India Intelligence Report

   Political Consensus on CDS Role



  • Chief Defense Staff position to coordinate all services and recommended by Kargil review Group of Ministers

  • Some disagreements among services on position

  • Commies seen opposing position

Defense minister Pranab Mukherjee is planning to implement a decision by the Kargil Oversight Committee, which investigated the Kargil War, to create Chief of Defense Staff (CDS) as a single-point military adviser to the government restructuring higher defense hierarchies. However, the communist allies of the Federal Government have "sought clarifications" on roles and responsibilities of this new office. Usually, this is political speak for objecting to a proposal.

A Group of Ministers (GoM) in the former National Democratic Alliance (NDA) Government recommended the creation of a CDS after reviewing the recommendations of the KOC. However, for whatever reasons, the NDA did not implement this recommendation and even after 6 years, there seems to be no consensus on the issue. Even within the services, the Navy is for such a post, the Air Force against, and the Army is sitting on the wall.

Politically, there is fear that this position may dilute the powers of the Defense Minister.



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