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Manoj Joshi
Articles by Manoj Joshi

China in mind, Japan set for defence rehaul

Tokyo has abandoned its erstwhile pacifist policy and is set to re-emerge as a “traditional” military power that seeks to enhance the containment of China.

U.S. President Joe Biden escorts Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Japan Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to their trilateral summit at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 11, 2024. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque(REUTERS)
Published on Apr 29, 2024 11:27 PM IST

Stalemate in Ukraine, NATO in expansion

The problem with war is that while it is relatively easy to start one, it is very difficult to forecast its course or the circumstances of its termination.

This grab taken from a handout footage released by the Russian Defence Ministry on March 12, 2024 reportedly shows a destroyed military vehicle of the Ukrainian troops in the border area between Russia and Ukraine in the Belgorod region. (AFP)
Published on Mar 13, 2024 10:05 PM IST

Armed forces wait for a funds boost from Budget

India needs not just money, but effective political direction to move ahead with regards to a defence budget

Armed forces contingents were seen marching to drumbeats during dress rehearsals for the 75th Republic Day parade at the Kartavya Path in the national capital on Saturday. (HT Photo/Sanjeev Verma)
Published on Jan 26, 2024 10:13 PM IST

By targeting civilians, Israel lost the narrative

By its over-the-top response, the Israel Defence Forces has lost the war in terms of the narrative

An Israeli military helicopter flies near the Israeli-Gaza border, as seen from southern Israel, Monday, Jan. 1, 2024. The army is battling Palestinian militants across Gaza in the war ignited by Hamas' Oct. 7 attack into Israel. (AP/PTI) (AP01_01_2024_000303A)(AP)
Published on Jan 01, 2024 10:13 PM IST

Excerpt: Understanding the India China Border by Manoj Joshi

This edited extract from a new book on the border issue looks at what led to the Galwan clash

A signboard seen from the Indian side of the Indo-China border at Bumla, in Arunachal Pradesh in a picture dated November 11, 2009. (Adnan Abidi /REUTERS)
Updated on Apr 08, 2023 01:09 PM IST

Defence indigenisation can’t happen overnight

New Delhi realises it must be self-reliant in all significant areas relating to the military. Accordingly, it is working overtime to build its defence-industrial capacity, but it will not yield significant results for another two decades.

Speaking in Pune in January, army chief General Manoj Pande said that the ongoing conflict had brought to the fore “the impact of asymmetric warfare, potential of information warfare, digital resilience, weaponisation of the economic mechanism, communications redundancy, space-based systems and many more — all driven by technological prowess.” (PTI)
Updated on Mar 09, 2023 07:58 AM IST

US-China relation is at an inflection point

In the past decade, ties between the two nations was turbulent. While some convergence is visible now, competition remains fierce in tech, economy, defence and geopolitics. This contest will shape global politics

The US knows China has the capacity to play catch up in the semiconductor sector. So, its strategy is to delay Chinese advances (REUTERS)
Updated on Jan 04, 2023 09:14 AM IST

What a third Xi term means for India

If the 20th CCP meet, which began on Sunday, enhances Xi Jinping’s power, it would reinforce trends associated with his tenure: Assertiveness abroad, no compromises on boundary issues, and a willingness to use the military as an instrument of policy

People watch an outdoor screen showing the live speech of Chinese President Xi Jinping, October 16, 2022 (AFP)
Updated on Oct 16, 2022 08:35 PM IST

New CDS will have to hit the ground running

A key task for General Anil Chauhan will be to pick up the slack on the integration of the armed forces and modernising them, while constructing the new edifice of an integrated and modern Indian military

General Anil Chauhan has all the qualifications for the job. His career includes serving as army commander of the Eastern Command, director-general of military operations and military adviser to the National Security Council Secretariat (PIB)
Updated on Sep 30, 2022 07:55 PM IST

The delay in appointing a new CDS is disappointing

While it is true that General Rawat had some qualities that led to his appointment first as the Indian Army chief and then as the CDS. But there are, at any given time, at least a dozen senior personnel who are capable of taking up the job

In his 2019 Independence Day speech, Prime Minister Narendra Modi came up with the surprise announcement of a CDS who would be the permanent chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee (CoSC) and principal adviser to the defence minister. He would administer all tri-service organisations, including those of cyber and space, and also be the military adviser to the Nuclear Command Authority. (Manish Swarup/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Aug 12, 2022 06:12 PM IST

