Contents: Foreword. Presidential address/Arjan Singh. Imperatives of joint operations/K.C. Pant. Air power today and tomorrow/S. Krishnaswamy. 1. Joint operations in World War II/V.K. Singh. 2. The past five decades/Sanjay J. Singh. 3. Building jointness/P.M. Mathai. 4. The nature of war in the 21 century/Sanjay J. Singh. 5. Dynamics of future wars/Vinay Shankar. 6. India's future wars/Kanti Bajpai. 7. Our wars in future/Jasjit Singh. 8. Limited war/V.P. Malik. 9. Air land operations/Gurmeet Kanwal. 10. Future joint operations/Vijay Sakhuja. 11. Joint operations: the way forward/R.K. Jolly. 12. Doctrinal challenges/Vijay Oberoi. 13. A view from the sea/P.S. Das. 14. Challenges for joint operations/Vinod Patney. 15. Some impressions and reflections/O.P. Mehta. 16. Whither joint operations?/Jasjit Singh.
"In modern war, and even more important, in wars that countries like ours may be faced with, application of military power must seek to achieve maximum effect, where the ends must receive the highest priority, and where the means must remain just that: means, and not as symbols or substance of importance in isolation to the effects and ends required. The challenge for theory and practice is how to ensure that application of the military power of the nation is employed in such a way so as to maximise the effects, and minimise the cost incurred in the process. This naturally places a premium on joint planning and operations.
Technology, now reaching the levels of a revolution in military affairs, complex military organisation, and even more complex political goals in the employment of military power in the modern world, often with severe limitations imposed by the existence of nuclear weapons, have not only raised the premium of military power, but have required synergies between different elements and components of military power, and between military power and the political-diplomatic endeavours of the state to ensure a favourable outcome if not an outright victory. It is in this context that air power has been assuming an all-pervasive role in maximising the effects of military power. By the same logic, it constitutes the core component of deterrence. It not only enhances the capabilities of land and naval forces, but by itself also has an autonomous capability to dominate hostile military power in a broad range of scenarios and capabilities. Consequently, weakness in airpower capabilities, or in its employment, which does not maximise the effects of military power could also become the nation's Achilles heel.
It is not surprising, therefore, that joint operations have become the norm rather than the exception in modern warfare and air power the lynchpin of military operations. Empirical evidence of all recent wars only re-emphasises the importance of joint operations and the role that air power performs in theme. Its various dimensions and parameters keep evolving with changes in technology, operational environment and strategies in use. Preparing for the future has become a critical factor in ensuring success. And this demands continuing examination, assessment, and understanding of the relationship between air power and other elements of military power in successful joint operations.
This volume contain papers by experts in various fields to look at the issues related to air power and joint operations, both historically as well as in doctrinal terms, to explore various dimensions that would help understand a dynamic subject of crucial importance to our national defence. A new chapter at the end has been added to the first edition published in 2003 and focuses on where our thinking about joint operations in future." (jacket)