Security: June 2021 Current Affair Notes | EduRev

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Current Affairs : Security: June 2021 Current Affair Notes | EduRev

 Page 1


 
56                                                                                                                                                        
4. SECURITY 
4.1. INTEGRATED THEATRE COMMANDS  
Why in news? 
Recently, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) chaired a meeting with the Vice Chiefs of the three Services among 
others, in the backdrop of concerns about the proposed model of the Integrated Theatre Commands. 
Current system of military commands in India 
• Since 1947, the three services have been 
functioning separately and there has been 
proven cooperation between them but no 
integration per se. 
• The Indian Army, Navy and Air Force 
each has multiple commands that are 
vertically split in terms of their command 
structure. 
o There are 17 military commands of 
tri-services, seven of the Army and 
the Air Force each and three of the 
Navy, leading to wastage and 
duplication of resources.  
• Apart from these, there are two unified 
commands i.e. Andaman and Nicobar 
Command (ANC) and the Special Forces 
Command (SFC) for nuclear assets. 
• There are four tri-service institutions i.e. 
Defense Intelligence Agency, Defense 
Space Agency, Cyber Agency, and Armed 
Forces Special Operations Divisions, 
established in 2019. 
About Integrated Theatre Commands  
• An integrated theatre command envisages a unified command of the three Services, under a single 
commander, for geographical theatres that are of security concern.  
o The commander of such a force will be able to bring to bear all resources at his disposal — from the IAF, 
the Army and the Navy — with seamless efficacy. 
• The idea of Integrated Theatre commands has been proposed by both the Kargil review committee as well as 
D B Shekatkar committee. 
• Shekatkar committee in 2016 
recommended creating 3 
integrated theatre 
commands:  
o Northern command for 
the China border,  
o Western command for 
the Pakistan border and  
o Southern command for 
the maritime borders.  
• The current theaterisation 
model under consideration 
seeks to set up at least six new integrated commands. 
• The theaterisation model will have the inbuilt flexibility to fall back on current command and control 
structures to eliminate the possibility of the country getting caught off guard by its adversaries during the 
crucial transition phase.  
Page 2


 
56                                                                                                                                                        
4. SECURITY 
4.1. INTEGRATED THEATRE COMMANDS  
Why in news? 
Recently, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) chaired a meeting with the Vice Chiefs of the three Services among 
others, in the backdrop of concerns about the proposed model of the Integrated Theatre Commands. 
Current system of military commands in India 
• Since 1947, the three services have been 
functioning separately and there has been 
proven cooperation between them but no 
integration per se. 
• The Indian Army, Navy and Air Force 
each has multiple commands that are 
vertically split in terms of their command 
structure. 
o There are 17 military commands of 
tri-services, seven of the Army and 
the Air Force each and three of the 
Navy, leading to wastage and 
duplication of resources.  
• Apart from these, there are two unified 
commands i.e. Andaman and Nicobar 
Command (ANC) and the Special Forces 
Command (SFC) for nuclear assets. 
• There are four tri-service institutions i.e. 
Defense Intelligence Agency, Defense 
Space Agency, Cyber Agency, and Armed 
Forces Special Operations Divisions, 
established in 2019. 
About Integrated Theatre Commands  
• An integrated theatre command envisages a unified command of the three Services, under a single 
commander, for geographical theatres that are of security concern.  
o The commander of such a force will be able to bring to bear all resources at his disposal — from the IAF, 
the Army and the Navy — with seamless efficacy. 
• The idea of Integrated Theatre commands has been proposed by both the Kargil review committee as well as 
D B Shekatkar committee. 
• Shekatkar committee in 2016 
recommended creating 3 
integrated theatre 
commands:  
o Northern command for 
the China border,  
o Western command for 
the Pakistan border and  
o Southern command for 
the maritime borders.  
• The current theaterisation 
model under consideration 
seeks to set up at least six new integrated commands. 
• The theaterisation model will have the inbuilt flexibility to fall back on current command and control 
structures to eliminate the possibility of the country getting caught off guard by its adversaries during the 
crucial transition phase.  
 
