The changing strategic context marked by the end of the Cold War, demise of bi-polarity, and the emergence of a multi-polar world has accorded anew salience to defence diplomacy. In the context of the changing nature of warfare from conventional to the hybrid, the rise of new security challenges like violent extremism and terrorism, migrations, pandemics, climate change, threats in cyberspace as well as in outer space, the role of defence forces is also undergoing a transformation. Other than preparing to fight wars, they also have numerous peacetime functions. These include, providing Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) and complementing diplomatic activity in promoting international peace and security in line with the overall national policy. In a world driven by conflicts, HQ IDS continues to engage with and increase its influence in the global order through means of Defence Diplomacy.
Defence Cooperation has been an important component of India's overall diplomacy. At present, India have defence cooperation agreements of one kind or the other with over 53 countries. India, needs to reflect how best to use its defence forces, and defence related scientific, technical, business and academic communities to defend its sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity in the face of shifting power equations and new challenges. India also uses the Armed Forces to further India's national interests by contributing proactively to achieve international peace and security as well as creating conducive conditions for accelerating India's ongoing transformation.
Defence diplomacy is not a static concept. Providing a strategic context to defence cooperation efforts in the changing security environment is important the need to engage with the rest of the world on defence issues has become more relevant. Defence diplomacy signifies the art and process of conducting a country's defence related activities in progressing relations with other countries. India's profile as a security partner has improved in concert with its economic and scientific growth and its military stands out as a stabilizing factor in the region. On a number of occasions India has successfully used diplomatic and defence instruments in responding to humanitarian and natural disasters worldwide. Indian Armed forces has also been a significant contributor to UN Peacekeeping efforts since independence. In the emerging geopolitical environment, defence cooperation is increasingly becoming a dynamic tool for achieving India's overall diplomatic objectives. The IDC directorate plays with Defence diplomatic tools under HQ IDS to promote peace and tranquility.