CDS, Tri-Services Issues & Integration Debate

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Re: CDS, Tri-Services Issues & Integration Debate

Postby dinesha » 17 Dec 2016 22:22

Does not look like India is getting a CDS anytime soon. Congress has already questioning the BJP for not following the seniority protocol..

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Re: CDS, Tri-Services Issues & Integration Debate

Postby ShauryaT » 17 Dec 2016 22:25

dinesha wrote:Does not look like India is getting a CDS anytime soon. Congress has already questioning the BJP for not following the seniority protocol..
Another way of saying, who cares who becomes the army chief. The INC has been sleeping at the wheels for long. This government was voted in to change precisely that and act!!

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Re: CDS, Tri-Services Issues & Integration Debate

Postby Rakesh » 17 Dec 2016 23:15

Exactly! Someone needs to remind the INC (after all they suffer from Retrograde Amnesia) that it was the Gandhi Govt who superseded Air Marshal M M Singh for Air Marshal S K Mehra in the 80s. Please refer to the article from the second last post (of this thread) on page 3.

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Re: CDS, Tri-Services Issues & Integration Debate

Postby Rakesh » 17 Dec 2016 23:33

In fact the INC most recently superseded Vice Admiral Shekhar Sinha (when Admiral D K Joshi resigned) in favour of Admiral R K Dhowan. Now they have the gall to accuse the BJP for not following seniority protocol. What nonsense!

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Re: CDS, Tri-Services Issues & Integration Debate

Postby putnanja » 18 Dec 2016 08:22

Gen Hasnain had earlier given glowing reports of Lt Gen Bakshi. I agree that the GoI has full rights to appoint the COAS. However, if Gen Bakshi is a good and competent leader, wonder if it makes sense to supersede him.

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Re: CDS, Tri-Services Issues & Integration Debate

Postby ManuJ » 18 Dec 2016 08:59

putnanja wrote:Gen Hasnain had earlier given glowing reports of Lt Gen Bakshi. I agree that the GoI has full rights to appoint the COAS. However, if Gen Bakshi is a good and competent leader, wonder if it makes sense to supersede him.

Unless Gen Bakshi has been identified as the first CDS...

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Re: CDS, Tri-Services Issues & Integration Debate

Postby Kakkaji » 18 Dec 2016 10:28

The reason why Gen Rawat was selected CoAS, according to The Hindu:

Lt Gen Rawat to be next army chief, Air Marshal Dhanoa to head IAF

Defence Ministry sources said the focus was on suitability and merit for the selection of the new Army chief.

They said that Lt Gen Bakshi, an Armoured corps officer, spent most of his career in Jodhpur and had two postings in Kashmir but the positions he was in were not considered field posting.

The sources added that Lt Gen Hariz had no experience in operational areas in terms of counter insurgency or seeing action along the LoC.


Maybe the Govt will appoint either Gen Dalbir Singh or ACM Anup Raha as CDS before they retire on December 31st?

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Re: CDS, Tri-Services Issues & Integration Debate

Postby Marten » 18 Dec 2016 11:07

This is looking to be another case of inter unit rivalry. For the next n COAS, only infantry will be eligible. After which armoured and mech infantry or artillery etc get an opportunity. Disappointing if this is how RM chose. How can blame folks like Vij or Kapoor when this is happening now. I would still think CDS is the reason.

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Re: CDS, Tri-Services Issues & Integration Debate

Postby prahaar » 18 Dec 2016 13:04

Martenji the newspaper reasons seem to be khayali pulav. An Eastern Army commander lacking operational experience is a laughable argument. Infantry has always had an advantage in the top job, nothing specific to Manohar Parrikar.

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Re: CDS, Tri-Services Issues & Integration Debate

Postby partha » 18 Dec 2016 13:17

There was a report recently about Govt asking arms manufacturing companies to ramp up production of ammunitions and be ready to supply them on short notice. It seems like Govt is preparing for war along LoC. Maybe that's one reason for appointing Gen Rawat with Op experience as army chief.

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Re: CDS, Tri-Services Issues & Integration Debate

Postby skaranam » 18 Dec 2016 16:22

Kakkaji wrote:The reason why Gen Rawat was selected CoAS, according to The Hindu:

Lt Gen Rawat to be next army chief, Air Marshal Dhanoa to head IAF

Defence Ministry sources said the focus was on suitability and merit for the selection of the new Army chief.

