In Jammu & Kashmir, Pakistan is fighting a hybrid war, and Indian response should also be in the hybrid domain”. Discuss.
Introduce with Hybrid conflict
Talk about how Pakistan indulges in regular and hybrid wars against India and India’s response
Discuss why India needs to engage in hybrid war and what it involves
Model Answer :
Hybrid war is one fought through a combination of conventional, irregular (efforts to win legitimacy and influence over the populations), and asymmetric (for example, terrorism, insurgency, guerrilla warfare etc.) means. It can include the combination of special operations and conventional military forces, intelligence agents, political provocateurs, media representatives, economic intimidation, cyber-attacks, and proxies and surrogates, terrorist, and criminal elements.
Pakistan’s hybrid war against India:
For the last 70 years, India’s response to Pakistan’s efforts at direct war have been professional and effective (1947, 1965 etc).
As a result, Pakistan has indulged in a hybrid conflict with India which extends to multiple domains, including promotion of radical ideology, creation of alienation among people, intimidation, and importantly, maintaining financial conduits for the unimpeded flow of money into the conflict system. Their cause is being furthered by the separatists in India.
Need for India to engage in Hybrid war:
In this conflict, India’s approach has been defensive, reactive and tentative. Fighting the adversary in a hybrid conflict, like the one in Jammu & Kashmir, through the military route has been ineffective.
There is an increasing body of opinion in India that the response to Pakistan’s hybrid war in Kashmir should be through hybrid warfare.
There is a need of for the national strategy to incorporate all elements of national power i.e. intellectual, economic, intelligence, cyber capabilities, scientific, business, trade and diplomatic.
Hybrid warfare has a strong espionage element and India needs an aggressive intelligence posture with an expertise and specialists from diverse fields like technology, economy, finance, culture, arts and politics.
Indian security community needs to indulge in information warfare and adopt proactive ways of bringing information operations to the fore while dealing with hybrid conflict.
Agencies, led by NIA, have recently been successful in targeting the financial support to radicalism and terrorism in Kashmir.
India also needs to develop the ability to conduct covert strikes in Pakistan to take out high value terrorist targets.
Hybrid warfare is not a new strategy. Since times immemorial, such tactics have been the essential instrument of the statecraft. India also has the capabilities, but not the experience. To deal with an enemy like Pakistan, hybrid war is the need of the hour. To this end, fault-lines in Pakistan need to be identified and effectively utilised for our geo-political ends.