IAF chief disfavours appointment of CDS in present format

Last Updated: Wednesday, May 11, 2011 - 15:40

New Delhi: Air Chief Marshal P V Naik Wednesday
disfavoured the creation of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) "in the present format" and said it will only obstruct the system.

"I would like to emphasise and reiterate that IAF is all
for the formation of CDS, but we are against appointment of
CDS in the present format...The appointment in this format
will only create another obstruction to the system," Naik said

Addressing a seminar at the Centre for Land Warfare and
Studies (CLAWS), Naik said the IAF was against the proposal to
appoint a four-star or five-star serving officer as the CDS.

"A four-star or five-star (officer) is the head of
Integrated Defence Staff (IDS), make him CDS, no we don`t want
that...In my opinion, the CDS has to be the single point
military adviser to the Raksha Mantri and he needs to have
wherewithal to execute his duties," he said.

Defending the existing model where each service has
individual line of communication with the Defence Ministry,
the IAF chief said, "Our existing system without a CDS has
worked well in last 40-50 years. We had four wars in 1947,
1969, 1971 and Kargil, without any major glitches."

He further contested the impression that formation of
CDS could be the most important reform in defence management.

"Lots of people think that by withholding the
appointment of CDS, the government has actually weakened the
pace and quality of military reforms," he said.

Discussing the CDS model adopted by various countries,
Naik said, "Various countries have various models. In United
States, the Joint Chief of Staff controls the operations; in
Australia, the CDS and the defence secretary are parallel and
report to their equivalent of the Defence Minister. Which
model do we want to adopt?"

Expressing the need to have a debate on the issue he
said, "We have to study, think, discuss and may have to
generate a national debate, invite the civil society and
intelligentsia and evolve a model of CDS we want. Because once
we select a model, we should be strong enough to follow it."

Calling CDS a "foreign" concept, Naik said, "In my
opinion the strengthening of Chiefs of Staff Committee should
be the first step in this model. Setting up new structures
will not make the system more efficient or effective."

He further stressed the need to have national security
doctrine and a white paper on defence.


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First Published: Wednesday, May 11, 2011 - 15:40

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