Defence News India: Despite being dragged in the counter insurgency and counter terror operations in the state of Jammu & Kashmir and North East, the focus of Indian Army will remain to equip itself to fight and win large conventional wars in future, said India’s Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Narawane in his maiden press conference on Saturday.
In response to a question about the need to re-balance its resources to deal with counter insurgency operations and low intensity conflict and conventional wars like the US military, General Narawane said it was the Army’s short term priority but its long term priority remains to train and equip itself to fight large conventional wars.
He said the appointment of the country’s first Chief of Defence Staff was a game changer in this direction as it will promote integration within the army and integration between the services.
“The acquisition of towed artillery and ultra light howitzers, they all are in the direction to develop our conventional war fighting capabilities,” he said while elaborating that despite Indian army’s involvement in the counter insurgency operations, it will not lose sight of its responsibility to fight and win complex conventional wars to protect the territorial integrity of the country.
“The short term requirement of getting involved in counter insurgency and counter terrorism (CT) operations will remain for the foreseeable future,” he said.
He said 63 Rashtriya Rifles battalions and 46 Assam Rifles battalions were involved in the counter insurgency and counter terror operations in Jammu & Kashmir and North East which raised the questions whether Indian Army was losing its focus on conventional warfare or reorienting itself like the US military for more involvement in counter insurgency operations.
However, General Narawane ruled out the apprehension that due to its involvement in counter insurgency operations, the Indian Army was losing focus on its ability to fight and win conventional wars.
The regular Army is training for its primary role, which is conventional warfare, said General MM Naravane.
He said creation of department of military affairs (DMA) and creation of Integrated Battle Groups (IBGs) were aimed at winning conventional wars.