Civil-Military Relations

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  • Broadening the Education for Synergetic Civil–Military Relations

    Statecraft, diplomacy and warfare are not only a matter of brute force, but also a function of scholarship to understand the past, present and future of the art, science and literature of national and international security. At higher levels in their professional career, besides the armed forces, a number of civil servants too have to deal with the state’s use or threat of the use of legitimate force. This article suggests broadening the education for synergetic civil–military relations (CMR).

    April-June 2019

    Talk on ‘Civil-Military Relations in India’

    Event: 
    Talk
    August 07, 2018
    Time: 
    1100 hrs

    Devendra asked: What is the connotation of the term “quality of life” for a soldier in the Indian Army? What are the indicators of a good quality of life?

    Pradeep Singh Chhonkar replies: Quality of life is a broad concept that encompasses a number of different dimensions. It encompasses both objective factors (health, work culture, living conditions, etc) and the subjective perception one has about them. The latter depends significantly on individual’s priorities and needs. The connotation of the term “quality of life” remains universal whether it is for a uniformed or a non-uniformed person.

    A Requiem for 2016

    Higher Defence Management, Civil-military relations and force modernisation were three critical areas in which there was little or no movement in the year gone by.

    January 02, 2017

    Politics and the Military

    Politics and the Military

    A dissatisfied military is not in the interest of India which has to contend with multiple internal and external security issues. The nation at large and the political leadership must be alive to the prevailing sentiments and act appropriately.

    August 24, 2015

    Vipin asked: What steps/policies need to be put in place for a better civil-military synergy in a low intensity conflict environment in India?

    Vivek Chadha replies: The civil-military relations are a challenge in most countries even during routine peace time activity. Given the peculiarities of low intensity conflict operations, it tends to get more tenuous. This happens due to certain distinct conditions under which such operations are conducted. In the Indian context, in most cases central armed forces are deployed for bringing violence under control. This has been witnessed in almost all the states of Northeast India where insurgency has threatened the region and in J&K. It is the failure of state governments, which results in the calling out of central forces, both Central Armed Police Organisations (CAPOs) and the army. However, despite this reality, local resentment, both real and artificially galvanized by insurgent groups, builds against this deployment over a period of time. This has been witnessed in J&K, Manipur, Assam and Nagaland amongst other regions. Given the need to appeal to this popular sentiment for political reasons, state level political parties oppose deployment of forces, question their method of operations and exploit rare cases of violations and mistakes.

    Another dimension is the command and control aspect of this force. The fundamental requirement for success in any insurgency is to ensure cohesiveness and seamless coordination of security forces. However, at times this is adversely impacted by competing interests of local police, which operates under the state and the central forces deployed in the region. Orders and decisions, which should ideally be taken as a cohesive group, tend to get influenced by local politics. This has been witnessed in relation to the AFSPA debate in J&K, where the local political views and the recommendations of the army are contradictory leading to strained relations.

    These differences can only be resolved through a united political will to fight the common adversary that the country faces, which is the insurgents and external inimical powers. Also, a strong and unbiased unified command structure is needed where decisions are based on objective assessment of threats rather than political expediency. Lastly, police and central forces need to rise above service and force specific interests. This can be achieved through mature and high calibre leadership in areas affected by low intensity conflicts

    Aid to Civil Authorities by Army in Bihar: A Case Study

    This article tries to examine the role played by the Army during a natural disaster. India’s federal set-up tends to complicates issues and, quite often, politics dominates the humanitarian aspect, which leads to delays in the development of the army. This article is a case study of the Kosi flood of 2008 in Bihar, which was an outstanding example of civil–military cooperation. The article also analyses the successful efforts made by retired Army personnel for curbing the Naxal problems in the state.

    January 2012

    Juliee Sharma asked: Are there specific provisions in India for compensating to the victims of victim-activated IEDs?

    Ali Ahmed replies: Indian civilians and soldiers have been victims of IED attacks as part of proxy war, terror attacks and in insurgency hit areas. Such attacks result in fatalities and long-term injuries. The material damage, though sometimes considerable, pales in comparison to the human toll. Not only lives but long-term livelihoods of families are sometimes disrupted. Compensation, therefore, requires being not only as immediate relief but also to enable recouping over a longer time period. While monetary compensation is resorted to, measures such as employment to next of kin are also taken as warranted. The state governments usually take on the onus for compensation. For example, in J&K, the MHA Annual Report of 2010-11 (p. 9) informs that a one-time cash compensation of Rs. 5 lakh is provided to the next-of-kin of civilians killed in militancy-related incidents in lieu of compassionate appointment under SRO-43. This would include IED attacks. For this, Rs. 100 crore was released to the State Government from Security Related Expenditure (Relief & Rehabilitation). As informed by the State Government, an expenditure of Rs. 96.16 crore has been incurred so far. As for the soldiers who are victims of IED action, they are treated as battle casualties.

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