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Civil society is new frontier of war, can be subverted to harm nation, Ajit Doval says

National Security Adviser Ajit Doval was speaking at the Passing Out Parade of Hyderabad-based Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy Friday.

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New Delhi: Civil society is the new frontier of war — fourth-generation warfare (4GW) — and it is the responsibility of police to protect people from being subverted, divided and manipulated, said National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval Friday. 

“People are most important. The new frontiers of war — what we call the fourth-generation warfare — is the civil society. War itself has ceased to become an effective instrument for achieving your political or military objectives. They are too expensive and unaffordable,” the NSA added in his address during the Passing Out Parade at the Hyderabad-based Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy. 

This new frontier of war, Doval said, is characterised by uncertain outcomes.

Fourth-generation warfare refers to a conflict where the state loses its monopoly on war and is fighting non-state actors e.g. terror groups, insurgents. It is believed to be the fourth stage of evolution in warfare: First-generation warfare refers to the formal battlefield war, second-generation to artillery fire, and third-generation to speed, surprise and infiltrate an enemy’s military.

Doval added, “It is the civil society that can be subverted… that can be divided, that can be manipulated to hurt the interest of a nation. You are there to see that they stand fully protected.”

Police officers, therefore, are not only involved in nation-building but national security, said Doval, who is also a retired IPS officer of the Kerala cadre.

Also Read: Checking out the Doval detail: Some myth, some reality, and much folklore

Warns law enforcers to not be ‘weak, corrupt, partisan’

Doval told the officers not to be “weak, corrupt or partisan” and to adopt the “right attitude”.

“No nation can debate where the rule of law has failed. People cannot feel safe and secure when law enforcers are weak, corrupt or partisan,” he said. 

As many as 149 probationers, including 132 IPS officer trainees, were part of the Passing Out Parade.

Doval said the graduating police officers are “soldiers of the new coming vibrant India” and, for this, they require the “right attitude, right bent of mind, the right training and self-actualisation”.

Tech warfare & specialised investigations

According to Doval, contemporary police officers are also responsible for updating and upgrading the technological capabilities of the entire police force.

“Technology is another frontier in which I think many of you will have to accept… You will be able to update and upgrade the technological capabilities of the police force,” he said.

“In 32 lakh square kilometres of this country, there is not even an inch which is not part of a police station. Our sovereignty only goes as far as the last police station’s jurisdiction goes, from the coastal areas to the border areas. In every part of it, maintaining peace and order is also your responsibility,” he said.

Some officers, he added, will also be responsible for undertaking highly specialised investigations alongside the CBI and the NIA.

In addition, he said, some officers may be involved in border management of the country.

“You will be responsible for border management of this country. Fifteen thousand kilometres of the border, most of which has got peculiar problems of its own — there’s the border with Pakistan, with China, or Myanmar or Bangladesh. 

“We have got different types of security-related issues that are manned by police and the central police organisations, which are manning these borders,” he said.

(Edited by Sunanda Ranjan)

Also Read: Pakistan fighting war in India’s hinterland without weapons. That’s sixth-generation warfare


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