Military Strategy

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  • Early Military Lessons from Russia’s Special Military Operation in Ukraine

    While the end state of the Russia–Ukraine conflict is still afar, an analysis of the conflict and war fighting so far, shows that there are enough early lessons for the strategic and military practitioners to decipher and take note of.

    March 28, 2022

    Aboli Dhawade asked: What is Grey Zone Warfare?

    Abhay Kumar Singh replies: The term ‘Grey Zone Warfare’ has often been used in the strategic discourse in the context of explaining the antagonistic behaviour of feuding states, which may incorporate conventional and non-conventional tools and techniques or may rely entirely on non-conventional tactics, blurring the line between military and non-military actions and the attribution for events. 

    The Concept of Active Defence in China's Military Strategy, by Amrita Jash

    The strategy articulated by Deng Xiaoping in 1990 as a guiding tenet of China's foreign policy was: “Observe calmly, secure our position, cope with affairs calmly, hide our capacities and bide our time, be good at maintaining a low profile, and never claim leadership 1”.

    April-June 2021

    Kundan Kumar Singh asked: What is the difference between ‘credible minimum deterrence’ and ‘minimum credible deterrence’?

    Kishore Kumar Khera replies: Deterrence, a psychological phenomenon, based on reason and logic, is often used as a strategic tool in gaming various options in a competitive environment. Although in the domain of nuclear weapons, deterrence often retains the central stage, it is equally applicable in non-nuclear and even in non-kinetic domains. An illustration is a suitable method for understanding various shades of deterrence.

    Suchak Patel asked: What is the meaning of ‘Deterrence by Denial’ especially in the context of India and China?

    S. Kalyanaraman replies: Deterrence by Denial refers to State A building up requisite military capabilities and devising an appropriate strategy to deny the territorial objectives that State B might seek to achieve through military means and thereby deter B from initiating war for that purpose.

    Jaydeep Chaudhary asked: In military terms, what is the difference between intrusion, incursion, transgression and infiltration?

    Deepak Kumar replies

    Intrusion: As per the open-source definition, it means the movement of a unit or force or a military asset inside another nation’s specified operational area or territorial seas or territorial airspace for surveillance or intelligence gathering in times of peace, no war-no peace, or war. A characteristic feature of intrusion is that it is temporary in time and space and has to be vacated (or evicted).  

    Harvir Singh asked: What is the difference between ‘standoff’ and ‘faceoff’?

    Deepak Kumar replies: In military parlance, the term ‘standoff’ refers to the measure of separation in ‘time’ and ‘space’ between opposing military forces who are unable to reach an agreement. The opposing forces are ‘fixed’ in time and space and cannot move or are unwilling to move. The aim of standoff could be to build up military and political pressure on an enemy or keep it in fear of war. In a defensive strategy, the aim could be to counter enemy threat or intentions.

    Abhishek Manchanda asked: What is the difference between ‘disengagement’ and ‘de-escalation’?

    Deepak Kumar replies: In military parlance, the term ‘disengagement’ can be defined as withdrawal from a stated military policy, military involvement, or at the tactical level, a military position. There are three important tenets of disengagement according to a RAND study by Hans Speier: (a) disengagement from enemy requires bilateral action, (b) disengagement can be forced if enemy lacks a credible threat, and (c) disengagement decisions can be based on present and future intentions.

    Prateek Goyal asked: What is the difference between strategy and tactics?

    D.P.K. Pillay replies: Both the terms, strategy and tactics, originated as military terminologies but today their use has spread in many areas.

    Chirag Gupta asked: What is the difference between domain awareness and situational awareness in defence/security?

    Abhay Kumar Singh replies: In general, domain awareness and situational awareness both grasp very similar activities which is “knowing what is going on around us”. However, they have slightly different connotations and are not synonymous.

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