 

69. Counter Terror Strategic Construct. It is well understood that most of the states react through self-interest and thus cooperation will be envisaged only when state is compelled to do so in its own interest. From a practitioners viewpoint noted Canadian counter terrorism specialist, Tom Quiggin identified the key attributes for nations to meet the transnational challenge. He states, "Important metrics for meeting the transnational challenge have been identified as that of a 'shared view of conception of terrorism - across national boundaries - a shared view encompassing terrorist objectives, ideology, strategy and tactics". The common approach would imply that countries share a common picture and the tools of terror employed. [32] 

70. South Asian Strategies. South Asian states, mostly in isolation, have so far used four broad strategies to cope with terrorism; the first being that of countering it with force to suppress manifestations of terror. This has led to either too much or too less use of force thereby in some ways adding to the problems. [33] The second approach has been to deal with terrorism as a problem exclusively of law and order and thus deal with it as a crime. [34] This approach leads to pressure on those

elements in society who are actively engaged or seen to support terrorism. The third approach brought out by Professor SD Muni is political and constitutional that is by engaging groups in talks and peacemaking through negotiated settlements, holding elections and also increasingly creating additional institutions of governance. The final approach highlighted is the well beaten path of socio economic development of providing sops for growth of infrastructure, building schools and providing opportunities for employment. This is seen as a long term strategy and has been much talked about over the years. [35] However, if seen in context of countering transnational terrorism, countries of South Asia have been putting insulated efforts on their own restricted to their own boundaries thus not having the desired effect as compared to resources utilised for same.

71. Principles of Countering Transnational Terrorism. The basic principle of countering transnational terrorism can be identified as that of establishing legitimacy. The legality should stand scrutiny of international law which generally proportionality is the accepted standard based on violence being perpetrated by terrorist groups. Realism and practical approach to transnational terrorism dictates that states will have to carry out capacity building for conduct of covert and clandestine operations. In addition to above aspects it is essential to have a long term commitment to the cause of countering terrorism, as the problem is not likely to be overcome in a short time frame. [36] 

72. Strategic Options to Counter Transnational Terrorism.

(a) Politico Diplomacy. The collective power of people to shape the future is greater now than ever before and the need to exercise it is more compelling. Mobilizing that power to make life in the twenty-first century more

democratic, more secure and more sustainable is the foremost challenge of this generation. The world needs a new vision that can galvanize people everywhere to achieve higher levels of cooperation in areas of common concern and shared destiny. [37] 

(b) Military Diplomacy. The world community seemed to be uniting around the idea that everyone should assume greater collective responsibility in a wide range of areas, including security - not only in military sense but in economic and social terms as well - sustainable development, the promotion of democracy, equity and human rights, and the humanitarian action. There is no alternative to working together and using collective power to create a better world. [38] 

(c) Economic Option. Employing economic soft and hard tools is another option to deter states from sponsoring terrorist groups. Soft tools would consist of aids, loans, development assistance and enhancement of military capacity. The hard option comprises of sanctions, trade embargoes and blockades which can impose economic constraints on states as well as groups.

(d) Technological Deterrence. Technological advances have made national frontiers more porous. States retain sovereignty, but governments have suffered erosion in their authority. They are less able, for example, to control the trans-border movement of money or information. Technology can establish transparency and thereby impose deterrence.

(e) Internal Political-Intelligence Option. This may comprise of a number of diverse actions such as surveillance, creating fissures within, subverting leadership, diffusing the aim through perception management, marginalising the leaders from the population among other aspects. Political intelligence should provide options for neutralising terrorist groups and support network.

73. Unified Option. It is amply clear that no one measure or option in itself can create a dent in the fight against terrorism; especially so in fight against transnational terrorism. Nations have to use all these options in conjunction with their overall envisaged aim. The option of diplomacy in actions against transnational terrorism gains precedence as more than one state would be involved in the operations. The emerging global neighbourhood is forging new bonds of friendship and interest, but it is also creating new tensions. Never before have had so many people so much in common, but never before have the things that divide them been so obvious. In a vast, crowded space, diversity often goes unnoticed. As people bump against each other more frequently, however, even minor differences become more evident and more contentious. [39] 

74. In a 2004 white paper on national defence, the Chinese government introduced a 'new security concept' which serves as 'the people's call for cooperation and world peace' in times of trouble. Additionally, Japan has recently begun a process to transform its security strategy and envision a new role for itself in response to a 'new security environment', which includes a Chinese threat, ballistic missiles, ballistic missiles, terrorism, risk of invasion, and North Korea. This further substantiates the cohesive approach over individual state options.

75. Strategy to counter transnational terrorism has to be evolved around diplomatic front with garnering support of required states through diplomacy. Building trust and confidence will therefore remain a precursor for such cooperation between nations. Where there is lack of trust, establishment of joint organisations such as Joint Anti Terrorism Mechanism (JATM) by India and Pakistan will fail as these will remain as instrument of intent rather than actual sharing of interests, information and

intelligence. Forming of coalition with states facing similar threats will add to the trust and can best be achieved by addressing the actual power centres of these countries - the military rulers - through military diplomacy.

76. Military Diplomacy in Unified Option. Apropos, it becomes imperative that military diplomacy becomes a key component of this unified option. Though it is understood that military diplomacy in isolation will not be able to counter the bane of transnational terrorism however, it can be the initiator for application of unified option and would always be the main ingredient of countering strategy. Especially so in Indian context as most of our neighbours have armed forces with high stakes at their strategic and futuristic thinking, from Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar etc. [40] 



"Diplomacy is the art of letting someone have your way."

