Defence Sector – DPP, Missions, Schemes, Security Forces, etc.

[op-ed snap] Decisive shift: On Chief of Defence Staff

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Nothing much

Mains level : Chief of Defence Staff

Context

The government has acted with alacrity to create the post of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), who will head the Department of Military Affairs (DMA). 

Delay in action

  • The delay has been more a result of fears in the minds of the three services of how such a development could impact on the role and functioning of the three arms.
  • There must have been a thought in the bureaucracy how such a shift would affect them too.
  • This move will install the CDS, in the rank of a four-star general, as Secretary, DMA.

Challenges

  • The job calls for the total transformation of the traditional military mindset. 
  • The CDS has to restructure the military commands into appropriate theatre or joint commands for which a critical prerequisite is ‘jointness’.
  • It envisions the various arms of the armed forces working in unison towards a goal. 
  • Since Independence, the armed forces have been working separately, with no concept of jointness. 
  • The only jointness that comes into play effectively is when officers of the various services go to courses in Wellington, at the Defence Services Staff College, or at the National Defence College, Delhi. 
  • All that will have to change quickly for the security environment in the region.
  • The Americans are preparing to move out of Afghanistan and the restiveness consequent to the dilution of Article 370 still persists.

Way ahead

  • It is necessary that the first incumbent is given a term of three years so as to be able to carry the vision laid out in the cabinet note through to its conclusion.
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