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Tuesday, 3 July 2012

From Today's Papers - 03 Jul 2012







http://www.tribuneindia.com/2012/20120703/nation.htm#7
BSF-Pak Rangers discuss firing, smuggling
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 2
The Border Security Force (BSF), at a meeting with its counterpart, the Pakistan Rangers, today raised important issues pertaining to unprovoked firing from across the border, fake currency, drug smuggling and building up of infrastructure very close to the international border.

The delegations of the two forces led by their respective Director Generals started their four-day-long deliberations in the national capital here today. UK Bansal Director General of the BSF met his counterpart, Maj General Rizwan Akhtar, DG Pakistan Rangers (Sind).

The BSF has raised the matter of recent unprovoked firing by the Pakistani side in Jammu-Sialkot sector. In one case, it had led to death of a BSF personnel. India is concerned over drug smuggling, fake Indian currency notes, arms and ammunition being sourced from Pakistan and being pushed across the border despite the barbed wire fencing. BSF has asked for more cooperation from the Rangers.

Incidents of illegal crossing of Pakistani nationals into the Indian territory have increased. BSF has suggested that people who inadvertently cross the border should be sent back immediately on verification. New Delhi has also conveyed to Pakistan its concern over construction activity very close to the border. In the recent past, Indian security personnel on patrol duty along the international border have reported construction activity and also the coming up of dedicated tree cover close to the border that is possibly being used to mask something.

The matter of fishermen and seizure of fishing boats in Gujarat-Sind sector is also on the agenda.

The meeting is a biannual affair. The Pakistan delagation had arrived by road at Amritsar yesterday and reached Delhi later in the day. The Pakistan delegation includes Maj Gen Mian Muhammad Hilal Hussain, DG Pakistan Rangers (Punjab) and Najibullah Khan, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Interior.

Maj Gen Rizwan Akhtar was given a guard of honour by ceremonial BSF guards at the force headquarters this morning. 

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2012/20120703/edit.htm#1
Retire non-performers
But protect risk-takers in IAS

FEW outside the bureaucracy may question the merits of the Centre’s directive to the states to review the functioning of IAS, IPS and Indian Forest Service officers who have completed 15 years of service. The laudable aim is to drop the deadwood. Job security tends to make a person complacent or a “passenger”. There may be officers who are neither civil nor servant, neither outstanding nor entirely incompetent but they muddle along due to patronage from above. As a class, bureaucrats stick together, promote own interests, rarely let any of their tribe come in harm’s way and court politicians to corner plum posts.

Periodic reviews will not yield the desired results in states where politicians and bureaucrats scratch each other’s back. In Punjab, there are Akali bureaucrats as well as Congress bureaucrats. Personal and political biases can spoil promising careers. Also, the politician-bureaucrat nexus can use the “review” route to ease out an upright but inconvenient officer who refuses to bend the rules. A performance appraisal can be tricky, and work both ways if not monitored properly. To keep bureaucrats from straying, post-retirement postings should be done away with. There should be a cooling period before a retired civil servant can join politics or take up a corporate job.

The recent spurt in scandals, controversial CAG findings, harsh comments from judges, misuse of the RTI Act and wild allegations carried by the media have unnerved bureaucrats, who have become risk-averse and stopped taking decisions. If decisions are not taken, governance suffers for which voters hold the ruling parties to account. Noticing the trend, the Prime Minister has observed that “a civil servant who does not take decisions might always be safe, but at the end of the day he or she would have contributed nothing to our society”. While there is need to protect the honest risk-takers and take a lighter view of mistakes made in situations where facts are inadequate but quick decisions are required, the non-performers have to be shown the door. This country has enough talent eagerly looking forward to join the civil services.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2012/20120703/edit.htm#4
Military matters deserve special care
There’s need for defending the defenders
by Lt-Gen Nirbhay Sharma (retd)

NOW that the dust has settled and the new Army Chief is in place, it is time to ensure that a sense of déjà vu does not prevail. The momentum generated by the recent happenings would indeed not be wasted if it leads to our seriously addressing the country’s core military concerns.

The office of the Army Chief plays a crucial role in the defence of the country, a role not confined just to times of war. This office represents national military continuity and goes with high standards of integrity. However much the power of military may be constitutionally constrained, in times of peace the Chief is critical to matters of strategy, military organisation and planning, weapon policies and eventually national security. The Chiefs in India have a dual responsibility — they are effectively the Commanders-in-Chief of their respective Services, and they also perform staff functions as part of the government.

