Date: 16 Apr 2009


Army neglected, says Gen Malik 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 15, 2009.

Former Army Chief General VP Malik (retd) today dropped a bombshell in these times of paranoid security, saying “armed forces were not getting (arms and ammunition) what they needed.”

General Malik said despite an increase in defence budgets every year, modernisation of armed forces were not taking place in a way it should have been. The General said, “Despite the 24 per cent increase in the defence budget this year, if you ask any of the chiefs of the defence staff whether they are fully prepared and equipped to take on either China or Pakistan, my hunch is that they would say no. That is the situation.” General Malik said this while chairing a discussion on “challenges to defence planning in India” by former Chief of Integrated Defence Staff, Vice- Admiral Raman Puri at the Observer Research Foundation.

The General, who led the forces in the Kargil conflict, is now president of the ORF institute for security studies.

“Defence planning have been a challenge and continues to be a challenge even today,” General Malik said, blaming too many agencies for the inordinate delay in planning and procurement.

Vice-Admiral Raman Puri said despite the GoM recommendation following the Kargil committee report authored by K Subrahmaniam, till today no decision had been taken on the proposal to create CDS (Chief of Defence Staff). He blamed the bureaucracy and the services for the status quo. General Malik opined politicians were also responsible.

Vice-Admiral Puri said there needed to be a national policy, followed by strategic policy, military policy, interoperability and integration of three services. “We don’t have a long term integrated perspective plan like many countries have. What we do at the Defence Ministry level is bundling of plans of three Service Chiefs and make one plan without any long-term perspective. These plans also keep changing as the Service Chief changes,” Vice-Admiral Puri pointed out.

Vice-Admiral KK Nayyar, chairman of the National Maritime Foundation (NMF), said “If we can make nuclear bombs and sophisticated satellite systems, why can’t we make other equipments. Even for pistols we run to other countries.”

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