Conventional conflicts are less likely to happen though there will always be space for limited warfare between nations,even against a nuclear backdrop,if vital interests are perceived to be at stake,said Lt General A K Singh,General Officer Commanding- in- Chief (GOC-in-C),Southern Command. Singh was delivering a lecture on Perspective of War in the 21st Century as part of the General B C Joshi Memorial Lectures at University of Pune.
Since 1998 nuclear tests,India and Pakistan have gone through limited war and major military crisis,making it clear that nuclearisation of countries has not made the conventional war between them an obsolete concept. Acquisition of nuclear weapon by Pakistan has not altered the strategic balance in the subcontinent and it has not been able to neutralise Indias conventional war fighting superiority. Not withstanding,the nuclear deterrence in place,there is adequate strategic space for India to respond to a Pakistani misadventure,which might arise out of its miscalculated confidence, he said.
In a country like India,which has land threats,unsettled borders and inimical neighbours,the Armed Forces have to be prepared for threats from states as well as non-state actors assisted by state, he said adding,It may be comparatively easy for a nation to achieve a defined conventional military capability given the adequate resources and political will to do so. However,as future challenges and threats are likely to be hybrid in nature,there will be a need to develop strong sub conventional and fourth generation warfare capabilities which in turn calls for a reorientation mindset. he said.
During his lecture,the general also touched upon the role of Air Force and Navy along with the emergence of Weapons of Mass Destruction by non-state actors and the political,social and economic aspects affecting the future warfare.
The lecture was attended by a number of senior retired and serving officers of the Armed Forces,most notably Air Chief Marshal (retd) P V Naik,who retired recently as the Chief of Air Staff.