They said that Lt Gen Bakshi, an Armoured corps officer, spent most of his career in Jodhpur and had two postings in Kashmir but the positions he was in were not considered field posting.

The sources added that Lt Gen Hariz had no experience in operational areas in terms of counter insurgency or seeing action along the LoC.


Maybe the Govt will appoint either Gen Dalbir Singh or ACM Anup Raha as CDS before they retire on December 31st?


Speculative alert - ON
When Gen VK Singh lost the battle of date of birth, there was a new line of succession. Had Gen VK Singh continued, the line of succession would have been different. With this superseding, has the line of succession restored?
Speculative alert - OFF

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Re: CDS, Tri-Services Issues & Integration Debate

Postby Yagnasri » 18 Dec 2016 16:41

The line of succession may have been a drama. I am mango man here but is there no scope for performance based promotions in armed forces? My understanding was it is there. If that is there then how can anyone predict the performance of a person years in advance and make a "plan of succession"?

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Re: CDS, Tri-Services Issues & Integration Debate

Postby dinesha » 18 Dec 2016 18:25

Lt Gen Praveen Bakshi may take over as chief of defence staff
http://www.livemint.com/Politics/eWx00H ... -staf.html
New Delhi: Lt Gen Praveen Bakshi, the senior-most Army officer in terms of service, may take over as the country’s first chief of defence staff (CDS) in the coming weeks.

Bakshi, along with Lt Gen P.M. Hariz was superseded when the government named Lt Gen Bipin Rawat as the next Army chief on Saturday.

The CDS, first proposed after the 1999 Kargil War, will function as the sole point of reference for the defence minister in matters of warfare and nuclear issues.

“Lt General Bakshi was not appointed as the new Army chief because he will likely be appointed as the next Joint Chief of Staff of the defence forces. The CDS has to be from the Army and the senior most person in service, by rotation,” a member of the national security council, the agency tasked with advising the prime minister’s office on matters of national security and strategic interest, said on condition of anonymity.

Also Read: Lt Gen Bipin Rawat named new army chief; Air Marshal B.S. Dhanoa to head IAF

A defence ministry spokesperson declined to comment.

Defence experts said that once the cabinet committee on security approves the appointment, Bakshi will take over as CDS – possibly within the next 10 days.

“The appointment of CDS is separate from the appointment of the service chiefs. It has to be approved by the cabinet committee on security. Bakshi is still the senior most in the Army and his appointment may be cleared within the next 10 days, before Gen Dalbir Singh retires on 31 December,” said Brig (retd) Gurmeet Kanwal, an expert with the Institute of Defence Studies and Analysis (IDSA).

However, Kanwal warned that such selections may lead to politicisation of the armed forces.

“This kind of appointment could well lead to a situation where the chief of staff has to cosy up to members of the polity. If the appointment is done according to seniority, then there is no risk of politicisation. However, it is the government’s prerogative on whom they appoint as the chief of staff,” he added.

Defence minister Manohar Parrikar has reportedly been in favour of appointing a CDS, who will be a single-point military adviser to the government on matters of military and nuclear issues, although the Navy and the Air Force were said to be in disagreement on the matter.

While defence ministry officials did not comment on the selection of CDS, they said Rawat was a fit candidate to take over as the new Army chief, despite noises from the opposition claiming that “favouritism” had been exercised in the appointment. The last time the senior-most officer of the Army was superseded for the appointment was in 1983, when General A.S. Vaidya took over instead of the then senior-most officer Lt Gen S.K. Sinha.

“All three officers have an exemplary service record. However, given the challenges that we face, Rawat is a suitable candidate for the post. He has great experience in counter-insurgency operations, has served in combat areas and other levels of the military,” said a senior defence ministry official, requesting anonymity.

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Re: CDS, Tri-Services Issues & Integration Debate

Postby Rakesh » 18 Dec 2016 19:19

^ How is that going to fly when Admiral Lanba is senior to him?

Added Later: I am at fault. Sorry. Lt Gen Bakshi is indeed senior (xx Dec 1977 commission) while Admiral Lanba is junior (01 Jan 1978 commission).

