Technology & War, Understanding strategic threats, Chinese influence ops in India

This TEDx talk, recorded in July 2022, on the above subject of “Technology & War” may be of interest

Two more recent (Aug 23 and Sept 13) talks on DEF TALKS regarding ‘Understanding strategic threats to India’ and on ‘Chinese influence operations in India’ below

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.
This entry was posted in arms exports, asia-Pacific/Indo-Pacific, Asian geopolitics, Central Asia, China, China military, civil-military relations, Culture, Cyber & Space, Decision-making, Defence Industry, Defence procurement, disarmament, domestic politics, DRDO, Europe, Geopolitics, geopolitics/geostrategy, Great Power imperatives, guerilla warfare, India's China Policy, India's Pakistan Policy, India's strategic thinking and policy, Indian Air Force, Indian Army, Indian ecobomic situation, Indian Navy, Indian Ocean, Indo-Pacific, Iran and West Asia, Islamic countries, Israel, MEA/foreign policy, Military Acquisitions, Military/military advice, Missiles, nonproliferation, Northeast Asia, Nuclear Policy & Strategy, nuclear power, Nuclear Weapons, Pakistan, Pakistan military, Pakistan nuclear forces, Relations with Russia, Russia, russian assistance, russian military, SAARC, sanctions, society, South Asia, South East Asia, space & cyber, Special Forces, Sri Lanka, Strategic Forces Command, Strategic Relations with South East Asia & Far East, Strategic Relations with the US & West, Technology transfer, technology, self-reliance, Terrorism, Tibet, Trade with China, UN, United States, US., Vietnam, war & technology, Weapons, Western militaries. Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Technology & War, Understanding strategic threats, Chinese influence ops in India

  1. Ayush says:

    Your comments on the new CDS?My info that it’s “some army guy” turned out be correct.And your sources who informed you of having some Navy backbencher as the CDS during the hour of crisis turned out to be fiction.

    • Gaurav Tyagi says:

      @Ayush- April 26th write up of Professor Karnad;

      The next CDS- Admiral Karambir Singh

      You should also mention the date and comment wherein you said the aforementioned

      Then we audience could decide who won the round 😆

  2. Gaurav Tyagi says:

    Addressing BJP workers in Bhubaneswar, Nadda said, “It was our Prime Minister who talked to Putin and spoke to Zelenskyy, brought the fighting to a halt

    An excerpt from the following;

    It seems that Nadda doesn’t follow any news. Russia-Ukraine war has been going on since February 24. Sycophants like him have made Modi a fake Vishvguru.

  3. Amit says:


    Looks like the Ukraine crisis is getting to be more dangerous as Ukraine gains militarily against Russia. The best solution would still be what the realists propose (Elon Musk, Kissinger) – negotiate a cease fire, give up Crimea to Russia, keep Ukraine out of NATO. However, with Ukrainian and NATO push back against Russia this is unlikely to happen. NATO now thinks that a Ukrainian victory is imminent.

    My fear is that even if Ukraine wins, it will be a short term victory. Russia will escalate if Ukraine ever goes into NATO. I still can’t believe the US is pursuing this path! Unfortunately, when you think you winning in battle, compromise is very unlikely. One can also blame Russia for not achieving a quick victory and overestimating their strength.

    I’m afraid things could get very ugly for the world with these kind of dynamics. The US is also misbehaving with India (F16 supply to Pak etc.). All I can say is that India will retaliate in kind for this behaviour. Expect some defence deals to not go the US way.

    Apart from the military threat to world peace, you also have the economic whip saw due to sanctions and inflation. The world could go into a recession and no one knows how that will play out. India has managed well so far, but with the Fed raising interest rates dramatically, Indian rates are going up and that will surely negatively impact growth. The whole world is paying for what the US and Russia are doing to each other! There is not much India can do but react to actions taken by these two countries! It’s ridiculous!

    • Gaurav Tyagi says:

      @Amit- Why is it ridiculous?

      Yankees are having fun. Military Industrial complex of USA is laughing its way to the bank.

      Ukraine will be spending the next 100 years repaying the Yankees for all these Javelins & HIMARS.

      Putin bit off more than he could chew. He won’t get out alive from
      this mess, which he made.

      Death or Glory.

      The latter has forsaken him. Someone close to Putin (working for CIA) will assassinate him. Maximum 6-8 months.

      Russia-Ukraine war will then end. Russians will save face by returning all the captured territory back to Ukraine as post war settlement.

      Blame everything on the action of by then deceased mad man Putin.

      • Amit says:

        @Tyagiji, while Putin seems to have bitten more than he could have chewed, I’m afraid even taking him out of the picture will not solve the long term problem as long Russia has nukes. What you are suggesting is a clean way for the US to win. I just think it will be a lot more messy, bloody and dangerous as there are plenty within Russia who are opposed to Ukraine joining NATO. it is still better to negotiate a solution and compromise. The US however, is in no mood to compromise and everyone else is forced to watch from the sidelines.

