The history of land warfare is as old as the history of mankind. The last few centuries of well documented history shows
that warfare has been an important tool of statecraft, for projection of interests of a nation state, and land warfare its
most important instrument. The advent of technology following the industrial revolution, marked a major change in the conduct
of land warfare on account of the enhanced reach, intensity and lethality of weapons. Advancements in air and naval power
added new dimensions to the conduct of land warfare. Today, warfare is conducted in all dimensions-
space, cyber, sea, air, land and sub-surface. Therefore, for the successful conduct of land warfare in future, joint planning
and execution would be essential prerequisites.
Due to the awesome weaponry, which can be delivered from air and from sophisticated missiles, it is often stated that the
days of land warfare are now over. These are perhaps superficial conclusions, because recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq,
though asymmetric in nature, have proved that such weaponry can perhaps facilitate victory but can not ensure it. Land forces
have to be committed in combat to bring the conflict to a desired end.
Sub-conventional, non-conventional and irregular wars have added new dimensions to land warfare. The world is simmering with
innumerable hot spots, where sub-conventional and asymmetric conflicts are being fought over many issues, ranging from ethnicity
to sovereignty. This dimension is perhaps the new face of land warfare. In future, conventional wars may be very few, but
sub-conventional, non-conventional and irregular wars will erupt on an unprecedented scale, due to a host of reasons, including
population growth, poverty, declining natural resources, political instability and unresolved disputes between nations.
India has a rich tradition and experience in land warfare. The contribution of the Indian Army in World Wars I and II are
well known. After Independence, the Nation had to fight four wars in quick succession, in which the Army played a leading
role. In addition, Army operations on the line of control in Jammu and Kashmir and in Siachin have been ongoing and sustained
over long periods. The war in Kargil, though localised, was as intense as a full scale war. In all these wars and conflicts,
the participation of the Indian Army was not only commendable but predominant and total.
The land forces have also been fully involved in fighting insurgency since Independence. Whether it was the simmering insurgency
of the East; the terrorism of Punjab; or high intensity counter-insurgency and proxy war of Jammu and Kashmir, the involvement
of the Indian Army has again been total and prolonged.
The Indian Army has not only won appreciation from all quarters, but has also emerged as a professionally confident force,
with combat experience unmatched by any other army.
Yet, the credo of the Army continue to demand perfection. The changing environment for waging war, the infusion of high technology,
and the digitisation of the battle field also demand fresh thinking; new doctrine and concepts; and innovative methodologies
for conflict management and conflict resolution. These are the areas of focus of the CLAWS for conducting research and study.