ISIS, Master Manipulator of Technology: Parrikar


New Delhi: Warning the army against “information blackout” Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar on Monday said that the future wars will be fought on the cyberspace.

Stating the need to enhance capabilities to ensure protection and retaliation from disruptive cyber-attacks or manipulations Parrikar cited the example of the terrorist organization ISIS, which he said, was “one of the best user of internet technology” for promoting their cause.

The Defence Minister said a resurgent India will increasingly play a dominant role in the world affairs.

“The world that we as a nation will be interacting with is increasingly fraught with turbulence and will call for dominant military might. We need to develop technology and system appropriate to evolving military doctrine,” Mr Parrikar said addressing the DEFCOM seminar here organised by the Corps of Signal of the Indian Army and the CII.

He said that Information Technology (IT) has an important role to play because “future wars may be cyber wars”.

Mr Parrikar, however, asserted that boots on the ground cannot be replaced. “Ultimately conventional armies cannot be replaced but they can be equipped with equipment which will provide them with all the information to fight with a well decided and well planned way without getting interrupted.”

Speaking about the need for proper use of the developing internet technology, Mr Parrikar said, “One can take the example of terrorist organisations like Daish or ISIS. They use the internet to ensure a lot of recruitment or support, and they are one of the best users of internet technology for promoting their cause.”

He said his worry was information blackout which can be caused by various destructive mechanisms.

“Information corruption can be another danger to the platform which we use,” he said adding that information overload is also a problem.

“Because of Information Technology, you can get so much information that getting vital information out of that becomes something like finding a needle in a haystack,” the minister said.

He said while we progress through IT and make a more digitalised army, the danger is of disruption through cyber attacks by the enemy. “We need to enhance our capabilities to ensure that they are protected from such disruptive cyber attacks or cyber manipulations,” he said.

Mr Parrikar said the Indian Army should not only use the digital advantage but also protect itself against destructive technology of adversaries. Noting that India has been at the forefront of software development, he said one needs better hardware designing and integration in our system.

Mr Parrikar also said that the new Defence Procurement Procedure was at an “advanced stage”, and he expects it to be in place in the near future.

He said the government’s effort is to have as much as indigenisation as possible.

The minister, however, said that it cannot happen overnight because even with best efforts, only 10 per cent increase can be achieved.

Underlining that the government has been pushing very hard, he assured the industry and the armed forces that the government is focusing on Make in India.

“Our effort will be to depend on indigenously manufactured items because for a very rare eventuality in a war, you can really depend on your own resources,” he said.