June 12, 2024

Lukmaan IAS

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INDIA TO BRING IN A NATIONAL SECURITY STRATEGY: WHAT IS IT, WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?

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THE CONTEXT:   The National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS) is putting in place a comprehensive National Security Strategy in consultation with several Central ministries and departments.

MORE ON THE NEWS:

  • This is the first time that India will come out with a national security strategy.
  • Several ministries have provided inputs for a document on the challenges and threats facing India.
  • The document will include the entire range of newer challenges and threats, including non-traditional ones such as:
    • Financial and economic security
    • Food and energy security
    • Information warfare,
    • Vulnerabilities in India’s critical information infrastructure as well as those associated with supply chains and environment.
  • The document is aimed at putting together India’s national security objectives and the ways to be adopted to achieve or realise them.
  • The comprehensive document will consolidate and put together the challenges and threats unique to India and develop strategies to address them in the immediate and near future.

ABOUT NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL:

It is the apex body of the three-tiered structure of the national security management system in India, which exercises its power through National Security Council Secretariat having four verticals namely Strategic Planning, Internal Affairs, Intelligence and Technology and a Military vertical.

WHAT IS A NATIONAL SECURITY STRATEGY?

  • A National Security Strategy document outlines the country’s security objectives, and the ways to be adopted to achieve these.
  • It defines traditional, non-traditional threats and opportunities while introducing accountability of agencies tasked with the implementation of such responsibilities.
  • A national security strategy would guide the military as well as critical defence and security reforms with strategic implications, providing a holistic view of the overall national security, the threats and the roadmap to address them.

COUNTRIES HAVING A NATIONAL SECURITY STRATEGY:

  • The US, the UK and Russia have published national security strategies.
  • Most developed countries with an advanced military and security infrastructure have a National Security Strategy in place, updated from time to time.
  • China also has such a strategy in place, called the Comprehensive National Security, which is closely tied to its governance structure.
  • Pakistan has brought out a National Security Policy 2022-2026, underlining its national security objectives and priority areas.

INDIA’S NEED FOR A NATIONAL SECURITY STRATEGY:

  • The complex nature of the various Traditional (threats from external state and non-state actors, terrorism, insurgency etc.) and non-traditional (Climate change, Hunger, pandemics, energy crisis etc.) threats especially when rising geopolitical tensions have given way to uncertainties, urgency was felt to draft a national security strategy.
  • As per security experts:
    • The only political direction to the Armed Forces in existence is Raksha Mantri’s operational Directive of 2009.
    • It is now outdated and hence needs to be revised.
  • Some experts have also highlighted that major military reforms should ideally flow from a national security strategy.
    • Without such a well-defined strategy, military reforms would be like putting the cart before the horse.

WHY INDIA NEVER HAD A NATIONAL SECURITY STRATEGY?

  • In the past, three attempts were made to come out with a national security strategy but there was hesitation at the political level.
  • As per the security experts, it could have been because of the accountability it would bring in defence management for the government.
  • The issues vary from a lack of a cohesive, whole-of-government effort to the government deliberately not making public its national security objectives.

THE WAY FORWARD:

  • In a democracy, a national security strategy should be citizen-centric and must reflect the values and beliefs of the people; at the same time, it must seek to raise public awareness of and shape public perceptions about national security issues.
  • The proposed national security strategy must take the Constitution of India as its guide and its objective should be the safeguarding and consolidation of India’s democracy.
  • Previous exercises undertaken to promote national security could serve as useful reference material for the national security strategy. These include the Kargil Review Committee report (2000), the Report of the Naresh Chandra Task Force on Security (2012), and the document entitled ‘Building Comprehensive National Power.

THE CONCLUSION:

India’s journey towards formulating its National Security Strategy marks a significant milestone in its quest for a comprehensive and integrated approach to security. As India forges ahead, this inaugural strategy will provide a roadmap for navigating complex security challenges, protecting national interests, and building a more secure future in a rapidly changing world.

PREVIOUS YEAR QUESTIONS:

Q) Naxalism is a social, economic and developmental issue manifesting as a violent internal security threat. In this context, discuss the emerging issues and suggest a multilayered strategy to tackle the menace of Naxalism. (2022)

Q) Analyse the multidimensional challenges posed by external state and non-state actors to the internal security of India. Also discuss measures required to be taken to combat these threats. (2021)

MAINS PRACTICE QUESTION:

Q) Analyse the need for a national security strategy for India.

SOURCE: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/india-to-bring-in-a-national-security-strategy-what-is-it-why-is-it-important-9014489/

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