Round Table Discussion with DG ICRC on “New Technologies and Means of Warfare – Humanitarian and Legal Challenges”

Round Table Discussion with DG ICRC on “New Technologies and Means of Warfare – Humanitarian and Legal Challenges”

Report on Round Table Discussion with DG ICRC on
“New Technologies and Means of Warfare
Humanitarian and Legal Challenges”
Held at the USI on 13 Jan 2015

 

Introduction

A Round Table Discussion on the subject “New Technologies and Means of Warfare – Humanitarian and Legal Challenges” with Mr Yves Daccord, Director General, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was held at the USI on 13 Jan 2015 with Shri RS Kalha, IFS (Retd) in the Chair. The talk by DG ICRC was followed by an interactive session in which the ICRC delegation, heads of various think tanks, serving and retired Armed Forces officers and research scholars shared their views on the subject.

Initial Remarks by the Director USI

Lieutenant General PK Singh, PVSM, AVSM (Retd), Director USI, while welcoming Mr Yves Daccord, Ms Mary Werntz, Regional Head and the ICRC delegation highlighted the importance of the subject and how it would impact the human society in conflict scenarios. He said that he looked forward to a free and frank discussion on how to deal with the new threats to mankind; and what actions need to be taken both by the ICRC and the international community. He introduced the Chairman Shri RS Kalha, IFS (Retd) a former Secretary MEA  and member of the National Human Rights Commission (2003-2008) and requested him to take charge of the discussion.

Chairman’s Opening Remarks

Shri RS Kalha shared his experiences and views on how the new methods of warfare, in various domains, are impacting the human society and the urgency to evolve an effective mechanism to deal with the complex issues involved in doing so by the international institutions and policy makers across the world. He invited Mr Yves Daccord to give his views on the subject before throwing the house open for discussion.

Presentation by DG ICRC

Mr Yves Daccord, DG ICRC, highlighted the following important issues in his presentation :-

(a)  Lack of international convergence at the political level; where, on one hand the whole world is a globalised community today; at the same time, it is extremely fragmented due to lack of trust in the intent of rival governments and aberrant behaviour of adversaries.

(b)  Ability of a state or non-state actors to conduct ‘acts of war’ without employing large bodies of soldiers/manpower or occupation of territory.

(c)  Role and place of human beings in warfare is diminishing as technological innovations have taken over that role. Acts of war or attacks on adversary’s vital interests can be launched without human intervention.

(d)  Loss of human control on the use of various weapons, means and methods of warfare. Technologies are moving towards development of more and more autonomous weapon systems.

(e)  The ICRC believes that human beings must retain ultimate control by addressing legal, ethical, humanitarian challenges in the wake of asymmetric warfare.

(f)  Drones and cyber attacks have added new levels of complexity to deal with the perpetrators of such attacks both by state and non-state actors – especially because the sources of attack can neither be detected/located nor acted upon immediately. Weak governments do not have the will or wherewithal to counter such threats.

(g)  Diminishing ethical and moral values is aggravating the situation.

(h) The extent of suffering and collateral damage is much wider than conventional warfare and in some cases limitless e.g. CNB warfare.

(j)  The International Humanitarian Law (IHL) must ensure protection of civilians and economic interests. The IHL must ensure compatibility between the civilian rights and the armed forces to act responsibly while fulfilling their tasks.

Mr Daccord concluded his talk by emphasising that India has ‘ideas to contribute’ and an important role to play because, today, ‘when India speaks the world listens’. This he said was clearly discernable at the 7th Vibrant Gujarat Summit 2015 (11-13 Jan 2015). He had just returned from the Gujarat Summit.

 

Discussion

The following issues were raised and responded to by the DG ICRC and members of the ICRC delegation :-

(a)  Need for defining the responsibilities of the State realistically according to their current potential and standing in the world.

(b)  Judicial intervention which should ‘fix responsibility and compensation, including interim relief’. The Chairman highlighted the need for vicarious responsibility of the State as was the practice in India.

(c)  Use of cyber attack for commercial espionage must be checked.

(d)  Need for addressing ‘discriminatory approach’ adopted by more capable and powerful countries.

(e)  Political convergence is essential to ensure collaboration between countries to deal with non-state actors and asymmetric warfare.

