Need a new national security policy to manage emerging new type of warfare

Need a new national security policy to manage emerging new type of warfare

GS III - cyber security

  • National security concepts have undergone fundamental changes.
  • These fundamental changes reveal that a large country, in terms of size of geography, population and GDP, will not deter any country.
  • Cyber warfare has vastly reduced the deterrent value of these sizes.
  • Cyber weaponry will be available even to small island countries.
  • The capacity to cause devastation to a large nation by cyber warfare is within the reach of even small and poorer nations.

Fundamental changes over the time

  • Innovations in weapons moved from stones in the pre-historic era to cannons and guns in the 19th century.
  • This was followed by aeroplanes, nuclear bombs, and intercontinental missiles in the 20th century.
  • Then in 21st century, the world is moving to cyber weapons-based warfare which will also immobilise current tangible advanced weapon systems in a war.
  • In the 21st century, after cybertechnology enters in nations’ defence policies, the size of a country will cease to matter.
  • Sri Lanka, or North Korea, empowered by cybertechnology, will be equal to the United States, Russia, India or China, in their capability to cause unacceptable damage.
  • Geographical land size or GDP size will be irrelevant in war-making capacity or deterrence.
  • These fundamental changes are entirely due to the 20th century innovations in cybertechnology and software developments.
  • Drones, robots, satellites and advanced computers as weapons are already in use. More innovations are around the corner.
  • Some examples of further innovations are artificial intelligence and nanotechnology.
  • National security in the 21st century covers not merely the overt and covert operations but, more crucially, electronic operations from a remote centre beyond the front lines of ground forces or air power to track enemy assets by these newly weaponised cyber instruments of technology.
  • For instance, China, recently, publicly cautioned Indians to sit up and take notice by using cybertechnology to shut down Mumbai’s electric supply in populated areas of the city, for a few hours. This was to overawe Indians as we were clueless for hours as to what went wrong till reports emerged about a possible cyberattack .

National security in the 21st century will depend on four dimensions

  1. Objectives
  • The objective of the National Security Policy in the 21st century is to define what assets are required to be defended.
  • Although the novel coronavirus is perhaps accidental, it has completely destabilised peoples globally and their governments in all nations of the world over, and also derailed the global economy because nations were most unprepared for such a pandemic.
  • Nearly two years of the pandemic have left several millions dead.
  • Most economies having been driven to the edge of disaster.
  • Normal life has been disrupted.
  • Never before has there been such a virus attack of this dimension. This is a preview of the kinds of threats that await us in the coming decades which a national security policy will have to address by choosing a nation’s priorities.
  1. Priorities
  • In the 21st century, national security priorities will require new departments for supporting several frontiers of innovation and technologies such as
    1. Hydrogen fuel cells,
    2. Desalination of seawater,
    3. Thorium for nuclear technology,
    4. Anti-computer viruses,
    5. New immunity-creating medicines.
  • Every citizen will have to be alerted to new remote controlled military technology and be ready for it.
  1. Strategy
  • New national security policy required to anticipate our enemies in many dimensions.
  • For India, it will be the China cyber capability factor which is the new threat for which it has to devise a new strategy.
  1. Resource mobilization
  • The macroeconomics of resource mobilisation depends on whether a nation has ‘demand’ as an economic deficit or not.
  • If demand for a commodity or service is in deficit or insufficient to clear the market of the available supply of the same, then liberal printing of currency and placing it in the hands of consumers is recommended for the economy to recover the demand supply parity. This then is one way of facilitating resource mobilisation in a demand supply balanced market.
  • A way to increase demand is by lowering the interest rate on bank loans or raising the rates in fixed deposits which will enable banks to obtain liquidity and lend liberally for enhancing investment for production.
  • If it is ‘supply’ that is short or in deficit compared to demand, then special measures are required to incentivise to encourage an increase in supply.