THE GIST of Editorial for UPSC Exams : 19 June 2020 (Missing: National security strategy (Indian Express))

Missing: National security strategy (Indian Express)

Mains Paper 3:Defense and Security
Prelims level: Galwan River
Mains level:Key analysis and what should be the national security strategy to tackle the situation


  • It has been nearly seven weeks since the latest national security crisis began with multiple Chinese intrusions across the LAC at Galwan River, Hot Springs, Pangong Tso in Eastern Ladakh and Naku La in North Sikkim.
  • The MEA has made three statements about the diplomatic and military engagements to defuse the situation.
  • No formal statement has been..................


Familiar pattern:

  • The media has reported verbatimwhat has been fed by “reliable government/military sources”.
  • The intrusions have come to light due to the efforts of a handful of defence analysts and journalists who still have a conscience and leaks by “soldier journalists”, driven by bravado.
  • Over the last seven years — Depsang 2013, Chumar 2014, Doklam 2017 and now Eastern Ladakh 2020 have hit us.
  • We have followed a familiar pattern to resolve national security crises due to the undemarcated LAC and the ever-shifting Chinese claim lines.

Highlights the pattern:

  • The Chinese actions catch us by surprise, both at the strategic and the tactical level;
  • we react post-haste with a much higher force level;
  • the exact place and the extent of intrusion is never formally acknowledged;
  • the outcomes of the military and diplomatic engagements and concessions meted out are not put out in public domain; and,
  • disengagement happens.
  • Then, we repeat the entire process when the next crisis occurs. The jury is still out on the final outcome of the crisis.


  • The primary concern of the government in such a crisis that portendspossible loss of territory is its fallout on domestic politics.
  • More so, when national security and territorial integrity are the core ideological values of the party in power.
  • Denial and obfuscation by peddling the logic of “differing perceptions” is the escape route which virtually endorses China’s stand that the PLA is operating in its own area and it is India that is interfering with its patrols.
  • Instead of calling China th............................


Strategic review:

  • The logical approach to national security must begin with a strategic review.
  • We must establish what the present and future security challenges, both internal and external are, to evolve a comprehensive national security strategy.
  • This must be formalised and put under parliamentary scrutiny.
  • Unclassified aspects must be in the public domain so that in any crisis, it is generally known as to how the government will act.

National security strategy:

  • The national security strategy is the starting point for all security planning because it formally spells out the vision to tackle the threats faced and leads to the acquiring of much-needed capabilities.
  • No Indian government has, so far, spelt out a clear national security strategy: The capabilities are more tailored to fight the last war and not future wars.
  • The Defence Planning Committee has had the mandate to formalise a national security strategy since 2018, but little seems to have been done.
  • The national security strategy spells out the capabilities required in terms of force levels, technology and structures.
  • The military works out the details, and after approving them, the government allocates the financial resources.
  • Also, from the national security strategy flows the joint military strategy.

Functional approach:

  • What we have is a functional approach.
  • We have created a military more suited to fight the wars of the last century.
  • And with incremental changes, we are desperately trying to adapt it to fight high technology-driven short-duration wars of the 21st-century.
  • Moreover, in the absence of................................


Way ahead:

  • The violence on the LAC is an ominous warning for the government to review its approach towards handling the current crisis.
  • This crisis has to be managed without losing any territory, and more importantly, without losing our prestige.
  • As a first step, we must delink national security from domestic politics.
  • The onus for this is on the government.
  • The government must take the Opposition, Parliament, the media and the public into confidence, and apply the security principle of need-to-know.
  • They must explain the reality on the ground so that the nation can present a united front.


Prelims Questions:

Q1. With reference to the World Accreditation Day (WAD) 2020, consider the following statements:
1. The World Accreditation Day (WAD) 2020 was celebrated on 9th June under the theme “Accreditation: Improving Food Safety”.
2. National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies (NABCB) and National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) are the two accreditation boards of the Quality Council of India (QCI).

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: .........................................


Mains Questions:
Q1. Highlights the functional approach...............................