(f)  There was a need to address ethical questions in a conflict.

 

Concluding Remarks by the Director USI

 

Lt Gen PK Singh thanked Mr Yves Daccord for his thought provoking presentation and stressed that new methods of warfare had telescoped the time and distances for executing ‘acts of war’ and limited the ability to react to them well in time. The international organisations must look at this issue dispassionately to protect the global community from the colossal collateral damages which the new methods of warfare could inflict upon those who were not a party to the conflict. The need for evolving counter measures is much more urgent today than it was in the past. He suggested that the ICRC and the USI could conduct an international seminar at which all the affected countries, including some public faces of those affiliated to non-state actors could be invited to present their view points to deal with emerging conflict scenarios across the international boundaries.

     In the end, a copy each of the latest Issue of the USI Journal was presented by Maj Gen PJS Sandhu (Retd), Deputy Director and Editor of USI to Mr Yves Daccord and Ms Mary Werntz.

Initial Remarks by the Director USI

 

Chairman’s Opening Remarks

 

Presentation by the DG ICRC

 

Report compiled by Lt Col BS Varma (Retd), Assistant Director USI.

Video

USI-ICWA UN Webinar Challenges of Mission Leadership in UN Peace Operations

USI is conducting a series of webinars on the UN themes in collaboration with ICWA Since 2021, for the cross-fertilization of ideas and generating policy recommendations for reforms and restructuring …

War Disabled Personnel of Indian Armed Forces: Challenges, Concerns and Aspirations

Soldiers/Sailors/Airmen sacrifice their lives & limbs for many reasons, like national, regimental and unit pride; high level of motivation; courage; call of duty; and above all the understanding that …

Major Navdeep Singh: USI War Wounded Foundation Event

Talk by Maj Navdeep Singh, Author and Legal Luminary Need for Formulating a ‘War Disabled Persons Special Disability (WDPSD’s) Act’ for War Disabled Personnel and its Important Components.

38th USI National Security Lecture

The 38th USI National Security Lecture was delivered by Lt Gen Raj Shukla, PVSM, YSM, SM, ADC on Wednesday, 13 April 2022 at 1100 h (IST) at the United Service Institution of India. 37th National Se…

'Is The New Cold War a Myth or Reality'?

A talk on 'Is The New Cold War a Myth or Reality'? by Mr Atul Singh, Founder, CEO & Editor-in-Chief Fair Observer, USA scheduled at the USI, New Delhi on Wednesday, 23 Feb 2022 from 1100 to 1300 H (I…

UN Peace Operations: Women, Peace and Security

Along with the decline in inter-state conflicts and a sharp increase in intra-state conflicts in the last two decades, there is a consequent increase in the casualties to innocent civilians. Taking no…

National Security Policy of Pakistan (NSPP) 2022-2026

USI is conducting a panel discussion on the ‘National Security Policy of Pakistan (NSPP) 2022-2026’ on 07 Feb 2022 from 1100 h to 1300 h.

FRONTLINE COMMANDER: The Military Biography of the Late Lt Gen Jaswant Singh, PVSM, AVSM

UNITED SERVICE INSTITUTION OF INDIA- CENTRE FOR MILITARY HISTORY AND CONFLICT STUDIES organising a webinar on “FRONTLINE COMMANDER: The Military Biography of the Late Lt Gen Jaswant Singh, PVSM, AVSM”…

37th National Security Lecture: The Chinese Challenge - Its Many Dimensions and India's Options

Shri Maroof Raza, a well know commentator on strategic security and military issues will deliver the lecture on 24 Nov 2021 at 1100 hrs at the USI. The focus of the talk will be the geo-strategic as w…

Indian Military Operations Mukti Bahini & the BSF Salient Factors in the Liberation of Bangladesh

Shri VK Gaur and Lt Col BB Singh with Dr Sanjeev Chopra (based on VK Gaur’s book Yoon Janma Bangladesh) Chair: LS Bajpai

Naval Operations Beyond Naval Blockade Valley of Words 2021

Sandeep Unnithan in conversation with Admiral Anup Singh - Valley of Words 2021.

