Will ARTRAC Merger Prepare Indian Army For Modern Warfare?

The Army Training Command (ARTRAC) will merge with the Directorate of Military Training (MT).  The ARTRAC merger is being considered to reduce manpower and restore warfighting exercise.

The ARTRAC consists of 105 officers responsible for the Indian Army’s policy, future threat projections. operational strategy and land warfare strategy. On the other hand, Military Training has the sole purpose of providing updates to defence ministry on army training. The suggestion for merging and relocating the two seems to be waste of time and money.

There are multiple questions related to the merger. These are: Will the ARTRAC help prepare the Indian Army for modern warfare? How good is the ARTRAC-formulated Land Warfare Doctrine 2018? What if the training commands of the army, air force (in Bangalore) and navy (in Kochi) were merged together?

There could be a single military doctrine for land and maritime warfare instead of three warfare doctrines agreeing on common threats and how best to beat them. There is a huge difference between the modern and the second World War doctrine that was based on limited technology. In order to compete with China’s eight warfare domains (land, sea, air, outer space, deep sea, cyber, electronic, and psychological), technological upliftment is needed. A single Indian military doctrine could be a powerful initiative.

The idea of the command’s merger can be withdrawn by the services on three parameters. Firstly, services have different cultures, ethos, and traditions represented by their blue, white and olive-green uniforms. The focus should be on joint operations rather than jointmanship or camaraderie that takes a lot of time to develop. The second reason for non-acceptance could come from services headquarters, as each service has its own strength and weaknesses. Lastly, the army can say that the ARTRAC is inspired and based on modern war practiced by the United States Training and Doctrinal Command (TRADOC).  With the limited resources and inspiration, the defense-industrial complex cannot afford the revival of capabilities within services.

The Indian Army Military Intelligence (MI) projects the threats, assesses how threats are to be mitigated with existing capabilities and also does perspective planning to remove future threats through modern approach. On the other side, ARTRAC does a detailed assessment of threats and training to be imparted for threats. The ARTRAC is also responsible for publications on training and doctrine. Thus, Why not merge all these together? And combine ARTRAC with other services’ training command to generate jointness through a common doctrine?

The People’s Liberation Army’s strategic support force was formed in 2015. The PLA force is equipped with the cyber, outer space and electronic warfare capabilities. The good way to meet PLA challenge is to formulate a combined warfighting doctrine. This doctrine will determine which force must take lead in the war. The AirChief Marshal and Army Chief have sought their services primacy in war. Although, such a situation may cause the duplication, confusion and slow speed of operations.

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