India-Pakistan: October 30, 2001

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India has the traditional Army, Navy, and Air Force of most nations, and has until now relied on a Chief of Staff for each service, the three comprising a Chiefs of Staff Committee. The chairman of this committee is (as in the US) the senior military officer. To foster "jointness", India planned to replace the committee with a combined defense staff headed by the Chief of Defence Staff, who would be the new senior officer. Opposition parties and the Air Force have objected to this plan. The Air Force feels it would lose its status as the principle nuclear force, and the opposition parties feel that a single military command would be too easily politicized. While waiting for this to sort itself out, India has created an Integrated Defence Staff. This is a two-star general (or admiral) for each service, with a three-star chairman (Lieutenant General Pankaj Joshi). This Integrated Staff will coordinate planning, operations, intelligence, and medical support.--Stephen V Cole

 

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