Indian Air Force (IAF) chief Marshal VR Chaudhari has highlighted the need for the IAF to adopt an “evolved approach” for the preparation of future military leaders to keep up with the “accelerated technology infusion” and “fight the tomorrow’s wars.”
Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari made these remarks while delivering a keynote address at a capstone seminar organised by the Indian Air Force and Centre for Air Power Studies. The Indian Air Force conducted the first Warfare and Aerospace Strategy Program (WASP) culminating with a Capstone Seminar at Air Force Auditorium, New Delhi.
“The impact of new technologies on the revolution in military affairs has made us to sit up and acknowledge the fact that new investments in military concepts would have to be made. The new ideas and organizational approaches must be preceded by an evolved approach to cerebral preparation of future military leaders. We are aware of the continuously rising technological and numerical edge that our adversaries have over us today. It is my firm belief that this can be neutralized by an intellectual edge the capacity of individuals to outthink, to outplan and to outsmart the adversary. This can be germinated through focused self-learning, supported by institution units of Higher education like the College of Air Warfare (CAW),” said Chaudhari at the outset of his address.
The seminar was conducted under the aegis of the College of Air Warfare and Centre for Air Power Studies. It was attended by senior officers from all three Services, air power scholars, academia from principal think tanks and premier colleges of the country.
He added, “Irrespective of the fact that the character of warfare is changing, the nature of work done by humans will continue to evolve. We need to blend formal learning with curated programs for self-learning. The impact of emerging technologies and the appreciation that machines and humans have to work in a symbiotic way has to be seen as a requirement. We may need to re-educate entire generations of officers in the next few years to bring everyone up to speed in view of accelerated technology infusion.”
Giving an example from a seminal book ‘Makers of Modern Strategy: Military’s Thought From Machiavelli to Hitler’ he said, “This is as good a definition of grand strategy as it is applicable today as it was in 1943. The interests and means to secure have undergone a radical change from then, and that is the primary reason why, as men and women in uniform, we must study, analyse and evolve strategies to fight tomorrow’s wars.”
This Capstone Seminar aims to showcase the learning objectives of WASP and help the IAF leadership to validate the desired outcomes from the program. The participants presented their papers on contemporary topics concerning the application of air power in recent conflicts and the changing doctrinal precepts that establish the dominant role of air power in national security.
The WASP was conceptualised by the IAF with the purpose of creating a pool of mid-career air power practitioners with strategic acumen and a deep understanding of warfare history and theory. It aims to enhance the doctrinal vision of the participants and cultivate their aptitude for effective arguments on strategy. It will further hone the ability of the participants to link varied thoughts and theories about whole-of-government approach to statecraft.
The course was organized at CAW which is IAF’s premier institute for Air Power Studies.
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