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C Uday Bhaskar
Articles by C Uday Bhaskar

India's call for reformed multilateralism in G20

While the challenges for G20 and for India as the president are daunting, this is a chance for Delhi to bolster the credibility of the idea of multilateralism

India’s G20 opportunity will be to persuasively encourage an inclusive, equitable and reformed multilateralism appropriate to meet the next decade’s challenges(PTI)
Published on Jun 13, 2023 09:47 PM IST

60 years after Cuban missile crisis, another nuclear threat

A reference to Russian nuclear capability was made by President Vladimir Putin in March, soon after embarking on the special operations in Ukraine. Is the world inching towards Armageddon in October, given Moscow’s nuclear threats?

There is a compelling case now for Delhi to join Berlin and Tokyo and reach out to President Putin to avoid Armageddon and arrive at a modus vivendi. (Reuters)
Updated on Oct 13, 2022 07:53 PM IST

A welcome addition to the naval quiver

While the nation can take pride in having successfully designed and built its first aircraft carrier, attaining the desirable degree of combat worthiness of Vikrant will be a work in progress for a few years

At 45,000 tonnes, Vikrant is the largest naval ship to be designed and built in India, and with this accomplishment, the country joins a select band of six nations that have demonstrated such capability: The United States (US), the United Kingdom (UK), France, Russia, Italy, and China. (PTI)
Updated on Sep 01, 2022 08:37 PM IST

Reducing the risk of a nuclear war

The world has not used nuclear weapons since 1945. But 2022 is fraught with anxiety, given the geopolitical turbulence. While N-weapons cannot be wished away, the sanctity of deterrence must be acknowledged anew by the nuclear weapon powers

The stalled Iranian nuclear deal and periodic threats by North Korea about using its nascent weapons of mass destruction capability against the US and its regional allies add to the discord. Suffice it to note that 2022 is a blighted year in relation to the global nuclear challenge. (Shutterstock)
Updated on Aug 04, 2022 07:11 PM IST

The military’s apolitical ethos is key. Preserve it

The need for an objective review and transformation of the Indian military is imperative of course, but the drivers must be those of abiding national security interests at all times

Indian army soldiers stand guarding at Chakan-da-Bagh outpost of India-Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) Line of Control of Poonch district about 250 KM from Jammu, the winter capital of Kashmir on 14 January 2013. (EPA)
Updated on Jul 04, 2022 09:26 PM IST

The nuclear club gets new member

The Buddha is a recurring motif in India’s nuclear narrative and it may be recalled that when India carried out the Pokhran test on May 18, 1974 - the message conveyed to Mrs Indira Gandhi was that “the Buddha had smiled”.

India conducted five nuclear tests in May 1998 at the Pokhran range in Rajasthan.(HT archive)
Updated on May 06, 2022 11:45 PM IST

Preserve the pluralistic ethos of the Army

The professionalism, pluralistic ethos and apolitical nature of the Army are widely recognised. Maintaining this institutional ozone layer is imperative to sustain the normative rhythms of a vibrant democracy

Whether the mandir-masjid-gurudwara system or the concept of a sarv dharam sthal, the abiding ethos of the Army is to respect all faiths while the soldier remains steadfast to naam-namak-nishan — or regimental honour and loyalty to country and flag (Waseem Andrabi /HTPhoto)
Updated on May 06, 2022 07:31 PM IST

Galvanise MoD to reduce military import index

Russia remains a major supplier of India’s military equipment (almost 70%) and in the last decade , the US has also become a significant supplier

PM Modi’s focus on self-reliance in the defence sector must be commended. But for this to happen, the domestic ecosystem must be receptive to foreign investment and tech transfers (ANI)
Updated on Apr 15, 2022 06:47 PM IST

Review the lapses in defence management

That an Indian missile was launched into Pakistan requires a rigorous internal review and scrutiny to ensure that such gaps in defence systems are plugged

While India and Pakistan demonstrated their ability to restrain their media from going ballistic over a cruise missile malfunction — regional WMD stability needs a restoration of trust and nurturing this with sincerity. (Reuters)
Published on Mar 17, 2022 08:12 PM IST

What India can learn from the Ukraine crisis

As India seeks to equip itself to deal with the emerging strategic flux engendered by Ukraine, the right lessons need to be internalised in relation to strategic communication and national security

Uniformed people are seen throwing items into a fire outside intelligence building on the premises of the Ukrainian Defence Ministry's unit, in Kyiv, Ukraine February 24, 2022 in this screen grab taken from a video. REUTERS TV/via REUTERS (REUTERS)
Updated on Feb 24, 2022 07:34 PM IST
ByC Uday Bhaskar

