Joint System of Defence Command: January 2020

Discussion Paper


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In August 2019, India announced the creation of the post of Chief of Defence (CDS) to add another layer to its higher defence organisation (HDO). The first Indian Chief of Defence Staff was appointed on December 31, 2019, a few months after the announcement. The change in Indian system of defence command has also generated a debate on the structure of Higher Defence Organisation in Pakistan which was initially revamped in 1976.

This discussion paper has been compiled by PILDAT to explore Higher Defence Organisation structures in selected countries across the world. In doing so, it aims to see if Pakistan’s Higher Defence Organisation can consider incorporating some lessons from modernisation efforts recently seen in some of these countries.