WHAT ARE ROLE, POWERS OF CHIEF DEFENSE STAFF? (for IAS prelims)

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#” dual hatted role”

  • Chief of staff committee which has the 3 service chief as members.
  • Head of the newly created department of military affairs (DMA) in the ministry.

# DMA = Department of defense +

Department of defense production+

Department of defense research and development +

Department of ex-serviceman welfare

All of them headed by secretary, with the department of defense being nerve centre of ministry, looking after all issues pertaining to the armed forces, defense policy and procurement.

# Charter of duties of the DMA 

Tri-service military training institutions will fall under the DMA organization like IDSA and NOC whose remit is border than military matters will fall under the department of defense.

# Are the armed forces-the Army, the navy and Air force- not departments of the ministry?

No, the service headquarters and there by the armed forces, are attached offices in the ministry. They used to come under the ambit of DMA, and will have a appropriate mix civilian and military officers at every level.

         Attached offices are generally responsible for providing executive direction required in implementation of policies laid down by the department to which they are attached, in this case now the DMA. They also serve as a repository of technical information and the advice department on technical aspects of questions they deal with. They are carrying although the defense service.

 

# But won’t the CDS command the three service chief, and be the single point military adviser to the government?

No, neither, He will act as the principle military adviser to the defense minister only on tri-service matters. In fact, the 3 service chiefs will continue to advise the defense minister, as done so far, on matters exclusively concerning their respective services.

             The government has also made it explicitly clear that the CDS will not exercise any military command, including over the three service chiefs.

But the service chiefs will be members of the chiefs of staff committee, which will be headed by the CDS. And the DMA headed by CDS. Will also have the armed forces under its ambit-if promotions, postings and disciplinary matters of three services fall under the DMA, it will give the CDS extensive influence over the three service chiefs.

# Have the service chef lost any of their major, powers or tasks to the CDS 

Not really, none of the powers of the service chiefs, including of advising the government has been curtailed and the transferred to the CDS. The only things are the role of chairman of the chiefs of staff committee, which used to be headed by their senior- most chief by rotation. CDS will be supported by the headquarters integrated defense staff.

                               He will bring about joint ness in operations, logistics, transports, training, support services, communication and repairs and maintenances of 3 services which, will eventually lead to shedding of responsibilities by the service headquarters. As the head of the DMA the CDS has to also facilitate restructuring of military commands for optional utilization of resources by bringing about jointness in operations including through establishment of joint/theater commands. This is again a for reaching move, which will potentially impinge on the remit of the service chiefs.

# The CDS has the status of a cabinet secretary, but functionally will had a department headed by secretary. Also he will be under a ministry where the defense secretary is in charge of the ministry. Isn’t this a bit complicated?

Yes it is, but that is the nature of government functioning and his dual-hatted role will decide the different kind of powers, access and relationship that will be forged by the CDS. Norms of functioning and political guidance, more than hard – coded bureaucratic rules, will determine the functional efficiency and effectiveness of the CDS and it will be upon general Rawat to establish this as the first incumbent of the new office.

                 # Is CDS responsible for the defense of the country.

            No, as per the gazette notification issued by the government on Dec. the department of defense headed by the” defense secretary –will be responsible for the” defense of India and every part thereof, including defense policy and preparation for defense and all such acts as may be conductive in times of war to its prosecution and after its termination to effective demobilization.