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Vol 2, Issue 2 | 02 Aug, 2017

Op-Eds and Media Appearances

Rise of the PLA Navy and its Implications for India

South Asia Monitor

It is noteworthy that China, for its entire maritime prowess, has refrained from declaring itself a ‘maritime power’ because of certain perceived deficiencies. It behooves India, which has already donned the mantle of ‘net security provider’ in the Indian Ocean, to urgently conceive a national level strategy whose faithful implementation will create urgently-needed capacities in the maritime sector that will benefit our economy and reinforce maritime security.

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Beware the Rhyme of History ?

The Indian Express

Neither appeasement, nor empty bluster - as PM Nehru found to his cost in 1962 – will work with China. The Pundits on Raisina Hill are, once again, chanting the mantra of; ‘Jang nahin hogi’ (There will be no war). Should this prophesy prove correct, it will be great news for the country. But chances of it coming true will rise exponentially if India keeps its powder dry – by crafting a grand-strategy, by initiating urgent reform of our archaic defence structures and by reviving our comatose military-industrial complex.

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Af-Pak Border: Analysing Pakistan's Evolving Policy

SAV, Stimson Centre

The frequent incidents of border closings could be part of a larger Pakistani strategy of consolidating authority over peripheral areas and weakening Afghanistan. In addition, as FATA reforms move forward, it will further strengthen Pakistan’s hold on the border and allow it more room to focus on internal issues.

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The Dragon Dares

Deccan Chronicle

A closer look at the current Sino-India standoff reveals the Chinese leadership’s belief that the current geopolitical scenario against the backdrop of ambivalent US posture and loss of heft owing to policy inertia vis-a-vis Asia-Pacific is an historic, strategic opportunity to seize geopolitical space by hardwiring and expanding its periphery through economic, political and military inducements.

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Policy Papers, Policy Notes and Briefs

Countering the threat of China-Pakistan Cyber Collusion

DPG Policy Note Vol.II, Issue 2

India is in a neighbourhood in which inimical forces and anti-India frenzy abound. The Nation has been a target of terror and asymmetric warfare for over quarter of a century with no possible end in sight. Cyber war with its advantageous ambiguity and possibility of visible impact through a terror attack in this domain, is a live possibility. Collusion between China and Pakistan in this sphere needs to be considered and planned for

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India's Nuclear Doctrine is Robust and Requires No Review

DPG Policy Note Vol.II, Issue 3

At the recently held 2017 Carnegie International Nuclear Policy Conference, the issue reportedly at centre stage was whether India was tweaking its declared nuclear doctrine based on "No First Use" (NFU) backed by massive retaliation, by a pre-emptive strike doctrine in the face of an imminent nuclear strike by an adversary. These misplaced presumptions or assumptions of Indian doctrinal changes are speculative at best and not based on any deep analysis or functional understanding of the core beliefs underlying the Indian NFU posture.

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What Irks China?

DPG Policy Note Vol. II, Issue 4

There has been much trepidation among certain segments of India’s strategic community about the threat of “major consequences” for India, held out by Chinese media and diplomacy, should India fail to participate in the One Belt One Road (OBOR) Summit being convened by Beijing on May 14-15, 2017. In terms of the strategic challenges which India faces from China, there is nothing more important at this juncture than to first deconstruct OBOR for what it is in reality and second to understand the perfectly logical and consistent stand taken by the Modi Government that China needs to explain what the OBOR initiative is all about, before India can take a considered view.In fact,it is the Chinese who have not been forthcoming with a substantive response for the past couple of years.

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Great Powers and the Crisis on the Korean peninsula

DPG Brief Vol. II, Issue 2

The situation on the Korean Peninsula often reminds one of a pendulum swinging from a zrecurrent crisis to negotiations and back. The process is a vicious circle. The Trump Administration currently faces its first national security crisis in the wake of DPRK’s relentless pursuit of an ICBM that can reach the west coast of the United States. President Trump has reached out to President Xi Jinping to restrain North Korea and put a freeze on its nuclear and missile capabilities that threaten the United States and it allies in the region, while holding out the possibility of unspecified US actions if China does not deliver.

