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Coordinated independence

Coordinated independence

Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) is a proposed position for the combined chief of the Indian defense forces that was first officially suggested in 1999 after the Kargil War through the recommendations of the Kargil Review Committee. Although the idea of creation of such a post goes back to the times of Lord Mountbatten, General K. V. Krishna Rao advanced creation of the post of CDS in June 1982. Finally, Group of Ministers after Kargil Review officially proposed the creation of the post of CDS in 2001. Seeking to realise this long-talked-about position in India, the official call for this was made public by Prime Minister Modi from the ramparts of Red Fort during his Independence Day speech on 15 August, 2019. Subsequently, a committee under the National Security Advisor, consisting of the Cabinet Secretary, the Defence Secretary and the Chairman of the Chief of Staff Committee among others, is to make final the powers of the CDS. Considering that a CDS will be a critical position in the present times of hybrid warfare, efforts to increase coordinated performance and tri-service effectiveness will enhance the overall combat capabilities of India. India happens to be the only large democracy that does not have a single point military advisor. As the government proceeds with finalising details in this direction, appointment is likely to be by early December. Sources inform that the government has sought the names of commander-in-chief-rank officers from the three services for finalising the appointee. An implementation committee under Ajit Doval has held meetings to decide on the structure and responsibilities of the CDS. The sources in defence ministry said the government functionaries wanted an army officer to be in the position. The India armed forces have been institutions of awe-inspiring professionalism and ethics that have managed to remain keep itself from the shadow of politics. Functioning independently and yet sometimes beyond its fullest potential, has been the hallmark of India's defense forces. One question that, however, remains is that if such a political insertion necessary for a defense system that has won wars and has the heritage of remarkable leadership?

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