India releases cyberspace ops doctrine  

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The Joint Doctrine is a keystone publication that will guide Commanders in conducting Cyberspace Operations in today’s complex military operating environment…reports Asian Lite News

Chief of Defence Staff Gen Anil Chauhan released the Joint Doctrine for Cyberspace Operations during the Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC) meeting held on Tuesday in New Delhi.

The Joint Doctrine is a keystone publication that will guide Commanders in conducting Cyberspace Operations in today’s complex military operating environment.

“Chief of Defence Staff Gen Anil Chauhan released the Joint Doctrine for Cyberspace Operations during the Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC) meeting held on June 18, 2024, in New Delhi. The Joint Doctrine is a keystone publication that will guide Commanders in conducting Cyberspace Operations in today’s complex military operating environment,” the Ministry of Defence said in a press release.

Development of Joint Doctrines is an important aspect of Jointness and Integration, a step which is being actively pursued by the Indian Armed Forces. The Joint Doctrine for Cyberspace Operations is a significant step to give impetus to the ongoing process. In addition to the traditional domains of warfare including Land, Sea, and Air, Cyberspace has emerged as a crucial and challenging domain in modern warfare. Unlike territorial limits in the domains of land, sea, and air, cyberspace is a global common and hence has shared sovereignty.

“Hostile actions in cyberspace can impact the Nation’s economy, cohesion, political decision making, and the Nation’s ability to defend itself. Operations in cyberspace need to be dovetailed into the National Security fabric, to evolve the ‘Ends,’ ‘Ways’ and ‘Means’ to create advantage and influence events in all other operational environments and across all instruments of power,” Ministry of Defence said in the release.

This doctrine lays emphasis on understanding military aspects of cyberspace operations and provides conceptual guidance to commanders, staff and practitioners in the planning, and conduct of operations in cyberspace, as also to raise awareness in our warfighters at all levels.

While details of the doctrine are yet to be released, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said in a press statement that the document is a keystone publication to guide commanders in conducting cyberspace operations in the complex military operating environment we witness today.

Coming at a time when cyber and space are being regarded as new domains of warfare across the globe, the release of the doctrine also coincides with armed forces’ thrust on ensuring jointness in operations.

In the press statement issued Tuesday, the MoD stated, “Development of joint doctrines is an important aspect of jointness and integration.”

It added that the doctrine for Cyberspace Operations is a “significant step to give impetus to the ongoing process”.

On the emergence of cyberspace domain in modern warfare, it said, “Unlike territorial limits in the domains of land, sea, and air, cyberspace is a global common and hence has shared sovereignty.” It added that hostile actions in cyberspace could impact the nation’s economy, cohesion, political decision-making as well as the country’s ability to defend itself.

According to the statement, “Operations in cyberspace need to be dovetailed into the national security fabric, to evolve the ‘ends,’ ‘ways’ and ‘means’ to create advantage and influence events in all other operational environments and across all instruments of power.”

This doctrine, according to the press statement, lays emphasis on understanding military aspects of cyberspace operations and provides conceptual guidance to commanders, staff and practitioners in the planning, and conduct of operations in cyberspace, as also to raise awareness in our war fighters at all levels.

India is still in its early stages in moving towards cyberspace domain as well as jointness.

For instance, last month, the Defence Cyber Agency conducted ‘Exercise Cyber Suraksha – 2024’, which was attended by CDS Chauhan. The exercise, according to a statement by the MoD, was to “further develop Cyber Defence Capability of all Cyber security organisations and promote synergy amongst all stakeholders”.

Unlike territorial limits in the traditional domains of warfare, such as land, sea, and air, cyberspace is a “global common and hence has shared sovereignty”, the statement noted.

Hostile actions in cyberspace can impact the nation’s economy, cohesion, political decision making, and the ability to defend itself. “Operations in cyberspace need to be dovetailed into the national security fabric, to evolve the ‘ends,’ ‘ways’ and ‘means’ to create advantage and influence events in all other operational environments and across all instruments of power,” the statement added.

“This doctrine lays emphasis on understanding military aspects of cyberspace operations and provides conceptual guidance to commanders, staff and practitioners in the planning, and conduct of operations in cyberspace, as also to raise awareness in our warfighters at all levels,” the Ministry said.

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