Even if as individuals they are rarely perceived as public figures, they yet command a special niche in the public imagination. Indeed, it is fitting that the Chiefs consciously avoid engaging in public debates, as controversy only jeopardises their non-political public service role. However, this convention also presupposes that the political authority will speak for them and on their behalf and explain the position as well as uphold the reputation of the Chiefs.

Viewed from this prism, the recent public disclosures of the outgoing Army Chief may be questioned. It is regrettable that issues that could have been resolved within the government had to go to court. That said, we do need to examine the compulsions that led to this extreme situation. The Defence Minister, to his credit, did indeed repose trust in the Army Chief, refusing to play into the hands of vested interests that went to the ridiculous extent of insinuating suggestions of an “army coup”, etc. Yet, the leakage of the Chief’s letter to the Prime Minister was a serious breach of security as were the allegations of corruption in defence deals. These must be investigated thoroughly and those found guilty punished.

In India, civil-military relations are predicated upon a peculiar establishment: while the Services are responsible for operational planning and employment, vital tools of defence preparedness in terms of financial control vest with the Ministry of Defence (MoD). The inevitable casualty is accountability. The two sides see each other more as sparring adversaries in a typical “us vs them” syndrome. The recent controversy may have served to highlight this divide; hence my belief that hopefully some systemic solutions will evolve to cure the malaise.

Indeed, the establishment has always backed the armed forces in times of crisis — be it the 1962 debacle or the 1999 Kargil war. That said, it is a case of “too little, too late”. A comprehensive action plan to achieve a state of constant defence preparedness is lacking. Alongside, the Integrated Defence HQ created to bring in synergy is still headless. Unlike most modern armed forces, we don’t have a Chief of Defence Staff. There is a need for more meaningful integration between the MoD and the three Services. These are imperatives of modern defence and can no longer be overlooked. It is hoped that the Naresh Chandra Task Force which has been assigned the duty of reviewing the national security apparatus finds feasible ways to create an efficient higher defence management structure.

Also on the agenda are crucial issues with regard to human resource management, including the shortage of 13,000 officers. The crippling operational gaps and modernisation delays are critical. These essentially flow out of organisational infirmities and an inadequate decision-making matrix. It is ironical that the world’s third largest economy with a sound industrial base still imports 70 per cent of its arms and equipment. Going by current estimates, the bottom line requirement of the armed forces to fill the gap is approximately $ 154 billion, with the Army requiring $ 68 billion out of it. Going by this year’s capital equipment procurement budget of $ 12.85 billion, theoretically (at current price levels), it will take us another 12 years to fill the operational shortfall. Even if we suppose that the funds are available, there is no way that we can practically achieve it. This is because the required equipment is not available off the shelf. Supply entails long gestation periods and then it too is hostage to inter-governmental dynamics (including technology denial). The recently reported spurt in defence procurement has to be seen in this context.

The solution eventually lies in the inevitable indigenisation of the defence industry. The 70:30 ratio between import and indigenous production has to be reversed. The Task Force on Self-Reliance and Modernisation in Defence is working on arms procurement reforms which include measures to make our military expenditure more economically sustainable.

Our new Army Chief, along with the other two Service Chiefs, will need to pursue these issues with the government as also address in-house matters. With rumours about competing lobbies, factional feuds and corruption going around, there is bound to be disenchantment in the rank and file. General Bikram Singh has started off on a progressive note and given an assurance about not looking back. He is known to be fair, even handed, firm but large hearted — a man with broad shoulders who has a proven record of leading from the front and by personal example.

Needless to say, well-informed public and political opinion will be crucial. The media must avoid sensationalism, politicisation, TRP-based hype and the perpetuation of half-baked rumours. In the ultimate analysis — while the defence of our motherland is the mandate of the toiling soldier, that soldier too needs to be shielded from unjust onslaughts. The defender must be defended. If we ignore this fundamental truth, we will do so at our own peril.

The writer, a retired Lt-General, is a Distinguished Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi.

http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/army-closer-to-getting-attack-helicopters-as-india-eyes-china-threat-238686?pfrom=home-lateststories
Army closer to getting attack helicopters, as India eyes China threat
New Delhi: Defence Minister A K Anotny today directed that the Indian Army deploy extra man power in the North East as fast as possible. He asked the Army to prepare to induct more attack helicopters into the force. The Defence Minister was reviewing the modernisation of the Indian Army.

