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Brace Up to Battle Invisible Enemy in Changing World: PM

In extempore speech to over 100 officers of three armed forces, Modi says full-scale wars may become rare, but domination of cyber space will be critical; urges commanders on capability-shift

Published: 18th October 2014 06:01 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th October 2014 06:01 AM   |  A+A-

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NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday told top military commanders that there is a need to shift from just a ‘quantitative’ approach to security to that based on ‘capability’. In his first-ever meeting with the top military commanders of the three services here, Modi said, “We should remember that what matters is not the size of the force, but its strength; not just numbers but the capabilities; not the size of the budget, but where it is spent.”

In his 25-minute extempore speech in Hindi, Modi urged the armed forces to incorporate “new thinking” and keep pace with a changing world where domination of cyberspace will become critical and full scale wars may become rare. “Threats may be known, but the enemy may be invisible. Domination of cyber space will become increasingly important.” He added that control of space may become as critical as that of land, air and sea. “Full-scale wars may become rare, but force will remain an instrument of deterrence and influencing behaviour, and the duration of conflicts will be shorter,” he said.

The Prime Minister was addressing over 100 officers in the War Room of the Defence Ministry in the South Block, against the backdrop of a series of violations of peace agreement by Pakistan along the Line of Control and International Border in Jammu and Kashmir.

Eight civilians were killed and several others injured in firing and heavy shelling by Pakistan in the past few weeks along the IB and LoC. The government had warned of an “unaffordable cost” to Pakistan if it continues to violate the 2003 ceasefire between the two countries.

The Prime Minister emphasized that an atmosphere of peace and security is essential for India to achieve economic development.

For this purpose, he said, “The present government has focused on creating a favourable external environment and on strengthening India’s security.”

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