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Ajai Shukla: The way forward in military command

India would benefit from tri-service theatre commanders who report directly to the political leadership, as in the US


Ajai Shukla 

Ajai Shukla

In a small amphibious training exercise called Jal Prahar that terminated last week, India's military paid token obeisance to the notion of tri-service command, which serious, warfighting militaries have embraced decades ago. Jal Prahar was conducted by the Andaman & Nicobar Command (ANC), India's only tri-service command - which means it owns assets from the army, navy and air force and is commanded, in turn, by general officers from all three services. It involved a hundred soldiers, a handful of amphibious assault craft mostly borrowed from the navy's eastern command, and three Jaguar strike aircraft that the Indian Air Force (IAF) kindly made available. The ANC, which military reformers established in 2001 in the forlorn hope that this might catalyse similar tri-service structures across the military, has failed spectacularly in achieving this aim.



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First Published: Mon, April 25 2016. 21:50 IST