[Answered]Discuss the role and significance of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS). How it would help in India’s security?

Demand of the question

Introduction. Contextual Introduction.

Body. Role of Chief of Defence staff. Importance of CDS in India’s security

Conclusion. Way forward.

 The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) is a high military office that will oversee and coordinate the working of the three defence Services in India. Most countries with advanced militaries like in the UK have such a post with varying degrees of power and authority. The CDS is important for the integration of tri-service personnel in India.

Role of Chief of Defence Staff:

  1. Principal Military Adviser: CDS will act as the Principal Military Adviser to the Defence Minister on tri-services matters. He will also be the military adviser to the Nuclear Command Authority (chaired by the Prime Minister), which handles India’s nuclear arsenal.
  2. Department of Military Affairs’ Head: The Department of Military Affairs will also be headed by the CDS. The mandate of the Department of Military Affairs will include the following areas:
  • Promoting jointness in procurement, training and staffing for the Services.
  • Facilitation of restructuring of Military Commands for optimal utilisation of resources.
  • Promoting use of indigenous equipment by the Services.
  1. Permanent Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee: The CDS will be the permanent Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC). As a permanent chair, CDS will:
  • Administer all tri-service organisations and commands.
  • Function as the Military Adviser to the Nuclear Command Authority.
  • Implement the five year Defence Capital Acquisition Plan (DCAP) and the two year roll on Annual Acquisition Plans.
  • Coordinate operation, logistics, transport, training, support services communications, etc. of the three Services

Importance of CDS in India’s security:

  1. Coordination among services: The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) is a high military office that will oversee and coordinate the working of the three defence Services in India. This would lead to enhanced security in the region.
  2. Effective leadership: CDS will provide effective leadership at the top level to the three wings of the armed forces.
  3. Resource optimisation: The CDS will help in the tackling of threats in an integrated manner and would help in optimal use of available resources. Policy-making on operations, procurement and joint logistics will be improved.
  4. Coherence: It will provide a single and coherent perspective, instead of disaggregated individual single service perspective.
  5. Holistic management; 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 a Ministry of Defence without military professionals, with bureaucrats lacking a military background and knowledge. As a result, we lack a cohesive national security strategy. There is little synergy within the military and also the military-industrial complex remains in a bad state. A post of CDS will remove such issues.

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