CHANDIGARH: Experts feel the post of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) is the need of the hour as it is necessary to have a professional body of the highest standing to facilitate 'jointmanship' and render single-point military advice to the government on matters of national security.
A panel discussion on the topic "Creation of the post of Chief of Defence Staff" was held on the third and concluding day of Military Literature Festival, here today.
The panel discussion was moderated by Lt Gen (Retd) Aditya Singh and other panellists included Air Marshal (Retd) Manmohan Bahadur, former defence secretary Shekhar Dutt, advisor to British High Commission New Delhi Brig Gavin Thompson and Lt Gen (Retd) Sanjeev Langer.
During the discussion, all of the panellists welcomed the government's decision and added that the creation of the CDS post was also recommended in the year 2001 by the Group of Ministers after the 1999 Kargil War.
Moderator Lt Gen (Retd) Aditya Singh said that the post of CDS is aimed at ensuring better coordination between the three services, the Indian Army, the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force.
He further said the CDS will act as the single-point advisor to the Government of India.
The officer concerned will be in a position to advise on matters related to all the three services, Army, Navy and Air Force, thus integrating India's armed forces.
The Chief of Defence Staff will be a 'first among equals', a fourth four-star officer who will be senior to the three other service chiefs.
Former defence secretary Shekhar Dutt stressed the post of CDS has been created as it is necessary to have a professional body of the highest standing to facilitate 'jointmanship' and render single-point military advice to the government on matters of national security.
He said that this post has been created by keeping in mind the present-day needs and the first CDS would be appointed a few days from now.
Advisor to British High Commission New Delhi Brig Gavin Thompson citing that the UK has been following this system for several years, a central decision-making body like the CDS is the need of the hour.
Lt Gen (Retd) Sanjeev Langer gave a presentation and compared the models of command of armed forces in the USA, China, France etc with that of CDS in India.
He said that uniformed men from the armed forces should be deputed permanently in the Ministry of Defence, and the CDS would play in fostering inter-services jointness in terms of budgeting, equipment purchases, training, joint doctrines and planning of military operations, an imperative of modern warfare.
Air Marshal (Retd) Manmohan Bahadur stressed on the formation of a separate defence cadre in the country, whose officers should be deputed only in organisations related to national security.
He also said that the CDS should be made a permanent member of all committees related to the strategic policy group, nuclear command authority etc and should be made a part of all the inter-ministerial discussions that are related to matters of national security.
At present, a bureaucrat heading the Defence Ministry formulates the operational plans for warfighting and Chiefs of Staff to execute it. With the creation of post of CDS, it could be rectified now.