Modernisation of the Indian Army has been in sharp focus since the letter of the former chief, General V K Singh, to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was leaked to the media. General Singh's letter had pointed to severe deficiencies in equipment and systems. 

Sources said that Mr Antony, reviewing the Army's modernisation programme, also asked the Army to step-up on the infrastructure development in the North East. Besides this, the Minister also reviewed the process of acquisition of artillery guns and asked the Army to reform its acquisition process.
Mr Antony also reviewed new measures taken to increase and improve ammunition storage systems in the North East. Besides this, he also asked the Army to prioritise and focus on critical areas to plug existing gaps. The meeting was attended by senior officials of the Ministry of Defence including the Defence Secretary Sashikant Sharma and Secretary Defence Production Shekhar Agarwal.

http://india.nydailynews.com/business/c6b7a694aaa3444e1e4ce2e0d7262c97/push-for-army-s-combat-chopper-demand
Push for army's combat chopper demand
New Delhi, July 2 — The Indian Army's demand for a separate attack helicopter fleet to support its ground troops during battle has got a boost with Defence Minister A.K. Antony discussing the proposal with army chief Gen. Bikram Singh Monday during a review meeting here.

At present, the army relies on the Indian Air Force's two attack helicopters squadrons comprising of Mi-25 and Mi-35 helicopters to provide support to its troops that go on an offensive in battlefields.

Antony also sought details of the army's plans for capital acquistion and infrastructure development in the eastern sector bordering China, apart from improving of its unmanned aerial vehicles fleet, night vision and air lift capabilities, according to top defence ministry sources.

After hearing out and watching a presentation made by the army chief on capital acquistions, requirement of ammunition and infrastructure development in north-east, Antony asked the army to bring about systematic changes in its organisational and procurement processes, apart from prioritising and focusing on critical areas of requirements.

He also told Gen. Bikram Singh and his team to "utilise the annual budget fully".

The meeting also reviewed the army's force accretion plans for both the eastern and the western sectors, bordering China and Pakistan, infrastructure development in the north-eastern states, enhancing of the air lift capability in the eastern sector, and increasing of reconniassance and surveillance capabilities, the sources said.

The meeting at South Block, the seat of the Indian defence ministry, is a continuation of a process that Antony had initiated in April this year -- to meet the army top brass for quick acquisition review meetings and finalising of proposals and plans.

This measure followed the leaking of a top secret letter that then chief Gen. V.K. Singh wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to highlight deficiencies in the force's operational preparedness.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/nda-recruitment-scam-another-serving-army-colonel-arrested/969430/
NDA recruitment scam: Another serving Army Colonel arrested
Another serving Army Colonel was arrested in connection with the recruitment scam at the prestigious National Defence Academy, raising the number of those nabbed by the CBI in this case to eight.

In a statement, the CBI said that Colonel A K Singh, physical training officer and presiding officer of the board appointed by NDA for recruitment, was arrested.

"Singh was arrested after a special CBI court in Pune rejected his anticipatory bail plea. Searches are being carried out at Singh's residence in Purnia and Saharsa district," the CBI said.

Singh is the second serving colonel to be arrested. Earlier anti-corruption wing of CBI had arrested seven others in the scam which included Colonel Kulbir Singh.

Col Kulbir Singh was a staff officer to a NDA commandant, Suhas Shankar Waghmare, Establishment Officer of NDA.

During searches last week in this case, the CBI claimed to have recovered Rs 1.76 crore cash and a list of candidates' names and interview letters and also a list of those who had paid bribe.

The others arrested were NDA employee Ramesh Gaikwad, Bal Kishen Kanojia - who runs a food stall in Pune, his employee Vishnu Sharma and two alleged touts Manoj Sheetak Kar and Dattatre Sheetal Kar.

Meanwhile, a special CBI court in Pune extended the CBI custody of Kulbir Sinh, Kanojia, Sharma and Ramesh Gaikwad till July 5. The two touts Manoj and Dattatre were, however, released on bail.

http://www.defpro.com/news/details/37035/?SID=6d5fbe9105969385fe0a101b574be6d6
A Call for Change: Higher Defence Management in India
In recent times the study of defence reforms and higher defence management in India has undergone a renaissance of sorts. A decade after the post-Kargil national security transformation there is an increased debate surrounding defence reforms and higher defence management. Some recent controversies have also focused attention on civil-military relations and overall defence management. Most prominently, controversy around a leaked letter suggests that India’s overall “defence preparedness” is suffering due to institutional weaknesses. Most analysts agree that despite incremental changes the post-Kargil defence reforms have largely ‘failed to deliver.’ As a result of these concerns and resultant public pressure the Government of India, in June 2011, appointed the Naresh Chandra Committee to revisit the defence reforms process. This committee has recently submitted its report which is under consideration by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS).

