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This article has been written by Sneha Jaiswal, from Christ (Deemed to be University) Delhi NCR. This article analyzes the subject matter of national security with regard to various nations specifically in India. It also attempts to resolve a few outstanding concerns about national security strategy.


An analysis of the best practices followed worldwide with respect to national security simultaneously with regard to India. Despite vast differences in socio-economic and political realities, various nations have different ideologies with respect to national security that is often borrowed as an asset by the respective nations as a national security practice. The nations appear to have a unique autonomy in building an indigenous legal framework to respond to their culture-specific requirements due to their different demography, geographical structure, and apparent ‘independence’ from communitarian regulatory processes. This additionally analyses the disturbing trend that emerges from the similar placement of the nations with regards to the issue of national security- one with the most robust, functional, and detailed legislative framework and the others without any clear policy in place. In most jurisdictions, giving national security precedence above individual liberty appears to be a common occurrence.

Basic understanding of the term national security 

The safeguarding of the nation as a whole is referred to as national security. Its top priority is to protect the country and its citizens from attacks and other external threats by maintaining military forces and safeguarding state secrets. National security encompasses both national defense and the safeguarding of a variety of geopolitical, economic, and other interests, and it has an impact on not only defense but also foreign and other policies. Foreign and defense policies should be viewed as mutually reinforcing rather than zero-sum budgetary trade-offs. While difficult decisions on national security spending will have to be made, they should be based on facts, not on fanciful comparisons or incoherent and tendentious concepts.

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Relation of human security and national security

The degree of resistance to or protection against danger is referred to as security. It can be used for any vulnerable and valued asset, such as a person, a home, a neighborhood, a country, or an organization. However, for far too long, the term of security has been understood narrowly, as territorial security against external attack, national interest protection in foreign policy, or global security against the prospect of nuclear holocaust. It has been linked to nation-states rather than individuals.

The valid concerns of regular people seeking security in their daily lives were forgotten. The majority of developing countries, on the other hand, have higher percentages of their populations living in constant fear of disease, starvation, unemployment, crime, social unrest, political repression, and environmental risks, among other things. Their lives are filled with anxieties and uncertainties, such as the fear of being hurt and the uncertainty about the future. This group does not feel safe and is not protected from physical, economic, or social harm.

Internal turbulence relating to human security, economic security, and socio-cultural security have caused states to suffer and even dissolve, as recent history has proved. The world’s attention was drawn to these aspects, which unhinged scholars’ minds from earlier orientations toward territorial security, resulting in a paradigm shift in the view. Human security is now seen as a significant component of national security.

The objective of national security

The manner each state addresses threats to its government, ideals, and even existence is established by national security law. National security aims may be described as safeguarding a country’s national sovereignty in order to maintain a secure and stable environment that can assure the safety and prosperity of its citizens. Assuring the country’s geographical integrity. Promoting the country’s progression to its rightful position in international affairs.

  • Keeping national sovereignty safe

Protecting sovereignty can be an effective technique for dealing with inter-state relations and defining permissible behavior. It’s also a manner of analyzing a state’s behavior because the idea of sovereignty is always expendable in the face of the state’s ultimate authority.

  • Keeping territorial integrity intact

It is a corollary of the element of sovereignty that a state’s territorial boundaries shall be honored and it shall be free from external control. States shall have the right over their international borders and other states shall interfere in the internal affairs of the state. Only established diplomatic channels allow states to influence each other’s actions.

  • Promoting the country’s advancement to its proper position in international affairs

International relations is the instrument that is utilized to concentrate on how country states and non-legislative associations connect in regions including governmental issues, economy, and security. International relations have taken on a new significance in our more interconnected society, but they are far from new. Treaties between states were the first form of international relations in the history of the world.

