‘Statement of Intent’

Over the years, many people have been asking me to spell out clearly the general principles and philosophy animating my writings (and this blog). So, though long overdue, below is what has been just posted in the ‘About’ page of ‘Security Wise’.


‘Security Wise’ was the title of a fortnightly newspaper column I wrote for many years (in the ‘Asian Age’ and ‘Deccan Chronicle’). It is a blog dedicated unapologetically to espousing realpolitik values and realist foreign and military policies as vehicle for furthering India’s national interest (stripped of abstract universal concerns, such as world peace, disarmament and nonproliferation, Third World good, etc., and of emphasis mainly on soft power, that have for too long been the bread and butter of Indian foreign policy, both in the declaratory sense and in substantive terms). In a system of sovereign nation-states and a harsh “dog eat dog” international milieu, National Interest should be the only motivation and driver of all state policies in the external realm. Conjoined to the relentless and focused acquisition of strategic hard power capabilities, it will, as this analyst has argued since 1979, achieve for India Great Power it has always potentially been but which governments since 1947 have failed to realize. This is because of the absence of clearly articulated national vision, strategy, disruptive game-plan and policies, and of strong political will to implement them. It has resulted in a often skewed world-view, miscued geopolitics, a myopic approach fixating on “unfriendly neighbours”, an over-accommodating stance vis a vis powerful states, an inclination to uphold the status quo rather than challenge and upend the prevailing Asian and global order that discriminates against and victimizes India, a manifestly wonky threat perception and, hence, a military, dependent on imported armaments, with limited reach and clout backed by a truncated nuclear deterrent (that can boast of credible and reliable thermonuclear weapons only if India resumes open-ended underground nuclear testing). This constitutes the meat of the argument I have made for three and half decades now (in 2016), within government and military circles and outside of them, and reflects my bedrock beliefs, which are reflected in all my writings and in my posts in this blog. The arch-realist policy compass ‘Security Wise’ represents will not change, whichever the government of whatever ideological stripe is ruling in New Delhi at any given time.

About Bharat Karnad

Senior Fellow in National Security Studies at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi, he was Member of the (1st) National Security Advisory Board and the Nuclear Doctrine-drafting Group, and author, among other books of, 'Nuclear Weapons and Indian Security: The Realist Foundations of Strategy', 'India's Nuclear Policy' and most recently, 'Why India is Not a Great Power (Yet)'. Educated at the University of California (undergrad and grad), he was Visiting Scholar at Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, the Shanghai Institutes of International Studies, and Henry L. Stimson Center, Washington, DC.
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4 Responses to ‘Statement of Intent’

  1. Atul says:

    Its nice and apt.

  2. Jagdish Talreja says:

    Bharat Mata is fortunate to have you in her land.

  3. Shaurya says:

    Bharat Mata is lucky to have you as her progeny. Your Karmas will make you immortal, for they are Nishkam.

  4. Raahul says:

    “An inclination to uphold the status quo rather than challenge and upend the prevailing Asian and global order that discriminates against and victimizes India”

    Thank you, this needs to be said. There is never a need to support a world order unless we had a hand in creating the rules. The first place to start is to pull out of the IMF, WB and United Nations. We already have the South Asian Bank and New Development Bank, why continue with the IMF?

    The United Nations has failed to take any strong action against terrorism. And defunct organizations like the CommonWealth don’t make any sense except as a relic of colonialism. Are we really proud to be associated with the British?

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