What is a Defence Attache (DA)?

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What is a Defence Attache (DA)? Blog Image


India has begun to post military and defence attachés to several new countries in a big move to expand strategic ties with key regions across the globe.

About Defence Attache (DA)

  • A DA is a member of the armed forces who serves in an embassy as a representative of his/her country’s defence establishment abroad.
  • DA is a generic term that covers personnel from all branches of the armed services, although some larger countries may appoint a DA to represent an individual service branch, such as an air force or naval attaché.
  • It is the DAs job to protect, develop, and promote the defence interests of their country in the nation they are assigned, as well as in bilateral military and defence relations.
  • Some DAs are deployed to work on specific issues, like migration, and they can also serve as part of a military mission with organisations such as NATO, the EU, or the UN.
    • If serving on such military deployments, DAs usually operate as the head of the mission or a military adviser, with these assignments usually multilateral.
  • The Diplomatic Status of the DA:
    • The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 18th April, 1961, provides immunity to persons according to their rank in a diplomatic mission. It defines the legal status of the DA in Article 7.
    • Under the Convention, DAs are considered members of the diplomatic staff, enjoying full immunity.

Q1: What is the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961?

The Vienna Convention outlines the rules of diplomatic relations to facilitate friendly relations between States and to enable States to develop economic, cultural and scientific relations. Among other things the Convention sets out the privileges of a diplomatic mission and provides the legal basis for diplomatic immunity. It is fundamental to the conduct of foreign relations and ensures that diplomats can conduct their duties without threat of influence by the host government.

Source: India posts defence attaches to several new nations for 1st time