Now, a chief of chiefs?
A Parliamentary panel has raised doubts over efficiency of the existing military set-up headed by Chiefs of Staff Committee’s (COSC) chairman — the senior most military commander of the country.
The Standing Committee on Defence is unsure if the system is good enough to ensure quick and coordinated response in an emergency considering that the COSC chairman has no command and control authority over the services other than his own. The panel has asked the government to empower the COSC chairman for effective command and control of the military’s resources.
Appearing before the panel, former service chief General V.N. Sharma said the COSC chairman was only a “figurehead chairman with no command resources”.
The panel also found “the degree of jointness among the three services was far from satisfactory”. The panel recommended the creation of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), who would act as a single-point military advisor to the government. In its report tabled in Parliament, the panel said, “The key to success in modern day warfare is the ability of different wings to integrate their efforts under a single command without any loss of time…” The proposal to appoint a CDS has been in a limbo for eight years now.