The study and practice of international relations are important in today’s world for a variety of reasons, including the promotion of successful trade policies between nations, as well as the encouragement of tourism and immigration businesses, which provide people with opportunities to better their lives. International relations permits countries to work together, pool resources, and share information in order to address global concerns that affect more than just one country or region. Pandemics, terrorism, and the environment are all current worldwide concerns. Cultural exchanges, diplomacy, and policy formulation are all ways that international interactions improve human culture.

  • Maintaining a tranquil internal environment

Internal security is the act of maintaining peace within a sovereign state or other self-governing territory’s borders, usually by respecting national law and defending against internal security threats. We must maintain productive and cordial relations with all nations and peoples, even as nations must chart their destiny, free of foreign meddling, threat, or aggression.

  • Creating an environment for citizens that is just, equitable, and prosperous, as well as one that protects them from threats to their lives and livelihood

It contributes to the development of long-term sustainable peace and is thus an important factor in the post-conflict period for promoting long-term peace. The justification for including environmental resources into the overall peacebuilding process is critical.

Dimensions of  national security

Military security

Physical protection of the state’s landmass from external aggressions was referred to as national security. As a result, state measures to maintain national security were viewed as increases in military force to protect the country. These activities were also perceived as gaining military might, to impose a state’s political will on the world stage by its military force. Though this perspective remains today, as hostilities have evolved over ages and a state is required to protect the inviolability of its territory, it was a restricted one, and additional aspects of national security have been added over time.

Political security

It refers to safeguarding the government’s and political system’s sovereignty, as well as society’s safety, from illegal internal threats and external threats or pressures. National and homeland security, as well as law enforcement, are all involved.

Economic security

It entails safeguarding not only the economy’s ability to provide for people but also the degree to which the government and the people have control over their economic and financial decisions. It also refers to a country’s ability to defend its wealth and economic freedom against external threats and pressure. As a result, it includes not only economic policy and some law enforcement organizations, but also international business, finance, and trade agreements.

Environmental Security

It’s a concept with various connotations. One is the more traditional approach to dealing with conflicts caused by environmental issues such as water shortages, energy disruptions, or severe climate change; these issues are thought to be “transnational” and hence capable of causing conflict between countries. The alternative, more contemporary view is that the environment and “climate” should be safeguarded as objectives in and of themselves; the assumption is that human-caused environmental deterioration is a threat that must be handled through treaties and international governance, much like a national security concern.

Socio – cultural dimension of national security

One of the most essential components of national security is the socio-cultural factor. It is the obligation of the country’s political elite to unify the country’s diverse socio-cultural identities under one tent.’ To assimilate this diversity of sections into primary national streams, the process of assimilation should be conducted without interruption, and providing a road network is an important component of it, as road transportation is regarded as a critical factor for a country’s economy and industrial development. The government must safeguard the safety and security of the people while building a network of roads and transportation. In countries like India, many states have insufficient road networks, resulting in vehicle accidents and fatalities. As a result, while carrying out the integration process, the government must pay close attention to every segment of society in this regard.


It refers to the safeguarding of the government’s and people’s computer and data processing infrastructure and operating systems from outside and inside the country, respectively. As a result, not only national defense and homeland security but also law enforcement are involved.

Intelligence agencies

One of the most critical issues that any country’s military is concerned with is national security. The defense forces’ concern is not solely based on their understanding of the core issues that compromise national security. The Intelligence Agencies in the world are a second wing that is responsible for the country’s defense. Behind the scenes, there is a whole crew of unsung warriors fighting the country’s invisible foes. In truth, there have been numerous occasions when these individuals have defended the country’s national interests. There are various intelligence agencies in the world like the Central Intelligence Agency by the USA, the Federal Security Service by the USSR, the Central External Liaison Department by China, the Research and Analysis Wing by India, and many more. These organizations work around the clock to safeguard the country’s national interests and security. 

An exception to access information – national security

All-access to information (ATI) rules have exceptions for national security. However, few of the laws, or their implementing regulations, describe national security in the context of information withholding. They also don’t establish any clear rules or procedures for categorizing or withholding information for security reasons.

