Defence Current Affairs 2017

Joint operational doctrine for Tri-Services unveiled

Joint operational doctrine aimed at providing deeper operational synergies among the tri-services was unveiled by the chairman of the chiefs of staff committee (COSC) and Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba in presence of Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat and IAF Chief B S Dhanoa. The doctrine is aimed at coherently dealing with all possible security threats faced by India such as conventional and proxy wars. This document is the second edition of the joint doctrine. The first edition of the document was released around eight years ago.

Salient Highlights

The doctrine proposes joint training of personnel, unified command and control structure. In addition, it supports tri-service approach to modernise the tri-services. The doctrine has said that the Higher Defence Organisation will facilitate inter-Service coordination in planning, execution of operations and force planning.

The doctrine facilitates the establishment of a broad framework for the conduct of operations across all the domains (land, air, sea, space and cyber-space).

The doctrine pushes for effective deterrent capabilities to protect India’s strategic interests along the Northern, Western and Eastern borders and sensitivities along the Line of Control (LoC) and Line of Actual Control (LAC).

According to the doctrine, India’s threats primarily emanates from the disputed land borders and thus addressing the consequences of instability and volatility emanating in India’s extended and immediate neighbourhood remains a priority.

It has said that the transnational threats posed by State and Non-State sponsored terrorist organisations pose a danger to regions beyond India’s primary theatres.

In the case of a war, the document calls for joint working of the land, air and naval commanders to jointly formulate and implement war plans to ensure a well-oiled fighting machinery. For the sake of fighting together, they have to train together.

The doctrine calls for the integration of the layered hierarchies of the national security structures to reap the most out of the available expertise.

The doctrine pushes for having an ‘Integrated Theatre Battle’ as the guiding philosophy for evolution of war fighting strategies. This is to ensure decisive victory across the entire spectrum of conflict in varied geographical domains.

The doctrine has called for coordination of agencies like RAW, Intelligence Bureau and Intelligence organisations of the para-military forces as part of the Joint Intelligence Committee under the National Security Adviser.


India becomes world’s fifth largest military spender

According to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri), India has become world’s fifth-largest military spender spending at $55.9 billion in 2016. The US remains the world’s largest military followed by China, Russia, and Saudi Arabia. The other prominent spenders in the top 15 include Japan, South Korea, and Australia.

Global trends

Global military spending amounted to 2.2% of the worldwide GDP. Military spending as a share of GDP, was highest in the Middle East and lowest in the Americas. In Asia and Oceania, military expenditure increased by 4.6% in 2016 spurned by many tensions in the region such claims of territorial rights made by various countries in the South China Sea.

The US is the top spender whose military expenditure grew 1.7% between 2015 and 2016 to $611 billion. The growth in US military expenditure suggests the end o the trend of decreases in spending that resulted from the economic crisis and the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan and Iraq. Even now the expenditure of US remains 20% lower than its peak in 2010.

China spent $215 billion. Russia spent $69.2 billion making it this editions third largest spender. Saudi Arabia which was the third largest spender in 2015 is ranked at 4th position in 2016 with a spending of $63.7 billion. Pakistan did not figure in the list of top 15 spenders and it spent $9.93 billion.

Military expenditure in Western Europe has increased for the second consecutive year. Falling oil revenue forced many oil-exporting countries to reduce military spending.


SIPRI was established in 1966 as independent international institute dedicated to research into conflict, armaments, arms control and disarmament. The organization provides data, analysis and recommendations to policymakers, researchers, media and the interested public.