Binaries of peace and conflict becoming less relevant: Navy chief

States today are applying “land-centric approach” of a territorial mindset to maritime domain, and actors are using different methods to remain below the threshold of conflict, diffusing the binary of war and peace, Indian Navy chief, Admiral Karambir Singh, said on Friday.

Delivering a lecture at the United Service Institution of India, Admiral Singh said, “What we are seeing today is, some states applying a land-centric approach and territorial mindset to the basic idea of global commons, attempting to seek greater domination and control.”

He said: “We are transitioning to a period of busy peace, where the binaries of peace and conflict are becoming less relevant. We were earlier used to the idea of war or peace, but this is more diffused now, with actors using diverse playbook of actions and counter-actions within this continuum on a day-to-day basis, whilst mostly remaining below the threshold of conflict.”

Autocratic powers, the Navy chief said, enjoy a “natural advantage within this competition continuum, applying all the leverages in focussed manner; something we can call sharp power to undermine and weaken the very sources of power of a democracy”, including “attacking (a) free media, social media, election processes, financial institutions,” and thus “turning strengths of democratic nations into weaknesses”.

Talking about the importance of the Indo-Pacific, he said that its value lies “not in its constituent area, but in its core…

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