New CDS General Anil Chauhan: Former Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Bipin Rawat, analysing the security threat of India once said that China, not Pakistan, is the biggest threat to India. Similarly, twenty-four years ago, in 1998, former defence Minister George Fernandes had termed China India’s enemy number one.
As Pakistan is dying its own death, it is China that continues to pose threat to our sovereignty and integrity. Thus, it is imperative that people entrusted to secure the defence of the country are well versed with Chinese nefarious strategies.
General Anil Chauhan: India’s New CDS
Amid growing threat, the government has finally appointed Lieutenant General Anil Chauhan India’s new Chief of Defence Staff (CDS).
Announcing about the decision, the Ministry of Defence in its press release said, “The Government has decided to appoint Lt General Anil Chauhan (Retired) PVSM, UYSM, AVSM, SM, VSM as the next Chief of Defence Staff (new CDS) who shall also function as Secretary to Government of India, Department of Military Affairs with effect from the date of his assumption of charge and until further orders.”
In a military career of over 40 years, Lt Gen Anil Chauhan has held several command, staff and instrumental appointments. He also has extensive experience in counter-insurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir and North-East India.
Born on 18th May 1961, Lt Gen Anil Chauhan was commissioned into ’11 Gorkha Rifles’ of the Indian Army in 1981. Sharing ancestry region with former CDS Bipin Rawat and current National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval, Lt Gen Chauhan hails from the Pauri Garhwal district in the state of Uttarakhand.
He is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla and Indian Military Academy, Dehradun. In the rank of Maj General, the officer had commanded an Infantry Division in the critical Baramula sector in the Northern Command.
Later, as Lt General, he commanded a corps in the North East. He subsequently went on to become the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Eastern Command from September 2019. He held the charge until his retirement from the service in May 2021.
In addition to these command appointments, the officer also tenanted important staff appointments including the charge of Director General of Military Operations (DGMO). During his tenure as DGMO, India launched two of the greatest retaliatory strikes against enemies.
First was Operation Sunrise, a joint India-Myanmar counter-insurgency strike. Second, 2019 Balakot Airstrike against Jash-e-Mohammed inside Pakistani territory. The Balakot Airstrike was the retaliatory assault aftermath of Pulwama attack. Earlier, Lt Gen Chauhan has also served as a United Nations mission to Angola.
The officer superannuated from the Indian Army on 31 May 2021. Even after his retirement from the Army, he continued to contribute to national security and strategic matters.
For his distinguished and illustrious service in the Army, Lt General Anil Chauhan (Retired) was awarded the Param Vishisht Seva Medal, Uttam Yudh Seva Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, Sena Medal and Vishisht Seva Medal.
China Expert New CDS
Formed on January 1st, 2020, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) is the top most professional post in Indian defence force. Concerning the fragmented program and planning of all tri-services (Army, Navy and Indian Air Force), the CDS post was created to foster greater operational and keep inter-service frictions to a minimum. Other than enhancement of efficiency, the CDS post is critical because it, in a way, creates power concentration of all defence services of Bharat.
The CDS post was created due to the growing encirclement strategy of China and the looming threat of a two-front war. The expertise Lt Gen Anil Chauhan carries in relation to China will be instrumental in weaving a strong security net. Concerning their past misadventures, India needs to be ready with both offensive as well as deterrent security plans. Also, the legacy which former CDS Bipin Rawat left behind, Lt Gen Anil Chauhan will surely capitalise on it.
As the military reforms like Jointness in Operations, Operationalisation of Theatre Command and Synergy between Armed forces and Government are still in progress, his appointment would help speed up these processes.
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