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

WarSubscribe to War

Perils of Relying on American Support

The contemporary wars in the Indian subcontinent have seen an increasing involvement, or at least, mediation, by the United States. The subcontinental elite have relied far too much on the US to bring them victory in war. India learnt the lesson in 1962 when the US failed to provide India the much needed bomber support to win the war. For Pakistan, the moment arrived in 1971, when despite overt US support, it failed to preserve East Pakistan. Once again India seems to be relying on American support to achieve its objectives in Kashmir, imagining that personal relations with American leadership is enough to win wars.

India’s Civilisational Identity and the World Order

As the neo-liberal world order declines, non-Western powers are uniquely equipped to manage the power transition and contestations over the basic tenets of the emerging system. India’s civilisational ethos of reconciling different ideas will be of immense value in navigating the uncertainty and turmoil at a critical juncture of world history.

Writing History with Light

A tribute to the Iranian photographer Abbas Attar who used his camera to show events and people embedded with multiple meanings. Apart from other historic events, he chronicled the Iranian Revolution in all its complex colours.

Inception of Aviation Routes between India and China

Chinese National Aviation Corporation initiated the diplomatic relations for air connectivity between China and British India in the 1930s. The proposal included extending the CNAC’s service from Chungking in South-west China with Dinjan (in upper Assam). This was the context for the development of an air route between China and India. This commercial venture (which was threatened by World War II) played an active part in the wartime operation, especially after the fall of Rangoon and the consequent capture of the Burma Road by the Japanese forces.

'Mediterranean Graveyard'

The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir Who Got Trapped in an Ikea Wardrobe by Romain Puertolas, translated by Sam Taylor, New York: Alfred A Knopf, 2015; pp 320, ₹1,387, hardcover.

Iraq, UN and Changing Bases of World Order

'Regime change' lies at the intersection of two major trends under UN auspices. The first is the progressive universalisation of the human rights norm carried out through a large number of legal conventions and promoted, however imperfectly, through a substantial legal machinery. The second is the central and irreplaceable role of the Security Council as the core of the international law enforcement system. Except in cases of selfdefence, only the Security Council can decide whether or not it is lawful to go to war. The US victory in Iraq has come at the price of re-legitimising wars of choice as an instrument of unilateral state policy and will usher in more determined efforts by many countries to acquire weapons of mass destruction, since nothing else is capable of deterring external attack.

Brutal Wars and a Malevolent Peace

The cost of a botched peace in Iraq would be even higher than the price of a bloody war. The world community has to decide how best it can hold the US accountable for its crimes in Iraq. The alternative - acquiescence in the hit and run strategy that the US has raised to a fine art in the last few decades - would be an unaffordable luxury in the current state of international relations.

Disobedience and Social Sciences

One way of expressing solidarity with the tens of thousands of Iraqis who have suffered in this war is to reject offers of collaboration and support in research in the social sciences and humanities from governments that do not know the meaning of accountability.

High Explosive Hysteria

How do American warriors end up killing and alienating so many of the people they have ostensibly come to save? Do the answers lie in the high-tech dependence and in the psycho-social profile of the US soldier?

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