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Terrorism, nuclear threat factored in new war doctrine

By Our Special Correspondent

NEWDELHI, OCT. 29 . The Army today unveiled its war organisation and structural changes to incorporate new facets such as terrorism, nuclear threat and IT-powered warfare. One part of the doctrine is based on the premise that wars will be brief and intensely fought and there could be an element of terrorism in them, the Chief of Army Staff, N.C. Vij, told newspersons after emerging from the Army Commanders' Conference that ended today.

"We have released the doctrine today. It is in two parts. The first, which will be circulated widely, incorporates the changed operational scenario, the impact of terrorism, organisational and structural changes to meet the challenges of the Revolution in Military Affairs and network-centric warfare and joint operations. The second part is classified,'' he said.

The commanders' conference discussed terrorism and decided to continue keeping the focus on three aspects — curbing infiltration, eliminating terrorists in the hinterland and "winning the hearts and minds of the people.'' The Army has achieved considerable success in all three but more needs to be done, conceded the Army chief.

Nuclear weapons

Asked to elaborate on the doctrine's take on tackling the nuclear threat, Gen. Vij said the subject was adequately discussed in the doctrine. "It suffices to say that the measures in the doctrine have a direct implication on what we can do and changes have been effected accordingly.'' At the same time, he said the Army did not favour the use of nuclear weapons "as I am sure no sane man does. Our policy is well-stated and is non-ambiguous. We are aware of what is being said by others and were prepared to deal with it. We don't think of nuclear weapons as tools of war. There is no ambiguity as regards our nuclear policy which is reactive and catered to meet the ground situation.''

A couple of changes have been made in the doctrine to incorporate the growing importance of network-centric warfare. "In the last conference, we had made one Deputy Chief of Army Staff (DCOAS) responsible for information systems, changing his designation from DCOAS (Training and Coordination) to DCOAS (Information System and Training). Now, we have also decided to appoint an officer of the rank of Major General in the Military Operations Directorate to take care of Information Warfare,'' he said.

The doctrine has emphasised the concept of joint operations in which two or all the three services move in unison against the enemy. "Joint operations assume importance in the sort of warfare we can expect. There are times when the Army and the Navy have to work jointly,'' he said.

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