Let me begin at the very beginning by pointing out that in a major reform to make the Army ready for fighting modern day warfare, the Centre on August 30, 2017 approved redeployment of 57,000 officers and jawans for combat role by restructuring some services. These changes were recommended by a high powered Committee headed by Lt General DB Shekatkar (retired) to improve “teeth to tail ratio”. They will be concluded by .
1. Enhancing defence budget from current <2% of GDP to 2.5-3% of GDP.
2. Early appointment of four-star officer as tri-service commander.
3. Setting up tri-service ‘theatre commands’ with units from Army, Navy and Air Force.
4. Setting up cyber command for new-generation warfare.
5. Tri-service training establishments like Indian National Defence University.
6. Institution of ‘roll-on-plan’ for unspent budget to devolve to the subsequent year.
One only hopes fervently that the government will do some rethinking again and soon accept these recommendations also. This requires discussions with, and consensus amongst a larger number of stakeholders. Centre must set up tri-service ‘theatre commands’ as China’s People’s Liberation Army has done recently. Centre should never be oblivious of the unpalatable truth that a nation that ignores its forces or maintains a lackadaisical attitude towards its maintenance and upgrading has to pay a heavy price in the longer run when an enemy nation who is better equipped because of its huge spending on defence is able to ruthlessly crush it. Does Centre want this to ever happen? It is for Centre itself to decide!
Sanjeev Sirohi, Advocate,
s/o Col BPS Sirohi,
A 82, Defence Enclave,
Sardhana Road, Kankerkhera,
Meerut – 250001, Uttar Pradesh.