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Cyber, information, space domains emerging new battlefields: IAF chief

New Delhi: Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari on Friday said that coercion is the new strategy with cyber and information and space domains emerging as new battlefields and the Indian Air Force needs to reassess its strategic priorities and actions in times of rapidly evolving International order which is being challenged by complex multi-polar world with traditional geopolitical interplays.

"Diplomacy, economy and information are becoming the primary tools for engagement with military instruments used as deterrents.We are witnessing rapidly evolving international order that is increasingly being challenged by a complex multipolar world with little or no regard for rules or the traditional processes of geopolitical interplace," IAF Chief said while delivering the keynote address at the Capstone Seminar of the First Warfare and Aerospace Strategy Programme in New Delhi today.

In his address, the IAF chief explained that the first Warfare and Aerospace Strategy Programme (WASP) was started with the aim to generate strategic thoughts and understanding amongst the officers...the ultimate aim of this course is to inculcate a culture that promotes reading, a keen sense of analysis, and the ability to produce well-drafted documents.

According to the chief, one of the reasons to set up the programme was to ensure that the future studies of papers are based on a sound understanding of operational art, strategy and academic research, so the focus was on teaching how to think, rather than what to think.

The design of this programme was based on a paragogic model that calls for the intensive reading of selective works chosen by qualified faculty, focussed dialogues and discussions followed by written submissions.

He also said that the programme structure amalgamated some of the enduring concepts of military and air power theory strategy and national part and international relations, while he believed that the programme's essence was in contextualizing these concepts to suit IAF's interests in the 21st-century paradigm.

He also mentioned that the participants of the seminar would prepare presentations on two themes-- assessing the role of air power in the ongoing Ukraine conflict, and revisiting the doctrinal and strategic presets to establish the role of air power in India's national security-- that were related to Indian security.

The IAF chief emphasised the need to reassess the force's strategic priorities and realign their actions to ensure that they (IAF) don't get left behind.

"Research-based thought, detailed analysis, and well-structured arguments backed with sound and convincing logic must form the backbone of our problem-solving drive. Such an approach can provide solutions to many of our day-to-day issues and also help formulate better policies," he said.

As per Chaudhari, WASP was specifically designed to briefly expose the participants to the key disciplines of the nation's comprehensive national power. Such an approach will enable our officers to understand the whole of government approach and generate independent options, he said.

"We believe that such a cross-pollination of ideas, coming from multi-disciplines can lead to critical thinking which allows a person to formulate solutions as well as take more rationale and effective decisions," Chaudhari said further.

Meanwhile, the IAF chief also advised the military strategists to not lose sight of their primary objective-- warfighting, and hence appealed that their focus should remain on operational level critical thinking and strategy while developing a deeper understanding of the art and science of warfighting.

He said that the culmination of 1st WASP here today was an important milestone for Indian Air Force, as it also marked the beginning of a "long intellectual journey that lies ahead".

He expressed confidence that successive alterations of this WASP programme would document intellectual capital of critical strategic thinkers in the Indian air force and contribute to the growth of the organization. (ANI)

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