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Re: CDS, Tri-Services Issues & Integration Debate

Postby Rakesh » 18 Dec 2016 21:10

New top guns: A look at the next army, air force and spy chiefs
http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/new-top-guns-a-look-at-the-next-army-air-force-and-spy-chiefs/story-7qDILWA3pFvWrNsC3gZYxH.html

A TOUGH FIGHTER
• Lt Gen Bipin Rawat joined the Indian Army in Dec 1978
• He was commissioned into 5/11 Gorkha Rifles
• He is second consecutive chief from the Gorkha Rifles
• General Rawat’s father was also a lieutenant general
• Rawat was commanding the Pune-based Southern Command before he was appointed army vice-chief
• Rawat miraculously survived a chopper accident when he was commander the Dimapur-based Headquarters 3 Corps
• He headed the Indian brigade during the UN peacekeeping operation in Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2008
• The general is credited with providing dynamic leadership under the UN banner
• Indian peacekeepers switched approach under his command

AN ACTION-PACKED CAREER
• Air Marshal BS Dhanoa joined the IAF as a fighter pilot in June 1978
• His father, SS Dhanoa, was the chief secretary of Punjab
• Dhanoa saw action during the Kargil war and was awarded Yudh Seva Medal
• He is currently the IAF’S vice-chief and before that was heading the South-Western Air Command
• He will be the third Sikh to head the IAF after distinguished military leaders Arjan Singh and Dilbag Singh

A SEASONED HAND
• Rajiv Jain, a 1980-batch officer, joined the IB in 1989 as assistant director
• Jharkhand-cadre officer Jain, is the senior-most special director with the IB
• He is the domestic intelligence wing’s pointsman for other agencies in the government’s demonetisation exercise
• Jain handled assignments as chief of Subsidiary Intelligence Bureau (SIB)
• Headed the Ahmedabad SIB between 2005 and 2008, and later in Delhi from 2008 to 2012
• Jain, who is at present serving as the Special Director in the IB, will take over on January 1 after the incumbent Dineshwar Sharma completes his two-year tenure on December 31
• He was advisor to the previous NDA government’s interlocutor on Kashmir K C Pant when talks were held with separatist leaders like Shabbir Shah

AN EXPERT ON PAKISTAN
• Anil Kumar Dhasmana joined the R&AW in 1993
• He is known to be a Pakistan expert
• Dhasmana is a 1981-batch IPS officer

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Re: CDS, Tri-Services Issues & Integration Debate

Postby Rishi Verma » 19 Dec 2016 04:06

I see a qualitative drop in leadership ranks of IN. First they don't look TFTA, second after retirement they seem to disappear and hardly ever speak or write on strategic issues, geo-political issues, third, none seem to take strong and out-of-the box decisions in liu of accidents plaguing the navy ships and subs. It seems during peace-time IN has grown lax.

I wish some retired navy chief, like Gen. GD Bakshi of army, would show up gungo-ho on TV and tell the nation with confidence what the navy can do, what it ought to do, just seems like a soft and cushy service for officers compared with the other two.

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Re: CDS, Tri-Services Issues & Integration Debate

Postby Rakesh » 19 Dec 2016 05:50

Rishi: To state that during peace-time the IN has grown lax illustrates a detachment from reality.

Firstly, as you know the submarine arm (of any Navy) is known as the silent service. I can extend that to all of the Indian Navy. It is not the IN that has grown lax, but rather successive governments who been lax in providing the requisite funds to keep the navy fighting fit. That is not the navy's fault.

Secondly, since when did looking TFTA become a requirement for the armed forces? I hope you realise - in virtually every instance - TFTA is used in a sarcastic tone on BRF. Looking TFTA do not win wars. Pakistan is clear proof of that.

Thirdly, you are looking for out of the box decisions? What out of the box decision can a senior Naval officer take before a Babu shoots him down?

Fourth Point --> a silent service does not advertise what it does. It defeats the whole point of being silent. If it was not for the navy, you can kiss goodbye to the security of India's trade of which virtually most is done through the sea. It is commendable what the IN does with the little it has. You are probably quite unawares of the IN's role during Kargil and how they successfully blockaded vital supplies to Pakistan. That was a nail in the coffin for their eventual capitulation.

Fifth Point --> the Navy is anything but a soft and cushy service. I can explain that in two ways;

1) Humour - This is an old IN joke. A retired sailor and a retired soldier meet at a military reunion. They begin to reminisce about their younger years, when the retired soldier states that he survived bullets flying past him, jumping from a helicopter into a fire, got his chest ripped open by enemy fire, etc, etc, etc. The retired soldier goes on like this for a while. Finally the retired sailor speaks and says, "Ah, so you had all shore duty eh?" :)

2) The MARCOS (Marine Commandos) is anything but a soft and cushy service. Ask the men who operate on Lake Wular in Kashmir. There is a reason why the Pigs call them them the Dadiwala Fauj (Bearded Army). The IN's submarine arm is anything but soft and cushy. Ask the men who formed the doctrine and SOPs on the Foxtrot Class submarines. In fact 2017 will be the IN's 50th (golden jubilee) of submarine operations -- INS Kalvari joined in 1967. Look up youtube videos (type "Kilo Class, Jai Jawan" in the youtube search bar) on life aboard Sindhugosh Class boats. If you think that is soft and cushy, I salute you! Life aboard surface combatants ain't that rosy either. The IN is a HARD taskmaster and rightfully so.

