Expert Panel To Fine Tune Military Theaterisation Plan After Stakeholders Differ On Key Issues
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Expert Panel To Fine Tune Military Theaterisation Plan After Stakeholders Differ On Key Issues

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New Delhi: An expert committee has been constituted for carrying forward consultations within the three Services, besides the home and finance ministries, to chart the way forward on Theaterisation of the military.

The committee, which comprises the Vice Chiefs of the three Services and the Chief of the Integrated Defence Staff to the Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee (CISC), comes after a high-level review meeting held last week showed that not all stakeholders are on board.

“A committee has been formed earlier this week which will speak to all stakeholders, including the home ministry and the finance ministry,” a source said.

A number of issues had come up for discussion at the review meet, with several different views on how the theatre should be structured and who the theatre commanders should report to.

Incidentally, the changes proposed could also entail extension of tenure of current officers who could become Theatre Commanders, which could affect the seniority of some officers.

While a timeline for the committee has not been fixed, sources said it will start work instantly and carry forward discussions.

Five Theatre Commands

The big dilemma facing the government and the armed forces is whether theatre commands, which call for a joint war strategy, should be country-specific or based on challenges.

The government had last week asked all relevant stakeholders to sit together and discuss the issues further so that all kinds of reservations or diverse thoughts are settled and everyone is on the same page.

As the secretary for the Department of Military Affairs, Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Bipin Rawat has been tasked with “facilitation of restructuring of military commands for optimal utilisation of resources by bringing about jointness in operations, including through establishment of joint/theatre commands”.

The plan is to roll out two theatres first — the Maritime Theatre Command and the Air Defence Command. In total, the current plan is to have five theatre commands.

The nearly 17-lakh strong Indian armed forces have 19 commands as of date. Of this, only two of them are tri-service commands — the Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC) and the Strategic Forces Command, which looks after nuclear assets.

The idea is to cut down these different service commands to five theatres and functional commands like logistics and training.

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