THIS book deals with the extremely important and sensitive subject of security, from within and outside, in the Indian context. It talks about how India looks at security issues and how well it is equipped to tackle security threats like modern day terrorism.
” India is a bigger economic and political power today than it has been at any time since its independence. Yet, the intellectual tools and mechanisms that shape its world view, foreign and security policies and its sense of strategy remain rooted in another era. Security environment analysis and related policy advocacy is the domain of a small club of retired diplomats and generals in Delhi, with a few journalists thrown in. The result: far and few changes in our policies despite unprecedented dynamics of global, regional and domestic security factors. Captain B H Liddel-Hart has rightly said: The only thing harder than getting a new idea in is to get an old one out,” writes General VP Malik (retd), in the Foreword.
In the book, there is a clear focus “on the happenings and the new milieu.” The author here analyses that security has various aspects: (a) The realm of individuals and groups, ie. the micro level challenges (b) The realm of nation-states and global systems, ie. The macro level challenges, and (c) The meeting ground of the above two.
The world has undergone shifts in economic and political power due in part to new technologies. The instruments of power – financial, governance, communications, military might, etc. – are no longer under the exclusive control of the state, and the very concept of sovereignty has been redefined, says the author. “The highly networked nature of threats has brought about a situation where the system of challenges that India faces are inherently non-linear. These non-linear changes occur simultaneously on different scales” – micro, macro, and the combination as mentioned above.
Environmental issues have long had a profound effect on India ’s security. Conflicts and wars over resources like water are often cloaked in the guise of identity or ideology-based conflicts.
The writer suggests that a whole-scale reform of governance is necessary if India has to effectively address the myriad challenges it faces. Such a reform must engage key individuals from federal, state and municipal government bodies; academia and private sector organisations; the leadership of all political parties and key bureaucrats; and most importantly, civil society, to create the necessary political will and ensure democratic oversight of the process. The paper concludes, says the writer, by proposing a new paradigm for conceptualising, framing and acting on national security: an evolutionary system view of security that employs networked management and anticipatory governance in a complex era. It recommends a comprehensive reform of India ’s national security in the light of emerging challenges and opportunities.
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