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Joint Doctrines – Indian Armed Forces

Published Apr 26, 2020
Updated Apr 26, 2020

Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee and Chief of Air Staff (CAS) Air Chief Marshal PV Naik released two Joint operational doctrines, namely Joint Doctrine for Perception Management and
Psychological Operations and Joint Doctrine for Air and Land Operations.

The doctrines formulated by the Doctrine Directorate of Headquarters Integrated Defence Staff (IDS) to create the requisite synergy between the three Services in important military matters, will go a long way towards enhancing Joint Fighting Capabilities of Indian Armed Forces. 

Review of the Indian Army Land Warfare Doctrine 2018

            The Joint Doctrine for Air-Land Operations would serve as the
keystone doctrinal document for employment of military power in a joint operations scenario. It establishes the framework of concepts and principles to understand the approach to planning and conduct of air-land operation in a conventional war scenario. It lays down organizations and procedures that would leverage the available technology towards synergistic application of Air Power. 

           Military Psychological Operations constitute a planned process
of conveying a message to selected target audiences, to promote particular themes that result in desired attitudes and behaviour which affect the achievement of political and military objectives. Given the potential benefit of Psychological Operations as an effective force multiplier, its use in support of military aims and objectives is considerable. The Doctrine also provides guidelines for activities related to perception management in sub conventional operations, especially in an internal environment wherein misguided population may have to be brought into the mainstream.

Extracts from the Joint Doctrine For Air-Land Operations

 The Joint Doctrine for Air Land Operations states that – Wars fought for territory are slowly losing their relevance in an economically linked globalised world order. Although asymmetric war is emerging as a predominant form of warfare and the probability of conventional conflicts between states as a means to resolve disputes is fast receding, preparation for the conventional conflicts remains an imperative and cannot be relegated.

In the Indian context, conventional war is still a distinct possibility because of border disputes with our neighbours. Therefore, occupation of territory, even if temporary, will remain a major objective in addition to other objectives. Preparation for conventional conflict, thus, remains an imperative for the armed forces.

Short Cycle Controlled Escalation Precision Strikes –Indian Armed Forces New Concept?

Future wars are likely to be characterised by: – (a) An increasing trend towards limited wars occurring at short notice and fought at high tempo and intensity; limited in duration, space and means.  

(b)Achieving campaign objectives quickly would be essential before international pressure forces the combatants to come to the negotiating table. The focus would be more on causing strategic damage in the available time frames.

(c) Non -linear battle space involving synchronised and integrated application of space, air, surface and sub -surface elements. The battle spaces would include larger combat zones formed due to enhanced airpower capability, increased reach of integral fire power, surveillance assets and enlarged areas of influence of combat systems and weapons. This would entail added emphasis on all arms concept and greater integration and jointmanship among land, naval and air forces.

(d) Increased ranges of sensors, weapon systems and platforms would require a fused composite picture to enhance battlefield transparency and share awareness that would prevent fratricide and enhance efficiency in integrated battle space. Providing net centric inputs would increase situational awareness for effective combat decision making.

To achieve net centricity, there would be a requirement for integration at the architectural level, which would necessitate knitting together interoperability in the Command, Control, Communication and Intelligence networks of the armed forces.

(e) Improved accuracy, lethality and standoff capability of weapons would result in greater destructive capability. There would be a need to exploit the ‘massing effect’ of Air and Land weapons by adopting a synergistic approach.

(f) There is likely to be ascendancy of Network Centric Warfare (NCW), Information Warfare (IW) and Psychological Warfare in the conduct of modern warfare.

(g) Conduct of operations under the glare of the media will have both positive and negative impact. National and international public opinion and aversion to loss of lives in battle will have to be considered while planning operations. Information management vis-a-vis media should, therefore, become a part of planning operations. Precise targeting and accurate intelligence would become crucial prerequisites.