Importance of the Chief of Defence staff

Published: December 27, 2019

The creation of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) is one of the biggest military reforms which seeks to ensure inter-services coordination and synergize efforts of the armed forces. The proposal for the CDS was made by the K.Subrahmanyam committee after the Kargil War in 1999. Despite the recommendations the proposal never moved forward. The Naresh Chandra committee in 2012, recommended appointment of Permanent Chairman of Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC). It is also one of the recommendations made by the Lt General DB Shekatkar committee.

Need for CDS

The role is meant to play the key military advisor to the government and contribute towards planning and management of the three services. Future wars will be coordinated in a better manner with the integration of the three services. In the absence of the CDS position, it is the senior most person from the three Chiefs who serves as the chairman of the COSC, which is for a very short period.

Role of CDS

With the scope of changing warfare, India should not continue with a fragmented approach. The CDS aims to provide an effective leadership at the top level and presents the opportunity to make the defence system more effective. The role serves as a link between the political leadership and the forces managing India’s nuclear arsenal.
With this arrangement there will be a smooth communication related to security related issues.

Way ahead

The success of the CDS will depend upon the powers the person appointed to the post possesses. An effective decision making at the CDS level will be key to ensuring a coordination among the trig-services.

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