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Armed forces feel left out of national security decision
By IANS | Bharat Defence Kavach | Publish Date: 11/3/2011 12:00:00 AM
Armed forces feel left out of national security decision

New Delhi : India s armed forces feel left out of the country s national security decision-making process and have now demanded a greater role for themselves considering their domain knowledge.

This has been conveyed by the three services chiefs to a government-constituted Task Force on National Security under former cabinet secretary Naresh Chandra, according to sources here.

In particular, it was former Indian Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik who in service told the Task Force, in his capacity as the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff committee, that the armed forces did not feel part of the decision-making process.

Writing to Naresh Chandra, Naik had, in fact, pointed out that the three services had been reduced to mere proposer of plans to the defence ministry, while discussion on the plans was done among the bureaucrats and only decisions were intimated to them for a comment or input. Finally, though, the armed forces inputs never reached the defence minister and the country s political leadership and the approved plans do not reflect their views, he is reported to have said.

To offset this gap, the three services chiefs are believed to have suggested to the Task Force that three separate departments be created in the defence ministry for the army, navy and air force for better clarity of issues and understanding of military matters.

These departments would be over and above the four existing departments of defence, defence production, defence finance and ex-servicemen welfare. The armed forces chiefs have also asked that certain directorates and divisions such as the one on international military cooperation must have officers from the three services driving them.

Under the present establishment and government rules, the defence of India is the responsibility of the country s defence secretary and not the armed forces. The services want the present system to change, and favoured creation of the five-star position of chief of defence staff only after the role of the office was defined clearly.

This, they felt, would help in expediting armed forces proposals and plans -- critical for defence of the country and for acquiring strategic reach and capabilities -- that otherwise get caught in red tape.

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Armed forces feel left out of national security decision

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