Friday, July 30, 2021

Defence experts stress for openness in military matters

Chandigarh, December 8: To ensure better interface between the public and the armed forces, various defence experts on Saturday emphasised the need to bring far more openness in military matters to mobilise public opinion in the larger interest of national security.
They were also of the opinion that there should be no politicisation of the defence forces, which was gradually creeping into the system.
These views were expressed by the experts during an interactive session on ‘Valour, History, Politics and Media’ on the second day of Military Literature Festival-2018 here, a Punjab government release said.
The discussions were mainly focused on the role of cinema and media in highlighting the heroic deeds of armed forces, the release said.
The penalists included Lt Gen (retd) N S Brar, Lt General (retd) T S Shergill. The defence experts also underscored the need to have direct connect between common masses and armed forces to realise the hardships faced by the army personal and their 24X7 arduous nature of duty to safeguard the borders from internal as well as external aggression, the release said.
Sharing his views, Lt Gen (retd) Shergill said that the media should play a pro-active role in boosting the morale of the armed forces to enable them to discharge their duties diligently with a sense of utmost professional commitment to safeguard the integrity, security and sovereignty of our country.
He cited the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, when the media was telecasting real-time, which led the perpetrators to know about the counter insurgency operations.
He exhorted the media to discharge their duties by exercising restraint, especially while reporting on defence matters of sensitive nature.
Lt Gen (retd) N S Brar underlined the need for general debates in the public domain on matters related to National Security and defence forces.
Thus, intimate interface was required more frequently between the government and defence forces on issues of higher defence management, he added.
On the allocation of funds for defence forces, Lt Gen Brar opined that media should come forward in mobilising public opinion in this regard to put pressure on the union government for adequate allocation of funds in the annual budget.
Some war veterans and defence experts regretted the reluctance of the central government to take inputs from them in drafting the country’s defence strategy and called for brainstorming for a long-term cohesive combat and defence plan, the release said.
At a session on ‘Evolving Challenges in Indian Defence’, they underlined the need for decision makers to ensure that, along with a booming economy, there should be no shortage of funds for the armed forces.
Former Indian Army Chief Gen V P Malik (retd) was the moderator of this session, while Lt Gen K J Singh (retd), Lt Gen Aditya Singh (retd) were on the panel.
Lt Gen Aditya Singh (retd) said that China is also bringing Artificial Intelligence (AI) in drones, which is equipped with face recognition features. The future of war would be the war of drones and robots along with hyper sonic aircraft, he added.
Gen Malik (retd) said the next warfare would also be cyber and space based.
Lt Gen K J Singh (retd) said India should focus on punitive deterrents against its enemies so that they think twice before initiating any action against our country.
He said that our country needs more credible deterrents such as surgical strikes. (PTI)