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Letters: Integration of military

The Indian military capability is constrained by poor infrastructure along the northern borders

Business Standard 

With reference to “5; India 1” (July 1), a critical aspect of “upping our game” is the structure and capability of our higher defence organisation to manage a complicated security environment. The appointment of a Chief of Defence Staff and integration of the military with the defence ministry was proposed post-Kargil, but it is yet to be implemented. 

Some ascribe the delay to politicians’ and bureaucrats’ fear of a coup. When General V K Singh was the army chief there was panic in the government when troops from Hissar moved for manoeuvres. Similarly, when small teams of army personnel were deployed on a logistics exercise around Kolkata, Mamata Banerjee saw a threat to her government. 

The integration of the military in the decision-making apparatus will allay these fears. The capability, though much improved, is constrained by poor infrastructure along the northern borders plus reported deficiencies in arms and equipment. The 5:1 ratio stands, but the “1” isn’t insubstantial. It’s time to up the game.

A K Ram Singh, Indore
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First Published: Mon, July 03 2017. 23:17 IST