Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day announcement to create a Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) for improving coordination among the army, navy and air force is a historic boost to India’s National Security and power projection capabilities. It is a long-due reform of higher military management in the larger national interest, and a forward-looking step for India to keep abreast of international trends in defence modernisation.
The idea of CDS had been mooted decades ago in India, but it was stymied by bureaucracy and narrow, self-interested objections of stakeholders. Anxieties of individual service chiefs about losing turfs to their peers, and cussedness of civilian officials who feared transfer of influence to a single “Super General” had held India back. While the entrenched tradition of bureaucratic stasis and pettiness will not vanish overnight, Modi’s momentous decision to form the CDS is a welcome topdown blow to vested interests. Read more
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