MMRCA 2.0: Curious Case of India’s Military Procurement Decision Making

It appears India is in a perpetual search for the acquisition of fighter aircraft – an important arsenal for the Indian Air Force (IAF), which is woefully short of its sanctioned strength (39.5 squadrons). Although calculations available in public domain vary – ranging from sanctioned 39.5 to ambitious 42 / 46 squadrons for the IAF to maintain its combat edge – slightly over 30 current squadrons with fast depleting MiG fleet put the IAF in a difficult spot, despite braggart assertions from highest-level military commanders about India’s growing military aerospace prowess.

DEBA R MOHANTY

HSLV: Redefining the Future for Satellite Technology

With the evolution of space technology, various space-faring nations and some private agencies have readied their plans to colonize the outer space. Currently, a few are working towards sending people to the Moon and Mars in order to understand the nuances behind colonizing the planets in the near future. All these grandiose proposals will actually depend upon how swiftly and successfully people will develop the heavy satellite launch vehicles in order to deliver heavier payloads in the range of different orbits and even into the deep space.

ROHAN MALHOTRA

China As Key Variable For India And Russia’s Power Equation

Due to unprecedented rise and global reach of China today, India and Russia are faced with some pertinent challenges. Some of the key issues are: How best to deal with China? Will the Cold War policy of containment work in case of China as mainstream communist ideology has failed for the most part in the post-globalised and post-Cold War phase? Or, simply a bland policy of engagement with China will work as China has adopted a more muscular approach in its conduct of foreign policy?

Dr. Mohammed Badrul Alam

Iran Joining Mainstream: Lifting of Sanctions Paves the Way!

Lately, the United States and some European nations have lifted oil and other financial sanctions on Iran and have also released roughly $100 billion of its assets after international inspectors concluded that Iran had complied on its promises to dismantle large sections of its nuclear programme. To signal that the relations are now moving towards friendship, just few hour before the implementation of the nuclear accord five Americans were released from Iran’s prison.

AJEY LELE

MH17 Fiasco: Will European Union Impose Sanctions on Russia?

After the tragic downing of flight MH17, the US along with some major European countries has called for “hard-hitting sanctions” on Russia. The UK is pushing for the tough “Tier 3” sanctions against Russia that could cover areas such as financial services, trade and energy exports. However, there are growing concerns that the strongest-possible sanctions will be blocked by EU member states because of French arms sales as well as German dependence on fossil fuels from Russia.

 

ROHIT PATTNAIK

The Syrian Détente. Is This the End of the Unipolar Moment?

In his famous 1990 essay in Foreign Affairs, Charles Krauthammer had declared that the unipolar moment had arrived. He had listed a few reasons to support his argument; there was no challenging power, nor was there likely any in the few decades, there was no power dispersion at the international level at that moment, the former Soviet Union’s capacity was in a decline. Thus, Krauthammer emphasised, at that time there was no first-rate power in the world that could match the capacity of the US.

AVINASH GODBOLE

Syria’s Chemical Weapon Mess and Great Power Game

Syrian crisis has achieved the unachievable. It has compelled a communist country to talk peace and democratic/capitalist countries to talk war. Fortunately, it appears that the invasion of Syria by the US forces has been stopped, at least, temporarily. An agreement on chemical weapons stockpiled in Syria has been reached following the talks held in Geneva between the Foreign Minister of Russia, Sergey V. Lavrov, and US Secretary of State John Kerry.

AJEY LELE & GUNJAN SINGH

Arctic Summer: Ships Set Sail through the Northern Sea Route

There is good news from the Arctic for the shipping industry.  According to data released by the Northern Sea Route Administration, the nodal agency of the Russian Federal Government which manages the Northern Sea Route (NSR), 330 applications from ships have been received since April 2013 informing the agency of their plans to transit through the NSR this summer. Of these, 213 applications were approved and 51 rejected. The reasons for rejection of applications and the fate of the balance 66 applications have not been made public.

VIJAY SAKHUJA