Given China’s Threat, India’s Military Should Not Undertake Any Significant Changes

Agnipath scheme has a mixed reception

The Indian Army will soon begin an exercise to change the names of some of its units as well as some of its uniforms and traditions. The military must adapt to the changing needs of the society it serves. It’s understandable that the Army would want to shake things up in this situation.

These suggested alterations are the latest in a line of adjustments that started in 2019. The significance of these alterations might be rated. In order to better coordinate India’s armed forces, a new position of Chief of Defence Staff was established. General Bipin Rawat, the first Chief of Defense Staff, envisioned four unified theatres of operations, each with a single operational commander.

Ten months have passed since General Rawat’s unexpected death, and the Government of India still has not found a suitable replacement. This causes others to wonder if sufficient consideration was given to this fundamental change, the most disruptive one envisioned during India’s time of independence. The establishment of a permanent fund to buy weapons was also planned as a major reform. This proposal was endorsed by the last Finance Commission. Though GoI has not yet hammered out the specifics.

The growing cost of pensions was a factor in the Government of India finally deciding to implement the Agnipath Scheme this year. Several significant demographics were initially disappointed, and many veterans had strong opinions on the matter. Still, progress is being made with this plan.

All of these shifts are happening as India faces forth against the most revisionist Chinese dictatorship in centuries. China has been actively working to relocate the LAC westward since 2020. This week, India’s top military brass publicly called China a threat to the country’s safety.

With this history in mind, it’s best if the Indian Army doesn’t make any more drastic changes inside the ranks that might reignite the discussion over the army’s culture. It is recommended that all attention be given to the indicated substantial modifications. It has to begin as soon as possible with the selection of a new CDS to oversee the implementation of integrated theatre commands. The adjustments in symbolism can be implemented at a later date.