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OBOR: China's Neo-Colonial Great Game

DPG Policy Note Vol. II, Issue 5

There has been much trepidation among certain segments of India’s strategic community about the threat of “major consequences” for India, held out by Chinese media and diplomacy, should India fail to participate in the One Belt One Road (OBOR) Summit being convened by Beijing on May 14-15, 2017. In terms of the strategic challenges which India faces from China, there is nothing more important at this juncture than to first deconstruct OBOR for what it is in reality and second to understand the perfectly logical and consistent stand taken by the Modi Government that China needs to explain what the OBOR initiative is all about, before India can take a considered view.In fact,it is the Chinese who have not been forthcoming with a substantive response for the past couple of years.

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China's Himalayan "Mission Creep"

DPG Policy Note Vol. II, Issue 6

The stakes are high in India-China confrontation, not only for India as a regional power and a security stakeholder in Asia, but equally for a rules based regional
effectively
strategy
intimidation.
outcome of the present impasse will have a bearing on whether Asia can evolve a stable and balanced security architecture that accommodates the interests of major and rising powers as well as smaller states, or we are headed towards a destabilising era of attempted domination by an authoritarian hegemon.

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Geopolitics of the Belt and Road initiative: Maritime Imperatives for India

DPG Policy Note, Vol. II, Issue 7

During his keynote address at Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation on May 14, 2017, Chinese President Xi Jinping painted a rosy picture of what he described as “the project of the century”. The ancient silk routes, as per his speech, had embodied “the spirit of peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit”2, becoming a great heritage of human civilisation.

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The India economy: Progress and challenges

DPG Brief Vol. II, issue 3

Since the initiation of economic liberalization in the early nineties, India has been making steady progress in becoming an open free market economy with increasing economic engagement with the global economy. It has benefited from this process.

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Japan and Indo-Pacific

DPG Policy Paper Vol.I, Issue 1

Indo-Pacific Asia is undergoing a strategic shift. The uncertainties and imponderables engendered by China’s rise have been exacerbated by the growing maritime and territorial assertions of China. Countries in the region face an increasingly complex and adverse security scenario, in which Japan under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been an anchor of stability and resolve. The strengthening of the Japan-US Alliance, the growing economic and security ties between India and Japan and the growing economic and security role of Japan are developments, which impart hope and optimism for the great maritime democracies of the Indo-Pacific and the region as a whole.

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Conferences, Seminars and Roundtables

Discussion on "India and the New Asian Great Game"

New Delhi, 9 February, 2017, the DPG faculty held an interaction with Prof. Michael Yahuda, Emeritus Professor, London School of Economics and Visiting Scholar, George Washington University. The agenda included a presentation by Ms. Aman on recent geopolitical developments in Afghanistan and Iran. The discussion focused on internal developments and emerging bilateral and multilateral groupings aimed at bringing peace and security in Afghanistan. India’s role and efforts also came into focus in the course of discussion.

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DPG Conference-VI on Advancing BBIN Cooperation

Kolkata, 16-17 March, 2017, the Delhi Policy Group (DPG) in partnership with the Asia Foundation organised the sixth Roundtable Discussion on Advancing the BBIN Sub-regional Cooperation in Kolkata. The roundtable hosted 35 participants from West Bengal, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal. The roundtable on BBIN sub-regional cooperation was thematically divided into 5 sessions dealing with Economic issues and Ports, Transit and Water connectivity, Energy-hydropower, water resources, Security Issues, and People to People Connectivity. The Kolkata Conference drew experts who build on the ideas deliberated and discussed during the Guwahati meeting, and added West Bengal's role in advancing the BBIN cooperation and how the State can collaborate with the North East.