Air Operations Experience of First Heliborne Operation Valley of Words 2021 1080p

Sqn Ldr Rana Chinna in conversation with Sqn Ldr Pushp Vaid, VrC

Air Operations Air War in the West Valley of Words 2021 1080p

AVM Manmohan Bahadur in conversation with Jagan Mohan (Unheralded operations by Vampires, 'Texan' Harvard, Canberras and An-12)

Stories of Valour Narration of stories of valour by Maroof Raza Valley of Words 2021

Narration of stories of valour by Maroof Raza. Maroof Raza talks of forthcoming book The Contested Lands (India-China border dispute) - Valley of Words 2021

Managing Future Conflicts Role of World and Regional Fora Valley of Words 2021

Ambassador Asoke Mukerji and Maj Gen Dhruv Katoch Moderator: Lt Gen JS Lidder original video can be accessed from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_j4zEnQmFw&list=PLwxh3VL-4b6uFk1wf_EdXamume8-cLXot&…

Perceptions India’s Compulsions and Outlook on East Pakistan Objectives and Strategy

Shri Iqbal Malhotra in conversation with Lt Gen Nirbhay Sharma and Maj Gen Ian Cardozo - Valley of Words 2021

Perceptions Western Pakistan’s Designs on East Pakistan Campaign, Objectives and Strategy

Lt Gen PJS Pannu in conversation with Christine Fair and Ambassador Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty

Contribution of Indian Cinema in Infusing Patriotism Valley of Words 2021

Lt Gen PJS Pannu and Maroof Raza in conversation with Shri JP Dutta (producer, director, filmmaker) and Nomination of Bollywood film Border on 1971 War. Original video can be accessed from: https://w…

Diplomacy and Statecraft Perceptions Information and Media Operations Valley of Words 2021

Lt Gen PJS Pannu in conversation with Sir Mark Tully, Subroto Chattopadhyay and Vishnu Shankar (Editor, TV9 Network) Original video can be accessed from :https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZfGmfJvWmo8&li…

USI- FO Live: Evolving Geopolitics of the Indo-Pacific Region

The United Service Institution of India (USI) and Fair Observer present a panel discussion on the evolving geopolitics of the Indo-Pacific region. Lately, the AUKUS Deal has added another twist to th…

𝐒𝐓𝐑𝐈𝐕𝐄 𝐖𝐞𝐛𝐢𝐧𝐚𝐫 on Buyout Sino Pak Collusivity Implications For India Maj

STRIVE a Lucknow based National and Defence Security Studies Centre organised a Webinar in collaboration with Military Literature Festival, Lucknow on a highly sensitive and contemporary issue the “B…

Can India and Pakistan Take Steps Towards Rapprochement

In this episode Major General BK Sharma (Director - United Service Institution of India) and Lt. General Asad Durrani (Former Director General ISI, Pakistan talks with Analyst Arvind Saharan on Indi…

𝗨𝗡 𝗣𝗲𝗮𝗰𝗲𝗸𝗲𝗲𝗽𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗢𝗽𝗲𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀: 𝗣𝗿𝗼𝘁𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗼𝗳 𝗖𝗶𝘃𝗶𝗹𝗶𝗮𝗻𝘀

Over the past few decades, inter-state conflicts waned but there has been an increase in Intra-state conflicts. In any conflict, the innocent civilians are the ones who suffer the most. But the suffer…

Valedictory Address by CDS General Bipin Rawat PVSM UYSM AVSM YSM SM VSM ADC

Valedictory Address by CDS General Bipin Rawat PVSM UYSM AVSM YSM SM VSM ADC The original video of the event can be accessed on the VoW youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VF2clqxX_j8&…

Managing Future Conflicts Deterrence and Conflict Prevention: Valley of Words 2021

Major General Dhruv C Katoch, SM, VSM (Retd) in conversation Lieutenant General JS Lidder, UYSM, AVSM (Retd), Ambassador Asoke Mukerji, Shri Arvind Gupta and Lt Gen Prakash Menon PVSM, AVSM, VSM [Retd…

Facebook

MEMBERSHIP
close slider

    All classes of membership except temporary membership and membership of Service Officers applying for Correspondence Courses being conducted by the USI, will be subject to approval by the Executive Committee. The following are ordinarily eligible to become members of the Institution, with full voting rights:-

    Read More