New Delhi: Former Army Chief General Bipin Rawat who has been appointed India’s first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) with the rank of a four star General was congratulated by US saying this will help “catalyse” greater defence co-operation between the two countries.
Gen Rawat was on December 30 appointed to the post with a mandate to bring in convergence in functioning of Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force and bolster the country’s military prowess.
His appointment to the newly created post came a day before he was due to retire following a three-year tenure as the Army Chief during which he initiated a series of reforms in the 1.3 million-strong force besides following a policy of “hot pursuit” in dealing with cross border terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir.
“Congrats to General Bipin Rawat” on his appointment as India’s first-ever Chief of Defence Staff, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Alice G Wells said in a tweet on December 30 soon after his elevation.
The position “will help catalyse greater US-India ‘joint’ cooperation between our militaries as discussed at recent 2+2, including through joint exercises and info sharing,” Wells said.
Defence to defence co-operation between the two countries have increased tremendously in the last decade and a half.
However, the highest-level of interaction between the two countries had not been happening frequently because of lack of protocol in the sense of absence of an equivalent of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The current position in the US is being held by Gen Mark A Milley.
The appointment of Gen Rawat as the first Chief of Defence Staff is expected to increase interaction between the top military leadership of India and the US.