The public’s right to know and national security are frequently seen as opposing forces. While there is sometimes a conflict between a government’s desire to keep information secret for national security reasons and the right of the public to access information held by public authorities, recent history suggests that legitimate national security interests are best protected in practice when the public is well informed about the state’s activities, including those undertaken to protect them.

In order to ensure the full exercise of human rights, it may be necessary to keep information secret in some instances in order to defend legitimate national security objectives. The fact that courts in many nations show the least independence and the most deference to government assertions when national security is raised makes striking the correct balance all the more difficult. Many countries‘ security laws strengthen this deference by triggering exceptions to the right to information, as well as to regular norms of proof and the rights of the accused, based on a little showing, or even the government’s mere allegation, of a national security concern. Over-invoking national security concerns by a government have the potential to substantially erode the primary institutional safeguards against government abuse; judicial independence, the rule of law, legislative oversight, media freedom, and open government. Restrictions on freedom of expression based on national security must meet several requirements in order to be lawful and meet international standards and best practices. 

India’s national security strategy

The protection of a nation and its population against a variety of multi-dimensional dangers and coercion is referred to as national security. The vast breadth of a strategy to address these challenges in a rapidly changing national and international scene might be a deterrent to formally establishing a national security strategy. A well-defined national security strategy, on the other hand, is a clear picture of the path a country should take in order to achieve its national goals. It also serves as a roadmap for all state organs in terms of policy directions to follow.

This necessitates the state creating a favorable external and internal environment in which India takes its proper place in the world, is protected from global and regional hazards, and lives in peace. India’s national security objectives could be stated as follows: To provide a secure and stable India that can guarantee the safety and prosperity of its people.

  • Protecting India’s national sovereignty. 
  • Securing the territorial integrity of India. 
  • Advancing India’s rise to its rightful place in international affairs. 
  • Ensuring a peaceful internal environment within India. 
  • Creating a just, equitable, and prosperous environment for our citizens, as well as one that protects them from dangers to their lives and livelihood.

These tenets define our core approach to ensuring India’s overall national security. The four pillars are Assuming Our Rightful Place in the World, Creating a Secure Neighbourhood, Peacefully Resolving Internal Conflicts, Protecting Our People, and Strengthening Our Capabilities. This National Security Strategy lays out the steps to achieving the aforementioned fundamentals. There are dangers and uncertainties in any strategy, but the starting point must be clarity about the country’s course.

How this all works : the primary goal 

There are certain fully prepared ways to characterize legal similarities that exist among legal systems in comparative law. Some countries are divided into legal “families” that pass down shared legal attributes such as genetic traits. Some countries accept legal “transplants” pushed on them by countries with more advanced legal systems. Other countries just borrow legal concepts from other countries. Furthermore, legal concepts may migrate like humans in international space, settling in friendly locales after long journeys. Each of these procedures results in the transfer of legal ideas from one time or place to another’s legal system. Regardless of the various mechanisms involved in the inheritance, pushing, pulling, and moving with the flow, all of the popular models share a similar assumption: laws from different countries converge through the horizontal transfer of legal concepts from one domestic legal system to another.

National security policies

Economic, political, or military policies may be implemented to secure national security. They can be aimed either domestically or externally. Maintaining effective armed forces, implementing anti-terrorism measures, ensuring civil and emergency defenses, employing intelligence to detect and counter external attack and internal subversion, employing diplomacy to strengthen alliances and isolate threats, and employing economic power to encourage cooperation and isolate or weaken political rivals are all examples of national security measures.

For example, the United States of America’s 2002 National Security Strategy calls “defending our [American] Nation against its enemies” “the primary and fundamental commitment of the [US] Federal Government.” To do so, the US administration claims it would employ “every tool in our disposal,” including “military power, improved homeland defenses, law enforcement, intelligence, and vigorous attempts to cut off terrorist financing.”

