Are We Ready for War…?

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve:

From time to time – jingoists and war-mongerers keep exhorting war.

But – is war child’s play…?

Before thinking of war – the first thing a nation has to assess – is its own “military strength” (and the military strength of the adversary)

How do you assess “military strength”…?

I feel that Military Strength has 3 key determinants – as explained below – in a nutshell.


Hardware”  “Software” – “Skinware”

Musings of a Veteran By Vikram Karve

The Military Capability of a nation is dependent on 3 key ingredients:

  1. Hardware
  1. “Software”
  1. “Skinware”
  1. MILITARY HARDWAREcomprises weapons, equipment, ordnance, platforms (ships/submarines/aircraft/space based platforms) etc – and is a Technology governed Qualitative and Quantitative component – depending on the “high-tech” Qualityand Quantity of Military Equipment.

Military Hardware is a tangible factor – and – the Military Hardware and Technologies of a nation are well known.

  1. MILITARY “SOFTWARE”refers to the War-Fighting “System”– the operational doctrine, strategy and tactics and the organizational management aspects like Rules/Regulations, HR and Training Policies etc.

Military “Software” comprises both tangible (documented) and intangible (experiential) aspects.

  1. MILITARY “SKINWARE”comprises the Human ResourceElement of the Defence Services.

Of course – Military “Skinware includes the Military Men and Women in Uniform (Officers and Soldiers/Sailors/Airmen)

Military “Skinware also includes the Bureaucracy and various Civilians who provide support to the Armed Forces

And – the most important component of “Skinware is the Political Leadership – which governs the entire gamut of Defence Services and Security Machinery.

“Skinware” comprises both quantitative and qualitative factors – tangible and intangible elements.

Of course – tangible “Skinware” numbers can be quantified – a nation may boast of the numerical strength of its Army, Navy and Air Force.

But – the vital characteristic of Military “Skinware” are intangible aspects – which comprise indefinable “hard to quantify” factors like morale, leadership quality, ideology, motivation, inspiration, welfare/care of servicemen and military veterans, respect given to the military by civil society, how civilian citizens treat soldiers etc.


A nation must develop its Military Capability in a holistic manner – giving due importance to all 3 aspects – “Hardware” “Software” and “Skinware” – in a balanced and harmonious manner.

High Technology but Low Morale – or – High Morale but Obsolete Technology – or a poorly managed military system – all result in sub-optimal military effectiveness.

All 3 aspects (“Hardware” “Software” “Skinware”) – all 3 factors need to be well developed in a balanced manner.

So – Dear Reader – before we think of war – let us introspect – and holisitically assess our “military strength” – all 3 factors – “Hardware” “Software” and “Skinware” – and see where we stand.

Do we require to augment/optimise – any one – or two – or all the 3 constituents of “military strength”…?

It is only when we are confident of our military preparedness and our superiority in all the 3 domains – “Hardware” “Software” and “Skinware” – should we start thinking of war – provided – our leaders have the “political will” – and our citizens have the national readiness – for war.

Dear Reader: Do you agree…?


Copyright © Vikram Karve
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© vikram karve., all rights reserved. 

This is a revised re-post of my article MILITARY PROWESS – Hardware “Software” and “Skinware” posted online by me earlier at urls:  and  and

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve:

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