The Creation of Indian Integrated Commands: Organisational Learning and the Andaman and Nicobar Command

Patrick Bratton was Visiting International Fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. Click here for detailed profile
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Email
  • Whatsapp
  • Linkedin
  • Print
  • May 2012

    India took an unprecedented step 10 years ago by setting up a joint theatre operational command for the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (ANC). This article seeks to examine the following questions: why did India decide to establish its first joint operational command? Why has the creation of this and other unified commands been so incremental in the Indian context? What are the arguments for and against jointness, integration and joint operational commands in the Indian context? The article will firstly discuss the concept of joint operational commands and then theories of organisational military change. Secondly, it will look at the debate in India about jointness and these commands, and how this led to the creation of the ANC. Lastly, it will conclude with observations about the ANC and the future of similar commands in the Indian context. Unless disaster or political events incentivise Indian politicians to force change on the defence establishment, it is unlikely that there will be any further joint operational theatre commands (like the ANC) in the future, but joint operational functional commands (like the strategic forces command, SFC) are more likely.