Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Chief of Defence Staff (CDS)

For many years defence analysts are suggesting that India should create the post of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS).  Critically examine why this suggestion is made and its importance for national security. 

A country's military strength depends on its military capacities at ground, air and water, combinedly. Modern warfare, which are rare though, and deterrence capabilities of a country are a creative and complex combination of capabilities in these three spaces.
All the three arms of India's military have been headed by three different officers, without any explicit integration between them. The Defence Minister is the only person above them, and being a politician, he is not expected to be aware of the intricacies of such coordination between the three arms of military.
Following are the reasons for the need of CDS:
1)It will provide the three arms with a unity of purpose required in operations involving more than one form of military and establish a synergy between three forces.
2) It will act as the direct link between the defence ministry and the country's military.
3) It will help the ministry in drafting better defence policies as the CDS would be able to provide a larger picture of the condition of military.
4) It will also help in fixing accountability as in multi-dimensional operations, CDS will be responsible for is success or failure.
However, a CDS may not have the full experience of every force except his own in which he served. This may lead to friction between CDS and the head of other two forces and may prove counter-productive. Also, concentrating power, as well as responsibility, in one person may not produce desired result. A body like a Coucil headed by CDS can produce desired results.
With India eyeing towards military expansion, establishing a CDS is a logical step. Internally, border security has been the most pressing issue. Even in disaster management, the role of military is indispensable: Role of army in J&K floods, of navy in Yemen to save Indians, and of air force in providing relief material. Externally, as a part of diplomatic strategy, India's military has carried out operations.
Hence, establishment of CDS is a must.

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