Opinion | Appointing a chief of defence staff would just be the first step
To take the logic of the CDS to its conclusion, the Armed Forces should be operationally restructured into theatre commands
If the Narendra Modi government appoints a chief of defence staff (CDS), it would constitute the most significant defence policy reform in decades. The move was considered necessary after the 1999 Kargil War and was first approved by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee cabinet in May 2001. Yet, almost two decades later, no CDS has been appointed. There have been some incremental reforms in getting the army, navy and air force to operate jointly, but the Armed Forces substantially retained the structure put in place by Lord Mountbatten’s chief of staff in 1947.