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April 24, 2024

Technological Evolution: A New Strategic Battlefield, Says Indian Army Chief

Army Chief General Manoj Pande emphasized the significance of technology in modern warfare, stating that it has emerged as a new strategic arena of competition. While addressing a seminar titled “Year of Technology Absorption: Empowering the Soldier,” he highlighted that the evolution of technology has profoundly impacted warfare, but its advantage must not be isolated from the larger strategic context.

According to General Pande, technology’s influence spans various historical periods, from the introduction of rifles and railroads in the 19th century to modern-day niche technologies. He stressed that adopting and integrating new technologies has historically provided armies with battlefield advantages and contributed to their success.

However, General Pande cautioned against viewing technological advantage solely at the tactical level, citing examples like Vietnam and Afghanistan where such advantages did not ensure overall success in war. He emphasized that understanding new technologies, harnessing their potential, and achieving strategic superiority are essential elements in leveraging technology from a warfighting perspective.

In the Indian Army’s pursuit of self-reliance, General Pande underscored the importance of technological absorption and adaptation. He mentioned that technologies are continuously evolving, revolutionizing various fields, and becoming commercially available. The military-technological landscape witnesses a manifold increase in lethality and accuracy, with technologies such as artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and nanotechnology gaining prominence.

General Pande highlighted the proliferation of disruptive and dual-use technologies, which even non-state actors are exploiting for asymmetric leverage in conflicts. He pointed out that recent conflicts have demonstrated how these technologies are transforming the character of modern warfare, challenging traditional force multipliers and conventional force ratios.

Furthermore, the emergence of new domains like space, cyber, and the electromagnetic spectrum, coupled with advancements in grey zone warfare, has made the battlefield more complex and contested. The Army Chief emphasized the need for self-reliance in critical technologies through indigenous research and development to mitigate risks associated with external dependency.

In light of these developments, doctrinal adaptation becomes imperative. General Pande stressed the need to tailor doctrines and strategies to prevailing operational paradigms and refine operational philosophies, employment concepts, and tactics accordingly. This ongoing process aims to maximize the battlefield potential of modern weapon systems.

General Pande concluded by highlighting the importance of recognizing the impact of technology on warfare, not just at the tactical level but also at the strategic and doctrinal levels. He emphasized the need for continuous adaptation and innovation to stay ahead in the ever-evolving landscape of modern warfare.

Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri

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