While there are some media speculations about the recommendations made by the Naresh Chandra Committee however these are, at best, tentative. An honest appraisal of the functioning and outcome of this Committee can be made only when a public version of its report is made available. Even then it may take a few years to truly evaluate the changes, if any. However, despite the dangers of taking a first cut at writing history, there are some issues surrounding this Committee that merit attention and perhaps criticism. Three of them are discussed here. First, the setting up of the committee unfortunately did not trigger a debate on defence management or defence reforms in India. For instance, it was never debated whether India should emulate the US Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff system with theater commands or the British Chief of Defence Staff structure with its Permanent Joint Headquarters. Or for that matter any other system in vogue in any other democracy. Indeed, most analysts are unclear about the differences, advantages and weaknesses of these institutional structures. There are other issues too that could have been debated, like the desirability and efficiency of the current geographically separated Commands in the three services and whether one should impose joint theater commands. Or whether civilian billets should be created in War Colleges to invigorate professional military education. Ordinarily this could be viewed as a singular failing of India’s strategic community. However, in this case, the Naresh Chandra Committee may be partially at fault. Unlike the Kargil Review Committee, the Naresh Chandra Committee functioned in near-total secrecy and it was not entirely clear to others in the strategic community about it scope and mandate. As a result the strategic community was neither informed nor engaged. This, of course, stands in stark contrast to the rich debates that preceded the Goldwater-Nichols Act in the US, and other countries.

Second, the Naresh Chandra Committee was an entirely apolitical committee and, more importantly, did not ascertain the views of political parties on issues relating to defence management and reforms. Hence it does not stand to logic that the views of political parties on the appointment of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) was not ascertained when by the government’s own admission the appointment was held up, as “this kind of a decision needed a political consensus.” The lack of political involvement in this effort then may come back to haunt the implementation of the committee report. One could also legitimately question the composition of the committee as it consisted mainly of former senior bureaucrats—both civilian and military. Most former bureaucrats, especially those who reach the top of their organisations, have to deal with a dissonance that comes with accepting that their organisations might be flawed. Many can do so, however most cannot, and hence weaknesses are conveniently blamed either on an external agency or on factors beyond their control. More worryingly, if certain media reports are true, there are indications that an attempt has been made to politicise defence reforms. This would be an unfortunate development as national security, just like our post-independence wars, should not be treated as associated with any political party, ideology or coalition. Instead, these issues should be above party politics.

Finally, the Naresh Chandra Committee did not conduct any independent research and instead based its recommendations on the testimony offered by different agencies. In turn these agencies, for example the respective Service Headquarters, for obvious reasons either glossed over their own failings or did not conduct research into their own claims and assertions. It is not surprising then that most organisations blamed some other agency for perceived or real weaknesses. Hence, for instance, it is not evident that this Committee examined previous files of the Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC) to ascertain its efficacy. Or, for that matter, it did not examine the files of the Integrated Defence Staff (IDS), Service Headquarters or Ministry of Defence offices to identify problem areas.

However the purpose of this monograph is not to conduct a postmortem of the Naresh Chandra Committee. Despite these criticisms the setting up of the Naresh Chandra Committee, its deliberations, the expected public release and implementation of its report is commendable in its own right. For once, despite the absence of a crisis or precipitating event, the Indian state has displayed a willingness to acknowledge problems in higher defence management and proactively attempt to fix them. This effort must be welcomed. This monograph intends to complement the efforts of the Committee and, hopefully, trigger a debate among the strategic community. It does so by presenting ideas and offers a roadmap for the next generation of defence reforms. Accordingly this collection presents prescriptive analysis from three of the most distinguished soldier-scholars of their generation—Air Marshal BD Jayal, General VP Malik and Admiral Arun Prakash. Besides their public service these officers have served at the very top of their organisations and have remained engaged with the strategic community through their writings. As such this ‘tri-services’ effort should fetch attention at the highest levels, more so because all them make one common argument—the need for greater political involvement in defence reforms and higher defence management in general. The rest of this chapter discusses the salient features of their papers and explains the significance of their arguments.

