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India could play a bigger role in global nuclear politics. The fence that sits in Ukraine prevents

In war, strategic competition may not easily kneel under the passing winds of tactical success and defeat. The problem is always about judging the flow so that informed decisions can be made on how much and in what way force should be applied. The Russians used artillery and missile firepower to destroy the Ukrainian resistance and control almost the entire Donbas region. A restless tactical stop covers the stage and the contours of a protracted conflict are visible.

It is time for the international community to take a stand on this issue. And India can take the lead in attempts aimed at maintaining global peace.

The threat of a full -blown nuclear war

Superficially, Russia’s military victories have reduced the likelihood of using nuclear weapons, even if the threat to use them lasts as long as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) provides political and strategic support to Ukraine. The hidden threat of the use of nuclear weapons should not be ignored even if it is considered a very low probability. Resting on the shoulders of a conventional war, views of victory, setback and defeat on both sides bear the seeds of bringing nuclear weapons into play. Ukraine has no nuclear weapons and it is very likely that NATO will use nuclear weapons to defend it. But on the other hand, what should NATO’s response to Russia’s nuclear threats be and also its actual use? There is no easy answer for NATO. All actions from joining conventional war to nuclear retaliation and even actions limited to formal protests and intensified economic sanctions promise no happy end for the parties concerned and the international community. .

Joining the routes of conventional war or nuclear retaliation is both cemented by the risks of escalating into an unimaginable nuclear exchange that could threaten the survival of humanity itself. Although the Nuclear Winter theory remains unrecognized by the United States and Russia, its scientific truth remains. The fact is that this theory sounds death for a nuclear strategy based on a massive nuclear blow, because the long -term impact on the environment can be incredible — not only for the parties concerned but also for humanity.

Read also: India has interests on both sides of the US-China divide. The Cold War holds clues for the path ahead

India must lead

The international community needs to raise its voice and call for an immediate cessation of war in Ukraine. It certainly cannot be silent in the political situation of the great power that threatens world peace and at its worst, an existing threat to humanity. India should take the lead because it is in a good position. India’s nuanced foreign policy has attempted to avoid the image of belonging to power blocs. However, India’s relationship with China is full and its recovery depends on New Delhi’s orientation to global power politics.

Ideally, for India, its relationship with the US and China should be better than what they have of their own. Regardless of the dimensions of this relationship structure, it could allow India to lead the world as the third force in global power politics. This grouping must demand an end to the use of force that violates agreed international standards and represents the voice of peace. It should call for Russia and NATO to conduct a No First Use of nuclear weapons policy in the context of the Ukraine War as an immediate step. Such a step should be followed by a call for a Global No First Use commitment of all nuclear powers.

In sheer numbers, the number of countries lending their voices to such a movement may be large enough to represent a force that can make a difference in the ongoing power struggle around the world. Such a force actually exists in the form of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) even though it has been comatose to its main area of ​​interest-global peace. The reason for inaction is due to fragmentation within the movement. India must lead the call for tackling disunity. A call for a revival of Non-Alignment has already been issued by India’s former National Security Advisor, Shivshankar Menon, through an article in Foreign Affairs magazine. The Indian official should seriously examine the idea.

Also read: The war in Ukraine shows that it is time for a new way to ensure security in Europe

India still has no security strategy

The idea is based on India’s political allegiance to non -violence. India’s disregard for Russia’s territorial aggression is a political act of disloyalty to non-violence justified under the guise of realpolitik. Such a foreign policy orientation does not serve the purpose of global peace and does not contribute to India’s ability to gain cooperation. Being a major player in the third force is really a political aspiration and choice. The war in Ukraine should be seen as a warning bell for political calm and India’s role should be one of deliberate choice. The time has come.

The selection should be part of a National Security Strategy (NSS) that has long been overdue. The NSA -led committee tasked with delivering it was clearly unable to do so. One of its key members, the Chief of Defense Staff (CDS), was not appointed even nearly seven months later. The inability of the committee to continue in its responsibility will be understood when it should have been allocated to the body created for such an idea. The work is the bread and butter of the National Security Advisory Board (NSAB). If not already done, the task should be assigned to it. There will be a need to populate the NSAB as a multi-disciplinary body, which it is not currently.

The decisions demanded regarding India’s political alignments cannot be left to the discretion of practitioners who are prisoners of the here-and-now school of thought. Also, certainly, the NSS cannot be considered a silver bullet for determining the political direction of the country. But without it, the process of planning the various areas of national strategy is extremely disruptive — in particular military strategy. There is a need to strengthen India’s political will to decide on the NSS. The current weaknesses of the NSAB representative must be overcome. This can easily be done from the immense talent pool available, as long as the choice is anchored in constitutional loyalty and not personal loyalty.

Global geopolitical threats could affect India’s development. Lost time can no longer be recovered. It’s time for a wake-up call to crystallize India’s role in global politics.

Lt Gen (Dr) Prakash Menon (retd) is Director, Strategic Studies Program, Takshashila Institution; former military adviser, National Security Council Secretariat. He tweeted @prakashmenon51. The views are personal.

(Edited by Zoya Bhatti)

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