Vimarsh on Changing Contours of Competition and Conflict - Implications for Indian Navy by Admiral Karambir Singh, PVSM, AVSM, ADC, Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS)
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As part of Vimarsh series of lectures on 21 Jan 2021, Admiral Karambir Singh, PVSM, AVSM, ADC, Chief of the Naval Staff spoke on “Changing Contours of Competition and Conflict - Implications for Indian Navy”.

Admiral Karambir Singh brought out that the concept of conflict viewed as a binary of war or peace is being replaced by a competition continuum across all elements of national power i.e. Diplomacy, Military, Information and Economics. Tactics of Grey zone operations, hybrid warfare, fait accompli, incrementalism, intimidation are being used and new actors such as cyber troops, maritime militia, wolf warrior diplomats, proxy forces etc are being deployed. Salami slicing is being used to make incremental gains that accumulate into long term advantage using all elements of national power while remaining below the threshold that can elicit a military response.

He provided a broad brush depiction of the challenges facing the Indian strategic space along the LAC in Ladakh in the North, along the western border. The challenges from seaward - the Indo Pacific, present a competitive as well as a cooperative connotation. The cooperation is signified by Blue Economy, connectivity, trade, maritime security etc. while competition is visible in great power competition in the region and inter and intra state conflicts in the region that have spilled over to the seain Somalia, Yemen and the Straits of Hormuz. Conflicting territorial claims over sea area and resources and differing interpretation of International laws could threaten free flow of global trade. He stated that winning the competition in peace requires proactive response in different domains and not just through kinetic warfare. Citing the example of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict the emphasised that disruptive technologies of unmanned systems, drones, space, cyber have led to disastrous outcomes for countries lagging in technology and concepts.

He highlighted the need for enhancing India’s Comprehensive National Power (CNP) to address actions across the competition continuum. India’s dominating geography in the maritime domain must be leveraged to enhance India’s CNP and addressing the competition in the maritime neighbourhood. He listed out roles that Indian Navy can play in addressing the modern challenges and the changing character of conflict in the maritime domain.

Event Date 
January 21, 2021

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