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Integrated theatre commands:

GS Paper 3

Topics Covered: Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate.

 

Context:

In a fresh push towards the creation of theatre commands to fight the next wars in an integrated manner, the Department of Military Affairs (DMA) under the Defence Ministry has asked the three services to conduct studies on the structures of the new formations and submit their reports by April next year.

 

Background:

  • India currently has 19 military commands with 17 of them service-oriented. While both the Army and the Air Force have seven commands each, the Navy has three.
  • India also has a Tri-Service Command — Andaman and Nicobar Command — besides the Strategic Forces Command (SFC), which looks after the country’s nuclear stockpile.

 

What are integrated theatre commands?

  • An integrated theatre command envisages a unified command of the three Services, under a single commander, for geographical areas that are of strategic and security concern.
  • The commander of such a force will be able to bear all resources at his disposal — from the Army, the Indian Air Force, and the Navy — with seamless efficacy.
  • The integrated theatre commander will not be answerable to individual Services.

 

Why does India seek theatre commands?

  • This will help in better planning and military response and also bring down cost.
  • While the cost may go up in the immediate future since all theatres would have to be armed with sufficient systems, it will prove to be cost-effective in the long term as all acquisitions will be a unified one.
  • It will provide a unified approach to fighting the future wars.

 

Proposals in this regard:

The need for a unified approach to war fighting was brought out in the deliberations after the 1999 Kargil battle.

  • The Kargil Review Committee and the then Group of Ministers besides the Naresh Chandra Committee had called for structural changes in higher defence management.
  • It was the Shekatkar committee, headed by Lt Gen. (retd) D.B. Shekatkar, which had recommended the creation of the post of CDS and theatre commands.

 

Insta Curious:

Do you know about the Nuclear Command Authority? Who heads the organisation and what are its functions? Reference: 

Sources: the Hindu.