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Army seeks constitutional role in NDC

  CoAS Gen Rana stresses on national force’s presence in National Defence Council

KATHMANDU: The Nepali Army has sought its constitutional role in the National Defence Council, which makes recommendation to the Council of Ministers on mobilisation, operation and use of the 
national force.

While briefing various aspects of the NA to Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Sushil Koirala at Jangi Adda today, Chief of Army Staff Gaurav SJB Rana suggested the need of direct participation of army chief in the NDC for its relevance as well as effectiveness.

“It is imperative that the army chief has direct participation in the NDC to make it relevant and help it play more constructive roles,” CoAS Rana said.

As per Article 145 of the Interim Constitution 2007, the prime minister chairs the NDC while minister for defence and home affairs, along with other three ministers nominated by the prime minister, are the members of the body.

But Article 145 (3), which says the NDC may invite any other person to its meeting as per necessity, keeps the option open that army chief could be the invitee. But nonetheless, there is no direct constitutional role of army, or army chief for that matter, in NDC when it comes to becoming the part of the NDC.

The Constitution of Nepal 1990 had a provision ensuring army chief’s participation in the NDC as one of the members.

Security experts and Nepali Army top brass have long been expressing dissatisfaction over the constitutional provision that excludes the army from the NDC.

A retired lieutenant general finds exclusion of the army chief from the NDC absolutely illogical. “An army chief, by virtue of his/ her position, is the most knowledgeable person in the field; it is illogical not to give any direct role to army chief in the NDC,” Lt Gen (Rtd) Balananda Sharma told THT.

Then why does the Interim Constitution has such a provision that excludes the army from the NDC?

Sources informed THT that members representing then CPN-Maoist in the Constitution Drafting Committee, which drafted the Interim Constitution 2007, had taken a stand that army chief should not be included in the NDC, saying that ‘civilian supremacy must be maintained’. Other members in that committee from the Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML did not present their stand, said the sources.

Gen Rana, while briefing Prime Minister Koirala today, stated that participation of army chief in the NDC would ‘help the government in framing policies as well as in taking decisions when it comes to issues relating to security and defence’.

A statement issued by the NA’s Directorate of Public Relations said that Prime Minister Koirala stressed on the need of broader consensus among political parties on defence issues so as to frame national defence policies.

PM lauds NA

KATHMANDU: Prime Minister Sushil Koirala on Monday praised the Nepali Army for the role it has played on national as well as international fronts and expressed government’s full support to strengthen the national force to make it capable to cope with security challenges of the 21st century. While highlighting the emerging security challenges in the country, Koirala underscored the need

to develop the NA as a capable, agile, adaptable and robust military organisation. — HNS

Source : THT

WASHINGTON — The US Defense Department on March 4 will propose a five-year plan that boosts Pentagon spending by a total of $115 billion over sequestration spending caps, according to multiple sources who have been briefed on the plan.

The Pentagon's five-year spending plan would be a total of $115 billion over sequestration spending caps. (Defense Department)

The Pentagon’s five-year spending plan would be a total of $115 billion over sequestration spending caps. (Defense Department)

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Monday will preview the plan, along with other key items included in DoD’s $496 billion 2015 budget proposal. The budget proposal ignores federally mandated spending caps between 2016 and 2019. Defense News has reported that the fiscal 2016 budget projection would be $36 billion over the sequester cap.

While DoD’s fiscal 2015 budget falls in line with defense spending caps for that year, the budget will include a separate $26 billion “Opportunity, Growth and Security Initiative.” The additional $26 billion would go toward readiness, the sources said.

The proposal recommends keeping an aircraft carrier but sidelining half of the Navy’s cruiser fleet. It would also retire the Air Force’s A-10 and U-2 fleets and sets the stage for retiring the KC-10 fleet and for delaying the Navy’s version of the F-35.

Reached Sunday night, Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said he would not comment on budget specifics ahead of Hagel’s rollout.

“The Secretary believes strongly that we are facing unique challenges today, both from a security perspective and from a fiscal one. He further believes it is important that a budget not just state what you will pay for, but also what you will stand for,” Kirby said. “He has worked hard with the services to ensure that we continue to stand for the defense of our national interests — that whatever budget priorities we establish, we do so in keeping with our defense strategy and with a strong commitment to the men and women in uniform and to their families.

“But he has also said that we have to face the realities of our time. We must be pragmatic. We can’t escape tough choices. He and the chiefs are willing to make those choices — choices that become impossible to make intelligently should sequestration remain the law of the land.”

