|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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- 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.
- Effective leadership: CDS will provide effective leadership at the top level to the three wings of the armed forces.
- 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.
- Coherence: It will provide a single and coherent perspective, instead of disaggregated individual single service perspective.
- 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.