Role of Force in Statecraft: Declining Utility or Inescapable Necessity

Air Cmde Arjun Subramaniam is a serving officer in the Indian Air Force (IAF). The views offered are his own and do not reflect the views of the IAF.
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Email
  • Whatsapp
  • Linkedin
  • Print
  • May 2011

    Recent debates amongst the strategic community on the utility of force in statecraft have thrown up interesting perspectives that have seldom been debated in India. While great power rivalries, inter-state conflicts and coalition conflicts still remain distinct possibilities in the future, major principles of war fighting, conflict resolution, statecraft and nuclear deterrence have since been turned on their head when confronted by non-state actors and non-traditional threats. The pace and unpredictability of modern warfare today have ensured that simple deterrence is no longer completely relevant in statecraft. Concepts of conventional and nuclear deterrence cannot completely insulate the nation state from attempts to undermine its integrity and sovereignty by potential non-state and trans-national actors like insurgents, guerrillas and terrorists.