Defence Planning – Needs More Vision than Cash
By Rohit Srivastava
The budget is the foundation of all planning. And planning is the foundation of future successes. Going by the 75 years of the Indian defence expenditure, after every crisis, India opens its purse to avoid similar crisis.
Her adversaries are shrewd. They never repeat. They go on to plan something new. Each time India is caught off-guard.
Case in point, the Galwan Stand-off and Jammu Airbase drone attack that compelled Indian military planners to take the requirement of a light tank and anti-drone systems, seriously. The two mentioned systems are available in the global market for some time but the Indian military leadership needs jolts to realise the needs. Till such times, they are in arrogant denial.
Proper financial planning always gets us more bangs for the buck. Iran and Pakistan are two great examples. Praising Pakistan Army is a no go area, yet, we cannot deny them credit where it’s due. They have retained the ability to harass India and deter from giving a punishing response. If one is open to learning, Adversary and Adversities are the best teachers.
Given the sanctions, technology denial, a troubled neighbourhood full of civilizational enemies and enmity with trigger happy superpower, Iran has defended itself superbly.
It has invested in capabilities that exploit the enemy’s weaknesses. Iran has avoided embarrassing situations like Galwan and Kargil. No one can dare a 26/11 against them.
India can learn a lesson or two from Iranian generals on how to defend a nation under severe financial and technological constraints and keep global power in check. They have achieved this without any nuclear arsenal. Something India has not been able to do.
One cannot deny the role of money in national security, more the merrier. Yet, it is not the ultimate guarantor of security. Money like liquid needs a pinhole to drain out.
Every penny needs to be invested wisely. India needs to look at what will win her the next war whether conventional, sub-conventional or unconventional capability or a mix of all. Having comprehensive military capability doesn’t matter if India fails to deter its adversaries from messing around. It is high time India becomes a nation no one wants to mess.