Don’t sully the military for electoral advantage

The military remains relatively insulated from this visible politicisation but certain trends are disturbing. Encouraging unctuousness in the guise of civil supremacy goes against the spirit of a constitutional democracy and the institutional locus of the military

When the R-Day parade, with its traditional pomp and pageantry, marched along a renovated Rajpath on Wednesday, the focus was on the Indian military — an institution committed to defend the nation and flag unto death and which owes its allegiance to the Constitution -– the sacred covenant that the people of India adopted in January 1950. (ARVIND YADAV/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Jan 26, 2022 09:21 PM IST
ByC Uday Bhaskar

China: An abiding challenge for India

As the LAC challenge heightens, India must evolve a resolute and effective holding strategy to prevent further salami-slicing by PLA

Indian Army and People's Liberation Army (PLA) of China exchange greetings along LAC. India’s military capability has been enhanced tactically to deal with the LAC challenge, but this is more a case of ‘reorganisation and realignment’ of assets — as opposed to addition to inventory or firepower capability (ANI)
Updated on Jan 04, 2022 09:36 PM IST
ByC Uday Bhaskar

General Bipin Rawat’s zeal for jointness

Entrusted with an onerous task as India’s first CDS, he reorganised the disparate armed forces and improved national military preparedness. His work must be carried forward

General Rawat’s task was a Herculean one — of reorganising a vast, multilayered institution that includes uniformed personnel, civilian employees, defence production units as well as R&D organisations (PTI)
Updated on Dec 09, 2021 09:45 PM IST
ByC Uday Bhaskar

A bleak and contested new world order

A contradictory trade versus security compulsion animates inter-State engagement, with issue-based mini-polarity emerging as the predominant feature

The current decade is one of the relative decline in US credibility. While the rise of an assertive China is a reality that some nations experience more acutely than others, it is unlikely that there will be a transition to the kind of bipolarity that characterised the Cold War decades (REUTERS)
Updated on Nov 29, 2021 08:26 PM IST
ByC Uday Bhaskar

The Delhi declaration and its challenges

Earnest declarations devoid of tangible deeds will lead to an arid cul-de-sac, and add to the suffering that the Afghan winter will bring to the country’s desperate citizens

The Delhi declaration is a pithy summary that harmonises the divergent views and the security concerns of eight nations apropos of the Taliban-ruled Afghanistan (via REUTERS)
Updated on Nov 12, 2021 04:24 PM IST
ByC Uday Bhaskar

LAC and the India-China stalemate

LAC is fragile, and India has to deal with a more complex geopolitical situation than in October 1962

Almost six decades after the war of October 1962, India and China are yet to arrive at a modus vivendi on an intractable territorial issue, which, at its core, is a manifestation of major power contestation within the Asian grid (AFP)
Updated on Oct 10, 2021 07:38 PM IST
ByC Uday Bhaskar

September: The month for geopolitical summitry

While security-related tensions simmer and can be regulated by astute political choice, the more serious global challenges are the yet-to-be-contained Covid-19 pandemic and the climate crisis

As summits go, India is in an anomalous position wherein PM Modi attended a virtual summit of China-led Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) on September 17 — a week before the US-led Quad summit in Washington (PTI)
Updated on Sep 17, 2021 10:21 PM IST
ByC Uday Bhaskar

AUKUS roils the Indo-Pacific

The strategic implications of AUKUS for the geopolitics of the extended Indo-Pacific region in general, and the maritime domain in particular, are significant and multi-layered

The Virginia-class fast-attack submarine USS Illinois returns home to Joint Base Pearl Harbour-Hickam from a deployment in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility. (AP)
Updated on Sep 17, 2021 05:01 PM IST
ByC Uday Bhaskar

In promotion policies for the military, keep politics out

Civilian oversight in military promotions is part of the current promotion template and has its utility in review and redress where required, for there have been aberrations. However, allowing “merit” to become a euphemism for a political endorsement could be a slippery slope

Soldiers from the armed forces march during Independence Day celebrations at the Red Fort in New Delhi, India, on Sunday, August 15, 2021. (Representational image/AP)
Updated on Aug 17, 2021 02:45 PM IST
ByC Uday Bhaskar

Finally, a national maritime sherpa

India’s national maritime coordinator will have to manage the geopolitical, geo-economic, and geo-physical dimensions of the oceans

Representational Image. (File photo)
Updated on Jul 15, 2021 05:22 PM IST
ByC Uday Bhaskar

Tri-service commands: Use a strategy of persuasion

The lack of “jointness”, integrated planning and synergy between the three armed forces, has been a distinctive feature of the Indian military

An Indian Air Force fighter jet flies in the backdrop of Himalayan mountain ranges. (Representational image/PTI)
Published on Jun 28, 2021 07:33 PM IST
ByC Uday Bhaskar

For Narendra Modi and Rajnath Singh, a test on Indian defence

More than 60% of the IN’s conventional boats (as submarines are referred to) are over 30 years old and there is a steady decline in the total number of fully operational submarines.

