Ap­point­ing and Dis­ap­point­ing

The Economic Times - - The Edit Page -

What­ever de­ci­sion the next govern­ment takes on the army chief, Gen Dal­bir Singh is be­tween a rock and a hard place. Does the Army Act per­mit him to state that he will not as­sume of­fice un­til the next govern­ment con­firms his ap­point­ment? Re­call how Field Mar­shal Mont­gomery pre-empted the ap­point­ment of his suc­ces­sor by as­sert­ing that he had “told” Gen John Crocker that he would suc­ceed. At­tlee, the PM, want­ing Wil­liam Slim, the hero of the Burma War, to take over, ut­tered the fa­mous re­tort, “un­tell him!” Sim­i­larly, the next govern­ment can (dis)ap­point Gen Dal­bir Singh. How­ever, there is another strat­egy used in bridge: “the up­per cut”. The next govern­ment can cre­ate the of­fice of the CoDS. Ideal man: Gen V K Singh, with sta­tus of an MoS. Even bet­ter, the “up­per cut” — Gen Ashok Singh — that will force Dal­bir Singh to quit. To en­sure a bal­ance of power, the CoDS will only have the field com­man­ders of the army, the Op­er­a­tions, In­tel­li­gence and Op­er­a­tional Lo­gis­tics direc­torates and a part of the air force ded­i­cated to tac­ti­cal sup­port for the army. The navy and the re­main­ing air force will be un­der the re­spec­tive chiefs re­port­ing to the min­is­ter. The army chief will only be re­spon­si­ble for train­ing, per­son­nel, ac­qui­si­tion and lo­gis­tics.

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