As for the additional $26 billion, an Obama administration official said the initiative “will be fully paid for with a balanced package of spending and tax reforms.”

The funding should not be considered an unfunded priorities, or wish list, the official said.

“It will demonstrate how, by simply closing a few unfair tax loopholes and reforming spending programs, Congress could achieve significant economic goals in research, education, manufacturing and skills training,” the official said. “It will be evenly split between defense and non-defense.

“This is consistent with the model established in Murray-Ryan, providing equal dollar-for-dollar increases above the current law discretionary spending caps for both defense and non-defense,” the official continued, referring to the spending compromise hashed out by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. “This level would fully eliminate the remaining non-defense discretionary sequestration cuts in FY2015.”

The five-year projections included in the budget are not in line with federal spending caps and would be subject to sequestration if the law is not changed.

DoD intends to slash personnel across all of the military services, but plans to add nearly 4,000 to the special operations ranks. The 2015 budget proposal calls for reducing the Army to between 440,000 to 450,000 soldiers. It also proposes shrinking the Marine Corps by 8,000 Marines to 182,000. Total Corps end-strength drops to 175,000 if sequestration continues.

The budget plan proposes cutting 20,000 from the Army National Guard — dropping to 335,000 by 2019 — and 10,000 from the Army Reserve, bring it to 195,000.

DoD will ask Congress to approve a base realignment and closure (BRAC) round in 2017. This spring, DoD will begin a review of its infrastructure in Europe to recommend funding cuts on the continent, which are not subject to BRAC.

Defence officials say DoD still plans to fulfill its commitments in Europe and the Middle East.

In terms of service specifics, the Pentagon is planning to invest $1 billion in next-generation jet engine technology.

As has been widely reported, the Air Force would retire its entire A-10 attack jet fleet. If sequestration remains in place, it would also retire its entire KC-10 fleet and reduce unmanned aircraft combat air patrols.

The Air Force also will propose retiring its entire Lockheed Martin U-2 spy plane fleet, which sources said was tirelessly debated throughout the budget-building process. It will instead opt to replace the U-2 with the unmanned Northrop Grumman Global Hawk surveillance aircraft, a reversal of what the Air Force had wanted to do.

The Navy will not ask to retire an aircraft carrier, as had been reported. Yet it will not fund the midlife refueling of the carrier George Washington. Instead, DoD will make a decision on whether to cut an aircraft carrier from its 11-ship fleet in 2016, sources said.

The Navy also will propose taking 11 cruisers — half the fleet — out of service until funds are available to modernize them.

The Navy plans to purchase two submarines and two destroyers per year, as well as an additional afloat staging base.

If sequestration continues, the Navy would have to lay up six additional ships in 2016. It would also suspend purchases of the F-35C carrier-based version of the Joint Strike Fighter for two years, sources said.

DoD’s 2015 proposal also will recommend canceling the Army’s Ground Combat Vehicle program.


सैनिक सामथ्र्यका आधारमा नेपाल विश्वको ७७औँ स्थानमा रहेको एक अन्तर्राष्ट्रय सस्ंथाको अध्ययनले देखाएको छ ।

विश्वका सैनिकसम्बन्धी अनुसन्धान गर्ने संस्था ग्लोबल फायर पावर (जिएफपी)ले आफ्नो वेबसाइटमा विश्वका विभिन्न एक सय ६ मुलुकको सैन्य सामथ्र्य सूचीकृत गरेको छ । वेबसाइटले सैनिक सामथ्र्य मापनका लागि सेनालाई केन्द्रीय भागमा राखेको छ । मानव स्रोत, प्राकृतिक स्रोत–साधन, भू–बनोट, भौतिक पूर्वाधार, अर्थ, हवाई, जललगायत शक्तिका विभिन्न ५० स्रोत सैनिक सामथ्र्य मापनका मुख्य आधार बनाइएका छन् । जिएफपीले अघिल्लो वर्ष निकालेको सूचीमा भने नेपाल विश्वको ६४औँ स्थानमा थियो ।