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Re: CDS, Tri-Services Issues & Integration Debate

Postby Rakesh » 19 Dec 2016 06:03

And Rishi....Don't judge the recent accidents that the Navy has had - and I will admit there have been many, but each is unique (I can explain in detail) - and malign an entire service. That's nonsense!

I will not question Gen Bakshi patriotism or the years he spent in service of the nation, but he screams too much on Arnab's show. I can barely understand a word he is saying.

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Re: CDS, Tri-Services Issues & Integration Debate

Postby ShauryaT » 19 Dec 2016 09:50

To add to Rakesh: Retd. CNS/CoSC Admiral Arun Prakash is an example of one of the finest thought leaders we have. In fact, there is NO other ex chief who has articulated on the nuclear doctrine the way he has. Ex CNS Bhagwat, Joshi they do articulate their view points often. I know a few other Vice/Rear Admirals, who are extremely knowledgable and are out there and just because they may not be on TV, does not mean they are soft and do not mean business.

Rishi Verma: You seem to be new here, hang around much to learn on this board.

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Re: CDS, Tri-Services Issues & Integration Debate

Postby shiv » 19 Dec 2016 10:08

Rishi Verma wrote:I see a qualitative drop in leadership ranks of IN. First they don't look TFTA, second after retirement they seem to disappear and hardly ever speak or write on strategic issues, geo-political issues, third, none seem to take strong and out-of-the box decisions in liu of accidents plaguing the navy ships and subs. It seems during peace-time IN has grown lax.

I wish some retired navy chief, like Gen. GD Bakshi of army, would show up gungo-ho on TV and tell the nation with confidence what the navy can do, what it ought to do, just seems like a soft and cushy service for officers compared with the other two.

What the mind does not know, the eye will not see.

You cannot be further off from reality. And this is the most kind sentence I can write

What the IN is seeing is the throes of rapid expansion of what used to be the smallest and least funded service getting to a global role. They have planned for the future for decades and some of the finest commentators on Strat affairs whom you clearly have never heard about are from the Navy and that includes Raja Menon and Arun Prakash. Since one was a well known face on TV and the other in the print media - I doubt if you have been following either.

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Re: CDS, Tri-Services Issues & Integration Debate

Postby Rishi Verma » 19 Dec 2016 10:24

shiv wrote:
Rishi Verma wrote:I see a qualitative drop in leadership ranks of IN. First they don't look TFTA

What the mind does not know, the eye will not see.

You cannot be further off from reality. And this is the most kind sentence I can write


Hope you are right, I was only writing of my perception without any data.

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Re: CDS, Tri-Services Issues & Integration Debate

Postby shiv » 19 Dec 2016 10:40

Rishi Verma wrote:
shiv wrote:What the mind does not know, the eye will not see.

You cannot be further off from reality. And this is the most kind sentence I can write


Hope you are right, I was only writing of my perception without any data.

I am absolutely certain I am right, having been looking at the data. I wonder if the China Mil thread has affected your perceptions

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Re: CDS, Tri-Services Issues & Integration Debate

Postby Aditya G » 19 Dec 2016 11:27

IN is considered as most strategic and forward looking of all services thanks to;

- focus on make in India long before it was a thing

- building of capabilities in all spheres with limited budget.

- ability to execute national missions far from.shore

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Re: CDS, Tri-Services Issues & Integration Debate

Postby rkhanna » 19 Dec 2016 14:58

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-new ... L1u8M.html

Rawat reworked the velvet-glove strategy to an iron fist within a month of his arrival, frequently authorising the use of attack helicopters to strafe positions held by rebel groups responsible for civilian deaths, recruiting child soldiers and displacing millions of people.

As the Congo’s internal conflict raged, he ordered the deployment of infantry combat vehicles rigged with machine guns and cannons to crush rebels and enforce peace in flashpoints such as Tonga, Kanyabayonga, Rutshuru and Bunagana.

