Army to raise Command Cyber Operations and Support Wings

Context: The Army Commanders Conference (ACC) that was held. The ACC had decided to operationalise Command Cyber Operations and Support Wings (CCOSWs) in the immediate future with current focus on net-centric operations.

  • These organisations will assist the formations to undertake the mandated cyber security functions to strengthen the cyber security posture of the Army. As Cyberspace has emerged as an important component of military domain both in grey-zone warfare as well as conventional operations and Indian Army too is rapidly migrating towards net-centricity, which entails increased reliance on modern communication systems at all levels.

About Grey zone Warfare

Grey zone warfare refers to employing aggression and other actions to achieve national objectives below the threshold of armed conflict and the ambiguity it creates. 

The characteristics of the Grey zone  warfare can be identified by 

  • Grey zone elements remain below the threshold that would justify a military response, often through the use of non-military tools. 
  • The second common characteristic of grey zone activities is that they unfold gradually over time rather than involving bold, all-encompassing actions to achieve objectives in one step. The progressive unfolding of aggressive moves over the years, or even decades, reduces opportunities for decisive responses as a counter. 
  • The third characteristic, which applies to some but not all the activities in this sphere, is a lack of attributability. Most grey zone campaigns involve actions, whereby the aggressor aims for plausible deniability of its action. Whether it is cyberattacks or disinformation campaigns or the use of proxy forces, these actions allow a grey zone aggressor to deflect responses—and obstruct the potential for successful deterrence—by simply denying that it is responsible.

For example  in cases where grey zone actions are open and attributable, such as China’s approach in the South China Sea, they are justified using extensive legal and political argument. Fourthly, grey zone campaigns target specific vulnerabilities in the targeted countries. Grey zone aggressors also typically aim to put the defenders in situations where strong responses appear ruled out or counterproductive for strategic and domestic political reasons. In other words, grey zone warfare takes advantage of strategic ambiguity to achieve gradual gains.

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