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Military Doctrine to spell out India’s stand on use of anti-satellite weapons

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New Delhi, Sep 19: India's Military Doctrine is expected to define India's position on the no first use policy and also broadly outline the stand on the use of anti-satellite weapons.

These are weapons which allow for attacks on enemy satellites. There are currently three countries which have the capacity to attack enemy satellites. They are the US, China and Russia. The doctrine would outline India's stand on the use of such weapons.

Military Doctrine to spell out India’s stand on use of anti-satellite weapons

Sources tell OneIndia that the doctrine is almost ready and the Defence Planning Committee is all set to submit the same.

The Defence Planning Committee (DPC) headed by National Security Advisor (NSA), Ajit Doval has been working on the National Security Strategy (NSS) and will submit the same soon. It would be made public after the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) accepts the same. It would be submitted to the government in October.

While the doctrine would remain a classified document, the unclassified portion will be in public domain once the Prime Minister and the Cabinet Committee on Security approve it.

The NSS which is the military doctrine is expected to define India's position on no first use. Further, the doctrine would also define military threats to India. This definition would be used by the Indian military to decide on the amount of ammunition needed to be kept in stock. Currently, India has an ammunition inventory for a 10 days intensive war. The doctrine would also spell out if the Indian Navy needs more aircraft carriers.

India's military doctrine set to be submitted, likely to define no first use policy

In this context, a high powered committee headed by Doval will also implement the decision of the CCS to create the post of a Chief of Defence Staff. The high powered committee will also frame the terms of references for the post. The panel has been given six weeks time to submit its report, highly placed sources tell OneIndia.

The others part of the committee includes, the defence secretary, cabinet secretary and the secretary, expenditure and COSC. A letter to this effect has been submitted to Doval, by the Defence Ministry.

Although it is not entirely clear, what will be the duties of the CDS, sources say that he would be tasked to coordinate between the three service chiefs in training, logistics, planning and procurements.

To define the role, the Defence Secretary has been asked to give a report to the government by November. The CDS would have a five-star rank, which would be above the four-star rank of the three service chiefs.

The other option is to have a four-star rank for the CDS, but treat him as a first among equals to the three chiefs.

The powers that would be vested would be crucial. In 2001, a group of ministers had recommended that the CDS should have administrative control and not operational control.

"The CDS should have the requisite mandate and authority. Give it time to evolve as acceptability will be an issue. Need is to align authority and accountability," the Kargil Review Committee had said.

While previous governments were reluctant on creating such a position, this time around the Modi government decided to go in for a CDS as it would be a game-changer. The CDS would be a one-point reference for the Prime Minister in all security-related matters, especially those concerning the military.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his Independence Day address, had said that in order to further better coordination between the forces, I want to announce that India will have a Chief of Defence Staff. This would ensure that the forces are more effective, Modi also said during his Independence Day speech.

The first time that the recommendation for this post was made was by the K Subrahmanyam Committee that was set up after the Kargil. Another committee headed by Naresh Chandra which was set up to suggest reforms in higher defence management had also suggested the importance of such a post.

The committee, however, suggested that the post of a Chairman, Joint Chief of Staff be created. The CDS would focus on coordination between the three service chief when it comes to procurements, budgeting, logistics and training. The Army, Navy and IAF chief will, however, continue to have operational command of their respective forces.

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