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Re: CDS, Tri-Services Issues & Integration Debate

Postby sum » 19 Dec 2016 15:52

^^ Should be fun times for TSP in coming days with "iron fist" political and Army top brass in sync

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Re: CDS, Tri-Services Issues & Integration Debate

Postby ShauryaT » 19 Dec 2016 23:59

Bharat Karnad below articulates another choice based on how he sees it but the below caught my attention on what a mess the seniority argument has become, with consequences far beyond the command level positions.

The question, however, is if the Modi government was determined on discarding the seniority principle as a means of making the selection process less predictable and those in the running less timid because too afraid to make mistakes and risk losing out, was Rawat the best choice? I recall being told of an IAF chief who, owing to his date of birth and date of service entry knew as a Squadron Leader he would occupy the top post and took care, during the rest of his career, never to make any tough decisions, and it paid off.

COAS appointment — a multi-benefit opportunity missed

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Re: CDS, Tri-Services Issues & Integration Debate

Postby srin » 20 Dec 2016 07:03

ShauryaT wrote:Bharat Karnad below articulates another choice based on how he sees it but the below caught my attention on what a mess the seniority argument has become, with consequences far beyond the command level positions.

The question, however, is if the Modi government was determined on discarding the seniority principle as a means of making the selection process less predictable and those in the running less timid because too afraid to make mistakes and risk losing out, was Rawat the best choice? I recall being told of an IAF chief who, owing to his date of birth and date of service entry knew as a Squadron Leader he would occupy the top post and took care, during the rest of his career, never to make any tough decisions, and it paid off.

COAS appointment — a multi-benefit opportunity missed


I thought he was making sense till I came to this part ...
But if Modi had really wanted to make a political-military splash, Hariz would have been a better choice. Why? The very fact of selecting Hariz would have completely and instantly won over the Indian Muslims — the section of Indian society most resistant to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s political charms and which, because of the post-Godhra riots in Gujarat, is most distrustful of Modi. The first impact of Hariz’s selection would have been the demolishing of the opposition parties in the upcoming UP state elections. Minus the Muslim vote bloc, the Congress, the Samajwadi Party of Mulayam Singh-Akhilesh Singh — Yadav pater and fils, and the Bahujan Samaj Party of Mayawati, would all have been politically disemboweled, which effect would have endured into 2019 and the general elections. It is the sort of action that would have spoken stronger than a thousand election rallies, and decisively reordered the political firmament.

Hariz as Indian Army chief would also have had a sobering effect on the Pakistan Army. I argued long ago that Pakistan would have most to fear an Indian Muslim officer’s elevation to COAS, whenever that happens. He will be more motivated to showcase his patriotism and take no nonsense in particular from Pakistan.


Excuse me while I go throw up ...

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Re: CDS, Tri-Services Issues & Integration Debate

Postby Guddu » 20 Dec 2016 07:15

So he is politicizing the COAS selection....and he is one one of the leading strategic thinkers ?

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Re: CDS, Tri-Services Issues & Integration Debate

Postby Manish_Sharma » 20 Dec 2016 07:17

srin wrote:
I thought he was making sense till I came to this part ...
But if Modi had really wanted to make a political-military splash, Hariz would have been a better choice. Why? The very fact of selecting Hariz would have completely and instantly won over the Indian Muslims — the section of Indian society most resistant to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s political charms and which, because of the post-Godhra riots in Gujarat, is most distrustful of Modi. The first impact of Hariz’s selection would have been the demolishing of the opposition parties in the upcoming UP state elections....


Excuse me while I go throw up ...


I have dislike karnad ever since he wanted Prithvis removed from porki border as cbm.

Now did appointing vatican man, a christian one as replacement to amartya sen win any accolades for BJP?

If Sh. Christopher was fired and Dr. Avinash Chander was promotoed then everyone would have make a hue and cry about minority man distrusted-not given extension. Did it win any hearts from sickular-christo cabal for BJP, that they fired Hindu Avinash and promoted christian Christopher? No the facts like these are just ignored....

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Re: CDS, Tri-Services Issues & Integration Debate

Postby shiv » 20 Dec 2016 07:19

srin wrote: The very fact of selecting Hariz would have completely and instantly won over the Indian Muslims

Excuse me while I go throw up ...

