‘Unconventional warfare’ tops anti-terror meet talks – The Indian Express

As the Israel-Hamas war entered the sixth day Thursday, an anti-terror conference of special forces held in Delhi discussed the challenges of combating “unconventional warfare” in the light of ongoing conflict in the region with 33 foreign delegates, including from Israel, attending the conference.
The two-day conference, organised by the National Security Guard, was attended by representatives from all special anti-terror forces in the country including those raised by state police, central armed police forces and the armed forces, making it the first such conference ever organised in the country.
“While the basic aim of the conference was to achieve synergy and coordination among all special units India and friendly countries to deal with emergency situations, the conference is cognisant of the developments in the Middle East that have taken place over the weekend. On the sidelines, a discussion was also held on how to prepare for unforeseen and unprecedented scenarios as witnessed during the Israel-Hamas conflict,” a Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) official said.
Although a senior Israeli military officer was supposed to address the conference, the official said, “He was called back to duty last minute. But Israel was represented by embassy officials here.” Among others, there were representatives from the US, UK, France, Germany, Japan and Uzbekistan.
An official, who attended the conference, said, “The conflict has several lessons. The key among them is that technology cannot replace manpower. Technology can be overwhelmed with numbers. It was discussed that the skill level of special unit personnel has to be of the highest level. Technology is important but ultimate redeemers are men and their guns.”
Hamas fighters were able to breach Israel’s hi-tech perimeter wall by destroying sentry posts, dropping IEDs from drones and then demolishing the wall with bulldozers, sources said.
This effectively disabled the alert mechanism allowing over 1000 fighters to enter and overwhelm the security ring.
“The wall was built to decrease manpower but collapsed in the face of greater manpower of the enemy. The iron dome similarly was overwhelmed by a barrage of rockets fired. Naturally, a tech-driven system cannot intercept all. For a conventional enemy, there is a deterrence of reprisal. But in an unconventional war, it is a challenge,” another official said.
The conference, titled “Sub Conventional Threats-Challenges and Prospects for Definite and Enduring Solutions”, brought together experts, practitioners and leaders from the special anti-terror forces to use their collective expertise in creating a unified front against the threats posed by terrorism, sources said.
“During the seminar, a session will be held on the threats of IEDs Friday, where critical issues of responding to multi-city, multi-target terror attacks will be discussed which requires coordinated approach amongst NSG, special forces of states and other government agencies. The deliberation will help in developing effective strategies and contingency plans, delineating a clear role for each special force as first responders before NSG takes over any counter-terror operation. Such discussions assume greater significance especially in the aftermath of the recent multiple terror attacks in the Israel-Hamas conflict,” an MHA official said.
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