Thursday, September 29, 2016

What is Military Strength ?

How does one assess military strength...? 

I feel that Military Strength has 3 key determinants.

Read on...

Hardware”  Software  Skinware
Musings of a Veteran

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

1. Hardware

2. “Software”

3. “Skinware”

1. MILITARY HARDWARE comprises 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” Quality and Quantity of Military Equipment.

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

2. 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.

3. MILITARY “SKINWARE” comprises the Human Resource Element of the Defence Services.

Of course – Military “Skinware includes the Military Men and Women in Uniform (Officers and Soldiers/Sailors/Airmen) – and also the Bureaucracy and various Civilians who provide support to the Armed Forces – and – most importantly – the Political Leadership which governs the entire gamut of Defence Services and Security Machinery.

Of course – “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 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.

Dear Reader: Do you agree...?

Copyright © Vikram Karve 
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This is a revised re-post of my article MILITARY PROWESS – Hardware Software and Skinware” posted online by me earlier at url:  and

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