Govt considers creating high-rank military adviser to Cabinet

Almost 15 years after the Kargil conflict, the Defence Ministry has finally sought the opinion of the National Security Council on the creation of a dedicated high-ranking military adviser for the Cabinet as the proposal has got the nod of all the three service chiefs.

The Chief of Staff Committee (COSC) comprising Army Chief Gen Bikram Singh, Navy Chief Admiral D K Joshi and Air Force Chief Marshal N A K Browne favoured creation of a permanent COSC chairman with fixed tenure and administrative powers. He will not only advise the government on security matters but also facilitate communication among the three services.

“Favourable comments from the Chief of Staff Committee have been forwarded to the NSC headed by the National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon. The matter is still under the consideration of the government,” said a Defence Ministry official.

The Chief of Staff Committee, headed by Browne at the moment, resolved its internal differences on the permanent chairman of the COSC and unanimously recommended it. The Defence Ministry, which earlier had reservation on the proposal, wanted NSA’s opinion. Besides keeping the three services connected, a permanent chairman of the COSC will also play a crucial role in operationalising the proposed unified commands to look after aerospace, special forces and cyber security.

With warfare getting asymmetrical, the three new commands are likely to uplift Indian military on a par with other leading militaries of the world. “The new commands, too, are being considered by the government,” the official said.

Currently, there are three unified commands – the Andaman and Nicobar Command, the Strategic Forces Command that controls nuclear arsenal and the Integrated Defence Staff.

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