ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Strategic Affairs

India seeks to accommodate multiple interests that include aspirations for global status and balance China for which it needs the West; economic development for which it needs Russian hydrocarbons; retaining a leadership role of the global South with neutrality; maintaining relations with the Gulf and ASEAN countries, and so on. This combination results in ambiguities.

Shipping and supply-chain logistics have emerged as pivotal battlegrounds in the intensifying US–China trade war, initially sparked by efforts to address trade imbalances and intellectual property rights issues. This conflict has escalated, becoming a focal point in the election year, with both democrats and republicans leveraging anti-China rhetoric to demonstrate their nationalism and commitment to reaffirming American dominance in global affairs.

The geopolitical transition away from unipolarity is hastened by theatres of conflict in West Asia, Russia–Ukraine, and Indo-Pacific and their impact. Significant changes in the international power structures constructed after World War II are discernible and the global South is playing a significant role in this transition.

Israel’s relentless bombing of Gaza has brought the Palestine question into the global consciousness. The reason for hope is the indefatigable Palestinian people and their resolve for freedom. The changing geopolitical environment of multipolarity and the possibility of independent diplomacy provide an opening.

The global South is discontented and aims to exert its influence in reshaping global politics and finance. China and India emerge as the primary contenders for leadership in the developing and underdeveloped world. While India seeks to reform the post-war order, China endeavours to revolutionise it. India’s approach may not be fundamentally opposed to the West, as its efforts are focused on discouraging poorer nations from being lured by Chinese financial incentives. The Western powers are apprehensive about the prospect of the postcolonial developing world uniting, especially under Russian and Chinese influence. They aim to counteract such unity, ensuring that it remains fragmented.

Two back-to-back multilateral summits, the BRICS and G20, are rightly considered 2023’s very important meetings. Both these have successes, challenges and provide indicators on the state of current....

The Ukraine crisis has solidified the Sino-Russian geopolitical alliance. Growing relations between the two will only cement their grip on the Central Asian Republics, pushing Western political and economic engagement with the region to the margins. Germany is taking on more responsibilities in Central Asia, in part to counteract Russia and China’s influence in the region. In addition, in view of the growing transcontinental linkages, it intends to strengthen its position in the newly formed trade and transportation macro region, which runs from the Baltic Sea to the Indian Ocean and from Eastern Europe to Central and East Asia.

The “New Washington Consensus” is not really new as the greatly magnified role and influence of the huge transnational corporations, especially the military–industrial complex that drives both the economics and foreign policy of the United States, remains untouched. Further, there is no consensus on its anti-China thrust either as the majority of countries searching for strategic autonomy, including many of the US’s own allies, would not risk breaking economic relations with China.

The AUKUS programme has become a fulcrum of the US’s Indo-Pacific strategy, and the choice of nuclear attack submarines in preference to aircraft carriers or any other naval platform is a clear indication of the versatility of such platforms. The viability of this programme for Australia and its relevance to India’s defence planning and procurement process are analysed.

The Chinese-mediated agreement between the two West Asian rivals, Iran and Saudi Arabia, on 10 March, will re-establish diplomatic relations between the two countries after a seven-year period of cold hostility. This agreement and Chinese mediation methodology change the regional strategic landscape in historic ways.

The world is reorienting away from its fixation with exclusive reliance on sea lanes of communication, as the fulcrum of international trade and politics, and its embrace of modern connectivity imperatives. The emerging Eurasian land bridges are now the biggest disrupter of the existing maritime order and impacting the global power shift. The maritime-continental disequilibrium is once again determining the contours of conflicts and contestations in global politics. The new transcontinental linkages and continental value chains are challenging the monopoly of international trade management by Western maritime powers.

Ukraine, egged on by the West, continues to fight an unwinnable war with disastrous effects on its people, the armed forces, the economy, and the future of Ukrainian society. Recent statements by European leaders and growing dissatisfaction about the economic situation indicate that it may be more prudent to achieve a political settlement of this war of attrition.

Germany’s core strategic interests are at variance with that of the United States. The alliance between the two major transatlantic powers is under severe stress. The war in Ukraine has added an undue burden on the German economy, which is likely to lead to inflation, recession and social unrest. Germany, an emerging hard power, does not intend to let inflation, recession and social unrest derail it from the path of pursuing its foreign policy objectives. In the coming decades, Germany is not likely to sacrifice its economic interests at the altar of liberal international order and this is likely to pose a bigger challenge to German–American ties in the long run.