57                                                                                                                                                        
Related information 
Integrated Theatre Command in other countries 
• More than 32 countries in the world already have some form of 
theatre or joint command in place for better integration among the 
branches of the military. Notable among such countries are the US 
and China. According to a report, the US was the first to come up 
with a theatre command system and "presently possesses six 
geographical and four functional commands". 
• Russia is said to have commenced with the restructuring of its armed 
forces in 2008 and "has now created four theatre commands". 
• India’s Chief of Defence Staff has been given the mandate to steer the theaterisation drive. It is expected 
that jointness among three services would be rolled out by 2023.  
Need for theatre commands 
• Changing nature of warfare: The 
changing nature of warfare 
demands cooperation and synergy 
among the forces to achieve 
enhanced combat preparedness 
and interoperability between forces 
during peace. 
o Moreover, these strategic 
commands would cater to modern and hybrid warfare, accommodating the cyber and space domains as 
well. 
• Improved Resource efficiency: The new model would reduce cost by cutting the duplication through 
optimum allocation and utilization of sources.  
o With the strategic deployment of troops under one command, a reduction in the deployment of troops 
would also reduce the amount of defense budget allocated for salaries, allowances, and pensions etc. 
o Joint training and synchronization would result in enhanced command and communication within forces. 
o Moreover, the integration of medical services within three forces would elevate the medical arm of the 
unified command. 
• Better procurement: The ability to procure military systems and equipment in bulk for the three services 
together would also ensure cost reduction and strengthened leverage to the defense industry in India.  
• Quick decision making: The theatre commands can ensure quick decision making in case of joint 
operations. Also the integrated theatre commander will not be answerable to individual Services 
• Reforms in the military capabilities of neighbouring countries: A major factor pushing for the 
heightened need for Theatre Commands has been the broad military reforms within the Chinese 
military.  
o The possibility of an active Line of Actual Control (LAC), alongside of an already active Line of Control 
(LOC) has heightened in many ways the call for serious reforms in the Indian military. 
Challenges in implementing Integrated Theatre Commands  
• Geographical stretch of India: Various experts have pointed that India is not geographically large enough to 
be divided into different theatres, as resources from one theatre can easily be moved to another theatre. 
o Experts argue that the current model is sufficient to protect our territory and lanes of communication 
and is feasible in transportation. 
• Possibility of inter-service friction: Some experts argue that this model would affect the independent 
service identity of forces and could lead to inter-service friction.  
o While the army and navy are in favour of theatre commands, the IAF has concerns about the model over 
the division of its air assets, dilution of powers of chiefs etc. 
• Thinning of already stretched resources: According to reports, with fewer perceived resources, the Indian 
Air Force has concerns about its assets getting spread out thinly over the different theatre commands.  
• Lack of expertise of a theatre commander: Limited domain knowledge and expertise of a theatre 
commander could affect the functioning of command. 
• Operational hurdles: Integrating the three services under the theatre com mand system faces hurdles 
like who reports to whom and how does the chain of command flow. These involve issues of 
operational command and control over assets.  
• Financial constraints: Budgetary allocations and the distribution of funds have also been point ed 
out as factors that need to be clearly worked out to enable the setting up of a seamless theatre 
command system. 
• Reduced role of Chief of Staff: Since the role of Chief of Staff of three forces would be limited to only the 
deployment of resources to the commander, the utilization of resources would be left on the behest of the 
theatre commander only. This could result in dimnishing the role of Chief of Staff. 
 
Page 3


 
56                                                                                                                                                        
4. SECURITY 
4.1. INTEGRATED THEATRE COMMANDS  
Why in news? 
Recently, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) chaired a meeting with the Vice Chiefs of the three Services among 
others, in the backdrop of concerns about the proposed model of the Integrated Theatre Commands. 
Current system of military commands in India 
• Since 1947, the three services have been 
functioning separately and there has been 
proven cooperation between them but no 
integration per se. 
• The Indian Army, Navy and Air Force 
each has multiple commands that are 
vertically split in terms of their command 
structure. 
o There are 17 military commands of 
tri-services, seven of the Army and 
the Air Force each and three of the 
Navy, leading to wastage and 
duplication of resources.  
• Apart from these, there are two unified 
commands i.e. Andaman and Nicobar 
Command (ANC) and the Special Forces 
Command (SFC) for nuclear assets. 
• There are four tri-service institutions i.e. 
Defense Intelligence Agency, Defense 
Space Agency, Cyber Agency, and Armed 
Forces Special Operations Divisions, 
established in 2019. 
About Integrated Theatre Commands  
• An integrated theatre command envisages a unified command of the three Services, under a single 
commander, for geographical theatres that are of security concern.  
o The commander of such a force will be able to bring to bear all resources at his disposal — from the IAF, 
the Army and the Navy — with seamless efficacy. 
• The idea of Integrated Theatre commands has been proposed by both the Kargil review committee as well as 
D B Shekatkar committee. 
• Shekatkar committee in 2016 
recommended creating 3 
integrated theatre 
commands:  
o Northern command for 
the China border,  
o Western command for 
the Pakistan border and  
o Southern command for 
the maritime borders.  
• The current theaterisation 
model under consideration 
seeks to set up at least six new integrated commands. 
• The theaterisation model will have the inbuilt flexibility to fall back on current command and control 
structures to eliminate the possibility of the country getting caught off guard by its adversaries during the 
crucial transition phase.  
 
