Lk Advani recommended for CDS after kargil,know why its so important! THE INDIAN OPINION

Finally India has joined the 70 odd nations who in some form or the other have a defence chief under whom all the three wings of military coordinately function.
The appointment of General Bipin Rawat as the first Chief of Defence Staff of India is certainly a welcome and the much needed step by the Modi Government. He will function as a Secretary in a newly created Department of Military Affairs within the Ministry of Defence. He will be the single point Military Advisor to the Raksha Mantri and will be the Permanent Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee, but will not exercise military command over the three Service Chiefs.
CDS was one of the main recommendations of the GOM headed by LK Advani, after the Kargil war of 1999.
The panel was of the view that a CDS who would “take a coordinated view of the three services, while individual chiefs can present their view point to the Defence Minister, where the Chiefs have a different
viewpoint from the CDS”. The other recommendations for the CDS included administrative control over strategic forces and not operational military control; facilitating efficient and effective planning and budget process and coordination in operation.

The recommendations were clear that the Defence Secretary will be the Principal Defence Advisor on policy matters and financial management, while CDS will be the single point military advisor.

As per the scope of function of the CDS as notified, he will be the first amongst equals but can direct the Service Chiefs. He will facilitate restructuring of Military Commands for optimal utilisation of resources which will include the establishment of joint/theatre commands.
He would be responsible for jointness amongst the services and implement the five-year defence acquisition plan. It may be recalled that the government created CIDS (Chief of Integrated Defence Staff) in 2001, to provide an integrated view of planning and procurement of weapon procurement to assist the Defence Acquisition Council in prioritisation and weapons procurement. The CIDS will, henceforth, be rechristened as Vice Chief of Defence Staff and work under the Department of Military Affairs headed by the CDS.

The reason for non-placement of the CDS earlier is often levelled at the doors of the civilians in the MoD, who are perceived as real advisors to the political executive. While it is true that the political dispensation is often guided by the civilian set up, it’s also true that there is a sense of unease that too much power resting in one military official can have the potential of a coup!

Air Chief Marshal Srinivasapuram Krishnaswamy CAS (Retd.) believes that CDS “is overkill”; as a single centralised structure is expected to be slow in decision making process. On the other hand, General Deepak Kapoor COAS (Retd.) was of the view that India should adopt the CDS system which is operating successfully in countries like US, UK, China and Russia.
Despite the simmering discontentment amongst the military about the asymmetry in power of policy making in South Block between uniformed and the un-uniformed, the fact remains that the operational imperatives and operationalisation are always left to the defence services, without any civilian interference. Stopping the military in their operational march during war (1965 & 1971) has been exercised by the highest political executive only!

At the time of partition it was suggested that the
Commanders-in-Chief should be fully empowered for operational management and the Chief of Staff Committee should do central coordination between the three services. He could not have been more prescient. What is required for India is a mechanism that would coordinate the operational imperatives between the three services on a long-term basis and provide single point military advice to the political executive of the day better. It’s ultimately for the CCS (Cabinet Committee on Security) to take a call on the military option to be exercised after taking into account feedback of the NSA, DPC, MEA, MHA and all stakeholders.

Report – Rajeev Ranjan Mishra