Difference Between Internal and External Security

The dictionary meaning of security is protection from harm. National security is the protection of state and citizens from all kinds of national crises using political, military, economic or diplomatic power. The two aspects of National Security are Internal and External Security. Kautilya has written that a state has four kinds of security threats viz. internal, external, internally added external and externally added internal. Even today, we face the same four kinds of threats.

Meaning of Internal and External Security

  • Internal Security refers to upholding national law and maintenance of peace, law and order within a country’s territory. Internal Security comes within the realm of Ministry of Home Affairs in India.
  • External Security refers to security against aggression by foreign countries. External Security comes under Ministry of Defense.

There are several aspects of Internal security such as domestic peace, rule of law, public safety, peaceful co-existence and communal harmony. The main internal security challenges to the country include militancy & terrorism, insurgency or left wing extremism, organized crimes, communal, caste, ethnical problems, regionalism, cybercrime, coastal security, data security etc. There are several historical and non-historical reasons for causing these problems such as hostile neighbours, porous borders, poverty, unemployment, inequality, failure of administration, increasing communal divide, casteism, sectarian politics, linguistic issues, poor justice delivery system, nexus among criminals, politicians and bureaucrats in India, lethal non-state actors and so on.

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