- Daniel Vare

Italian Diplomat (1880 - 1956)

77. The Indian approach to defence and military cooperation has been wide ranging, as is evident from the countries and regions engaged and the international military cooperation activities undertaken. The major agencies involved in Indian international defence cooperation are the Cabinet Committee for Security (CCS) and National Security Council (NSC) assisted by the NSC Secretariat (NSCS) and Strategic Policy Group (SPG), Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Ministry of Defence (MoD), the HQ Integrated Defence Staff (IDS) and individual Military Services (Army, Navy and Air Force).

78. Credence to Military Diplomacy. The credit for new military diplomacy goes to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who introduced new political perspectives, seeking a commensurate military role for India in Asian international relations, in keeping with its rising economic and political profile. As the Minster of State for Defence Pallam Raju said in 2010 at Shangri La Dialogue in Singapore, "one of the long-term challenges for India was its willingness and ability to contribute to public good." Hence, in the past few years, India has entered into defence cooperation agreements with most great powers, including China, as also with smaller countries like Malaysia and Singapore and even Mauritius. The Manmohan Singh doctrine has also been backed by the strategic consensus, in tackling common security threats through cooperative security along with other countries.

79. Gains of Military Diplomacy. The tangible gains are already visible. First, military diplomacy has helped in reducing tensions with China and allowed the two countries to explore the potentialities of a partnership in the emerging Asian security architecture. One can raise the issue of Pakistan, but that country is yet to acknowledge the utility of military diplomacy. Second, it has allowed India to share its own experience and knowledge with other countries and learn from their experiences. Witness for example, Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) gatherings, which allowed the Indian Navy different perspectives on contemporary maritime security. Third, it has enabled India to ensure enhanced policing of the adjacent waters in the IOR, through sharing of intelligence with other countries. Fourth, it has allowed India to maintain a peaceful periphery and project its power in a discreet and subtle manner, that empathies with the maritime needs and aspirations of small littoral countries in the region.

80. Road Bumps to Successful Military Diplomacy. India's military diplomacy is, however, not a fairy tale story. First, the basket of military diplomacy is still limited to a few countries, as also limited in quality. While India's late start is certainly responsible for that, there has also been some domestic ideological opposition to military exchanges with countries like the USA. Often, they fail to factor in strategic advantages that accrue from such collaboration. Second, India is not able to harness military diplomacy due to the demand-supply disequilibrium with military modernisation. While countries like China have made considerable investments in military modernisation, India lags behind. Third, India still does not have diplomatic presence in many of the continental countries in Africa as well as littoral countries of the IOR. Also, India's trade linkages with these countries are very shallow so as to create 'stakes' for these countries. Much of the military diplomatic activities are, therefore, born out of agreements reached with individual countries, rather than being part of a grand strategy. Fourth, often external factors tend to neutralise India's military diplomacy. The ongoing crisis in Congo has posed a moral dilemma for Indian peacekeepers, due to the emergence of hostile elements and a perceptible shift towards a different mandate. Fifth, there are significant players competing with India with more resources and lucrative terms of engagement.

81. Pakistan Route. India does not engage in military diplomacy in any meaningful form with Pakistan. This is part of the reason why India finds itself in a bind with respect to Pakistan, where it needs to engage the real power centre but finds itself with no means to. It is not a matter of matching protocol, for it is not purely military matters that we wish to discuss with General Kayani. [41] Washington, in comparison, handles this lot better through the Af-Pak theatre commanders, who are the primary interlocutors with the Pakistan army. Given that these admirals and generals are engaged in diplomatic activities of serious importance to India, it is time for India to focus its military diplomacy towards Pakistan.

82. The Strengths. India has actively conducted military diplomacy since independence. The initial efforts were a combination of its colonial inheritance (Nepal and Bhutan), the non-aligned movement (NAM), support for anti-imperialistic and anti-colonial movements (Nigeria, Iran, Iraq, Namibia, South Africa's anti-apartheid efforts, etc). Bhartendu Kumar Singh in his analysis of India's military diplomacy [42] credits Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for the increased military diplomatic activity being undertaken by India in keeping with its rising economic and political profile, for tackling common security threats through cooperative security in the region.

83. The Weaknesses. Some of the maladies are listed below:-

(a) The over centralised approach of India's bureaucracy aka Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of Defence and a convoluted and cumbersome decision making process.

(b) Lack of a definite and structured policy and road map for engaging other countries.

(c) Lack of a vision to develop a strategic grouping or affiliations.

(d) A general approach within the decision making polity and bureaucracy where a major portion of military diplomacy is considered to consist of leveraging the economic aspects of defence industry rather than relationships built on institutional and personal interactions at all levels.

(e) Lack of dedicated funding for military diplomacy which prevents the development of a long term approach. It also does not inspire much confidence in bilateral relationships due to the resultant uncertainty.

(f) Inordinate delay in response to any proposal by India and lack of transparency in approvals of events of defence cooperation results in lot of heartburns in armed forces of partner states.

84. India can claim many recent successes in its approach towards international defence cooperation; however, much more needs to be done to create conditions of peace, stability, security for economic and social development and to counter transnational terrorism.

85. The Indian approach is restrictive, reactive and dispirited. The policy needs to be made more dynamic to be able to ex


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