From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Not much
Mains level : Paper 3- Use of statecraft in finding solutions to security problems
In many countries, both the authorities and security agencies are beginning to acknowledge the importance of resorting to statecraft as a vital adjunct to the role played by the security agencies.
The important role of statecraft in security
- Statecraft involves fine-grained comprehension of inherent problems; also an ability to quickly respond to political challenges.
- It further involves strengthening the ability to exploit opportunities as they arise, and display a degree of political nimbleness rather than leaving everything to the security agencies.
- It entails a shift from reposing all faith in the security establishment to putting equal emphasis on implementation of policies and programmes.
- Two prime examples which provide grist to the above proposition are the prevailing situation in Jammu and Kashmir and the continuing problem involving Maoists.
- The need to use statecraft to deal with quite a few other internal security problems — some of which have lain dormant for years — is also becoming more manifest by the day.
Security issues in various regions
- Jammu and Kashmir: While Jammu and Kashmir has been a troubled region ever since 1947, the situation has metamorphosed over the years.
- No proper solution has emerged to a long-standing problem.
- Irrespective of the reasons for the latest upsurge in violence, what is evident is that Jammu and Kashmir has again become the vortex of violence.
- Evidently, the doctrine of containment pursued by the Jammu and Kashmir police and security agencies is not having the desired effect.
- In Jammu and Kashmir today, as also elsewhere, there is no all-in-one grand strategy to deal with the situation.
- The missing ingredient is statecraft which alone can walk in step with the changing contours of a long-standing problem.
- Punjab: The recent discovery of ‘sleeper cells’ in the Punjab clearly indicates the potential for the revival of a pro-Khalistan movement — which once ravaged large parts of the Punjab.
- While pro-Khalistani sentiment is present in pockets in the United Kingdom and in Europe, it has not been in evidence in India for some time.
- Hence, the recent attack by pro-Khalistan elements on the headquarters of the Punjab Police Intelligence wing in Mohali was a rude shock to the security establishment.
- The incident is a reminder that militancy in the Punjab has not been permanently extinguished, and will need deft statecraft to nip it in the bud.
- North-east: In India’s North-east, more specifically in the States of Assam and Nagaland, there are again incipient signs of trouble which, for the present, may need use of statecraft rather than the security forces.
- In Assam, the United Liberation Front of Asom–Independent (ULFA-I) is trying to revive its activities after a long spell of hibernation.
- Likewise in Nagaland, where the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (I-M) has recently initiated a fresh push for a solution of the ‘Naga political issue’, the situation is pregnant with serious possibilities.
- Both instances merit the use of statecraft so that the situation does not get out of hand.
- South India: In the South, intelligence and police officials appear concerned about a likely revival of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)-sponsored activities in Tamil Nadu.
- This stems from a possible revival of LTTE-sponsored militancy in Sri Lanka following the recent economic crises and uncertainty there.
- This situation again needs deft statecraft to prevent a resurgence of the past.
India faces several challenges today, but the answer to this is neither grand strategy nor grand simplifications nor resort to higher doses of security. A properly structured set of policies, having liberal doses of statecraft in addition to a proper set of security measures, is the best answer to India’s needs, now and in the future.