FUTURE OF LAND WARFARE: Beyond the Horizon

 By Maj. Gen. (Dr.) P K Chakravorty


The book deals with Future of Land Warfare on the Indian subcontinent. To predict about the future is extremely difficult particularly in the field of Warfare. This is due to the fact; Wars are impacted by Doctrine, Technology and People. Further the introduction of nuclear weapons has made War less frequent and reduced the duration. There are trends which keep changing with the passage of time. Conflicts in the 21st century are short and swift with a combination of effects. Further aspirations of leaders often point towards different military objectives. In such a scenario we could plan at best for a decade and maybe visualise for about 15 years.

      By and large wars of the future would be, conventional, hybrid and would be interstate or with non-state actors. The causes could be territorial or related to historical differences, ideological biases, economic disparity, security and water distribution. Further issues could exacerbate due to impact of climate change, higher rate of population growth of minorities and sectarian or ethnic extremism.

         The Future Wars are likely to follow three types. It could be Overt, Covert and finally Out Sourced. The Future Battle space as visualised in the next 15 years would have characteristics which would make it Non Linear in Time and Space. Unlike Wars of the past they would be swift and would be based on Speed. Targets would need to be precisely engaged to avoid Collateral Damage. Operations would demand Jointness between the three Services. Further they would be continuous with no pauses. They could be termed as 24×7 operations. In these operations connectivity would play an important part and communications would be available to soldiers, commanders and autonomous weapon systems and vehicles. There would be a need for synergy between Air, Sea, and Outer Space while undertaking Land Warfare. Finally Perception Management becomes extremely important as this alone would lead to an effective reorganisation of people. Finally technology would play an important role particularly, the application of Artificial Intelligence.