Gen Rawat calls for more synergy among forces, says India faces serious challenges

CDS stresses transformational changes in view of rapidly changing tech developments

Gen Rawat said China will continue to assert itself.

Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Bipin Rawat has said each of the three services was viewing their strategic goals in isolation and there was a marked lack of synergy in operations.

“There is duplicacy in demanding, warehousing and transporting. Inter-service coordination is only possible at service headquarters level. Such narrow working perspectives adversely impact force application in a dynamic environment,” he said.

Gen Rawat’s observations came while delivering the keynote address during a national webinar on ‘Transformation: Imperatives for Indian Armed Forces’ organised by the College of Defence Management (CDM) on Thursday (March 4).

He said the Indian military faces greater challenges than any other military in the world, and that there was a need to study transformational concepts and be prepared for threats for military primary arising from China and Pakistan.

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Gen Rawat said the 20th century has seen profound changes in the character of warfare. “The intrusion of excessive information and rapid technological development has brought changes in the character of warfare. New tools, techniques and tactics have emerged that can be employed to undermine social cohesion and the means to connect rapidly to an audience as never before. Information is indeed more democratised today,” he said.

In that context, he said, Indian armed forces would need transformative changes to meet challenges from China and Pakistan.

“Threats for which a military must be organised come from China and Pakistan. In the future, China will continue to assert itself seeking to establish dominance in states surrounding India and the Indian Ocean region…. We also stood up to our belligerent neighbour on our northern borders and thwarted their nefarious designs. Now, more than any time else, military transformation is vital to our survival,” Gen Rawat said

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“Some important steps that we need to take include defining the national security strategy and higher defence strategic guidance, structural reforms, synergising military and civilian administrative structures, integrating joint operations among the armed forces and strengthening India’s asymmetric capabilities. We cannot afford to delay operationalisation of joint structures like the theatre commands,” Rawat said.

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