Indian Army Vice Chief Lieutenant General SK Saini said while countries are struggling to rein in Covid19, certain countries have seized the opportunity to extend their influence militarily, economically and politically.

This “does not augur well for the world community”, Lt Gen Saini said on Wednesday while addressing the participants of National Defence Course Bangladesh.

Lt Gen SK Saini told the participants of National Defence Course Bangladesh that strategic security of most nations has been impacted due to reduction in funds for military capability and projects since vast sums of money have been diverted for urgent health requirements.

He was addressing the “Security Challenges Post COVID – 19 Pandemic” through a webinar.

Lt Gen Saini said, “many countries fuelled by ultra-nationalism are experiencing an accelerated process of de-globalisation leading to closing of borders for movement of goods, people, services and even ideas”.

He said future wars may gravitate towards zero cost wars, wherein a very virulent pathogen may immobilise high-technology arsenal.

“Weaker militaries will continue to seek an asymmetric advantage in an unrestricted warfare milieu while social media will continue to be the vector of choice for the battle of narratives,” he said.

Commenting on the post-COVID era, Lt Gen Saini said militaries of the region must evolve a defence cooperation plan since they will become the first responders during such health disasters.

He emphasized on “technology-enabled solutions for integrated identification, control and management of such threats”.

Lt Gen Saini stressed on the “need to re-invigorate the defence industrial base to meet sustainment and modernisation needs” and to focus on “force preservation and readiness by giving a fresh impetus to health security”.

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