Policy Briefs Books Journals

Policy Briefs on Cooperative Security, Arms Control and Disarmament

Cooperative Security, Arms Control and Disarmament

Internal Drivers – The Nexus between Domestic Politics and Bilateral Relations: Exploring India–Pakistan, Pakistan–China, and China–India Dynamics

Policy Brief  No.148 - January, 2023 • By Sadia Tasleem

This Policy Brief explores the nexus between domestic politics and foreign policy in India, Pakistan, and China to explain what the contemporary domestic political trends in each state indicate about the future of bilateral relations and explains how bilateral relations may in turn affect domestic politics.

Cooperative Security, Arms Control and Disarmament

Ukraine as a Proxy War: Issues, Parties, Possible Outcomes, and Lessons

Policy Brief  No.147 - January, 2023 • By Ramesh Thakur

This Policy Brief looks back on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in a longer-term and broader reflective analysis of four intertwined threads: the core issues at dispute, the conflict parties, the possible different endings to the war, and the principal lessons to be drawn from the conflict. Since the second world war, there has been a long-term shift from the power end of the spectrum towards the normative end as the pivot on which history turns, with a steady reduction in societal, national and international violence. This has been accompanied by a geographical shift from Europe to Asia and the Pacific as the new cockpit of world affairs. Bucking these twin trends, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine marked the return of Europe to the centre of world affairs, and the return to Europe of geopolitics, territorial disputes and large-scale force and ground wars not experienced since 1945. The Policy Brief concludes with the question: Where to next?

Cooperative Security, Arms Control and Disarmament

Managing the China, India and Pakistan Nuclear Trilemma: Ensuring Nuclear Stability in the New Nuclear Age

Policy Brief  No.144 - December, 2022 • By Rakesh Sood

This Policy Brief identifies the challenges of the new nuclear age in terms of multiple dyads and triangular relationships and examines the relevance of the existing deterrence model. How will nuclear deterrence work in a non-bipolar world? Is the answer in terms of reducing equations to multiple dyads or trilemmas or strategic chains? What should be the objective of arms control in a multiplayer set up? Is the existing vocabulary of deterrence that originated in a bipolar Cold War context holding up in today’s world? This paper seeks to explore these questions in the context of the China, India and Pakistan trilemma.  A short account of the China–India and Pakistan–India rivalries, its sources, similarities and differences is presented, along with attempts made so far to address the risks through bilateral agreements and understandings. Finally, future possibilities for dialogue to manage nuclear risks, bilaterally, trilaterally and in a larger setting are examined.

Cooperative Security, Arms Control and Disarmament

The China–India–Pakistan Nuclear Triangle: Consequential Choices for Asian Security

Policy Brief  No.143 - December, 2022 • By Salman Bashir

This Policy Brief examines the wider regional and global geopolitical entanglements of China, India and Pakistan and prospects of promoting regional stability and avoidance of nuclear conflict. Asia is now the fulcrum of global power politics. This complicates the quest for building regional stability, harmony and prosperity. To the conflictual ‘continental’ dynamics of China, India and Pakistan, the US Indo-Pacific strategy has inserted a ‘maritime’ dimension with ‘land and sea’ and ‘geo-politic and geo-economic’ connotations. India is a lynchpin of the US Indo-Pacific strategy and the choices India makes will determine the trajectory of India–China and India–Pakistan relations. India aspires to a global power status that requires it to outmatch China and dominate South Asia and the Indian Ocean region. Pakistan is concerned over Indian conventional preponderance that poses a threat to its security.

Cooperative Security, Arms Control and Disarmament

Strategic Risk Management in Southern Asia

Policy Brief  No.142 - December, 2022 • By Feroz Hassan Khan

This Policy Brief identifies three key strategic risks in the tenuous strategic stability at the China-India-Pakistan trijunction. Though drivers of conflict vary in each dyad, common aspirations and history of cooperative security agreements are worthy foundations for managing future strategic risks in Southern Asia. While each state in the strategic triangle faces nested security dilemmas, new sources of instabilities are compounding the strategic trilemma. The Policy Brief proposes that the three states consider new strategic risk-reduction measures through a series of multilateral and bilateral strategic dialogues at the Track-I and Track-II levels, and establish “strategic risk-reduction centres” customised to the Southern Asian strategic environment. These centres would function as a central clearing house for all past and future agreements and act as nodal points for preventing misinterpretation or tragic incidents.