Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday asked the Army, Navy and Air Force to be ready to face ‘invisible’ enemies. He also urged the Forces to create an atmosphere of peace and security, which he said were essential for India to achieve its goal of economic development.

“Beyond the immediate, we are facing a future where security challenges will be less predictable. Situations will evolve and change swiftly and, technological changes will make responses more difficult to keep pace with. The threats may be known, but the enemy may be invisible,” Modi said while addressing the Combined Commanders’ Conference here on Friday.

It was his first interaction with top commanders of the three Defence services.

“When we speak of Digital India, we would also like to see a Digital Armed Force,” he said while asking the services to give a serious thought to upgrading technological skills for effective projection of power. He also felt that control of space may become as critical as that of land, air and sea.

Short wars

“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’s comments comes in the backdrop of recent escalation of cross-border firing and shelling by Pakistan on the Line of Control and International Border as well as Chinese incursions in Ladakh.

Suitable environment

He emphasised the need for an atmosphere of peace and security for achieving the goals of economic development and added that for this purpose the Government had focused on creating a favourable external environment and strengthening India’s security.

The Prime Minister assured the Armed Forces of his commitment to provide adequate resources to ensure full defence preparedness, overcome shortages and meet modernisation needs.

He also asked the defence establishment, including the Armed Forces, to reform procurement processes and also suggest corrective measures to avoid delays in domestic development and production of defence equipment.

He urged the Armed Forces to focus on efficiency and economy in the use of resources and our military assets, including by greater integration and sharing of resources among the Services and draw up long-term acquisition plans keeping in view availability of resources, future operational requirements and technology trends.

Modi urged urged the three wings to work as a team from the lowest levels to the top, and suggested practical steps to achieve that goal. He also suggested that Commanders Conferences be organised alternately on sea, in forward Army camps and at air bases, and not just in Delhi. He also assured the Commanders that he would continue the practice that he had started of meeting the three Chiefs at least once a month.

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