REVIEW OF THE STRUCTURE AND MANDATE OF HQ IDSADDING TEETH TO JOINTNESSINTRODUCTIONThe Kargil Committee report had proposed the integration of three services for effective execution of operations in the ever-evolving battlefield scenario. As a result, the Integrated Defence Staff was created in Nov 2001 to promote synergy amongst the three services and to integrate these with the Ministry of Defence. HQ IDS has undoubtedly taken significant strides towards achieving objectives of jointness . There were some apprehensions in its efficacy as was mentioned in the Naresh Chandra Committee report regarding non-implementation of few recommendations of the Kargil Committee report.
However, with the promulgation of the Joint Doctrine, the Headquarters Integrated Defence Staff has laid down the path to prove its efficacy to counter future battle in a joint environment even in absence of CDS or integrated theaterisation of the battlefield. Modern day warfare has taken a giant leap towards the conduct of the battle at various levels. The warfare has risen from the terrestrial to the spatial, from well-defined boundaries to engulf all in its vicinity and from conventional to the hybrid one.
The Indian subcontinent is slowly getting infested with various state and non-state actors with Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear (CBRN) capabilities. The threat of asymmetric warfare is ever becoming a reality and a potent threat. The threat has also been clearly envisioned by the present Chief of the Army Staff, General Bipin Rawat as he once mentioned, The threat of the use of CBRN weapons is indeed becoming a reality, particularly as a threat from non-state actors. Use of CBRN weapons could jeopardize life and property and take a long time to recover.’ There are certain issues which have gained relevance with the ever-diminishing dimensional boundaries of warfare both in terms of space and time and also the methodology of warfare. CBRN is a threat which can have catastrophic effect on human as well as natural resources. Unfortunately, it can be wielded by both state and non-state actors. The atomic bomb is available to both rich and poor alike and unlike bullets it does not differentiate its target. It is meant for all and sundry without any discrimination.METHODOLOGYLiterature ReviewDue to the classified nature of the research being undertaken, the scope of literature available in the open fora is very limited. However, before commencing the research, a large quantity of online journals, research papers and academic articles have been considered in order to appreciate the nuances of CBRN threats in the future battle field environment both by states & non-state actors. Few major references along with their gist are as mentioned below: -SYNERGYA journal of the Centre for Joint Warfare Studies (CENJOWS) in its Feb 2017 edition has elaborated upon the integrated approach for all forms of future requirements including theaterisation, requirement of CDS etc.Joint Doctrine of the Indian Armed Forces promulgated by HQ IDS. The Joint Doctrine issued in 2017 gives the philosophy of HQ IDS on joint approach towards various situations. In the sixth section of the doctrine there has been a brief mention regarding Nuclear Command Authority’ which emphasises upon the robust command and control structure exclusively for nuclear deterrence. Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Warfare. The book is written by Mr K Bhushan and Mr G Katyal and describes the effect of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons . India’s Approach to Asia. The book is written by Mrs Namrata Goswami and illustrates the article on the Chemical and Biological Dimension of Jehadi Terrorism by Mr Animesh Roul. Weapon of Mass Destruction and Options for India. This book is written by Vice Admiral Raja Menon and enumerates the effect of CBRN weapons and the ways to mitigate them. Moreover, it also gives a way out for India in the present and the future scenario. Research ProblemVarious research problems were identified in view of the CBRN threat and the structure of HQ IDS to effectively counter them. Few of those research problems are stated below: -The threat to the Indian subcontinent is multi fold, multi directional and multi-dimensional. The scope expands from surface to space, from conventional to hybrid and from small arms to nuclear realm. It is a well-established fact that our Armed Forces have dealt with such situations in the past but never faced a CBRN environment. Is the Indian Armed Forces adequately trained to meet the challenges in a synergised and joint manner which would certainly yield better results?Our adversaries in the North and West are equipped with nuclear arsenal of various dimensions and one of them does not even propagates, leave alone practice the policy of No First Use’ which certainly is an alarming situation. Is there a concentrated coordination between the conventional forces and the nuclear forces at strategic level to meet these threats?The Indian subcontinent has varied terrain configuration which dictates the employment of the bi/tri services operations at various fronts. HQ IDS has formulated a joint doctrine to combat the conventional forces operating against the sovereignty of the country. It also acknowledges the way in which the nuclear domain complicates the conventional war. However, there is no mention of the doctrinal aspects of CBRN warfare. Is there a requirement of concrete formulation of doctrine to combat such threats?The CBRN threat does not recognise boundaries of warfare and can easily surpass the military domain to engulf all and sundry within its reach. Is there a requirement to develop synergy and coordination between the military and the civilian counterparts? It is, therefore, a necessity to review the structure of HQ IDS to effectively take control of the CBRN domain in terms of joint training and joint execution during peace and war times respectively.Scope of the researchThere is a need to review the structure of HQ IDS to effectively counter the threat in the CBRN scenario which would possibly complement any future conventional operations. This dissertation shall focus on the nuances of modifications of the structure of HQ IDS to control military operations in the CBRN scenario of the future battlefields. STATEMENT OF PROBLEMThe concept of future battles is compounded by the CBRN threats which invariably would complement future