57                                                                                                                                                        
Related information 
Integrated Theatre Command in other countries 
• More than 32 countries in the world already have some form of 
theatre or joint command in place for better integration among the 
branches of the military. Notable among such countries are the US 
and China. According to a report, the US was the first to come up 
with a theatre command system and "presently possesses six 
geographical and four functional commands". 
• Russia is said to have commenced with the restructuring of its armed 
forces in 2008 and "has now created four theatre commands". 
• India’s Chief of Defence Staff has been given the mandate to steer the theaterisation drive. It is expected 
that jointness among three services would be rolled out by 2023.  
Need for theatre commands 
• Changing nature of warfare: The 
changing nature of warfare 
demands cooperation and synergy 
among the forces to achieve 
enhanced combat preparedness 
and interoperability between forces 
during peace. 
o Moreover, these strategic 
commands would cater to modern and hybrid warfare, accommodating the cyber and space domains as 
well. 
• Improved Resource efficiency: The new model would reduce cost by cutting the duplication through 
optimum allocation and utilization of sources.  
o With the strategic deployment of troops under one command, a reduction in the deployment of troops 
would also reduce the amount of defense budget allocated for salaries, allowances, and pensions etc. 
o Joint training and synchronization would result in enhanced command and communication within forces. 
o Moreover, the integration of medical services within three forces would elevate the medical arm of the 
unified command. 
• Better procurement: The ability to procure military systems and equipment in bulk for the three services 
together would also ensure cost reduction and strengthened leverage to the defense industry in India.  
• Quick decision making: The theatre commands can ensure quick decision making in case of joint 
operations. Also the integrated theatre commander will not be answerable to individual Services 
• Reforms in the military capabilities of neighbouring countries: A major factor pushing for the 
heightened need for Theatre Commands has been the broad military reforms within the Chinese 
military.  
o The possibility of an active Line of Actual Control (LAC), alongside of an already active Line of Control 
(LOC) has heightened in many ways the call for serious reforms in the Indian military. 
Challenges in implementing Integrated Theatre Commands  
• Geographical stretch of India: Various experts have pointed that India is not geographically large enough to 
be divided into different theatres, as resources from one theatre can easily be moved to another theatre. 
o Experts argue that the current model is sufficient to protect our territory and lanes of communication 
and is feasible in transportation. 
• Possibility of inter-service friction: Some experts argue that this model would affect the independent 
service identity of forces and could lead to inter-service friction.  
o While the army and navy are in favour of theatre commands, the IAF has concerns about the model over 
the division of its air assets, dilution of powers of chiefs etc. 
• Thinning of already stretched resources: According to reports, with fewer perceived resources, the Indian 
Air Force has concerns about its assets getting spread out thinly over the different theatre commands.  
• Lack of expertise of a theatre commander: Limited domain knowledge and expertise of a theatre 
commander could affect the functioning of command. 
• Operational hurdles: Integrating the three services under the theatre com mand system faces hurdles 
like who reports to whom and how does the chain of command flow. These involve issues of 
operational command and control over assets.  
• Financial constraints: Budgetary allocations and the distribution of funds have also been point ed 
out as factors that need to be clearly worked out to enable the setting up of a seamless theatre 
command system. 
• Reduced role of Chief of Staff: Since the role of Chief of Staff of three forces would be limited to only the 
deployment of resources to the commander, the utilization of resources would be left on the behest of the 
theatre commander only. This could result in dimnishing the role of Chief of Staff. 
 
 
58                                                                                                                                                        
Way ahead 
• Eliminating differences: The government has formed an eight-member panel under the CDS to fine-tune the 
plans and bring all stakeholders on board. 
• Concurrence of the Ministry of Finance: This is important as setting up of theatres and integration of various 
structures would have financial ramifications as well. 
• Streamlining decision making: There is a need to decide who the theatre commanders would report to. For 
e.g. in the US the commanders report to the political leadership. 
• Other reforms through target intervention: Steps should be taken to enable systems such as a robust 
and vibrant defence-industrial manufacturing complex, recognition of the changing nature of 
warfare, greater reliance on technological capabilities etc.  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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