Integration is the way to go | Editorial HT – editorials
India has just announced a three-year roadmap to create integrated military commands. The chief of the General Staff of Defense, Bipin Rawat, said Tuesday that the creation of a combined air defense command and the merger of the separate systems of the three military services will be the first step in this process. He also indicated that the new integrated commands will be territorial and structural in nature. Interestingly, it has also been decided to allow a single service to be the dominant player in each of the integrated commands. The air force will play the leading role in the new air defense command.
Even more than the latest generation weapons, integration will provide the kind of advantage that the Indian army needs for the 21st century. In the days before smart weapons, an airplane could drop 1,000 bombs, but only one would reach its target. Today, thanks to orientation technology, a single plane can make almost all of its bombs reach a target. On paper, the number of the aircraft remains the same, but its lethality is multiplied by several hundred times. This is applicable to other high-tech weapons in other services. The integrated commands would weld all those platforms and armaments on land, air, sea and even space in a seamless whole. On a battlefield, a soldier seeks to use the maximum amount of firepower with a maximum degree of accuracy. Integration is the glue necessary to allow this to join. Recent military experiences for India, whether Kargil, Doklam or Balakot, are not about mass military confrontations. It is about responding quickly and surgically to raids under the radar or terrorist attacks. An army that has all its early warning systems combined and sees its offensive assets as a group of options is much better prepared to detect and respond to adversaries who are less interested in a large-scale war and more in inflicting terror. and causing political punishment.
General Rawat knows that just creating commands is insufficient. The technology necessary to merge the communication systems and the creation of a cadre of officers dedicated to the new structure of three services, are some of the necessary steps. The final test will be for these commands to really work and show that what has been created is greater than the sum of its parts. Integration is inherently difficult when dealing with deeply rooted interest groups. It is an even more delicate operation when the nation’s military is involved.