A preemptive war is a war that is commenced in an attempt to repel or defeat a perceived imminent offensive or invasion, or to gain a strategic advantage in an impending (allegedly unavoidable) war shortly before that attack materializes. The term: ‘preemptive war’ is sometimes confused with the term: ‘preventive war’. The difference is that a preventive war is launched to destroy the potential threat of the targeted party, when an attack by that party is not imminent or known to be planned, while a preemptive war is launched in anticipation of immediate aggression by another party.
A covert operation is “an operation that is so planned and executed as to conceal the identity of or permit denial by the sponsor.” Covert operations aim to fulfill their mission objectives without any parties knowing who sponsored or carried out the operation.
To go “undercover” is to avoid detection by the entity one is observing, and especially to disguise one’s own identity or use an assumed identity for the purposes of gaining the trust of an individual or organization to learn or confirm confidential information or to gain the trust of targeted individuals in order to gather information or evidence. Traditionally, it is a technique employed by law enforcement agencies or private investigators, and a person who works in such a role is commonly referred to as an undercover agent. It is a part of covert/clandestine operations.
Covert operations and clandestine operations are distinct. A covert operation differs from a clandestine operation in that emphasis is placed on concealment of identity of sponsor rather than on concealment of the operation itself.”
An overt operation is one conducted openly, without concealment.
In a covert operation, the identity of the sponsor is concealed, while in a clandestine operation the operation itself is concealed. Put differently, clandestine means “hidden,” while covert means “deniable.”
What then is stealth? The term stealth refers to tactics aimed at providing and preserving the element of surprise and reducing enemy resistance; and to a set of technologies (stealth technology) to aid in those tactics. Secrecy and stealthiness are often desired in clandestine and covert operations.
Covert operations are employed in situations where openly operating against a target would be disadvantageous. Covert operations may include sabotage, assassinations, support for coups d’état, or support for subversion. Tactics include the use of a false flag or front group.
Hot pursuit implies pursuit without unreasonable delay and generally is immediate pursuit. It can also refer to chasing a suspect into a neighboring jurisdiction in an emergency, without time to alert law enforcement people in that area.
Now, how do we characterise the Indian army’s killing of the insurgents in Myanmar? It was clandestine and covert till it lasted. It has become overt when declared. Undercover agents must have been active. Stealth, there was. Hot pursuit , it was not as we did not chase them after they ambushed. We took time to plan and execute. Pre-emptive, it was for future militant actions. The question of it being ” preventive” does not arise.