Monday, September 21, 2009

Civil Military Relations: There is urgent need to bridge the gap

It is acknowledged that India’s military has historically been apolitical. Unlike other militaries in developing countries early in the post colonial period, there has never been an instance of the Indian military transgressing its bounds. This has consistently been among the indicators of India’s democratic good health. However, it is averred that this has resulted in the military’s marginalisation in core security decision making structures and processes. This refrain in security studies commentary testifies to the continuing distance between the apex military leadership from political decision makers on policy issues. Details of the critique are well known. These include: the strategic grasp of the generalist bureaucratic cadre dominating the ministry is suspect; in modern defence systems elsewhere officials in uniform share desk space with civilians having appropriate background in national security; the current system results in manipulation of service differences by bureaucrats playing arbiters, thereby precluding efficiencies, jointness, etc. But the fact that the system persists begs the question: Why?
Extracted from:
The central debate in India’s civil military relations
Ali Ahmed: IDSA

The probable reasons for the widening gap
Military service changes one's way of thinking and gives one a sense of patriotism, a sense of working for something bigger than one's self. It helps to provide a more realistic view of what the Indian Armed Forces can and cannot do. Most of the Politicians and Bureaucrats lack that military experience and do not know what Military Service means. Sadly their children too are averse to the Armed Forces.

The average Indian knows very little about the military anymore... and even more troubling, the average middle- and upper middle-class family doesn't tend to look on the Defence Forces as a career they want their kids to follow... only about 0.02 percent of the total population of our nation are directly or indirectly connected as either serving, retired or family members of the Armed Forces.

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