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Discussion with Hudson Institute

A team from Hudson Institute comprising of Mr. Lewis Libby, former Chief of Staff to Vice President Mr. Richard B. Cheney, Mr. Eric Brown, Senior Fellow, Ambassador Hussain Haqqani, former Pakistani Ambassador to the United States and Ms. Aparna Pande, Research Fellow will be visiting Delhi Policy Group for an informal interaction on February 16, 2017.

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International Conference on Emerging Realignments in Asia

It is widely recognised that Asia lies at the heart of an ongoing global power flux. Since 2007-08, the relatively stable post-1991 global order has largely dissipated, with growing strategic competition from the Eurasian heartland to the Indo-Pacific rim-land. The complexity of the region’s challenges lies in managing overlapping and sometimes conflicting major and emerging power interests. The Policy direction of the new Trump Administration in managing economic and strategic challenges in Asia remains to be seen. Meanwhile, China’s unrelenting rise has been marked by unilateral assertions of its core interests and is testing the limits of American strategic presence in Asia. Russia on its part has embarked on its “pivot East” since 2014, which appears designed to construct a Russia-China strategic entente to expand their dominance from Eurasia to the Asia Pacific. India has addressed its security dilemmas by moving closer to the United States and expanding its strategic and military ties with major Asian countries. Japan has responded to the rise of China by strengthening its alliance with the US and stepping up its proactive contributions to regional peace and security. Finally, with the withdrawal of the US from the TPP and the backlash against globalisation in both the US and Europe, the future leadership of the global economic order remains open.

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Roundtable Discussion on Internal Developments in Pakistan

A discussion on “Internal Developments in Pakistan and India-Pakistan relations” was held at DPG on March 17, 2017. Amb Aziz Khan, Pakistan's High commissioner to India from June 2003 to September 2006 led the discussion. During the conversation Aziz Khan explained the rationale behind the recent developments in Pakistan.

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Discussion on Evolving Kurdish Dynamics in Iraq and Syria

New Delhi, 26 December, 2016 DPG faculty held an interaction with Ms Fatemeh Aman from the Atlantic Council on December 20, 2016. The agenda included a presentation by Ms. Aman on recent geopolitical developments in Afghanistan and Iran. The discussion focused on internal developments and emerging bilateral and multilateral groupings aimed at bringing peace and security in Afghanistan. India’s role and efforts also came into focus in the course of discussion.

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DPG Roundtable Discussion on "India-Australia Relations and Developments in Indo-Pacific"

Delhi Policy Group hosted a Roundtable Interaction on ‘India-Australia Relations and Developments in Indo-Pacific’ with H.E. Ms. Harinder Sidhu High Commissioner of Australia to India. Ms. Sidhu shared Australia’s perspective on India-Australia relations and the situation in the Indo-Pacific.

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National Conference on Advancing BBIN Sub-regional Cooperation

New Delhi, 4-5 May 2017, Delhi Policy Group in partnership with Asia Foundation organized 2-day National Conference on ‘Advancing the BBIN Sub-regional Cooperation’ in New Delhi. The National Conference comprised of breakout sessions on Trade, Transit, Energy & Water Management and People to People Connectivity. On the second day the National Conference opened to a wider audience and welcomed other scholars and eminent persons to participate and present.

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3rd Japan-India Track 1.5 Dialogue on 'Strategic and Security Issues'

The Delhi Policy Group in collaboration with the Japan Institute of International Affairs (JIIA) organized the 3rd India-Japan Track 1.5 dialogue on ‘Strategic and Security Issue’ in Tokyo. This dialogue had 34 strategic experts and officials participating in the event. There was in-depth discussion on the Changing Global Order and Recent Developments Impacting Japan and India; Respective Relations of Japan and India with the US and the evolving role of US in Asia; and Maritime Security and India-Japan Defence Cooperation, including Defence Technology and Trade.

