Electronic warfare (EW) is gearing up in South Asia and the analysts are opining about the greater role of India in it, coupling it with cyber warfare (CW). The threat, in this scenario, is not Pakistan but China. Nonetheless, it will create security dilemma for Pakistan at the same time. Hence, the talks on the eastern side of the border are revolving around the possible reforms in Indian armed services. The budgetary allocation
of Indian armed forces reads at $61.96 billion while that of China
is $175.4 billion. Almost three times the former, yet it is contrasted with the budget of Pakistan
, which is at around $12.6 billion as of 2018. This sets the equation for India against Pakistan and China.
China has boosted
agenda in 2015 under the leadership of President Xi Jinping. The Chinese have expanded the Central Military Commission’s direct control over military operations and operational forces and all the technical functions were consolidated under the People’s Liberation Army Strategic Support Force (PLASSF). The said force’s establishment reflects a shift in priorities, with a greater focus on using a wide range of intelligence sources in supporting military operations. The current information warfare capabilities of China are an integration of CW and EW.
The Chinese recognise the complementarities between the electronic and cyber warfares and the role the electromagnetic spectrum
plays for both. The establishment of theatre commands is tailored to exploit the creation of a unified information warfare service in the form of the PLASSF. For China, there is a link between both kinds of warfare, or what China calls integrated network electronic warfare and its relationship with ground warfare.