  4. Gaurav Tyagi says:

    Russians not only failed to take Kyiv, they were chased out of northern Ukraine and in five days this month were driven off a territory it took them five months to invade. Decimated and humiliated by an army it vastly outnumbers and outguns, the Russian army lost an improbable number of generals and admirals, including the head of the Black Sea Fleet, as well as their flagship. Having lost over 50 000 troops, Putin has unleashed mass exodus and riots in Russia with repressive mobilisation.

    Unlike the Soviet Union, Russia is no friend to India. Putin, in contrast, sees India primarily as a market, which is why the sale of oil, nuclear reactors and arms, free trade, and a transport corridor are the crux of the Russo-Indian “special and privileged strategic partnership”. Russia’s growing arms sales and recent military cooperation with Pakistan showed clearly that its military interests are oriented by profit, not sentiments.

    A few excerpts from the following very interesting composition;

    Professor Karnad and fellow readers what’s your opinion regarding the aforementioned write up?

  5. Gaurav Tyagi says:

    From trenches, dugouts and in occupied homes in the area around Bucha, a western suburb of Kyiv, Russian soldiers disobeyed orders by making unauthorized calls from their cellphones to their wives, girlfriends, friends and parents hundreds of miles from the front line.

    In phone calls to friends and relatives at home, Russian soldiers gave damning insider accounts of battlefield failures and civilian executions, excoriating their leaders just weeks into the campaign to take Kyiv.

    The Times spent almost two months translating the recordings, which have been edited for clarity and length. Here are their conversations. (Note: They contain explicit language.)

    A few months back, I thought that Russia was
    winning the war by looking at maps of the captured Ukrainian territory.

    However, the tide has turned completely against Russia.

    Now the only option for Putin is to use the Nuclear weapons but if he fires one on any EU nation (NATO member) or US, they will also fire back more nukes at Russia in retaliation.

    No wonder Putin has turned so paranoid that he receives visitors sitting at the end of a ten meter long table.

    • Sankar says:

      “However, the tide has turned completely against Russia.” –

      Here is a snippet for you:

      “… Sheikh Mohammed and his Saudi kinsperson, Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud had just handed down a strategic defeat to a superpower in the geopolitics of oil, as the world community witnessed disbelievingly and understood that the sun has set on the American Century in international politics.

      Putin too stands at the threshold of a historic victory over the combined might of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, which is poised to redraw the contours of the new world order. Putin told Sheikh Mohammed that the relations between Russia and the UAE are “an important factor of regional and overall global stability.”… ”

      It is a lost cause now for Zelensky and others to wrest back from Russia about 20% of Ukraine’s territory a few weeks ago that Russia has annexed by fighting recently.

      • Gaurav Tyagi says:

        @Sankar- ‘It is a lost cause now for Zelensky and others to wrest back from Russia about 20% of Ukraine’s territory a few weeks ago that Russia has annexed by fighting recently.’

        Capturing territory is easy compared to holding on to it. Russians are facing a big fightback by Ukrainian/NATO forces. How long can Russia hold on to the captured Ukrainian territory?

        Don’t forget that Russian army is short of manpower as well.

    • Sankar says:

      I do not share your views here.
      In my limited understsnding of history in the context, Ukraine has been truly a part of Russia from time immemotial. Sevastopol in Crimea is where the Russian Navy has its massive naval base since Tsar’s time, if not since the time of Peter the Great. At the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Crimea became part of Ukraine true in Western Powers view, but the Russian Navy has never left Sevastopol. So Moscow will hold on to Crimea at all costs and will have no qualms to unleash a nuclear strike if Sevastopol gets out of its hand.

      I do not see any successful insurgency from grass roots happening in future in the areas annexed by Russia in this war. In any case, (30-40)% people of Ukraine are of Russians origin Here is a parallel of Ukraine with Chechnya which came loose of Russia at the time of break up of the USSR. And there started the insurgency by the Muslim Jehadis and others instigated by the Western Powers. Moscow has taken several (9?) years to stamp it out and integrate Chechnya with Russia as a nation state – no more anti-state activity.

      A massive propaganda in western press is going on against Russia. But there are rumblings in Western Europe not fully reported. Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel has voiced her views in no uncertain terms that there can be no security in Europe without taking into consideration of Moscow’s concerns – Ukrainians are not mentioned. There are demostrations in Paris for France to get out of NATO. As Lavrov recently stated NATO is brain dead.

      This war is being waged by solely the US against Russia, and it remains to be seen how long the administration in Washington can drag it on. To my information, the US is experimenting with laser technology as a weapon system in Ukraine for its own military’s sake, but not for defending the civilians against the Russian missile barrage.

      • Gaurav Tyagi says:

        @Sankar- ‘how long the administration in Washington can drag it on’

        The Yankees can drag it on forever thereby enriching its military/industrial complex while weakening Russia by engaging it in a long term conflict.

        As for the European NATO allies of US. Will they defy Uncle Sam? I have my doubts.

