South Asia and Beyond

PM’s Military Plainspeak

Prime Minister Narendra Modi surprised even the most cynical national security analyst by not just appointing a Chief of Defence Staff end of last year but going a step further by creating a Department of Military Affairs (DMA) under the Ministry of Defence to coordinate and integrate the three armed forces to improve their combat efficiency and optimise resources.
At a dinner he hosted for the military top brass on 31st December, the Prime Minister was blunt in his message to the uniformed leadership: Prepare the forces for future combat and reduce the obsession over ‘ceremonials, pomp and pageantry.’ According to multiple attendees at the dinner, the Prime Minister  exhorted the brass to make sure that the military reduces wastage, avoids duplication in acquisitions and makes the forces technologically dependent rather than be manpower-intensive, wherever possible. The time has come, he told four- and three stars, to fully transform the military now that it has got an opportunity to largely control its decision-making, keeping the civilian bureaucracy at bay. The ball, the Prime Minister apparently said, is in the military’s court now.

Nitin A Gokhale WhatsApp Channel