Politics and Strategy
Why do nation-states behave as they do? What makes one state a potential ally, another an adversary and a third a partner of convenience? How is it that two states are the best of pals in one international forum and yet at loggerheads with each other at another? What drives states to cooperate and coexist but also to enter into armed conflicts or design norms and regulations to target others? Is it geography, historic relations, cultural affinity or downright pragmatism that rules the roost? Or is it a mixture of all this and much more?
How can one political entity in a state see a particular global figure, economic system or institution as a panacea for all its problems, while another party sees the same as the root of all evil? How much does the quality of leadership or the personal affinity (or lack thereof) between two world leaders matter in international relations? Is it the structure of the international system, the presence of multilateral institutions or the whims, fancies and magnanimity of the biggest states which drives the world order?
Can there even be any definitive answers to these questions? Articles in this section shall make an attempt to answer any, some or most of these questions however best they can. Welcome to the confusing world of international politics and strategy. We hope you like what you see. Happy reading!
29 October 2023
Europe is coming under increasing economic and social strain due to an ever-increasing migrant influx. EU member-states have been deliberating on a common migration and asylum policy to introduce stricter border control measures. However, conflicting interests among the 27 member-states has made consensus building extremely difficult.
24 August 2023
Armenia and Azerbaijan have fought several wars to assert their claims over the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh over the past several decades. After its recapture by Azerbaijan in September 2023, a newly self-declared government has announced that the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh will simply cease to exist by January 2024.
1 October 2023
The EU’s ambitious climate policy has been widely criticised. While the civil society feels the governments are not doing enough, member-states such as Poland are completely opposed to climate directives from Brussels. This has led to a multiplicity of lawsuits before the European courts in recent times.
23 September 2023
The NPT bans the transfer of nuclear weapons, materials or technology to a non-nuclear weapon state. It allows for transfer of nuclear materials and technology for peaceful uses, which are generally considered to be for civilian nuclear energy generation. Whether this can be interpreted to also include naval propulsion for military submarines is a contentious issue, a loophole exploited by the USA, UK and Australia to execute the AUKUS deal.
19 September 2023
The Camp David bore witness to the birth of yet another historic diplomatic masterstroke in August 2023. Capitalizing on the recent rapprochement between Japan and South Korea, Washington has skillfully crafted a trilateral security cooperation framework to counter China. How could this shape the idea of a free and open Indo-Pacific?
10 September 2023
The Strait of Hormuz situated in the Persian Gulf holds tremendous significance for the global energy supply chains. Iran’s naval forces have recently been engaging in harassing and seizing commercial and military vessels traversing through the region. The situation is escalating fast as the USA and its allies are increasing their military build-up in the Gulf.
4 September 2023
The Nuclear Supplier’s Group originated nearly five decades ago with India firmly in its crosshairs after conducting its first nuclear test. Today, most of the original seven NSG members are the leading supporters of India’s bid to gain entry into the same grouping. What does India to stand to gain from an NSG membership?
Uday Nitin Patil
9 August 2023
The USA-China Science and Technology Agreement (STA), first agreed in 1979, is up for renewal by 27 August. The agreement, which has been renewed every five years since, has met with strong opposition from various quarters in the U.S. legislature and even in the executive branches. As yet, there has been no clear insight into the Joe Biden administration’s intent regarding the extension. With elections due next year, how the USA deals with this issue is shaping up as a fascinating flashpoint regarding how tough President Biden is willing to be on China.
7 August 2023
The ongoing war in Ukraine is just the latest theater where modern-day information warfare is playing out. As the conflict persists, people all over the world are relying on media outlets to get the latest information of the ground realities. However, it is becoming increasingly difficult to differentiate between factual reportage and propaganda masquerading as news.
24 July 2023
Diplomatic ties between India and Israel have existed for over three decades now. Defence sector cooperation has been the cornerstone of this relationship. Through thick and thin, Israel has proved to be a dependable partner for India’s growing ambitions. More Indo-Israeli joint ventures can not only help meet India’s goals of self-reliance, they can also emerge as prominent players in the global defence industry.
4 July 2023
India and Vietnam have a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in which defence and security cooperation plays a central role. Both states have growing reservations about China’s aggressive intent in the Indo-Pacific region. The potential for India-Vietnam ties to be a strategic deterrent against threats to regional stability has perhaps never been greater.
26 May 2023
Russia has reportedly won the symbolic Battle of Bakhmut, as Wagner mercenaries bid a slightly unpleasant adieu to their Russian comrades. A focal point in the Russia-Ukraine war, the Battle of Bakhmut has been termed a ‘meatgrinder’. In winning the same, Russia has employed an array of tactics purportedly dictated by the Gerasimov Doctrine.
26 May 2023
A review of “The Next Stop: Natural Gas and India’s Journey to a Clean Energy Future,” edited by Vikram Singh Mehta. The book presents natural gas as an ideal option for India on its path to a clean energy transition. It highlights uniquely Indian complexities of implementing a large-scale energy transition and outlines current trends in the global natural gas economy.
Sharad Joseph Mahendar
18 May 2023
China’s technological footprint around the globe is now more than palpable, having seemingly taken a leaf out of the US’ playbook. Just as Uncle Sam has doubled down on S&T partnerships in the Far East and the Indo-Pacific, China has accelerated a series of carefully crafted engagements in Latin America, disconcertingly so for the USA.
Kiran Mohan Vazhapully
5 May 2023
The New Space Race is rapidly transforming the landscape of space exploration in the 21st Century. As a major space power, India too has been closely watching the developments in the arena. India has now introduced a bold new space policy that represents a concrete step towards enhancing collaboration, innovation and international cooperation.
25 April 2023
1 November 2022
Through cutting-edge investments in high-technology, the UAE seeks to project itself as an emerging, dynamic hub of all things ‘gen-next’. The path to reshaping its identity from that of just another oil-rich Gulf state necessitates some bold choices. Commissioning the Barakah nuclear facility is one such roll of the dice.
1 November 2022
1 November 2022
India is today a responsible great power. However, 2022 posed unprecedented challenges regarding how India will deal with its friends when they step out of line. With great power comes great responsibility and in IR, this necessitates India hold the USA and Russia accountable for disturbing global peace and stability.