:rotfl:

Over the years I have begun to develop increasing disdain for Karnad's views. He is a sophisticated pretender who fills in gaps in his knowledge with bluffs. Long ago I had pointed out how he bluffed his way out of a technical question I asked in a talk he gave. The statement above is not just "communal" - it reveals utter ignorance of Muslim society in India - imagining that they are all united behind Muslims only and that any random Muslim picked by a Hindu group would automatically become their role model. This is not scholarship. It is ignorant rhetoric

In fact a statement like this is a political one - a signal to Muslims "Please rise up in protest for Muslims have been wronged by not picking a Muslim"

Thanks for posting that gem srin. I would not have read the article because I think his views are not worth the waste of my time

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Re: CDS, Tri-Services Issues & Integration Debate

Postby wig » 21 Dec 2016 10:16

http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/commen ... 39438.html

Handle with care - Keep politics out of Army Chief’s appointment by Lt Gen Vijay Oberoi (Retd)
FOR the uninitiated, langar gups are rumours in the Army that emanate from messes, where uniformed persons gather and discuss issues pertaining to the military in general and the Army in particular. Although langar refers to jawans’ messes, the term generally refers to discussions where officers and jawans congregate and ‘shoot the breeze’!
For over a month, when the appointment of the new Army Chief was not announced, speculations evolved into langar gups, with all kinds of permutations and combinations emerging. Many claimed inside knowledge about who will be the next Chief and the rank and file, besides being perturbed as to why the announcement was not forthcoming, rightly smelt that the powers that be were up to some hanky-panky! The startling news about the appointment of the next Chief confirmed it.
Generally, appointments of new incumbents at the higher levels of the armed forces are announced two-three months in advance. This is because unlike hierarchies of the police, bureaucracy and others, the armed forces, being the custodians of the nation’s security, are much more important appointments and need to be announced much before time. If this is not done, not only the contenders remain on tenterhooks, but also wrong signals are sent across the board that ‘all is not well’. In the last few months unfortunately, even the Headquarters Command remained headless over months and hence it was clear to the discerning that the politico-bureaucratic combine was up to something. The announcements of the new Army and Air Chiefs at such a late stage have confirmed such misgivings.
In countries like Pakistan, where elected representatives are mortally scared of the powerful army that can manoeuvre a military takeover in a jiffy, it is standard for the elected elite to weigh all consequences till nearly the last date, but in democracies such things do not, and must not, happen. Therefore, the only conclusion is that the leaders and their advisers are up to no good.
Announcing that Lt Gen Bipin Rawat will be the next Chief, superceding two Generals senior to him, smacks of arrogance and stupidity on the part of the government. Lame excuses of operational experience or lack of it does not cut ice with veterans like me who are experienced and are au fait with the tricks of governments. Officers are posted to appointments in accordance with well laid out systems based on their profiles, and no one opts for so-called operational appointments or otherwise. It is all the luck of the draw and when officers become Army Commanders, they all are professionally the best, otherwise they would not have reached such exalted heights.
In my view, it is more important to have a full tenure as an Army Commander and not a truncated one of a few months to command the third largest Army in the world. Commanding at various levels up the chain adds to one’s experience as a professional, but it will be naïve to place experience of commanding an Army lower than commanding units and formations at subordinate levels, whether in counterinsurgency operations, on the borders, or elsewhere.
It is, no doubt, the prerogative of the government of the day to appoint whoever they consider meets their criteria, but governments usually think many times before grossly interfering with what has generally been happening in the past. Trotting out excuses, justifying their actions and scotching perceptions with lame excuses, tend to reinforce that there was some skullduggery indeed. Yes, even in the past there have been a few instances where the seniority principle was sacrificed, but they were quite unconvincing.
The easing out of General Thorat by the then combine of the Prime Minster and the Defence Minister and appointing General Thapar instead, was a case of sacrificing merit and professionalism at the altar of sycophancy that resulted in the biggest debacle for our country in 1962. The excuses now trotted out were uttered earlier too, when the highly professional and greatly admired the late Gen SK Sinha was passed over, ostensibly for lack of operational experience, when the actual reason was that he was opposed to military action against Punjab militants; what followed is well known. In keeping with the credo of an officer and a gentleman, he resigned. Later, the same General (with less operational experience, as the government had averred) was appointed Governor in two insurgency-infested states, which he managed with aplomb! Even earlier, the highly professional, highly decorated and a soldier’s General — PS Bhagat — was denied his rightful appointment based on whims and ulterior motives by another PM. In each of these cases, the political leadership succumbed to manipulators, mostly bureaucrats, sycophants and parochial advisers.
At this stage, I need to narrate a discussion held on the sidelines of a seminar at the College of Defence Management, Secunderabad, many years back. Military intellectuals Gen Raghavan and Air Vice Marshal Kak and I discussed the pros and cons of selecting a service chief on the basis of seniority, as was the norm, vis-à-vis an open-ended selection. We came to the conclusion that there were more negatives in the latter, as chances of selection based on political, sycophantic and non-professional reasons may become predominant in due course, with professional and character qualities being sacrificed on account of extraneous issues. With such precedence, even appointments of the Army and Corps Commanders may meet such a fate later.
I have no quarrel with the Chief-designate, as I hardly know him, but it is the principle that is of utmost importance. Institutions like the Army are far too important to be fiddled with because of political or other considerations. We are fortunate that we have an apolitical and a competent Army, which will continue to conduct itself with élan and pride irrespective of who leads it. We have had a gamut of average leaders, along with a few highly superior ones, but the Army has weathered all storms.
If the present PM continues with his dictatorial ways, like the first PM of Independent India did, without consulting advisers who would give him unbiased advice, the nation is in big trouble. Rhetorics with modulated utterances may go down well with ignorant masses, but they are no substitute for good governance. It is only Modi bhagats, including the few still in the armed forces with their personal agendas, are quoted by the sarkari propaganda machine and the paid media, while the bulk of the citizenry is not at all convinced.
The moot point remains, the nation and the Army need a Chief who delivers and not one who sways with the wind because he is grateful for small mercies. I hope that the new incumbent will take the Army to greater heights of professionalism and not succumb to blandishments and sweet words.

