ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A Hard Look at National Security

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government have sought to convey the message that they have strengthened national security by taking a realist strategic position and introducing a policy of defence production indigenisation through the "Make in India" initiative. This article takes a close look at these claims and finds that behind the bluster lies strategic confusion and ill-thought-out decisions.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has claimed for itself the mantle of being hard-headed on “national security” matters. While this is their projected self-image, we need to examine it closely. Let us begin with what Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at the Combined Commanders Conference on 15 December 2015, where he warned the services that the country will not be able to prepare for the future “by doing more of the same, or preparing perspective plans based on outdated doctrines and disconnected from financial realities” (Press Information Bureau 2015). He then chided the services by pointing out that,

At a time when major powers are reducing their forces and rely more on technology, we are still constantly seeking to expand the size of our forces. Modernisation and expansion of forces is a difficult and unnecessary goal. We need forces that are agile, mobile and driven by technology, not just human valour.

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