Defence minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday called for greater synergy among the armed forces in military strategy and responses. While addressing graduates of the 59th National Defence College (NDC) course during their convocation in New Delhi, he said the government’s bold approach on border disputes and terrorism has made India stronger.
“Threats to internal and external security will no longer be tolerated. Our actions in Balakot and Galwan are clear signals to all aggressors,” the minister said.
The world is witnessing destabilizing implications of terror, including the threat posed by radical forces attempting to gain legitimacy, Singh said. There is now a greater realisation among nations to come together and combat terrorism, he said.
The NDC, he said, can play a key role in fostering a common understanding among friendly countries against terrorism and finding long-term solutions to deal with it.
Highlighting the uncertainty of current geopolitics, specifically in reference to latest developments in Afghanistan, Singh said, “The only certainty about evolving geopolitics is its uncertainty. Changes in state boundaries may not be as frequent today. However, the fast-transforming structure of states and the influence that external powers can have on it is clearly evident.” The minister emphasised the need to draw lessons from the situation in Afghanistan, where the Taliban has seized power after the US armed forces withdrew from the country..
“Injustice, however powerful, cannot and will not defeat the collective power of the goodness that is inherent to human existence,” Singh said. “This sentiment is evident from an increasing number of world capitals, which have lent their voice in favour of liberalism, inclusivity and respect for international norms of governance and behaviour.”
The minister urged NDC to focus more on new and fast-emerging areas such as cyber, space, artificial intelligence and big data analytics. “The world has witnessed rapid transformation in all these areas of scientific knowledge. This technological progression must be accompanied by its military interpretation within the strategic community,” he said.
In addition, he reiterated the government’s resolve to achieve atma nirbharta (self-reliance) in the defence sector, saying that “no country that aspires to develop as a knowledge-based economy can sustain such reliance on defence imports.”
Singh highlighted the relevance of NDC’s guiding principles — knowledge, wisdom and statecraft — in the rapidly changing regional scenario. “Knowledge allows us to understand the historical, social, geopolitical and economic realities of a country and a region. Wisdom helps interpret this factual understanding to facilitate far-sighted decision making. And, statecraft brings to bear the understanding of strategic thought and culture to everyday realities. It facilitates decision-making in pursuit of long-term interests,” he said.
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