After the Kargil war, significant reforms have taken place in the armed forces with the formation of HQ IDS, A&N Command and Strategic Forces Command. However, the issue of CDS and a unified structure for combined appreciation and conduct of joint campaigns is not yet addressed. There is a need for a five star CDS that provides strategic direction and formulates strategic art alongwith other components of national power. The Chairman, COSC neither has the time nor the institutional authority for the same.
There is also a need to establish Joint Operations Centre at the IDS, which encompasses the three components of the armed forces, NCA, Aerospace Command, A&N Command and SFC and provides standing capability to plan and conduct campaigns and operations to tackle emergent situations without having a permanent force deployed under it. The various operational commands of the three services should be electronically linked sector wise to cater for wide spectrum of threats. This would assist in jointly executing operational art and promote development of an integrated environment.
The following recommendations are made: –
The entire Indian subcontinent should be considered as one theatre and be named India Strategic Theatre.
- The entire Indian subcontinent should be considered as one theatre and be named India Strategic Theatre.
- Evolve a National Security Strategy20 taking into account the entire threat spectrum.
- Institute a five star CDS who is assisted in all operational and training matters by the three service chiefs. The CDS should be in rotation from the Army, the Navy and the Air Force.
- The IST Command should be directly under the CDS and should be based at Joint Operations Centre.
- In the JOC, there should be a Standing Committee constituting Component Commanders of the three services of Lt Gen or equivalent rank. They would be involved in formulating joint operational art from the integrated military strategy evolved by the CDS in consultation with the three service chiefs.
- The CDS should shed his service uniform after being promoted to the five star appointment.
- The JOC be electronically linked with all the operational commands of the three services. In addition, five Sector Commands be formed. HQ NC/WC/SWC be linked with HQ WAC/CAC to form Western Sector, HQ SC with HQ SWAC/SAC/CAC and HQ WNC/SNC/ENC to form Southern Sector and HQ EC with HQ EAC and HQ ENC to form the Eastern Sector besides HQ ANC. The Central Sector also be formed to tackle internal asymmetric threats.
- The transformation towards a unified structure should take place in a phased manner.
1. Information related to CISC and HQ IDS has been obtained from their website available on Google search.
2. Air Chief Marshal SP Tyagi, Indian Air Force in the evolving security environment, Air Power Journal Vol 2 No.4 Winter 2005, pg 6.
3. Dissertation by Col Vijay Singh(LDMC 35), Necessity of Integrated Theatre Commands in the Indian context.
5. Dr. Subhash Kapila, India’s Chief of Defence Staff: a perspective analysis, Paper No. 250.
6. Report on the Group of Ministers on National Security, Chapter II: Challenges to the management of national security.
8. William S Lind, The changing face of war: Into the fourth generation, Marine Corps Gazette October 1989 p 22-26.
9. Report on the Group of Ministers on National Security, Chapter II: Challenges to the management of national security.
10. Air Chief Marshal SP Tyagi, Indian Air Force in the evolving security environment, Air Power Journal Vol 2 No.4 Winter 2005, pg 4.
11. Dissertation by Col Vijay Singh(LDMC 35), Necessity of Integrated Theatre Commands in the Indian context.
12. Information about Indian operational commands obtained from Bharat Rakshak and www.defenceindia.com.
13. Definitions obtained from Wikipedia the free encyclopedia.
14. Chapter 2, 2-2 Unified Command (under Command and Control Special Operations), US Manual.
15. The information about the Australian Theatre and their command structure is obtained from X:\temp|treloar.doc, The Australian Theatre, Air Vice Marshal RB Treloar.
16. Was Operation Anaconda ill fated from the start? Army analyst blames Afghan battle failings on bad command set up, Washington Post.
17. John T Corell, Oct 1997 Vol.80 No. 10, The headwinds of Traditional Air Force Operations not in support of land forces are considered unjoint.
18. IAF Combat Fleet down by nine sqns, New Delhi, 19 Oct 2005 an internet news article.
19. RV Phadke, India’s Higher defence Control Organisation, Strategic Analysis : A Monthly Journal of the IDSA.
20. Capt Bharat Verma, “The Chief of Defence Staff”, article in IDR, Vol 20 (2).