Adversaries may take advantage if we do not have strong armed forces: Gen Rawat

The Indian armed forces are operating in a very complex, and uncertain environment and they must continue to enhance capabilities for peace in the region as India’s adversaries may take advantage if its military power is not strong, Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat said on Tuesday.

He also said that India wants to share its military capabilities with friendly countries in the neighbourhood and the extended neighbourhood as well as to those who need its support.

The Chief of Defence Staff was speaking at the inaugural session of the fifth annual conclave of the Bharatshakti.In, a portal on defence and military issues.

“We are today operating in a very complex, uncertain and a very volatile environment. There are small and big battles raging nearly in every region of the world. Therefore, we all need strong armed forces if we have to defend ourselves, defend our nation, defend the integrity of our nation and the safety and security of our people,” Gen Rawat said.

“But, then are we saying that armed forces must prepare for war? No. The armed forces must develop capabilities to bring about peace in the region. If we do not have strong armed forces, the adversary will take advantage of us,” he said. Gen Rawat’s comments came in the midst of an over six-month border standoff between India and China in eastern Ladakh that has significantly strained their ties. Both sides held a series of diplomatic and military talks to resolve the row. However, no concrete breakthrough has been achieved to end the standoff. In a message, which was read out at the conclave, Prime Minister Narendra Modi cited various reform initiatives rolled out by the government in the defence sector to produce modern equipment and harness new technology as well as to infuse better synergy among the armed forces.