Five months have elapsed since a helicopter crash claimed the life of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Bipin Rawat, but the Indian military continues to remain headless and directionless with no successor to Rawat. While each of the three services — the army, navy and air force — has its own chief, Rawat’s elevation as the tri-service chief on January 1, 2020, had been expected to improve inter-service coordination, cooperation and operational integration. As CDS, Rawat was also responsible for creating the structures of the geographical integrated theatre commands, with each one containing elements of all three services, enabling cohesive and effective operations. All this now hangs in the balance.
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