The Time For India To Have Joint Theatre Commands Has Not Come

The clamour for creation of two joint theatre commands – western theatre command for Pakistan and eastern theatre command for China – for better war-fighting has grown loud with senior serving military officers and importantly, defence analysts having jumped into the fray.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) is seen as the villain (of peace), with the army and the navy in favour of the new structural reform for optimal war results. The IAF believes that given its limited assets and enormous flexibility inherent in aircraft, the military is for defence of the nation and not for out-of-area operations and that expensive assets should remain centralised and not distributed to theatre commands. Cognisant of this internal bickering, defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman has taken a clever position by saying that while she liked the idea of joint theatre commands, she prefers a ‘bottom-up’ rather than a ‘top-down’ approach. Read More

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