Vivek : Issues & Options

Defence Procurement: Learning from Experience

On May 1, 2015, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, appointed a 10-member committee headed by former Home Secretary Dhirendra Singh, to review the defence procurement policies and procedures and to recommend fresh guidelines with a view to implementing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s exhortation to ‘make in India’.

Dissecting China’s White Papers on Defence: An Indian Perspective

Since 1998 China has been taking out white papers on defence regularly as part of its exercise in military transparency. While such an exercise does have inherent limitations in terms of what it can reveal and what it should conceal yet it serves as a good instrument of public diplomacy. The paper not only informs the domestic audience it also has relevance for major powers and China’s neighbours as well irrespective of the fact that their names may or may not be mentioned in the paper.

Transnationals/Tax Havens/Terrorism - How the TTTs destroyed Westphalian consensus on National Sovereignty

In the context of the strikes made against terror camps on the border of Manipur/Nagaland by the Indian Army; there has been number of discussions about national sovereignty and the role of individual States. Actually in the last few decades the activities of transnational corporations aided by tax havens on one side and terrorists on the other side have destroyed the concept of nation state and its sovereignty evolved after the 30 years’ war in 1648 in Westphalia.

ISIS: Is Central Asia the Next Stop?

There is a growing debate whether the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) will advance into the heartland of Central Asia or not, although the figures of people from the region joining the outfit differ from source to source. But considering the prevailing situation in most of these countries, even a few hundreds could be a worrying number. The rise in radicalism gained momentum after the demise of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Need for a Comprehensive National Strategy

Global Peace Index (GPI), published by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), a Sydney-based global non-profit organisation, has ranked India low in peace index, as ‘143rd among 162 countries and fifth out of seven in South Asia for the second year in a row.

Sri Lankan Political Drama- Sirisena’s Predicament over Rajapaksa

The most significant news of last one week from Sri Lanka was not only the dissolution of its Parliament and fresh elections, but also the public declaration of intent by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa (MR) to mark his political re-entry. Addressing a group of supporters in his home base Medamulana, MR announced his candidature for the general elections scheduled for August 17, 2015. The news of his political ‘comeback’ generated an euphoria among his supporters and but sent shock waves among his nemesis; both within his own political party and outside it.

Thoughts on India’s Central Asia Strategy

It is indeed encouraging that in a few days Prime Minister Modi will be visiting all the Central Asian countries simultaneously, something that no Indian Prime Minister has done so far. However, India seems to be grappling with the same issues and dilemmas in relation to Central Asia that were present in the nineties, notwithstanding periodic efforts to kick-start the relationship. Why is this so? There are both objective constraints, as well as some missed opportunities.

BBC’s Fantasy on India-MQM Nexus

For over a year and a half now, the signals emerging from London are extremely negative. On the surface, the British appear to be very keen to engage India, in particular the Modi government, and leave no opportunity to pay lip-service to the ostensibly close and friendly relations between India and the UK. They are also very eager to tap into the business opportunities that are opening up in India. But behind the scenes, on the security front, the British have been doing a lot that directly impinges on and has serious implications for India’s security.

Impressions from a Visit to China: Part I

While China had announced the year 2015 as ‘Visit India’ year after the visit of President Xi Jinping to India last September, this year after the visit of Prime Minister Modi to China officials in Beijing are in an overdrive to implement some of the agreements announced during the two summits. Strengthening economic and cultural relations while bypassing the strategic differences has been the dominant narrative of Chinese think tanks and government officials.