India seeks "open, balanced, inclusive" global security set-up | delhi | Hindustan Times
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India seeks "open, balanced, inclusive" global security set-up

delhi Updated: Oct 21, 2010 21:19 IST

Warning of the possibility of a limited war under a nuclear backdrop in the future, India on Thursday sought a new "open, balanced and inclusive" global security architecture that corresponds to modern threats such as hi-tech terrorism and cyber conflicts.

National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon also called for a study of India's practices in use of force as a statecraft, considering that values and justice have always dictated its doctrines.

Menon was delivering the key-note address at the National Defence College Golden Jubilee celebrations here.

"What India seeks is a new security architecture -- an open, balanced and inclusive architecture to correspond to the new (security threat) situation that is emerging," Menon said.

"It also seems from the recent experiences that the utility of force as traditionally configured and conceived is of limited value in protecting society or achieving some policy goals.

"But one can hardly jump to conclusions about the futility of force when limited war under nuclear conditions remains possible and when adversaries need to be deterred," he said.

He said emergence of technology had led to terrorists too laying hand on sophisticated systems, alongside cyberspace emerging as a domain for conflict. Moreover, these non-state actors were also drawing strength from state institutions.

"Unfortunately, we have seen technology place increasingly lethal power at the hands of non-state actors. Terrorism is technologically enabled and knows no boundaries today, even drawing on support from state systems," he pointed out.

"States were no more the predominant factor in today's world. We have also seen new domains for confrontation such as the cyberspace," he said.

Calling for an in depth study of Indian ways of using force, he said historically there had been a "strategic culture" in the country that hinged on "achieving justice" under circumstances when all alternative means had been exhausted without fighting a war.

Quoting from Indian epics Mahabharatha and Ramayana, Mahatma Gandhi's views, Chanakya's Arthasastra and King Ashoka's life, Menon said, "In the Indian tradition, use of force is legitimate not just if it is in a good cause and its results will be good. Instead it is about a doctrine that saw force as necessary in certain circumstances to obtain justice, when all other means are exhausted."

Indian traditions, he said, recognised that use of force was not always the most effective or efficient means, but was essentially a defensive use when other means were exhausted.