Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday told India’s top military commanders that full-scale wars may become rare in the future but they would have to be prepared to deal with the threat from the "invisible enemy".
Modi’s comments come at a time when unprovoked Pakistani aggression has ratcheted up tensions along the Line of Control and the international border in Jammu & Kashmir and Chinese incursions continue to be a sticking point. The PM said force would remain an “instrument of deterrence and influencing behaviour”.
In his first address at the combined commanders’ conference, the PM said future security challenges would be less predictable, with fast-evolving situations and technology. “The threats may be known, but the enemy may be invisible,” he said.
Modi said control of space could become as critical as that of land, air and sea. Controlling cyber space, he added, would be important as well.
At a time when several defence deals have been mired in corruption allegations, the Prime Minister asked the defence establishment to reform procurement processes and suggest corrective measures to avoid delays in indigenous production of equipment.
Modi asked the military to upgrade technological skills, assuring that his government would provide adequate resources to overcome shortages and meet modernisation targets.
“When we speak of Digital India, we would also like to see a digital armed force,” he said.
Calling for greater synergy between the three services, Modi suggested that future conferences could be organised on warships, at forward army camps and airbases, and not just in Delhi.
He said the world was expecting India to emerge not only as one of the pillars of the global economy, but also as an anchor of regional and global security.
The PM said that peace and security were essential for India to achieve its goals of economic development.