त्यसवेला जिएफपीले विश्वका ६८ मुलुकलाई सैनिक सामथ्र्यका आधारमा सूचीकृत गरेको थियो । वेबसाइटका अनुसार सैनिक सामथ्र्यका आधारमा विश्वका १० शक्ति राष्ट्रलाई ‘सुपर पावर’ भनिएको छ । यस्तो शक्तिराष्ट्रको पहिलो सूचीमा अमेरिका छ । दोस्रोमा रसिया, तेस्रोमा चीन तथा चौथो शक्तिराष्ट्रका रूपमा छिमेकी मुलुक भारत छ । पाँचौँदेखि दशौँसम्म क्रमशस् बेलायत, फ्रान्स, जर्मनी, टर्की, दक्षिण कोरिया र जापान शक्तिराष्ट्रको सूचीमा छन् ।
अन्य मुलुकको तुलनामा नेपाल सैनिक सामथ्र्यका आधारले भौतिक पूर्वाधारमा पछि रहेको सो वेबसाइटले उल्लेख गरेको छ । नेपाली सेनासँग युद्धका वेला आवश्यक पर्ने युद्धट्यांक शून्य छ । ‘सुपर पावर’ अमेरिकासँग युद्धट्यांक मात्रै आठ हजार तीन सय २५ छन् । त्यस्तै, दोस्रो र तेस्रो ठूलो शक्ति रसिया र चीनसँग युद्धट्यांक क्रमशस् १५ हजार ५० र नौ हजार एक सय ५० छन् । भारत र बेलायतसँग युद्धट्यांक क्रमशस् तीन हजार पाँच सय ६९ र चार सय सात छन् ।
नेपाली सेनासँग रकेट लन्चर प्रोजेक्ट पनि शून्य छ । अमेरिका, रसिया, चीन, भारत र बेलायतसँग रकेट लन्चर क्रमशस् एक हजार एक सय ३०, तीन हजार सात सय ८१, एक हजार सात सय ७०, दुई सय ९२ र ५६ छन् । नेपाली सेनासँग जलसेना छैन । अमेरिकी सेनासँग जलसेनाले प्रयोग गर्ने अत्याधुनिक युद्ध सामग्री मात्रै ६ सय ६८ छन् । त्यस्तै रसियासँग ६ सय ६, चीनसँग एक हजार एक सय ४०, भारतसँग दुई सय ९२, बेलायतसँग एक सय ३६ अत्याधुनिक युद्ध सामग्री छन् ।
सैन्य सामथ्र्य निर्धारण त्यस मुलुकमा रहेको तेलको आधारमा पनि गरिएको छ । नेपालमा तेल उत्पादन हुँदैन । उपभोगका आधारमा भने नेपालमा दैनिक २० हजार ब्यारेल तेल खपत हुन्छ । तर, अमेरिकामा प्रतिदिन ८५ लाख ब्यारेल तेल उत्पादन हुन्छ । त्यस्तै रसिया, चीन, भारत र बेलायतले प्रतिदिन क्रमशस् एक करोड १० लाख ब्यारेल, ४० लाख ७५ हजार ब्यारेल, आठ लाख ९५ हजार पाँच सय ब्यारेल, ११ लाख ब्यारेल उत्पादन गर्छन् ।
जिएफपीले सेनाका लागि प्रतिवर्ष छुट्याइने बजेटलाई पनि सैन्य सामथ्र्य मापन गर्ने मुख्य सूचक बनाइएको छ । सेनाका लागि नेपालले प्रतिवर्ष २१ करोड अमेरिकी डलर छुट्याउने गरेको जिएफपीले जनाएको छ । अमेरिकाले सेनाका लागि प्रतिवर्ष ६ खर्ब १२ अर्ब ५० करोड डलर विनियोजन गर्छ भने रसियाले प्रतिवर्ष ७६ अर्ब ६० करोड डलर विनियोजन गर्छ । चीन, भारत र बेलायतले सेनाका लागि वार्षिक रूपमा एक खर्ब २६ करोड, ४६ अर्ब र ५३ अर्ब ६० करोड अमेरिकी डलर विनियोजन गर्ने गरेको सो वेबसाइटले जनाएको छ ।

जिएफपीले सैन्य सामथ्र्य मापन गर्न सैनिक संख्यालाई पनि आधार मानेको छ । जिएफपीका अनुसार अमेरिकी सेनामा १४ लाख तीस हजार सेना छन् । रसियामा सेनाको संख्या सात लाख ६६ हजार छ । चीनमा चिनियाँ जनमुक्ति सेनाको संख्या २२ लाख ८५ हजार छ । त्यस्तै भारत र बेलायती सेनामा सैनिकको संख्या क्रमशस् १३ लाख २५ र दुई लाख पाँच हजार तीन सय ३० छ । यी शक्तियुक्त पाँच मुलुकको तुलनामा नेपाली सेनाको संख्या निकै कम छ । जिएफपीको तथ्यांकमा नेपाली सेनाको संख्या ९५ हजार छ ।