New Delhi: The discourse on National Security Strategy (NSS) has been going on in India for years. However, despite reported attempts, there had been no progress in formulating such a strategy until now.
As per an Indian Express report, the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS) has commenced collecting inputs from several Central ministries and departments to frame a draft of the National Security Strategy. After this, it will then seek a final nod from the Cabinet.
The development comes against the backdrop of rising geopolitical tensions that have left the countries divided.
National Security Strategy, or NSS, lays down the security objectives of a country, defines its internal and external challenges and provides guidance on how to achieve its national objectives.
As Lt General HS Panag (Retired), who served in the Indian Army for 40 years, mentioned in ThePrint in his piece that NSS is an “overarching framework” that provides a “clear vision of how a nation will pursue its national objectives and provides guidance to all organs of the State, particularly its military instrument, signifying a ‘whole of government’ approach.”
It is reviewed and updated periodically to “keep pace with the prevailing strategic environment,” he wrote.
Several ministries have reportedly shared inputs about different challenges and threats faced by India over the last few months. These include traditional as well as non-traditional challenges such as financial and economic security, information warfare, food and energy security, and concerns related to information infrastructure, supply chains and the environment, reported Indian Express.
A senior official told the newspaper that the final document will be made public once it is ready. But no deadline for the same has been shared yet.
“The comprehensive document will consolidate and put together the challenges and threats unique to India and develop strategies to address them in the immediate and near future. This could include earmarking of resources, considering the existing internal and global situation,” according to Indian Express.
Military and the strategic circles have been calling for a comprehensive NSS for some time now.
In October, former National Security Adviser (NSA) Shivshankar Menon underlined the need for such a strategy for India. Speaking at the launch of the book India’s National Security Challenges, he said: “at least three attempts that I know of in past to produce a National Security Strategy. In each case, hesitation came not from professionals, but from the political level. I sense, but cannot prove, that they do not wish their hands to be tied.”
He said while introducing an NSS may take time, the Centre should bring a white paper on defence in the meanwhile, reported Times of India (TOI).
Last December, former Chief of the Army Staff General Manoj Mukund Naravane also batted for a National Security Strategy. “Theaterisation is not an end, It is only a means to an end. That end has to be specified first in the form of a national defence strategy. That defence strategy, in turn, has to flow out of a national security strategy. Unless there is a national security strategy in place, to just keep talking about theaterisation is actually putting the cart before the horse,” he said at a talk at the 4th General KV Krishna Rao Memorial Lecture, reported ThePrint.