US needs to bridge its deep social cleavages

It’s no secret that the US has its problems: Anti-immigrant sentiment is high, inequality is rising, racism persists, and gun violence is out of control. But to fix these, it needs to repair its politics

The US possesses enormous geopolitical and technological power. But even a country as unique as the US will get no free pass to get there (AFP)
Updated on Jul 06, 2022 09:42 PM IST

Of victory and defeat in the Russia-Ukraine war

The arranged surrender in Mariupol on Tuesday could be the beginning of a war termination process. It fits with the ambiguity about winners and losers in today's wars 

The “special military operation” was carried out without regard for the civilian population. Cities have been devastated and millions made refugees. But, by the measure of its initial claim, the Russian operation has failed. (AP)
Updated on May 18, 2022 08:04 PM IST

Why Beijing finds itself in a geopolitical obstacle race

As the rest of the world is opening up, China’s zero-Covid policy and new outbreaks are proving to be a headache for the country.

The biggest cost that China is paying is that it remains closed off from the world. Even as barriers are being lowered elsewhere, China finds itself caught in a bind. (Bloomberg)
Updated on Mar 31, 2022 10:43 PM IST

Breaking with Russia on defence is difficult

India has enhanced arms purchases with other countries over the last two decades. But it will be years before its dependence on Russia ceases if its domestic industry truly flourishes

The Russian arms industry is in the cross-hairs of the Americans, and Delhi and Moscow will have to come up with solutions to keep the relationship going. One move would be to revert to the old rupee-ruble trade. (File Photo)
Published on Mar 08, 2022 07:58 PM IST

Reveal India’s nuclear command structure

The subject of nuclear weapons remains off-grid in India. There’s no public information on who constitutes the executive and political councils under the Nuclear Command Authority besides their chairmen

What is NCA’s succession plan in the event of a nuclear strike that takes out Lutyens Delhi and the entire CCS? (Ravi Choudhary/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Feb 22, 2022 07:30 PM IST
ByManoj Joshi

The 1971 war: India won the battle, but couldn’t go all the way

The adversary lived to fight another day, and has since, through a “sub conventional” war (terrorism), been exacting a heavy price from India

The politico-military machinery that gave us the splendid victory in the East did not do it in the West, and then again in Simla. And we’re still facing the ramifications of that. (FILE PHOTO)
Updated on Dec 23, 2021 11:38 PM IST
ByManoj Joshi

Is the India-China conflict intractable?

China’s refusal to resolve the border dispute, and force Delhi to accept Beijing’s primacy, cannot be acceptable to India

India may be weaker than China, but it is strong enough to ensure that any conflict would be mutually destructive. The modus vivendi of the kind that operated between 1990-2020 looks difficult. But cooperation in some managed form offers advantages to both (PTI)
Updated on Nov 14, 2021 06:36 PM IST
ByManoj Joshi

The China-Bhutan border deal should worry India

Recent developments suggest a perception in Bhutan that there are limits to which it can depend on India for its security

In South Asia, China sees Bhutan, where it does not yet have an embassy, as the last frontier. So far, Thimphu has successfully walked the tightrope between its two giant neighbours, even while making it clear that it would not like to play New Delhi off against Beijing (ANI)
Updated on Oct 19, 2021 06:56 PM IST
ByManoj Joshi

The last thing Beijing needs at this time is a trade war

Donald Trump’s handling of the ZTE issue clearly reveals his taste for staged about-turns.

A combination of file photos of US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping. There was a touch of Trump’s prime time show The Apprentice in the flourish with which he declared that he would extend a life-saver to the Chinese telecom giant ZTE which was on a death watch after the impositions of US sanctions by his own administration.(AFP)
Updated on May 23, 2018 07:36 AM IST
ByManoj Joshi

Donald Trump’s review could help India nuance its nuclear doctrine

No one believes that India would wipe out Lahore, if Pakistan used a low yield nuclear weapon against an Indian military formation, and that, too, in Pakistan.

US President Donald Trump speaks about the Iran nuclear deal in the Diplomatic Room of the White House in Washington, October 13, 2017.(REUTERS File photo)
Updated on Feb 25, 2018 05:10 PM IST
ByManoj Joshi

A strong India-US partnership is the best balancer to China’s growing power

India can be a principal balancer of China in a region now termed the “Indo-Pacific”. India’s economy may be a fifth of China’s and its military much weaker, but its size, location and potential make it a peer competitor of China. By mid-century, India’s economy could exceed that of the US and be second only to China. And you can be sure, this will be accompanied by the rise of Indian military capacity as well.