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Re: CDS, Tri-Services Issues & Integration Debate

Postby rohitvats » 21 Dec 2016 10:59

^^^The above article from Lt Gen Vijay Oberoi is driven more by his political dislike for Modi and BJP than sound reasoning. A let down coming from someone like him.

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Re: CDS, Tri-Services Issues & Integration Debate

Postby dinesha » 21 Dec 2016 19:58

Lt Gen Praveen Bakshi, Superseded for Army Chief's Post, Meets Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar
http://m.ndtv.com/india-news/indias-fir ... ar-1640349

New Delhi: Eastern Army Commander, Lt General Praveen Bakshi, who has been superseded for the post of Army Chief, met Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar in Delhi. The agenda of the meeting, called by the minister, is not known yet, but there is speculation that Lt Gen Bakshi could be appointed India's first Chief of Defence Staff.

Manohar Parrikar has flown back from Goa, where he was campaigning for assembly elections, for the meeting with the General.

There has also been speculation that Lt Gen Bakshi could resign after being overlooked for the top post. The last time an officer was superseded in the appointment of a new Army chief, he had resigned. That was Lt General SK Sinha, who put in his papers after the Congress government of Indira Gandhi picked his junior General AS Vaidya to be chief in 1983.

Lt General Bakshi is senior to Lt General Bipin Rawat, the present vice chief, named by the government to succeed Army Chief General Dalbir Singh, who retires at the end of this month.

The Chief of Defence Staff is meant to be a single point of contact between the three armed forces and the Defence Minister and cabinet for all crucial Defence decisions. The post has been discussed for years, but no one has so far been appointed.

The decision to appoint Lt General Rawat as Army Chief has been criticised by opposition parties like the Congress and the Left, and former Army chief General Shankar Roy Chowdhury said he was "beyond disappointed and anxious" about the move's impact on the forces. The retired general said that while it was the government's prerogative to appoint the Army Chief, the decision has opened up a controversy on an issue that is "extremely divisive within the Army."

Lt General Rawat has superceded not just Lt Gen Bakshi, who was next in line to be chief on seniority, but also southern command chief Lt Gen PM Hariz.

Government sources said Lt Gen Rawat, an Infantryman, was found best suited among the three officers to deal with current challenges like cross-border terrorism and counter insurgency in the North-East, given his hands-on experience of serving in combat areas and at various functional levels in the Indian Army. He has years of experience in counter insurgency operations and has served at the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir. He also has extensive experience fighting counter insurgency in the Northeast.

Lt General Bakshi, is an Armoured Corps officer having spent most of his career in Jodhpur. He had other, less significant operational tenures in Jammu and Kashmir.

