Navigating the Cyber-Biosecurity Landscape: A National Security Imperative for India

December 21, 2023

The ever-evolving landscape of national security threats has expanded to encompass traditional geopolitical and military risks and challenges arising from the cyber and biological domains termed cyber-biosecurity. This hybrid concept of cyber-biosecurity emerges as an innovative fusion, encapsulating the rapidly converging disciplines of cybersecurity and biosecurity.

Securing Our World: Countering Chemical Terrorism in the Age of New Technologies

On November 27, 2023, the Twenty-Eighth Session of the Conference of the States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CSP-28) opened in The Hague, Netherlands. This five-day meeting discusses various aspects associated with implementing the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), which has been in effect since April 29 1997. Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is responsible for fulfilling the Convention’s mandate.

AJEY LELE

Russia, Ukraine, and the Chemical Conundrum: Exploring the Use of White Phosphorus in Bakhmut

Bakhmut, an eastern Ukrainian city, has been enduring the consequences of Russia's aggression since the outset of the Ukraine conflict in February 2022. Once known as Artemivsk, it retained this name until 2016, encompassing both the Soviet and post-Soviet periods. During the 2014 Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Russian occupiers laid claim to Bakhmut as part of their territorial ambitions. However, the Ukrainian government managed to retake the city in mid-2014. Russia's interest in Bakhmut stems from its strategic geography, which enables them to disrupt Ukraine's supply lines.

AJEY LELE

India and the Dynamic Trends in International Arms Transfer

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) recently released its report on international arms transfer. This article highlights the current state of arms transactions, including sales and procurement of defence and military equipment worldwide. It attempts to establish and underscore the patterns of the arms trade in the years spanning 2017-to 2021.

HARSH KUMAR UPADHAYAY

Russia-Ukraine Conflict amid the "Fog" of WMDs

The Ukraine-Russia conflict is more than one month old now, yet there is no immediate solution in sight. Just before starting the invasion of Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin had given a clear-cut 'nuclear' message to the world by mentioning that any western intervention would witness consequences the West had never seen or thought of before. Putin is systematically raising the Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) bogey over the last month. Traditionally, chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) weapons are classified as WMD.

AJEY LELE

Novichok and Murkier Case of Navalny Poisoning: Is Russia Flouting Chemical Weapon Convention Obligations?

Alexei Navalny, the Russian pro-democratic opposition figure and anti-corruption activist, wrote in an August 2021 article that “[I] did not die from poisoning by a chemical weapon, and it would seem that corruption played no small part in my survival.” Fortunately, he lives to tell this ordeal. Navalny was recollecting the assassination attempt on his life exactly a year back, with a suspected nerve agent. On August 20, 2020, Navalny was grievously ill onboard a flight from Tomsk (Siberia) to Moscow.

ANIMESH ROUL

Toxic - A History of Nerve Agents, From Nazi Germany to Putin’s Russia

Dan Kaszeta’s book traces the journey of nerve agents from their initial discovery in WW-II era Germany to their eventual spread around the world. The author explores their chronological development while deep-diving into specific chemical weapons programs on a topical basis. The book begins with the prologue explaining the use of the Calabar bean as a method to determine guilt in judicial proceedings in West Africa during the mid-1800s.

NPT@50: Global Nuclear Order and Challenges

This year marks the golden jubilee of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and the silver jubilee of its indefinite extension. Legally binding in nature, this Treaty is often regarded as the bedrock of the global nuclear non-proliferation regime. Apart from the non-proliferation efforts, the Treaty advocates disarmament and peaceful use of nuclear energy. It recognizes five nuclear states (N5 states) namely the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, and China.

ANKIT KUMAR