        Ukraine cannot stop now neither will Russia cease its military operations.

        There are talks of Zelensky-Putin meeting plus Putin-Biden meetings being arranged at the G-20 summit to be held in Indonesia (Bali) next month in November.

        Let’s see what happens.

    • Sankar says:


      Read on interesting political fallout for the Ukraine war –

      To highlight from it:
      “Saudi Arabia has politely but firmly rebutted the threats and calumnies levelled by the US political elites ….. OPEC decision was at Saudi initiative and was politically motivated against the US, and, worse still, to help Russia.
      Biden himself was speaking … He excoriated Saudi Arabia, accusing it of helping “underwrite Putin’s war through the OPEC+ cartel.” …”

      • Gaurav Tyagi says:

        @Sankar- Interesting information in the link provided by you.

        If I were Biden. I would do a clandestine deal to bring down the ‘House of Saud’

        It’s very easy for the Yankees. They have five army bases in Saudi Arabia plus thousands of active duty servicemen present there.

        Except for the Saudis intervention in Yemen, the country hasn’t fought in any war therefore, it’s army has no combat experience.

        USA could secretly provide sophisticated long range missiles to the Houthi rebels in Yemen besides a list of strategic targets.

        Houthis hate the ‘House of Saud’. They can bring it down provided the Yankees back them.

        Geopolitics and it’s immense interesting permutations/combinations 🥳

  6. whatsinitanyway says:

    Cant we Coerce Pakistan to denuclearize itself against India giving up PoK.

    • Gaurav Tyagi says:

      And why will Pakistan do the aforementioned?

    • Gaurav Tyagi says:

      When even a dictator like Putin inspite of being cornered is finding it difficult to use Nukes. Do you really think that Pakistan can use Nukes against India?

      Nobody can ‘coerce’ anyone. Neither India can coerce Pakistan nor Pakistan can coerce India to give up so called IOK and while we are at it, China also can never coerce Taiwan to join the mainland.

  7. Ayush says:

    How are you?Its been a long time.
    Now,first of all appointment of a three star general responsible for war planning is tight slap on the service chiefs who think the CDS post is their birth right.Anybody who has any real knowledge how military bureaucracy works would know what that it’s these low key two and three star officers are the ones who actually make the war plans and not the ones who get the spotlight.

    As for Putin, if I were to speak from purely an unbiased, military point of view, he has a whole lot of war winning options left.He has not tapped the real potential of the Russian military at all.Ukraines battle successes are due to massive nato intelligence and material support,especially the former.If Putin shoots down a few dozen(3-4) nato satellites, he can literally blind Ukraine.If he fires a salvo of a few dozen Kalibr missiles at the NATO supply depots just across the UKR-polish border,he can starve the Ukrainians off ammo in a handful of weeks.He can strike the “centers of gravity” in kyiv so as to use pentagon terminology.And obviously he can drop a “Topol-M” on kyiv. To say that Putin is finished is premature.However,these options are too extreme and will draw the NATO in conflict which is exactly what Zelenskyy wants.
    However, it does appear that Zelenskyy would have the last laugh.

    • Gaurav Tyagi says:

      @Ayush- The post of CDS is just a decorative one. It took GOI months to appoint the successor of deceased General Rawat.

      The individual getting the post is also from NSA’s home state of Uttarakhand. It clearly reveals who is pulling the strings of country’s security policy.

      We are currently under a lockdown here in China. Honestly speaking, I have lost count of the occasions these lockdowns are imposed.

      The present one is going on now for the past two weeks. We aren’t allowed to step outside the apartment complex yard. I have a strong suspicion this all is being done to scare and control the public here after all fear of the devil is bigger than the devil itself.

      Your points about Putin knocking down the NATO satellites plus attacking the supply/storage depots are spot-on.

      However as you yourself have stated Putin is reluctant to pursue them because if NATO directly joins the conflict then Russia will be in more serious trouble and no country will come to help it militarily.

      It may result in further fragmentation of Russia, which in spite of the break up of erstwhile USSR is still the largest country in the world (in terms of size)

      Therefore, Putin is indeed riding the horns of a dilemma. Threatening the use of nukes is very easy compared to using them actually.

      Btw, I would like to correspond more with you on a one to one basis. How should we go about it?

  8. Email from Joydeep Sircar

    bharat karnad

    Tue, 11 Oct at 10:20 am

    Hinduism in its present form is a pacific religion that has no conception of national greatness. A thousand plus years of subservience has converted us to servility, cowardice and internecine squabbling. You are like a prophet preaching to the deaf. You speak well, you speak good sense and try to hold up a mirror to lndia, but your audience is not interested. Personal wealth and political power is what our leaders seek, not military greatness and national strength. Unless there is a miracle, we are fated to fall under China’s hegemony, as we fell under Britains sway. Thanks to our limitless capacity of self-deception, our sophists will transform our subjugation into a blessing from the almighty.

    Best wishes, and keep on fighting,

    J. Sircar

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.