HomeIndian Defencedefence: Defence declaration: BJP manifesto promises expansion of Bharat's footprint across 'strategic...

defence: Defence declaration: BJP manifesto promises expansion of Bharat’s footprint across ‘strategic locations’

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New Delhi: Creation of military theatre commands to improve capabilities of armed forces and expansion of defence footprint across ‘strategic locations’ to protect security interests of the Indian Ocean Region figure prominently in BJP manifesto.

BJP has stated that the government created a chief of defence staff position for better coordination and will establish joint commands for more efficient operations. It has also promised to improve border infrastructure, including smart fencing.

“We will expand Bharat’s defence footprint across strategic locations and partner with friendly countries to protect Bharat’s and the Indian Ocean Region’s security interests.”

While military restructuring figures in an election manifesto for the first time, progress has been made in the past five years for creating joint theatre commands – new formations that will include units from Army, Air Force and Navy under a single military authority, based either on geographic location or function.

In August, Parliament passed a bill empowering military commanders to take charge of soldiers and enforce discipline. The Inter-Services Organisation (ISO) bill empowered commander-in-chief and officer in command of ISOs with disciplinary and administrative powers over personnel deployed under them, a key step towards joint commands. The final formulation, however, is still under discussion. The formulations under discussion include setting up of two land-based commands and a maritime command in the first phase.

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