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CDS Gen Bipin Rawat warns the enemy: India will respond at a place and time of its choosing

In the wake of evolving threats and changing nature of warfare, Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat on Friday said that the Indian armed forces would have to be ready for the future. 

CDS Gen Bipin Rawat warns the enemy India will respond at a place and time of its choosing-VPN
New Delhi, First Published Jul 2, 2021, 5:59 PM IST
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In the wake of evolving threats and changing nature of warfare, Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat on Friday said that the Indian armed forces would have to be ready for the future. 

Speaking at a Global Counter-Terrorism Council webinar on Artificial Intelligence and other modern technologies, Gen Rawat talked about the existing counter-drone systems. 

"We have mechanisms as to how should counter drones. Wherever we have got counter-drone systems, we have deployed. These are gradually coming in larger numbers, and we need a very large number of counter-drone systems if we have to defend our nation's strategic assets. We are gradually building those capabilities and building the number we require. But let me warn you, what makes you think that the only drone is a threat. Please look at the way the war is fought between Hamas and Israelis, rocket attacks happening. What kind of rocket attacks happen. We have to prepare for that also."

"It is not mandatory that the next attack will involve only drones. We need to prepared for the future. Therefore, grey-zone warfare or hybrid warfare can involve anything. You have to prepared for all these," he added.

Strong message to adversaries

"You have to send a strong message that anything of this nature -- whether in grey zone or hybrid in nature -- if it damages our assets and affects our national security, we should reserve the right to respond at a place and time of our choosing and in a manner in which we respond," Gen Rawat.

Northern Command and Theatre Command 

"Northern command is undergoing in a different kind of situation, the terrorism, the insurgencies which are going on there. The northern command is one command which looks after both the fronts, like the China front in Ladakh and the northern front in the Kargil sector. This is one area that would witness a two-front war, and then you have a unified command HQ which is functioning very well, ensuring stability in the internal security in Jammu & Kashmir. The situation is gradually improving day after day, but the fact the situation which is improving doesn't mean that the situation again may not turn ugly," he added.

"We have to be careful and not let out guard down. We do not want to disrupt our existing organisational structure of the northern command. Therefore, the northern command, for the time being, will remain as a command while we have two theatres on the east and the north and the other on the western side," the CDS said.

Indian Air Force reservation in theatre command 

"As far as Indian Air Force is concerned, yes, the entire airspace of the nation will be looked after by one air defence command. So we are creating one air defence command to look after the entire nation's airspace. But what we are looking as because you have western theatre and northern theatre -- one dealing with the northern adversary and another dealing with the western adversary, and we are creating land-based theatres for them," General Rawat said.

"The reason is that the Air Force is not just responsible for air defence. It has got another charter. It has got a charter of providing close air support to land forces when they undertake operations and for offensive air operations in case you go into the adversary's territory. The same thing when the navy is operating at the sea the naval ships also require some air support," he added.

"Therefore, air defence, you are also responsible for carrying out close air support and offensive air support. Now, you need some kind of air command component advising the theatre commanders. What we are saying is there will be air component commanders who will be advisers to the western theatre commanders and northern theatre while the air defence command will be done by one entity as is being done today. Even today, entire air components are not commanded by one agency. They have got five operational commands, where the entire resources of Air Force are distributed," he further said. 

"Even today, the air force assets are distributed. So we do not understand in case a navy command is created will all these assets go under one commander. I don't think that is going to happen. They are not going to collapse the existing commands. If that is the thought process, then they come forth and say we intent to collapse or fight operational command. Then I think there is a need to address the entire issue from a different perspective." 

India-China Border standoff 

With regard to the ongoing India-China border standoff, General Rawat said that "Negotiations are happening at all levels --  the political, the diplomatic and the military. There is suspicion on both sides because while other side has deployed their forces and created infrastructures." 

"We are not lagging anymore from deploying a large number of troops and resources. There is suspicion on both sides, and this will take time, and in a gradual manner, we should be able to achieve the status quo. Both the nations understand that returning to the status quo is the best way of ensuring peace and tranquillity," he said.

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