In a similar context, the Home Office of the United Kingdom recognizes that it is “responsible for keeping the United Kingdom safe from any danger to our national security.” We collaborate with law enforcement and security organizations to ensure that we are doing everything possible to keep our country and people safe.’ This kind of national security statement can be found in the public documents of most Western countries.

General nature of the country’s external (international) security environment

The formulation of an NSP requires a detailed analysis and understanding of a country’s international context. Such an analysis can distinguish between a regional setting, which includes the characteristics of neighboring states and the nature of the country’s relationship with them, and a more global setting, which includes the characteristics of neighboring states and the nature of the country’s relationship with them. Global great-power competition or rivalry will be immediately important, especially if it has or may have regional effects. Furthermore, a more multipolar global system could have local implications. The assessment of a country’s international setting, with a focus on security, provides a good foundation for the obvious following step: analyzing and assessing the country’s possible security threats, dangers, and difficulties, as well as the opportunities. A complete assessment is at the heart of a National Security Strategy.

What should be the procedure for national security decision making

The constitutional order and other legal laws will determine the solution to the matter. One option is to outline the procedures for making national security decisions in a separate national security statute. Another option is to put processes such as this in the NSS document itself. The substance of the procedures will be directly connected to the duties and responsibilities of the relevant governmental institutions and security agencies, regardless of how the decision-making procedures are given in legal terms.

National security concerning human rights

Human rights and national security are sometimes seen as being incompatible. with one another. When government officials talk about national security, they usually start with the assumption that defending human rights and civil freedoms is sometimes more important than protecting national security. The Indian government has enacted strict regulations to safeguard national security and combat terrorist threats, but these laws do not pass the human rights test.

The constraints on governmental authority were also justified by the international human rights framework, conventions, or treaties to which India was a signatory or ratifying party. However, the current state of executive governance exposes the treaties’ and conventions’ flaws and shortcomings. As a result, human rights are still being violated by police, military, and paramilitary groups. This issue highlights the importance of cultivating a culture of human rights respect among law enforcement professionals as a precondition for maintaining the rule of law. Passing certain legislation under the pretense of preserving national security provides an opportunity to review the constitutional notion of human rights. These legislations gave the executive tremendous authority, increasing the potential for abuse and violations of fundamental rights.

Several countries have the challenge of balancing the two seemingly opposing agendas of national security and human rights protection. There are substantial worldwide initiatives underway at the United Nations and international human rights NGOs to explain the human rights considerations that underpin nations’ processes in establishing national security policy. In response to U.N. General Assembly Resolution 57/219 passed on December 18, 2002, the United Nations Secretary-General submitted a report to the Commission on Human Rights titled Protecting Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms while Countering Terrorism. 122 Resolution 57/219 emphasized the need of safeguarding human rights while undertaking all counter-terrorism actions in order to maintain national security. “States must ensure that any action taken to combat terrorism complies with their commitments under international law, particularly international human rights, refugee, and humanitarian law,” the resolution stated.

Striking a balance

“Protecting human rights during counter-terrorist activities is more than a legal obligation,” emphasizing the importance of national and international counter-terrorism initiatives adhering to the human rights framework. It is critical to the effectiveness of the anti-terrorist campaign. Terrorism will not be defeated only by the use of military or security forces. Terrorism must be combated by reaffirming, not rejecting, human rights values. Even in armed conflicts, states must demonstrate that the situation poses a threat to the nation’s life and that measures deviating from international covenants are necessary, lawful, and “limited to the amount necessarily required by the exigencies of the situation,” according to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). 

Thus, both before and after September 11, 2001, policy formulation and statement adoption by United Nations human rights mechanisms, as well as efforts by human rights NGOs, demonstrate the need for a balance between the interest in protecting a state’s national security from terrorist threats and the importance of protecting an individual’s human rights and civil liberties. 

The need for integrated approaches

No one country can combat these challenges on its own. As a result, a fundamental component of our approach is to adjust our security relationships with key countries worldwide to resist these challenges to our shared interests. To confront these challenges, we want to increase collaboration with friends and allies by denying terrorists safe havens, clamping down on money laundering, and strengthening intelligence cooperation to prevent weapons proliferation, terrorist attacks, and international crime.

