RESTRUCTURING THE military, bringing in experts from outside into the intelligence apparatus, appointing service personnel in the Ministry of Defence for better civil-military integration and capacity building in military, police and intelligence wings are some of key suggestions made by Lieutenant General (Retd) D S Hooda in his report on national security submitted to Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday.
Rahul had on February 22 announced setting up of a task force on national security headed by Hooda, who oversaw the September 2016 surgical strike across the Line of Control.
After the report was submitted to him, the Congress chief said Hooda and his team have put together a comprehensive report on national security. “This exhaustive report will at first be discussed and debated within the Congress party,” he said.
Sources said the report has dealt at length with India’s relationship with the immediate neighbours, with bigger powers and the Look East policy besides looking at the internal security problem, including the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, Northeast and Left Wing Extremism.
Interestingly, the report talks about the non-security issues that put the population at risk, including the issues of demography, job creation, climate change, energy security and income inequality among others. It talks about the challenge of migration, growing population and how to deal with the problem of creating job opportunities for them
On security-related issues, sources said the report has suggestions and recommendations on building capabilities in military, police, intelligence and cyber security. Significantly, sources said, Hooda had argued in favour of more military-civil integration.
The report is learnt to have suggested that the Ministry of Defence should have personnel from the services which, it said, would help take strategic decisions quickly. “The Ministry of Defence is completely staffed by bureaucracy. There is no service member. If you have a mix set up, the requirement of the services will be looked at more comprehensively,” a senior party leader said.
It has suggested restructuring the military to create more “jointness between the three services” and making the intelligence apparatus more professional by drawing in people from all fields. The argument is experts should be brought in from outside rather than restricting the recruitment to people from police or other services.