Chief of Defence Staff
According to sources, the report argues that the four-star post, whether it is called the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) or Permanent Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee (PC-COSC), is essential for smooth functioning of the armed forces in the prevailing security environment but it cannot be based on the US model. Seeking more discussion on the need for integrated theatre commands, the expert committee says that while the US is an expeditionary power, India has to fight its wars on its own soil.
India’s armed forces have to defend the nation and stabilise the neighbourhood, and their main priority, the report argues, is “to degrade the combat endurance, combat capability, combat potential and combat capacity” of Pakistan. The top four-star military chief is envisaged as a coordinator, a “Centre Point” which will not impinge on the three service chiefs in operational and administrative roles. This will have to be done as a part of the committee’s recommendation for full integration of service headquarters with the MoD.