Internal Armed Conflict in India-Forging a Joint Civil Military Approach

 By Lt. Gen. Rostum K Nanavatty (Retd.)

On 16th Jan 2013, Lt Gen S K Sinha, PVSM (Retd), former Governor of Assam and Jammu & Kashmir, released the book Internal Armed Conflict in India – Forging a Joint Civil-Military Approach authored by Lt Gen Rostum K Nanavatty, PVSM, UYSM, AVSM (Retd), former GOC-in-C, Northern Command of the Indian Army.

The book is about internal armed conflicts – insurgency and counter-insurgency – in India which the Indian Constitution describes as ‘armed rebellion’. This book is India-centric. It is based on the premise that internal armed conflict within the country will persist and the military will, perforce, have to continue to play a significant role in its management and resolution. According to the author, this book is for the practitioner – the politician, civil servant, policeman, and soldier. For the author, the aim is to encourage the formulation of a joint civil-military doctrine to deal effectively with internal armed conflicts in India. This book is essentially about insurgency and counter-insurgency. It is conceptual: it is neither conflict nor theater-specific. The book is based on the author’s experience, first as a regimental officer and later as a formation commander in the Northeastern region – Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura and South Assam; in Sri Lanka; and in Jammu & Kashmir. In the book the author has tried to address three major issues. First, to dispel the myth that counter-insurgency is a matter for the security forces alone. Second is to highlight the need for a joint civil-military approach towards tackling internal armed conflicts. The third is the need to formulate a civil-military doctrine to address the issue.

The author has drawn on his extensive experience in counter-insurgency operations. He has attempted to correlate the views of experts with his own experience; and suggested ways in which the fundamental principles of counter-insurgency operations can be applied in the Indian setting to create conditions necessary for the success of a campaign. This book is in three parts. Chapter I, in the first part, discusses internal armed conflict in general; Chapters II to VI, in the second part, look at and draw lessons from India’s experience; and Chapters VII to X, in the last part, examine various options and suggest a way forward.