In the present scenario, it is the technology which needs to be exploited in dealing with the security threats that our country is facing. Technology available should be used as a force multiplier. A force multiplier, in military terminology, is a factor that dramatically increases the effectiveness of an item or group. Military examples include troop morale, reputation, training, and so on. The technology is changing at an accelerating pace. For security forces that rely on technological advantages to help them gain a force multiplier effect, to help them overcome other inherent strategic disadvantages – whether small population, small size, whatever – this reliance on technological advantages is going to mean an ever-increasing pace of technological change in their military hardware. Once, investment in a new weapons technology might have accrued force multiplier effects for maybe two or three decades; now, that force multiplier effect is likely to last significantly less. It means an almostconstant search for the next technological development.
With force multiplication, a small force can be as effective as a much larger one. For a force seeking to maintain a technological advantage
over its putative adversaries, the accelerating pace of technological changes means that any extant technological advantage (already naturally temporary) is increasingly short-lived. That armed force is going to spend an increasing amount of time, money and other resources looking for the next technological advantage, and the next, and so on.
“If you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle” (The Art of War, Sun Tzu (6th Century BC), Chinese general and military strategist).
India has the disadvantage of being situated in close proximity to what is being described as “the epicenter of global terrorism”. Troubled relationship with Pakistan since the independence of the country and unpredictable relationship with China, not so stable political climate in Nepal, civil-war ravaged and still-healing Sri Lanka, authoritarian Myanmar have, rendered any fair estimation of Indian preparedness to deal with these security challenges an onerous task. Only Bangladesh seemingly, is showing signs of delivering on the stated policy of the Government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of not letting her country’s soil to be used for anti-India activities.
India faces huge challenges in dousing the insurgency fires in many parts of the country – from the dense forests of Central India covering Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, few districts in Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, few parts of Andhra Pradesh (so called Red Corridor) to North-East India. We are aware of the Pakistani sponsored and mooted terrorist activities in the state of J&K since 1989. Besides there are dozens of militant groups in ethnically diverse North Eastern part of the country. There are of signs of consolidation among many of the freedom-seekers e.g. there are indications that Maoists have tried to forge ties with Kashmiri separatists and ULFA to synergize their activities. Furthermore as Left-Wing Extremism (LWE) in India stretches, its proximity to important cities and both northsouth and east west lines of communication has become “potentially dangerous”.
USE OF TECHNOLOGY
The technology would play “a decisive role” in the future conflicts and that “as future battlefields are likely to be fluid and fast-paced requiring quicker response. With the induction of better communication systems and the creation of a networked environment, our ability to collect, collate and analyse diverse inputs received from various agencies has been greatly enhanced. However, the vulnerabilities of such systems to disruption by the adversary have also increased and its resultant impact on conduct of operations would be magnified in proportion to the dependence on it. Due to the dependence of armed forces on such systems, the role of technology in future warfare has expanded considerably.
Today newer and better systems are available for the conduct of surveillance, identification and monitoring of the enemy and these have improved situational awareness. The nature of sensors and their platforms have extended the range of observation with enhanced resolution thereby providing greater accuracy and detail in shorter timeframes. The overall aim is to create a technological asymmetry so as to be in a better position to see, locate and monitor enemy forces and to plan further action. In such an environment newer techniques or methods would be required to achieve surprise and deception. Increased reconnaissance and surveillance capability will enable force commanders to concentrate superior combat power at the required location. Handheld image intensifiers, thermal imagers, GPS position locaters and computer connectivity give still and streaming video pictures of one’s own and enemy locations. Satellites and UAVs for instance, give excellent imagery, and this input could be tremendous force multiplier to gain knowledge about the terrain and also to direct precision and destructive fire power.
GIS plays a crucial role in operational planning, execution and monitoring progress of operations by showing all entities of interest in the context of a map. The GIS provides spatial information platform such as digital maps, digital elevation maps and satellite images to visualize the operational scenario. This provides for the disposition of enemy deployments and thus better planning of own forces’ deployment.
Technology has significantly improved night fighting capability. The ever increasing availability of new generation night vision devices will impact beneficially on tactical concepts. Operational readiness 24 x 7, night fighting capability and highly motivated officers and men have been the key result areas. To give early warning about the infiltration from across the border, there are under ground sensors, long range observation systems, alarm systems fixed on the “Smart Fence”. In addition there is Mobile Surveillance Vehicle which could be deployed at sensitive locations. To counter the IEDs threat, there are Deep Search Mine / Metal Detectors (DSMD) and Explosive Detectors.
New technologies from sensors to lighter but precision weapons have greatly improved the current capabilities of the security forces. These should be used to their best advantage, so as to hit the adversary effectively without suffering any loss of life or any damage.
DIFFICULTIES BEING FACED BY SECURITY FORCES
The technology though very useful, but is very costly. Most of the equipment has to be imported. The procurement procedure is very long and time consuming. The proposals being forwarded to the respective ministries by different security forces get considerably delayed in bureaucratic hassles. By the time the equipment reaches the user, a better technology is already available in the market. No proper training is imparted to the force personnel (Junior Leaders) in using / handling of the sophisticated equipment to its optimum.
CONCLUSION There is a requirement of a research directorate or a think tank, with each Central Police Organization which should examine the security threat, their tasks, requirement of their respective forces and the technology available. There is a need, therefore, to focus on emerging technologies available to the security forces to meet the strategic, operational and tactical requirements of the future and analyse the effect of cutting-edge technologies on future requirements. While doing so, aspects relating to orchestration of human resources and re-orientation of training are material. These are imperative for unleashing the full potential of emerging technologies. Considerable emphasis has to be laid on encouraging indigenous development of equipment by our DRDO. We have to keep pace with the advancing technology so as to have a constant edge over our potential adversary.
An erstwhile Inspector General of Police , the author has been a scholar on security studies at the Institute for Defence Studies ,New Delhi.