[Answered] “A post of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) would resolve many security problems and challenges in India.” Analyse.

Demand of the question
Introduction. Contextual Introduction.
Body. Why Chief of defence staff is needed? Benefits of having CDS.
Conclusion. Way forward.

The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) is a high military office that will oversee and coordinates the working of the three defence Services in India. The Chiefs of Staff Committee (CoSC) is a toothless office in india. CDS would not only ensure coordination among various defence forces but will lead to enhanced security in the region.

Why Chief of defence staff is needed?

  1. The problem with the existing separate military headquarters is that there is a turf war between the three wings with each seeing things with its own perspective and requirement.
  2. CoSC arrangement is seen as unsatisfactory and the post did not further tri-service integration, resulting in inefficiency.
  3. The CoSC system is a leftover from the colonial era, with only minor changes being carried out over the years.
  4. It observed that Service Chiefs devote most of their time to their operational roles often resulting in negative results. Long-term defence planning suffers as day-to-day priorities.
  5. The defence Secretary represents India in all professional forums and act as the adviser to the defence minister. This deprive the political executive from the expert advice of the service Chiefs.
  6. The CDS is seen as vital in the integration of tri-service assets and personnel like in the US military.
  7. Most countries with advanced militaries have such a post with varying degrees of power and authority.
  8. The Armed Forces are still considered as “Attached Offices” of the Ministry of Defence and it is the Defence Secretary who is responsible for the defence of the country. This invariably leads to greater gap between the civilian and military bureaucracy.

Benefits of having CDS:

  1. It will provide effective leadership at the top level to the three wings of the armed forces.
  2. The CDS will lead to greater coordination and synergy among the tri services.
  3. The CDS will help in the tackling of threats from cyber and space sector in an integrated manner and would help in optimal use of available resources.
  4. Policy-making on operations, procurement and joint logistics will be improved.
  5. It will provide a single, all-encompassing coherent and cohesive perspective, instead of disaggregated individual single service perspective.
  6. This will correct the anomaly of civic-military interface during the shaping/ deterrence phase, during operations, or after the occurrence of threatening situations.
  7. It would help in holistic management of national security for optimised results and single point military advice on matters of national security including nuclear weapons.

India is the only country with an MoD without military professionals, with bureaucrats lacking a military background and knowledge. As a result, we lack a cohesive national security strategy; national security objectives remain undefined. There is little synergy within the military and also the military-industrial complex remains in a pathetic state. A post of CDS will remove such issues.

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