Strategic affairs experts have backed national security adviser (NSA) Shivshankar Menon's recent comments on the need for a new doctrine governing use of military power in the light of shifting global realities, saying future scenarios may require such an approach.
Delivering the Field Marshal KM Cariappa memorial lecture on 'The Role of Militaries in International Relations' on Wednesday, Menon said that India was moving towards a doctrine for the use of force at a time when the world was witnessing increasing militarisation of international relations.
Strategic affairs expert Air Vice Marshal Kapil Kak (retd) said, "The pattern of war for the next 20 years will be the same as the last 20 years. It will require use of force in situations where conventional deterrence has broken down."
Menon had said that militaries could either stick to what they do best at the risk of "reduced relevance" or restructure themselves to deal with new challenges, advocating rethinking of doctrines and practices.
The NSA had said India needed to develop capabilities to deal with weak states and terrorists - a capability different from the military's conventional tasks.
Former IAF chief, Air Chief Marshal Fali H Major (retd) said it was high time for India to bring out a doctrine on the use of military power work, factoring in the country's national interests.
"We are not talking about threatening anyone by using force. But at the same time, it's important to send out the message that no one can mess with us," Major said.
Menon had said force was "an inescapable factor" in international relations, whether through its actual use or in the threat of its use. "War and diplomacy, military force and international relations, are Siamese twins, joined together at birth for life," the NSA had said during the half-hour lecture.
Kak said future conflicts would be localised and confined in time and space. "We are talking about another dimension for use of power - both soft and hard - with certain military orientation to safeguard and project national interests in the larger strategic neighbourhood," he added.