Context:

A high-level committee consisting of representatives from the services and the Ministries concerned has been formed for wider consultations on the creation of integrated triservice theatre commands.

Relevance:

GS-III: Internal Security Challenges (Security Challenges & their Management in Border Areas, Security Forces and Agencies)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About the Recent Move on formation of Integrated Theatre Command
  2. About the Integrated Triservice Theatre Commands
  3. Disadvantages of having an Integrated Tri-service Theatre Command

About the Recent Move on formation of Integrated Theatre Command

  • A high-level committee has been formed for the consultations on the creation of integrated triservice theatre commands that will examine all issues and find a way forward before a formal note on their creation is sent to the Cabinet Committee on Security.
  • The move was necessitated due to some aspects like bringing in paramilitary forces (which is under Home Ministry) under the purview of the theatre commands and financial implications that may arise in the process of integration.
  • The proposed Air Defence Command plans to integrate all air assets of the armed forces while the Maritime Theatre Command plans to bring in all assets of Navy, Coast Guard as well as coastal formations of Army and Air Force under one umbrella.

About the Integrated Triservice Theatre Commands

  • An integrated theatre command envisages a unified command of the three Services, under a single commander, for geographical theatres (areas) that are of strategic and security concern.
  • The commander of such a force will be able to bear all resources at his disposal — from the Army, the Indian Air Force, and the Navy — with seamless efficacy.
  • The integrated theatre commander will not be answerable to individual Services.
  • Integration and jointness of the three forces will avoid duplication of resources. The resources available under each service will be available to other services too.
  • The integrated theatre commander will not be answerable to individual Services, and will be free to train, equip and exercise his command to make it a cohesive fighting force capable of achieving designated goals.
  • The logistic resources required to support its operations will also be placed at the disposal of the theatre commander so that it does not have to look for anything when operations are ongoing.
  • This is in contrast to the model of service-specific commands which India currently has, wherein the Army, Air Force and Navy all have their own commands all over the country. In case of war, each Service Chief is expected to control the operations of his Service through individual commands, while they operate jointly.

Disadvantages of having an Integrated Tri-service Theatre Command

  • There has been no occasion, during actual warfare, when the three services have not operated with commendable cooperation.
  • Faraway land war and medium to high intensity wars are a distant possibility.
  • With increased communication networks, interaction between three organizations is easy, they can come on board, can plan without much consideration of spatial distance, so there is no need for a new organisation.
  • Domain knowledge of the integrated force commander is likely to be limited in respect of the other two Services components under his command, thereby limiting his ability to employ them in the most suitable manner and at the appropriate time.

-Source: The Hindu

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