Admiral Arun Prakash has had the unique and solitary honor of serving on two of the most significant reform initiatives in recent times. He was a member of the Arun Singh Committee on the “Management of Defence,” which functioned under a Group of Ministers. This was a follow up to the Kargil Review Committee and was one of the most significant reform initiatives in the history of the Indian military. More recently he was a member of the Naresh Chandra Committee, which just submitted its report to the government. Besides this he was the Chief of Naval Staff and concurrently held the post of Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC) for close to two years. As such he is in an ideal position to write on “Defence Reforms: Contemporary Debates and Issues.” He begins his paper suggesting that at the time of independence “two surreal perceptions” emerged among India’s political class—that as a pacifist country we would have no enemies and, more importantly, the Indian military was a “mercenary force” loyal to the colonial rulers and therefore “deserved to be shown its place.” Rejecting both notions, Admiral Prakash argues that the military made a “crucial contribution” to both the freedom struggle and the post-independence stabilisation phase. This historical account hints at what has been known for long—the distrust between the politicians and soldiers at that time amidst fears, real or imagined, of praetorian tendencies. One could argue then that the roots of a separation between the political class and the military stems from this historical baggage. Later in his paper Admiral Arun Prakash makes a more in-depth analysis of contemporary events and the current “crisis of confidence” in civil-military relations and argues that, in part, it stems from the flawed structure of higher defence management. He then discusses critical issues like the equation between the Ministry of Defence and Service Headquarters, functioning of the Chiefs of Staff Committee, force modernisation and indigenisation voids, paucity of domain knowledge in the civilian bureaucracy and impediments to reform. In the penultimate section he examines the political context surrounding defence issues and argues that there is a “lack of adequate political involvement in national security issues.” He concludes with a stirring appeal to India’s political class and suggests the next steps that need to be taken AFTER the Naresh Chandra Committee. In light of its significance it is worthwhile reproducing this in its entirety:

“it may be prudent to place the Naresh Chandra Committee Report, for examination, either before the Parliamentary Standing Committee for Defence or a specially empowered multi-party Parliamentary Commission. Assisted by a team of experts, the Commission could provide oversight as well as the legislative leverage to ensure speedy and resolute implementation of reforms. Such a Commission could also give serious consideration to the embodiment of certain important recommendations in the form of an Act of Parliament.”

In sum, he advocates for an Act of parliament, similar perhaps to the Goldwater-Nichols Act enacted by the US Congress, and argues for greater political and parliamentary interest. His appeal to place the report of the Naresh Chandra Committee to the Standing Committee on Defence to trigger a larger debate is commendable and should be acted upon. However, in light of the previous actions and recommendations made by the Standing Committee, this appeal might be a little idealistic. Hence, for instance, in 1994 the Standing Committee on Defence had made a fervent appeal to release a public version of the Arun Singh led Committee on Defence Expenditure Report. The Defence Ministry refused to comply and till date has not released this report. This suggests that the Standing Committee maybe powerless to place demands on the government. More recently, according to some media reports, it appeared as if the Standing Committee on Defence was poised to play a proactive role by calling the three Service Chiefs for a joint testimony in response to the leak of the Army Chief ’s letter on the lack of “defence preparedness.” This unfortunately did not happen. It appears therefore that the Standing Committee on Defence in unable, or worse unwilling, to play a more active role in reforming national security institutions.

The next paper is by former Chief of Army Staff and Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee, General VP Malik. Besides being at the helm of affairs during the 1999 Kargil War, General Malik is among the few senior army officers to have written extensively in various newspapers and journals and remained intellectually engaged with the strategic community. His paper is titled “Higher management of defence and defence reforms: Towards better management techniques.” His paper begins by an often repeated refrain about the lack of strategic culture in India. He then argues that this can be overcome when there is “adequate awareness and consciousness about defence and security amongst policy makers, and we create suitable defence management structure and techniques.” General Malik also shares the sentiments of Admiral Arun Prakash of the post-independence disconnect between the politicians and the military. Next he describes the antiquated structure and functional problems, much of which he illustrates from his own experience, which stem from the structure of higher defence management. After briefly describing the post-Kargil defence reforms, General Malik then explores four concepts that he feels makes an even more compelling case for organisational restructuring—changing strategic environment, likely nature of future conflicts, emerging trends in functioning of the military and management of nuclear weapons. Before concluding he makes raises some points for future discussions and then makes some recommendations.