conventional operations & would require operating in highly dynamic and unpredictable environment. The approach to effectively counter such CBRN threats in the present world order is inadequate and therefore needs a complete re-look. HYPOTHESISWith the changing battlefield scenario, the threat of CBRN attack as part of asymmetric warfare both by state and non-state actors is ever looming. In such a scenario it is prudent to believe that a modification in structural organisation at HQ IDS has to be carried out in order to effectively mitigate the CBRN threats.Research MethodologyTime Limitation. The research work and the learning activities of various professional subjects in Defence Services Staff College (DSSC) will be simultaneous. So, it is felt that the time for conducting the subject research work is quite short.Military Publications. Only typed extracts from military publications will be produced as primary data due to the classified nature of the documents.Limitation regarding samples. Although the research warrants survey of all the officers of the Indian Army, Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force and few from the civilian background but due to time constraints the same cannot be done. All the samples may not have an experience in CBRN warfare to provide first-hand experience to complete the research work. Methods of Data Collection ” Primary. Document Study. This was a primary data collection method wherein General Staff publications and various publications and pamphlets were referred.Questionnaire. A questionnaire comprising of 13questions based on Likert’s Scale was prepared and sent to more than 150 persons on their individual mail and also obtained in person owing to the classified nature of the research topic.Sample. A sample of 123 persons from various backgrounds was obtained and further analysed.Methods of Data Collection ” Secondary.Owing to the classified nature of the topic, there has been a scarcity of literature, especially books by renowned authors and subject matter experts related to HQ IDS. However, the data was collected from library, periodicals, research papers, seminar proceeding, and articles written by renowned researchers on subject, military analysts and defence and strategic forums.Information for this dissertation was acquired from both documentary and non-documentary sources. The World Wide Web had been the major source of information and was widely accessed for documents, reviews, articles and speeches. Data available from eminent research organisations, both governmental and private institutions have been included and cited accordingly. Various internet sites related to the subject were accessed to get the latest inputs regarding the topic. Comments of prominent personalities in this particular field were also incorporated during the research.Methods of Data Analysis. The study analyses the threats of CBRN to the nation, challenges, preparedness level and ways to deal with it.Collected primary data(s) were analysed in accordance with the research objectives using Likert’s scale. Responses on questionnaire were analysed to understand and recommend changes in the structure of HQ IDS to effectively meet CBRN challenges. CHAPTERISATIONThe dissertation is organised under the following chapters: -Chapter I: Introduction & Methodology. This chapter brings out the literature researched for the study and gaps in the research problem including the hypothesis for the study. It also highlights the literature review and various data collection measures employed in course of research before highlighting the methodology and the conduct of the research.Chapter II: Impact of CBRN Threat. This chapter brings out the Chemical, Biological, Radioactive and Nuclear threats that the Indian subcontinent may face in the future battlefield of the Asymmetrical Warfare.Chapter III Challenges & Preparedness Level of the Indian Armed Forces in the CBRN Environment. The chapter brings out the challenges that shall be faced by the three wings of the Indian Armed Forces in future battles with involvement of state and non-state actors and also the level of preparedness in terms of training and other aspects to meet such challenges.Chapter IV: Proposed Changes in the HQ IDS. This chapter proposes the options that are available en ce moment and those that can be explored to effectively meet such challenges. Chapter V: Data Analysis. This chapter will seek to analyse the results collected from the sample and establish a relation between the results with the hypothesis.Chapter VI: Recommendations & Conclusion. This chapter deals with the recommendation towards modifications in the structural aspects in HQ IDS and also projects the way ahead for further explorations by the fellow researchers in future.CHAPTER II: IMPACT OF CBRN THREATGENERALCBRN are weaponized or non-weaponized Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear materials that can cause great harm and pose significant threats. Weaponized materials can be delivered using conventional bombs, improved explosive materials and enhanced blast weapons. Non-weaponized materials are traditionally referred to as Dangerous Goods (DG) or Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) and can include contaminated food, livestock and crops .The changing dynamics of the battlefield in the present scenario has made the threat of CBRN a reality and poses a threat to the entire world from immediate effect of Nuclear weapons to protracted effect of Biological weapons. On one hand the use of these weapons has been banned by the international community but on the other there is a race to amass them either for deterrence or power projection. The UN forces, and more particularly the US forces, were accused of waging bacteriological and chemical warfare. There is also a disturbing possibility that these weapons may be acquired by the terrorist organisations that have their own ethics and values. The segment of human race who do not align themselves to their ideology may not be even a factor for consideration. The chances have increased of late because of the relatively easier availability of nuclear related materials and the spurt in smuggling and trafficking in them after the breakup of former Soviet Union (FSU) The aspects of the threat posed by the Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear weapons in the wake of conventional and non-conventional scenario, it’s usage by state and