The ongoing situation in Afghanistan has forced the entire world to rethink their strategies, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Sunday.
With the fundamentalist Islamist group Taliban taking over Kabul on August 15, Afghanistan has plunged into a humanitarian crisis. Pakistan is seen as having played a major role in bringing Taliban back to power.
In an address at the Defence Service Staff College, Rajnath Singh said: “With the change in the global order and national security paradigm, we have not only made immediate change in our policies but also taken decision on our futuristic reforms.”
He noted that looking at the ongoing situation in Afghanistan, every country is forced to rethink its strategy. “Quad was established keeping in mind these situations,” he said. Quad, or officially the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, brings together the US, Australia, India, and Japan.
Citing the threats from China and Pakistan, he said that India has got challenges in legacy since Independence.
About Pakistan, without naming it, he said: “The foreign enemies have tried to destabilise the country since it got Independence. If we look at 75 years of history, it seems like we have got challenges in legacy. One of our neighbouring countries initiated proxy war and made terrorism as an integral part of state policy. The country started providing arms, money and training to the terrorists to target India.”
About China, he said that that in the northern sector, there was an effort to change the status quo unilaterally, but India changed its previous response and faced the adversary with new dynamism.
“Even after lots of challenges on our borders, the common man has faith in the government that it would never compromise on the national security issues. They know that India will counter-terror activities on its land and if needed, it can also cross the boundary,” he said.
Amid a change in the global order necessitating futuristic reforms, Rajnath Singh said that the objective is to enhance the Army’s teeth to tail ratio, bring decentralisation in the decision-making process, and make a future-oriented leaner force.
About Integrated Battle Groups (IBGs), he said that his ministry is seriously considering it. “You all are aware, quick decision-making is an important factor during wartime. There would be more lethal, brigade-size and self-reliant fighters formation.”
He also lauded ‘Tour of Duty’ proposal and termed it as a game-changing reform. “With this, the average age could be reduced and be made more agile.”
On theatre commands, the Defence Minister said the discussions on its implementation have been fast-tracked.
The Department of Military Affairs under Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat is working towards the creation of Joint Military Commands for better synergy and utilisation of resources.
The minister also talked about increasing women’s role in the defence forces. “History tells us that our women warriors have always played an important role when faced with any challenges,” he said.