NSA’s trips hold key global clues - Hindustan Times
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NSA’s trips hold key global clues

ByHT Editorial
Feb 10, 2023 07:37 PM IST

NSA Doval’s visits to DC and Moscow showed that India is balancing its relations to push its priorities in an uncertain global environment

The last few weeks were a busy one for national security adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval, who stopped by two of the world’s most important political capitals to forge critical initiatives and underline India’s priorities. That these two capitals, Washington DC and Moscow, are at loggerheads with each other made the feat even more impressive while being reflective of the balancing that New Delhi has had to resort to in safeguarding two of its most crucial relationships from the geopolitical churn. Mr Doval first travelled to the United States (US) late last month for a meeting with his American counterpart, Jake Sullivan, to flesh out the Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies (iCET), which was launched last year and is being now described as a transformational chapter in the India-US strategic, military commercial, scientific and technological partnership. In Russia, Mr Doval joined senior security officials from China, Iran and several Central Asian states this week for a multilateral meeting on Afghanistan. This meet was held against the backdrop of the continuing growth of India’s energy purchases from Russia — up 36-fold in the past year, according to the Russian ambassador — though the imbalance in trade is becoming a serious cause of concern in both countries. Mr Doval also had a one-on-one meeting with the Russian President, Vladimir Putin.

Together, the meetings in DC and Moscow held clues about India’s priorities in a rapidly changing world, and how it will continue to navigate these choppy geopolitical waters to best secure its interests, while reorienting itself towards the future, possibly acting as a bridge between rival powers, and not allowing external pressures to dictate its global engagement. (ANI) PREMIUM
Together, the meetings in DC and Moscow held clues about India’s priorities in a rapidly changing world, and how it will continue to navigate these choppy geopolitical waters to best secure its interests, while reorienting itself towards the future, possibly acting as a bridge between rival powers, and not allowing external pressures to dictate its global engagement. (ANI)

The NSAs of India and the US agreed on several ground-breaking arrangements under iCET, not the least of which is a bilateral defence industrial cooperation road map that will focus on the joint development and production of jet engines, munitions and other systems. There will be closer collaboration between the science agencies of the two countries in Artificial Intelligence (AI), quantum technologies and 6G, and work on developing common standards for trustworthy AI. Most of these efforts will better prepare both sides to take on challenges in critical technologies and security in the Indo-Pacific, all of which are linked to the larger and unstated aim of stymying the threat posed by China. Mr Doval’s visit to the US was also a useful opportunity for him to exchange views and assessments on major national security issues with the top American leadership. Critically, for India, the partnership with the world’s pre-eminent economic, military and scientific power can provide a major boost to New Delhi’s military strength and give it the option to diversify away from its traditional technology and military partner — Russia. The meeting in Moscow of a multilateral mechanism to address the situation in Afghanistan had a sharper focus. India is aware it needs to continue working with players such as Russia to address security threats in Afghanistan, which continues to be home to thousands of foreign terrorists. The NSA called for intensified cooperation in dealing with terror outfits such as Daesh, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed. But the fact that the NSA met separately with Mr Putin for almost an hour is telling. Still, the meetings in Moscow were more about contemporary impediments to regional security, reflecting in many ways how India’s relations with Russia remain robust but limited.

Together, the meetings in DC and Moscow held clues about India’s priorities in a rapidly changing world and how it will continue to navigate these choppy geopolitical waters to secure its interests while reorienting itself towards the future, possibly acting as a bridge between rival powers, and not allowing external pressures to dictate its global engagement.

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