Tuesday, May 4, 2010

No CDS, govt also rejects military officers in MoD

As if deliberate slow pace in creating the chief of defence staff (CDS) post was not enough, the Govt. has now rejected the proposal to post Army, Navy and IAF officers as joint/additional secretaries in the defence ministry. Taking note of huge disconnect between Service HQs and MoD, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on defence had last year strongly recommended the change in MoD staffing patterns to ensure armed forces were intrinsically involved in national security management and apex decision making process.

But defence minister AK Antony on Monday told Parliament that no change was considered necessary since a high degree of integration between Service HQs and MoD had already been achieved. He listed out steps like adoption of single file system between Service HQs and MoD,delegation of financial and administrative powers at various levels and re-designation of Service HQs as Integrated HQs to support this argument. But these measures are widely perceived to be merely cosmetic, with the bureaucracy continuing to maintain a vice-like grip over the armed forces. India, like the Kargil Review Committee (KRC) held, is probably the only major democracy where the armed forces are firmly kept out of the apex government structure, said a senior Army officer.

The GoM report in 2001 on reforming the national security system had also stressed need for a CDS to provide single-point military advise to government and manage countrys nuclear arsenal. Moreover,
a CDS would bring the much-needed jointness or synergy among Army, Navy and IAF, which often pull in different directions, by resolving inter-Service doctrinal, planning, procurement and operational issues. But successive governments over the last decade have taken the specious plea of the need to consult different political parties to keep the all-important CDS proposal on the backburner. On Monday, Antony again stated that a number of political parties are yet to respond to his letters on the issue. Antony did outline 37 of the 45 fields where joint training can or is being conducted to promote synergy among armed forces. Antony, however,failed to mention crucial fields like UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles ), intelligence, helicopters and NBC (nuclear, biological, chemical) warfare, where no progress has been made. He, however, said a case for establishing a National Intelligence Academy for joint training has been taken up for approval.


No comments:

Post a Comment