A man holds the flags of India and the U.S. while people take part in the 35th India Day Parade in New York August 16, 2015. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz - RTX1OFFQ(REUTERS)
Published on Jan 12, 2018 06:23 PM IST
ByManoj Joshi

What Nirmala Sitharaman needs to do to reform India’s defence establishment

Fixing manufacturing and acquisitions alone will not work. Nirmala Sitharaman needs to urgently tackle the need to reorganise India’s sprawling military to make them an effective fighting unit for 21st century warfare, where challenges range from nuclear armed adversaries to proxy jihadis.

Indian army officers stand on vehicles displaying missiles during the Republic Day parade in New Delhi, January 26, 2016(REUTERS)
Updated on Sep 15, 2017 04:21 PM IST
ByManoj Joshi

Army chief General Rawat has said nothing that should worry China

General Bipin Rawat was speaking at a seminar on the “future contours and trends of warfare”.This is the kind of stuff military people are likely to speak about when they are discussing issues in a seminar where issues are thrown up and scenarios discussed. This is something that the Chinese side probably does not understand because their military leaders usually speak to the public in tightly scripted environments.

None of the reports of the Army chief’s remarks mention the fact that he was speaking at a seminar on the “future contours and trends of warfare.” In delivering a lecture on the subject, General Rawat naturally spoke about the Army’s doctrinal views on China, its expectations, and on issues like the possibility of war between two nuclear armed neighbours and so on(Arvind Yadav/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Sep 08, 2017 04:37 PM IST
ByManoj Joshi

India should work with China on OBOR for its own economic benefit

India should know that the OBOR scheme is not about CPEC and Pakistan; but in fact its primary goal is to integrate the rich European economy with that of China’s.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, China.(REUTERS)
Updated on May 17, 2017 06:23 PM IST
ByManoj Joshi

China renaming places in Arunachal is an old ploy to delegitimise adversaries

China has long mastered the art of “lawfare” or the system through which legal claims are put forward to delegitimise adversaries. Renaming places is not something new. So the Chinese call the Paracel Islands and Spratly Islands in the South China Sea as the Xisha and Nansha islands or the Senkaku islands which they dispute with Japan as the Diaoyu islands.

Since the mid-1980s, the Chinese have been saying that India should concede Tawang to them. And now, following the most recent visit of the Dalai Lama, which China warned would spoil Sino-Indian relations, Beijing has taken this additional step of renaming places in Arunachal Pradesh(Rahul Karmakar/HT)
Updated on Apr 24, 2017 06:37 PM IST
ByManoj Joshi

Letting NSG and Masood Azhar get in the way of Indo-China ties. Is it worth it?

The reason why Sino-Indian relations are in a bad state has a lot to do with the way India conducts its foreign policy, rather than their much talked up geopolitical rivalry.

Foreign Secretary, S Jaishankar holding talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Beijing ahead of the Strategic Dialogue. Expectations that the talks would lead to a reset of the troubled India-China relations have been belied.(PTI)
Updated on Apr 04, 2017 07:14 AM IST
ByManoj Joshi

The charge that the arrest of an air chief affects soldiers’ morale is laughable

For Air Chief Marshal Shashi Tyagi, meeting the CEO or officials of an aviation company is one thing, but dealing with middle men like Haschke and Gerosa was questionable

Former Air Chief Marshal SP Tyagi leaving the CBI headquarters on May 2, 2016, in connection with alleged corruption in the 3,600 crore AgustaWestland choppers deal(Arvind Yadav/HT Photos)
Updated on Feb 22, 2017 12:34 PM IST
ByManoj Joshi

The enigma of victory: Carving out electoral capital out of surgical strikes

The strikes have been a great tactical success, but the real triumph will be in achieving a strategic shift in Islamabad. However, that strategy is in danger of getting derailed by the premature celebrations of win

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the occasion of Dussehra(HT)
Updated on Oct 20, 2016 12:06 PM IST
ByManoj Joshi

In step with the government

HT Image
Published on Jul 19, 2016 09:14 AM IST
ByManoj Joshi

Military has remained steadfast in its commitment to democracy

The answer to the question as to why a coup in India has not taken place, and will not do so, provided the country is not brought to the verge of collapse by its civilian leadership, lies in the quality of the military

Even today, in the 21st century, dread of the man on a horseback runs like a thread through India’s governmental attitudes towards the armed forces(PTI)
Updated on Jul 18, 2016 09:33 PM IST
ByManoj Joshi
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