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Re: CDS, Tri-Services Issues & Integration Debate

Postby rohitvats » 21 Dec 2016 20:24


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Re: CDS, Tri-Services Issues & Integration Debate

Postby srin » 21 Dec 2016 20:45

Looking at some of the MSM news articles and Ajai Shukla's blog (not just now, but also few years earlier), this is also becoming an infantry vs armoured corp debate. As an armchair corporal, what I don't get is how come the generals are so specialized ? Isn't there any rotation of officers among the different arms ?

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Re: CDS, Tri-Services Issues & Integration Debate

Postby manjgu » 21 Dec 2016 21:08

the thing i dont understand is ..the selection has to be made from a panel of 3 to 5 officers. if seniority was the only factor why have more than 1. i am sure any officer who is serving and being in saddle as a army commander will not have any cases of moral turpitude/corruption against him. So why take trouble of having a panel of names. just pick the senior most officer? i think the rationale of having a panel is to pick the most appropriate? I also believe Rawat is the only one with clear 2/3 years of residual service unlike the other two who have lesser residual service.

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Re: CDS, Tri-Services Issues & Integration Debate

Postby manjgu » 21 Dec 2016 21:18

i think the selection also shows the way things will pan out in next 2/3 years as per GOI understanding. more non conventional action rather than sweeping action in the plains/ deserts.

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Re: CDS, Tri-Services Issues & Integration Debate

Postby ShauryaT » 21 Dec 2016 21:31

rohitvats wrote:My take on the selection of the Army Chief - http://vatsrohit.blogspot.in/2016/12/on-army-chief-selection-seniority-and.html

Rohit: Interesting. I find this lack of "trust" on politicians to make the choice amusing for a democracy. What else is the choice in a democracy, where the political choice has to be the final arbiter? It is the politician who is accountable to the people. I am completely with you on the deficiencies in the polity and the risks of leaving it to the politicians. However that is the risk we take in a democracy. I guess, you will say some things like security of the nation should not be risked.

Personally, would rather see strengthening of systems to make politicians accountable and transparent, rather than revert back to a system, where politicians do not do their jobs.

But, I was not surprised by your final argument, you have always erred on the side of the forces. Good writeup.

Added: I have my doubts too on the possible factors that went into making that choice and have my reservations on these factors, like you do in the article.

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Re: CDS, Tri-Services Issues & Integration Debate

Postby vaibhav.n » 21 Dec 2016 21:41

srin wrote:Looking at some of the MSM news articles and Ajai Shukla's blog (not just now, but also few years earlier), this is also becoming an infantry vs armoured corp debate. As an armchair corporal, what I don't get is how come the generals are so specialized ? Isn't there any rotation of officers among the different arms ?



It has happened over decades, in the old days officers from even non-combat arms were considered for command of brigades. Increasing specialisation and the tendency among different combat arms to protect their own turfs has resulted in this scenario.

There is also a recognition that hybrid wars would require senior leaders who not only understand the scenarios well but have scrapped their knees as grunts to understand the complex situations. There have been situations many times where RR Sector Commanders from the Artillery etc. have refused to or played safe with larger CI Ops plans in J&K. It is natural, it is something they don't train for.

Officers courses are highly arm specific and technical now. All arms send their vanilla newly commissioned officers for their respective YO courses to train and understand the basic mechanics of their aspect of warfighting. They would do that every time they pick up a rank.

There is also the big problem wrt to tenure. Infantry battalions will rotate to an operational area every 18-20 months. Artillery units rotate every 24-30 months. The Armoured Corps units rotate every 5-6 years. This is done to make as many units completely comfortable with their AoR. However as armoured corps officers you might have spent a decade in the IA but be familiar with only one location.

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Re: CDS, Tri-Services Issues & Integration Debate

Postby Aditya G » 21 Dec 2016 22:25

Some observations on this issue;

- Official position is that GOI has right to select the best person for the job. Nevertheless, the government could have handled this better given the sensitivity involved. Questions are bound to be asked "how does GOI determine who is the best?". Taking UPSC and hiring by rank works at entry level. Choosing the best out of top 3 men in a million man army, each of whom have served 30-40 years in uniforms is too subjective.

- These unnamed sources have no business giving out news bytes. GOI should either rein these people in or issue official statements to avoid rumour mongering which is unhealthy for all stakeholders.

- One aspect not being discussed, is that there could have been negative ratings of the 2 superseeded generals in their current assignments. GOI would have observed them closely and perhaps there were negatives which lead to elimination.

- The delay of announcement has made this episode seem fishy. There is rumours and talk to CDS, which has not happened yet.


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