Col Ashwani Sharma (Retd)


India’s ascent as a formidable economic and geostrategic player on the global stage necessitates a robust military to safeguard and augment its interests. In a world where geopolitical dynamics are increasingly complex and unpredictable, a strong military acts not just as a shield, but also as a significant tool in diplomacy and international relations.

Geographically, India’s strategic position in South Asia and the Indian Ocean Region places it at the heart of major sea lanes, making it pivotal in global trade and energy flow. This necessitates a capable navy to ensure maritime security and safeguard its interests. Moreover, with challenges like cross-border terrorism and regional instability, particularly with volatile relations with neighbouring countries, a powerful army and air force are indispensable for national security.

As India’s economy grows, its global investments and interests expand, demanding a military capable of protecting these interests beyond its borders. This includes safeguarding its overseas citizens and ensuring the security of international trade routes.

A strong military bolsters India’s diplomatic influence, enabling significant contributions to international peacekeeping and enhancing its standing in global forums.

Our cover story argues for the strategic necessity of India’s military strengthening efforts, essential for both national prosperity and regional stability in South Asia and the Indo-Pacific. The balance of power in these regions is critical, and India’s military strength is a key contributor to that balance.

However, enhancing military capability cannot be left solely to the armed forces. A clear national military doctrine outlining precise national and military objectives is required. The military can then formulate its strategy and build upon its strengths to prepare for future conflicts. It must also determine whether its role is purely defensive or if it must also maintain order regionally. The article draws lessons from the conflicts in Ukraine and Israel, referencing Ben Gurion’s example.

Geopolitics is a fascinating subject, and upcoming author Vikramaditya Singh offers insights into the 2020s to ponder the current state of global geostrategy.

Drones and UAVs are revolutionizing warfare worldwide, assuming various roles. Our feature on this emerging technology advocates for the creation of a specialist Drone Corps and a UAS training centre to fully leverage this versatile and lethal system.

In celebration of Army Day 2024, COAS General Manoj Pande gave a candid media briefing. This issue includes an analysis of his statements and excerpts from his interview with our magazine.