Asian Defence Review 2017

Vinod Patney

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The security challenges to a nation have entered an era of unremitting unpredictability and complexity and are being further exacerbated by violent transnational extremism, globalisation, proliferation of technology and by rogue powers. Against this backdrop of a dynamic, ever-evolving, and changing global geopolitical landscape we must eschew traditional beliefs and bring in the concept of convergence to centre stage. Convergence of effects in time and space, confluence of the kinetic and non-kinetic, physical and psychological capabilities and use of all tenets of warfare—offensive and defensive operations, espionage, ethics and legalities, propaganda and intelligence—are central to responses against threats from myriad threat vectors and actors. Today, the strategy articulation process has moved beyond a parochial obsession with conventional war. The doctrinal bulwark for security agencies takes into account inextricably intertwined and intricately overlapped war domains, rather than compartmentalising them.

This articulation is in sync with views of many military analysts, who believe that multivariate and multimodal nature of future conflicts will be further accentuated because of myriad threats from unexpected quarters. The complexity, lethality, scope and frequency associated with this new ‘threatscape’ is being described as “hybrid warfare.” In this, the present, potential and perceived vulnerabilities across the spectrum of conflict will most likely be targeted using combinational or hybrid threats. The amalgam of conventional and irregular capabilities at operational and tactical levels will make things more obscure, indistinguishable and complicated, contributing to the thickening of the “fog of war”. Today, the construct of conflict is conceptualised from the perspective of an amorphous enemy, defused national boundaries and undefined battle space. Enumeration of threat vectors and actors, pre-emptive posturing and marking of battle lines—which are the cornerstones for formulation of military doctrine of a conventional military—are not easily quantifiable parameters anymore. The era of large-scale state-on-state warfare is passé and has given way to ambiguous, protracted, indecisive conflict in complex environments.The Centre for Air Power Studies (CAPS) has been publishing the Asian Defence Review to analyse and understand these challenges and offer insight into possible strategies to mitigate these. This volume, a resource base for both professional and general readers, is tenth in the series under this title.

Vinod Patney Air Marshal Vinod Patney SYSM PVSM AVSM VrC (Retd) is one of the most distinguished fighter pilots in the history of the Indian Air Force—a decorated veteran of the 1965 and 1971 Wars. He is a graduate of the Royal Air Force Staff College and a founder member of the premier Tactics & Air Combat Development Establishment (TACDE) of the Indian Air Force.

During his long and illustrious career, he held various Command and Staff appointments and was awarded the Sarvottam Yudh Seva Medal (SYSM), for spearheading air attacks during the Kargil War, thus, making him the first air force officer, and the sole, recipient of the SYSM till date. He, thus, became the most decorated serving officer in all three Services.

He was a member of the National Security Advisory Board (December 2001 to January 2004). In 2006, he was part of a study on Global Security ordered by the Prime Minister and led by the late Shri K Subrahmanyam. Author of the book, Essays on Aerospace Power, he has contributed articles on national security issues and aerospace affairs to a number of eminent periodicals. He has also participated/lectured at seminars/Track 2 dialogues in India and abroad. Presently, he is the Director General of the Centre for Air Power Studies, New Delhi.


1. China-Pakistan Relations: Understanding the Strategic Alliance
Shalini Chawla
2. China’s One Belt One Road Initiative: A Major Unilateral Push
Temjenmeren Ao
3. Silhouette of Cruise Missile Proliferation in Asia-Pacific
Sitakanta Mishra
4. Cyber India: From Dawn to the Time Ahead
5. Burgeoning and Evolving Bitcoin Ecosystem: Challenges and Concerns for National Interest
Ashish Gupta
6. China’s Foray in Development of New Age UAVs: Global and Regional Implications
RK Narang
7. The Decline of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and the Birth of the Islamic State of Pakistan
Aersh Danish
8 Why Suicide Terrorism? Assessing the Aspects Involved in the Tactic
Radhika Halder
9. Russia and China as Regional Players in Central Asian Playground
Chandra Rekha
10 Iran’s Nuclear Programme: From Proliferation Crisis to Non-Proliferation Promise
Hina Pandey
11. Central Asia in India’s Energy Strategy
Poonam Mann



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