National Security Strategy | 07 Nov 2023

For Prelims: National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS), Comprehensive National Security, National Security Strategy, National Security Policy 2022-2026 

For Mains:  Need for National Security Strategy amidst rising internal and external security threats in the country.  

Source: IE  

Why in News? 

After years of deliberations, India has recently started the process of bringing in a National Security Strategy and the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS) has started collating inputs from several Central ministries and departments.  

What is the National Security Strategy?  

  • Understanding National Security Strategy: 
    • A National Security Strategy (NSS) is a comprehensive document that lays out a country's security objectives and the means to achieve them. 
    • The NSS is a dynamic document that undergoes periodic updates to adapt to changing circumstances and emerging challenges. 
  • Scope of National Security Strategy: 
    • It addresses a wide range of modern challenges and threats. This includes not only outdated threats but also newer, modern warfare issues that have become increasingly significant in today's interconnected world.  
    • It encompasses not only traditional threats, such as military and defense-related issues, but also non-traditional ones like financial and economic security, food and energy security, information warfare, vulnerabilities in critical information infrastructure, supply chain disruptions, and environmental challenges.  
  • Role of National Security Strategy in India: 
    • By providing a holistic view of India's national security landscape and a roadmap to address aforementioned challenges, the National Security Strategy will guide critical defense and security reforms, making it an essential tool in safeguarding the nation's interests. 

What is India’s Need for National Security Strategy?  

  • The Need for a National Security Strategy in India: 
    • A National Security Strategy for India has been a recurring topic in military discussions. However, despite various attempts, it has yet to be formulated and implemented due to a lack of a cohesive, whole-of-government effort, and the government has deliberately not made its national security objectives public. 
  • Urgency Amid Complex Threats and Geopolitical Uncertainties: 
    • Given the multifaceted nature of emerging threats and the increased uncertainties in global geopolitics, there is a pressing need to develop a national security strategy in India. 
  • Calls for Revising Existing Directives and the Role of Military Reforms: 
    • Former Army Chief General has emphasized the outdated nature of the current political direction for the Armed Forces and the necessity of revising it.  
      • The only political direction for the Armed Forces in existence is the Defence Minister’s operational Directive of 2009. 
    • Experts have underscored that significant military reforms like the theaterisation of armed forces should stem from a comprehensive national security strategy.  
      • The absence of such a strategy has been likened to attempting military reforms without a clear roadmap. 
  • Countries Having National Security Strategy: 
    • Most developed countries with an advanced military and security infrastructure have a National Security Strategy in place, updated from time to time.  
      • The US, the UK and Russia have published national security strategies.  
    • China also has such a strategy in place, called the Comprehensive National Security, which is closely tied to its governance structure.  
    • Pakistan, too, has brought out a National Security Policy 2022-2026, underlining its national security objectives and priority areas. 

Way Forward 

  • Bringing Changes to the National Security Policy: 
    • Clarifying the Objectives: The National Security Strategy in the 21st century shall define what assets are required to be defended and the identity of opponents who seek to overawe the people of a target nation by unfamiliar moves to cause disorientation of people. 
    • Setting Priorities: The national security priorities will require new departments for supporting several frontiers of innovation and technologies; hydrogen fuel cells, desalination of seawater, thorium for nuclear technology, anti-computer viruses, and new immunity-creating medicines. 
    • Changing the Strategy: The strategy required for the new national security Strategy will be to anticipate the enemies in many dimensions and by demonstrative but limited pre-emptive strikes by developing a strategy of deterrence of the enemy. 
      • For India, it will be China's cyber capability factor which is the new threat for which it has to devise a new strategy. 
  • Role of Policy Makers:  
    • The government should carve out a separate budget for cybersecurity. 
      • Creating a central body of cyber warriors to counter state-sponsored hackers. 
    • India’s talent base in software development should be harnessed by providing career opportunities. 
    • Bootstrapping the cybersecurity capability programme in states through central funding. 
  • Defense, Deterrence and Exploitation:  
    • These are the three main components of any national strategy to combat threats:  
      • Critical information infrastructure must be defended and individual ministries and private companies must also put procedures in place to honestly report breaches. 
      • Deterrence in National Security is a hugely complex issue. For Ex- Nuclear deterrence is successful because there is clarity on the capability of adversaries but national security strategy lacks any such clarity. 
      • The preparation for a robust strategy will have to start with the Indian military gathering intelligence, evaluating targets and preparing the specific tools for ensuring national security in the long term.

UPSC Civil Services Examination Previous Year Question (PYQ) 


Q. In the Constitution of India, promotion of international peace and security is included in the (2014) 

(a) Preamble to the Constitution 
(b) Directive Principles of State Policy 
(c) Fundamental Duties 
(d) Ninth Schedule 

Ans: (b)