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DPG Conference on India's Maritime Security

With the shift of world’s economic center of gravity to Asia, the Indian Ocean has acquired enormous salience. India has voiced its intentions to be a ‘net security provider’ in this region. India’s aspirations in the IOR require capabilities that are still being developed. Against this background, Delhi Policy Group hosted a Conference on India’s Maritime Security.

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Roundtable on Advancing BBIN Sub-Regional Cooperation

Delhi Policy Group in collaboration with Asia foundation hosted the Roundtable to further the BBIN Initiative, where participants from the BBIN countries were asked to make in-depth presentation and recommend policies on Trade and Economic Issues, Transit, Energy, Water, Boarder Management and Security, and People to People Connectivity. On the Second day in the brainstorming session participants were asked to prioritize three goals in each of the areas outlined above and they were also asked to outline the implementation strategies and challenges to overcome. The Roundtable report is under process.

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DPG -CSIS Interaction

DPG's interaction with CSIS on 19thJune was conducted in two parts.First,interaction was with CSIS CEO, Mr. John Hamre along with subject experts from South-east Asia, Japan, and China.The second part of CSIS Interaction was on Indo-US Defence Cooperation. The meeting was attened by 75 participants. The panel comprised of Rick Rossow, Katherine Hicks, Amb.H.K Singh and Lt. Gen Anil Ahuja.

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Faculty Activities

India-China Think Tank Forum

Beijing, 22- 26 July 2017 Amb. Biren Nanda was a part of the Indian delegation led by Amb. Nalin Surie, Director General Indian Council of World Affairs. The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences was the host of the Forum. Ambassador Nanda made a presentation on Strategic Communication between the two countries. In his presentation, Ambassador Biren Nanda posed and attempted to answer several questions related to Strategic Communication in the context of India-China Relations and developments in the Indo-Pacific Region. These questions included the following: What is Strategic Communication? What are key strategic elements of growing India-China relations? How is Strategic Communication shaping the bilateral discourse? How is Strategic Communication shaping the discourse on security issues in the wider Indo-Pacific Region?

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IMEMO: Primakov Readings

Moscow, 28-29 June 2017 Amb. Biren Nanda visited Moscow to participate in the Primakov Readings organized by a premier Russian Think Tank and Research Institution IMEMO. Discussions during the Conference covered a range of topics including US Russia relations, the current economic situation and issue of terrorism.

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Delhi Dialogue

New Delhi, 05 July 2017 Ambassador Biren Nanda was a speaker on the concluding panel of the Delhi Dialogue on July 5 2017. Panelists were requested to recommend goals and objectives to develop and enhance India ASEAN cooperation in the future.

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Roundtable on Advancing BBIN Sub-regional Cooperation

Kathmandu, 27-28 July 2017 Ambassador Nanda visited Kathmandu to participate in the Roundtable on ‘Advancing BBIN Sub-regional Cooperation’ held on July 27 and 28, 2017. The Roundtable was organized by the Delhi Policy Group.

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Ottawa Dialogue

Bngkok, 25-29 May 2017 Brig. (Rtd.) ArunSahgalattended the Ottawa Dialogue dealing with Mil to Mil and Nuclear CBM’s with Pakistani Generals and Diplomats held in Bangkok, from 25 to 29 May, 2017.

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16+1 Dialogue on OBOR

Belgrade, 22-23 April 2017 Brig. (Rtd.) ArunSahgal was part of 16 1 Dialogue on OBOR held in Belgrade. The dialogue was comprised of 16 Eastern and Central European countries along with China, India and some EU member States like Germany.

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RTD at Moscow Diplomatic Academy

Moscow, 15 June 2017 Brig. (Rtd.) ArunSahgal attended RTD at Moscow Diplomatic Academy, Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to celebrate 70 Years of Diplomatic relations between India and Russia.He spoke on importance of strategic communications.

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