DEFENCE ATTACHE (DA) (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – IR)

News-CRUX-10     12th April 2024        
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Context: In a significant step to broaden strategic relationships with key global regions, India has initiated the appointment of military and defense attachés to numerous new countries.

Defence Attache (DA) 

  • About: It is a representative of a country's defense establishment stationed in an embassy abroad, tasked with promoting and safeguarding defense interests.
  • Expertise and Appointment: Typically a high-ranking military officer, the DA is a military expert attached to a diplomatic mission, maintaining their commission while serving in this capacity.
  • Diversity and Representation: While the term DA encompasses all branches of the armed services, larger nations may appoint attaches specifically representing individual branches such as air force or navy.
  • Responsibilities: The primary responsibility of a DA is to protect, develop, and advocate for their country's defense interests in the host nation, as well as fostering bilateral military relations.
  • Specialized Assignments: Some DAs are deployed for specific tasks, such as addressing migration issues, and may participate in military missions with organizations like NATO, the EU, or the UN.
  • Leadership and Multilateral Engagement: When serving on military deployments, DAs often operate as mission heads or military advisors, with assignments commonly involving multilateral cooperation.
  • Diplomatic Status: The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, 1961, grants DAs diplomatic immunity, considering them as members of the diplomatic staff.
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