IAF chief disfavours appointment of CDS in present format

IAF chief disfavours appointment of CDS in present format

"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 here.

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.