non-state actors are discussed in the subsequent paragraphs.Effects of Chemical WeaponChemical weapons ranges from toxic to non-toxic, nerve to blister and choking to tear gases. They can act quickly but affect only a limited area. These weapons have been in use since the World War I. In the present scenario, more than seventeen countries possess chemical weapons in one form or the other . The use of this deadly weapon is not restricted to the conventional warfare but has slowly extended its realm to engulf the non-state actors as well. Conventional Use of CW. The Geneva Convention of 1925 was adopted after the horrible effects of this weapon in World War I but that has not deterred other nation from either acquiring or using these deadly munitions. It has seen extensive use during in Afghanistan by the Soviets and even in Laos and Kampuchea . It renders effective use of man, material and equipment in the battlefield as it is difficult to say with certainty if the area is totally clear of these agents. CW Terrorism. The alleged report of ISIS using CW in Syria is shocking but alarming as well . The threat of use of chemical weapon is no more a distant dream but is real and slowly growing. It cannot be denied that their brother fighters may use it to their advantage on our soils. This is a threat which needs to be assessed realistically and has to be met intellectually, politically and militarily . Effects of Biological ThreatThe discovery that micro-organisms create a disease in humans and animals led, almost instantaneously, to the development of biological weapons that were first used in world War I against the draft animals of the other side. The evolution of biotechnology results is exponential R&D in this field. The agents range from living to non- living and from herbicides to usage against humans. The terrorists can use these weapons as it is easy to manufacture and use. However, the effects are generally persistent and may impede their own operation in the area.Effects of Radiological ThreatNuclear weapons and fissile materials are difficult to procure. A cheaper and technically more feasible option is the use of radiological weapons made up of non-fissionable radioactive materials like Cesium-137, Strontium ” 90 or Cobalt ” 60. These can be potent tool in the hands of the terrorists. Radioactive materials can be delivered through a conventional explosive device through the air handling system or introduced into the water supply.Depending upon its nature, a radioactive substance could either cause cancer or induce acute radioactive poisoning resulting in heavy casualties. The feasibility of this form of terrorism was demonstrated by the Chechen rebels in 1995 when they had planted 32 kg of Cesium-137 in Moscow Park. Radioactive material can either be dispersed in the environment (Radiological Dispersal Device ” dirty bomb) or directly irradiate people (Radiation Emission Device) resulting in individuals being exposed to alpha, beta or gamma rays . Polonium poisoning has been already employed in different occasions; orphan sources could easily be attached to explosive devices to spread ionizing radiations that can be inhaled, ingested or leading to people’s skin or clothes being exposed). Of course, the most dangerous incidents should be theorized against nuclear power plants, with the risk of leaks or (worse) explosions resulting in a wider contaminated area with longer lasting effects not only on people, but also on the environment .Effects of Nuclear ThreatThe vulnerability for India from Nuclear dimension needs no elaboration as the state is surrounded by two nuclear weaponised neighbours. Adding to the already existing agony are various terrorist organisations operating in the country and it is even possible that one of them acquire nuclear weapons and use it to achieve their aim.Threat from Nuclear States. In the Indian context, the major threat of nuclear weapons is mainly from Pakistan and China and coincidentally we have strained relations with both of them. However, raising the level of a conventional war to the nuclear realm would need a political will and would definitely have international repercussions. China. China can be presumed to be a responsible nuclear power in spite of their secrecy regarding their holding and capability. It can safely be assumed that there would be sufficient measures in place to ensure that the usage of this weapon would be the last resort against a country which has the capability to retaliate in kind. Moreover, any unauthorised leakage to non-state actors is a difficult proposition in the present scenario. However, China’s involvement in nuclear proliferation in South Asia is long standing. As a military ally of Pakistan and an adversary of India, China has helped Islamabad to build its nuclear and missile capabilities. China has used this assistance to Pakistan as a way to balance India militarily and politically. Pakistan. The political volatility and instability of this nation makes the situation alarming for us. Moreover, the covert and overt support to the terrorist organisation, who, while operating on the Indian soil have firm base in this country only makes the already alarming situation worse. A country which has persistently used the irregulars, militias and terrorist to achieve its political and military aim can enable these organisations with such capability whose magnitude the handler may not be aware of or are unable to fathom the grave danger to humankind.Threat from Terrorist Organisations. A nuclear weapon can cause maximum casualties in the short span of time and can bring instant global fame and recognition to the terrorist organisation which they always desire .Acquiring. The thought of incapability of a terrorist group to acquire or make a nuclear weapon needs a relook in the globalised world where materials and technology are both readily available. The breakup of the Soviet Union had opened flood gates for both the fissile material and the required technical expertise.Delivery. The delivery of the bomb is not a difficult proposition in the Indian context. The vast coastlines and porous land borders with Nepal and Bangladesh make smuggling an easy option. The infiltration of the terrorists via the Mumbai route is a glaring example of the ease of accessibility to the Indian soil. A small device could be used by terrorist group achieving political objective, or for obtaining economic benefits or even blackmail.