It is not enough to form successful coalitions of like-minded states. That is why it is critical to improving our capabilities so that we can better engage in the international community’s reaction to the threats and act when necessary. The threat response is not only the responsibility of one agency. National security readiness, particularly in this period of more mixed domestic and international policy, transcends agency borders; as a result, strategy prioritizes coordinated interagency efforts to strengthen national security.

Many parts of an approach are aimed at influencing the international environment in order to discourage or avert threats. Shaping efforts include diplomacy, foreign assistance, weapons control programs, nonproliferation measures, and abroad military presence. The capacity to respond throughout the whole range of potential crises, up to and including fighting and winning large theatre wars, is the second part of this integrated strategy. Finally, we must prepare ourselves now to face the difficulties of an uncertain future.

Suggestions for national security strategy goals


The homeland’s safety and the integrity of the nation’s internal institutions and processes are critical to this goal. This goal requires strong active, guard, and reserve forces as well as effective intelligence, law enforcement, counter-terrorism, cybersecurity, and immigration policies to protect the homeland and secure the nation’s borders.


A global balance of power in favor of the nation’s security and interests and those of its friends and allies. This necessitates an armed force capable of accomplishing all military objectives entrusted to it as well as meeting pledges to protect the nation’s allies and partners.


The freedom of the seas, upon which the countries and world commerce and economic viability depend. This in particular requires a strong navy and marine corps and overseas bases capable of supporting the projection of national power around the world.


National influence as much as possible overseas through the entire spectrum of instruments of power, including diplomacy, foreign aid, selective intelligence sharing, public diplomacy, and human rights and humanitarian programs. This requires integrating national diplomacy and foreign aid and humanitarian programs more closely to achieve the purposes of the national strategy.


Country to maintain as much as possible a global economy based on economic freedom (sometimes called democratic capitalism), including free trade and the openness of energy markets and international financial systems based on the rule of law. 


National energy security strategy focuses on increasing domestic resources and preventing damaging political manipulation of the international energy market.


That country’s commitment to values and its promotion abroad reflects not only its history of liberty, but also universal principles of liberty, with human rights being defined as freedom of expression, democratic self-government, economic liberty, equality before the law, and freedom from persecution and oppression. Values should inform and guide national strategy rather than command or dominate it. From time to time, geopolitical concessions will be necessary, and the country should not regard itself as the world’s policeman upholding particular ideals. However, it is critical to realize that this country’s adherence to universal ideals such as freedom and democracy are among the reasons why other nations and peoples support it.

How frequently and under what conditions should the NSS be reviewed and updated

The NSS document may include a clause concerning a review and updating at regular periods if it is not governed by legislation, such as a national security statute, for example, every three or four years. Alternatively, when deemed necessary, such a review or update may be subject to a particular political decision. In the sphere of national security decision-making, determining the review procedures ahead of time may be beneficial in fostering national security and predictability. The processes for reviewing and updating the NSS may be included in the document. Such clauses might be incorporated in a national security statute or other legislative rules governing national security decision-making. Another option is to codify the procedures in a national security council statute.


Peace and prosperity for the people, as well as a prominent position for the country in international affairs, are essential in a continuously developing world. We must appraise both the problems we face and the opportunities presented by the increasing national strength in a realistic manner, taking into account the global and regional geopolitical environments.

The National Security Strategy lays forth the path that the country should pursue in order to accomplish its goals. This approach acknowledges the importance of our personnel. We won’t be able to attain genuine security if huge segments of our people experience prejudice, inequality, a lack of opportunity, and are threatened by climate change, technological upheaval, and water and energy scarcity. The National Security Strategy also looks at present capacity gaps and proposes ways to enhance the critical elements of national power. A lack of capabilities will make it impossible to turn the idea into reality. Progress is certain, however, as long as the positive basic concepts are maintained.



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