The final paper is by Air Marshal BD Jayal who had a distinguished service career including heading operational commands. After retirement he has been a regular contributor to magazines and journals and is among the more thoughtful members of the strategic community. His paper is titled, “Management and delivery of joint military capabilities.” Unlike the others this paper focuses more on the operational aspects with a special focus on jointness. He begins the paper by arguing that jointness in India has been left almost entirely on the military and is considered to be an issue under their domain. Air Marshal Jayal rejects this notion on the grounds that it is impossible to neatly divide the military and civilian domains and moreover argues that this policy has created “deep fissures” among the Armed Forces. His paper then is divided into three sections. In the first section he analyses recent military operations including Operation Pawan (Sri Lanka, 1987-1990), Operation Cactus (Maldives 1988) and the 1999 Kargil war. His analysis of Operation Pawan relies to a large extent on his experience in Air Headquarters at that time and he argues that “left to themselves, [field formations] worked in true spirit of jointness and shorn of inter service parochialism.” This claim however must be put in context. While there is no doubt that lower formations often work on well on inter-personal relationships, however Operation Pawan revealed major problems in jointness and planning for joint operations.

To his credit in his analysis of lessons emerging, Air Marshal Jayal concedes that the current structure has not functioned in an optimum manner and argues in favor of a Joint Chief- an idea that he develops later in his paper.

His next section examines three issues of contemporary relevance. First is higher defence management wherein he makes a point similar to the other two papers—the woeful lack of political attention to defence management. In addition to his analysis of relations between the Service Headquarters and the Ministry of Defence, Air Marshal Jayal emphasises the need for declassification to learn from the past. This is a noteworthy recommendation especially since it has not got the attention it deserves among the military community. The second issue examined by him is the role of Service Headquarters in perpetuating jointness. He begins with a bold assertion that “the institution of the Chiefs of Staff Committee [COSC] has neither contributed to integrated operations nor succeeded in resolving inter-service professional differences.” While this argument is well known among informed analysts, Air Marshal Jayal has done a service by speaking truth to power. He also correctly adds that problems in jointness stems not at the operational level but from higher defence management and unless this is restructured jointness will remain an issue. An added problem is the Chief of the Service wearing two hats. The third issue discussed by Air Marshal Jayal pertains to operational aspects of jointness. In this discussion he brings out the problems stemming from the geographical location of different operational commands and argues in favor of “legislative intervention.” The next section of his paper, like the discussion in General Malik’s paper, examines the changing dynamics of technology and warfare. In the final section he makes some recommendations and offers a roadmap for change.

All the writers present interesting perspectives based on a combination of their experience, research and study of national security over the last few decades. While their papers offer many similar insights, however three broad themes are particularly important. First, all three papers highlight to the disconnect between the political class and the military and argue that this is unhealthy for civil-military relations and for national security policy making. This confirms what is more widely known that, exceptions apart, politicians rarely interfere in what is considered to be in the internal affairs of the armed forces. It is not surprising therefore that there is a narrative which argues that the Indian military is “not under civilian control but is under bureaucratic control.” The second theme found in all the papers refers to the flawed interaction between the Ministry of Defence and the Service Headquarters. This insight too is not all that surprising but it does not take away from the urgency of fixing it. Significantly, both General VP Malik and Admiral Arun Prakash blame the current spate of crises in civil-military relations, in part, on the structural interaction between the Defence Ministry and the Service Headquarters. Finally, Admiral Arun Prakash and Air Marshal Jayal feel that a legislative act of parliament, on the lines of the US Goldwater-Nichols Act, is required to transform higher defence management in India. Air Marshal Jayal recommends the appointment of a Blue Ribbon Commission, a demand articulated by many others in the strategic community including the venerable K. Subrahmanyam. Ignoring such calls for legislative intervention would now appear to be an act of political irresponsibility.

The last chapter of this monograph offers a series of recommendations and suggests a way ahead to engineer the next generation of defence reforms. This, of course, is not an exhaustive list but is a humble attempt to help policy-makers. Above all else this monograph aims to engineer a debate that we believe is of vital national concern, without claiming to hold all the answers.

(To read the full IDSA monograph, please go to
http://goo.gl/v5wSQ [PDF 825KB, 80 pages].)

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