India's National Security Adviser Ajit Doval said that deterrence was the credibility that a nation could show its strength when required.
“The lack of will to exercise power is as good as not having any power. India has the mindset that where it punches, it punches below its weight. India shouldn't be punching below or over. India should increase its weight and punch in proportion,” he said.
Doval made these observations during the 21st Lalit Doshi Memorial Lecture titled “State security, statecraft and conflict of values”.
The lecture comes just a few weeks before Doval is expected to meet his Pakistani counterpart, Sartaj Aziz, to discuss issues relating to cross-border terrorism. The meeting is important in setting the early tone in the Modi government's engagement with Pakistan on security issues.
Taking stock of the changing nature of statecraft he said, “The days of wars in the service of statecraft are coming to an end. Wars are no longer a viable mechanism for achieving political and strategic objectives in a cost effective way.”