More than 60% of the IN's conventional boats (as submarines are referred to) are over 30 years old and there is a steady decline in the total number of fully operational submarines (Representational image/AP)
Updated on Jun 09, 2021 07:52 AM IST
ByC Uday Bhaskar

India’s worst offshore disaster was avoidable

Systemic inefficiencies, multiplicity of agencies, and violation of safety protocols led to the P-305 tragedy

Relatives of deceased crew member Nilesh Pitale, who was on barge P-305 that sank on May 17 due to Cyclone Tauktae, wait for his body outside JJ Hospital's mortuary in Mumbai on Thursday, May 20. (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT photo)
Updated on May 21, 2021 04:00 PM IST
ByC Uday Bhaskar

In India’s Covid war, the role of the fauj

The Covid-19 tsunami is expected to continue in India till at least the end of May, and remain an issue of concern for the rest of the year. Hence maximising the institutional capacity of the military in the war against Covid-19, without diluting its primary operational orientation, in the backdrop of a resource crunch, is the task ahead for the Indian political and defence leadership.

The primary role of the military is to safeguard national integrity, counter territorial challenges and prepare for war to deter any adventurism. The past year has been particularly taxing for the Indian military — China’s incursions across the Line of Actual Control, and the subsequent Galwan setback, occurred due to the pandemic-induced disruption of the Army’s annual deployment in Ladakh. (AP)
Updated on May 06, 2021 10:53 AM IST
ByC Uday Bhaskar

In the seas, when the US and India differ on principle

In the current instance of April 7, the US is sticking by its interpretation of the exclusive economic zone and India is pointing to its domestic laws that mandate Delhi’s prior concurrence. Harmonising these divergent positions will be complex and contested but is necessary

File photo of USS John Paul Jones (DDG-53). (Shutterstock)
Updated on Apr 13, 2021 06:44 AM IST
ByC Uday Bhaskar

Suez crisis and the fragility of global trade

The closure shows how an accident can trigger a major fiscal and supply-side crisis. Instituting new protocols is essential

In the event that the MV Ever Given remains wedged across the canal for a longer period, the negative impact on the delicately balanced global supply-chain and oil prices will impose additional costs on the customer globally (AP)
Updated on Mar 28, 2021 07:38 PM IST
ByCommodore C Uday Bhaskar (rtd)

Defence: The disjunct between words and action

PM Modi’s emphasis on the military as a “future force”, is timely but operationalising it will be a challenge

At Kevadia, the PM “stressed on the importance of enhancing indigenisation in the national security system”. (ANI)
Updated on Mar 10, 2021 06:55 AM IST
ByC Uday Bhaskar

What Pangong means for Asian geopolitics

If disengagement leads to a border pact, the deal is prudent. If Beijing uses it as a tactical pause, then New Delhi may regret concessions

Will the disengagement and the acceptance of a temporary suspension by India of patrolling rights in one area lead to greater malleability in managing LAC and provide a road map for transiting to an agreed border? (AP)
Published on Feb 16, 2021 08:16 PM IST
ByC Uday Bhaskar

As LAC becomes the new LoC, India’s challenge deepens

The severe constraints imposed by the pandemic will be unveiled soon, when the budget is presented. Delhi‘s challenge will be to provide adequate funds for deployment of troops along the LAC for an extended period. Long-term planning must go beyond urgent procurement of some inventory items and focus on enhancing India’s neglected trans-border military capabilities in an astute manner.

Soldiers of the Indian Army operating T-90 Bhishma tank near the Line of Actual Control, Chumar-Demchok area of Eastern Ladakh, January 6, 2021 (ANI)
Updated on Jan 30, 2021 04:47 AM IST
ByC Uday Bhaskar

January 6: A black day for US democracy

The erosion of democracy in the US, led by a defeated president, emboldened by his white supremacist base, will have both domestic and geopolitical consequences

The white supremacist disregard for the sanctity of law has been on the increase during the Trump presidency and the contrast with how Washington dealt with peaceful protests by African-Americans in recent months is illustrative of the deep racial fissures that still fester in US society.(AP)
Updated on Jan 07, 2021 07:41 PM IST
ByC Uday Bhaskar
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