Three gentlemen broke the world order. Xi Jinping’s surrealistic ambition of Chinese world domination and aggressive behaviour was unacceptable to the world. Donald Trump’s ‘Make America Great Again’ plan forced the US to walk away from global leadership. Boris Johnson’s ‘Brexit’ broke the EU solidarity and dashed hopes of an alternative world voice. Then the Chinese virus hit us broadside. It shattered everything. It forced physical isolation. Countries looked inward to save their skin unaided. Result. Three things got blown—globalisation, multilateralism and free trade. Three things now dominate most conversation: Viral contagion, Chinese predatory aggression, and Islamic radicalism. Three international institutions—UN, WTO and WHO—are rendered marginalised and vilified, often as Chinese rubber stamps.
The broken world order exists in three planes. The ‘Each on its Own’ plane consists of a polarized and divided US, an isolated and aggressive China, an inflamed Islamic world, an inward-looking UK, an aging EU, an overpowered ASEAN, a peacenik Japan, an independently minded India, an exploited Africa and South America in limbo. The ‘Clash of Civilizations’ plane is interesting. The Western civilisation led by the US is divided, aging, receding and economically declining. The Sinic civilisation, in economic prime, seeks world domination through unaccommodating aggression and assertion. The Islamic Civilization is externally inflamed and internally engaged in endless internecine conflicts, a restricted outlook and sectarian divisions. The Japanese and Indian civilisations famously described as ‘swing’ civilisations seek stabilisation. These planes are operational in mutual exclusion. The third plane is Global leadership or lack of it. Need to discuss this more.
GLOBAL LEADERSHIP AND LACK OF IT
The US led the world out of many a crisis. It is in crisis today. Joe Biden, as new President, has a task on his hands—to rebuild the politically divided and deeply polarised US. While the US will remain the foremost military power for a long time to come, its economic foundations are weakened. Importantly its internal dynamics of race, culture and immigration are heading for a major reset. In this period its political heft will get limited. However, it will be foolish to write off the US. It has weathered yet another crisis to underline its resilience. The presidential election process has revealed the strength of its democracy and focused attention of Americans to the fact that China is their main threat. This will be a period when the US will internalise and yet strive to provide a measure of global leadership in the face of Chinese assertiveness. A large part of the world will continue to believe that the US will rise again.
China is the single large economy showing signs of early recovery from the Virus. It wants to be the foremost dominant power on earth. No one else wants it to be. It has detailed plans to assume global leadership. It has lined up a block of countries through ‘Debt Trap’ diplomacy to do its bidding and has cornered a significant say in Global institutions. The problem with it is simple: No One Including Pakistan Trusts China! It does not want to live in an international rules-based order. China wants everyone to live by the rules it sets. Its selfish assertiveness, expansionism and unbridled ambition make it unacceptable as a Global leader. Its reinvention as a Marxist-Maoist communist nation is largely reprehended by democracies. A Systemic global challenge cannot be a global leader.
During the cold war, the relevance of UN became questionable. However, UN and other world bodies reinvented themselves and provided leadership during the Gulf Wars and in resolving the everlasting West Asia-Middle East-African crises. UN peace keeping and Humanitarian and Disaster Relief roles were of special relevance. WTO emerged as the harbinger of interdependence in the globalization wave. In the current Pandemic conditions, everyone is virtually on his own and UN is invisible. The WHO has become a villain in cahoots with China. The WTO has become irrelevant. International institutions are out of sync with ground realities.
The rest of the Big Five are not really that big, without a global footprint or influence. Russia continues in an ‘ex-superpower’ dream. Its reality is that it is a cash strapped military power with a resource-based economy. UK and France are economies with limited influence. Their acceptance as global leaders waned after WW2 and collapse of their colonies. The other strong economies and big nations do not have much say in world affairs and are not acknowledged as leaders.
THE GLOBAL CHALLENGES AHEAD
China had undermined the Global System and was surreptitiously swinging everything towards itself when its baby—the Wuhan Virus struck. It exposed the Chinese perfidy and woke everyone to the real intent of Xi Jinping—to create a Chinese Global Order. In this overriding context the global scene will be challenging.
First and foremost, nations, societies and people will endeavour to recover from the Chinese virus and get on with their lives. When they begin afresh, they will pick up pieces from a vastly different position. Till the virus lasts, a degree of physical and psychological isolation will endure. This will force self-reliance, protection and societies getting adjusted to new norms of life with a new sense of nationalism. Global interdependence and border less societies are no more in fashion. Everyone will endeavour to establish an amount of strategic autonomy on issues which they consider critical to their national interests.
Economies will take time to pick up. The longer the Virus lasts, the slower the pickup rate. The Chinese virus will be amidst us for at least 2-3 two years even if a vaccine comes through. This will be a period of suppressed economic conditions. Economic growth is likely to return to normalcy only around 2024-25. Resource driven and commodity-based economies will be sluggish in recovery. Underprovided and underprivileged societies will suffer. Poverty, food security, hunger and human rights issues will come to the fore. Combine this with climate change and the results could be tough. We are already seeing some evidence of this in China through the current food crisis and the Han vs non-Han ethnic issues which have cropped up. Surprising but true. Look beyond the hype and propaganda. Even China is vulnerable.
Military and political power will dominate. Expansionist China, amongst all countries, will exert this power aggressively for global domination. China will leverage the BRI, economically and militarily, to gain dominance. Nations will endeavor to decouple from China and set up alternate supply chains. This will be resisted by China through means—fair and foul. As a result, alternate arrangements and alignments to counter and contain Chinese predation will emerge through competition and contestation. Periodic military and political confrontation is inevitable. Military and political power will have to protect economic revival of nations.
What the Atlantic and NATO was to the last century against USSR, the Indo Pacific and Quad is to this century against China. The Free and Open Indo Pacific construct with the Quad as its centerpiece will take a definite shape. Already there are indications that France, Germany and UK are stepping into the scene. Others will follow selectively. The arrangements and alignments will be opportunistic, and issue based rather than a formal NATO structure. Countries will get on and off the Quad platform as it suits them from time to time. The macro struggle between the US and China will override
Energy and resource consumption is currently depressed due to reduced economic activity. However, the tussle to secure them for the future will intensify. Water conflicts in densely populated transnational waterways will increase. The Mekong waterway dispute portends the new conflict spectrum. Climate change and environmental degradation will also dominate the political and economic landscape. China will be at the root of this conflict. China, while cleaning up its own eco system, is transferring its environmental degradation and pollution to other nations through the BRI network of Dams, Coal fired thermal plants and unsustainable infrastructural projects. For example, Pakistan is at the danger from becoming one of the most heavily polluted countries if the CPEC goes through even partially. The triple whammy of water shortage, environmental degradation and resource depletion will hit it badly.
The Virus has pushed the world into the digital age. Hence there will be digital competition with second order effects on other parts of the economy. There will be horizontal effects through disruptive technologies which will transform lives further. The digital competition will extend to political and economic spheres of life in a big way. Nations with enhanced digital capabilities will lead.
A critical and often overlooked issue is of aging societies. Aging societies tend to be pacifist, while younger societies tend to be aspirational, militaristic and migrant. Pacifism is evident in aging Japan, Germany and Europe. Aging societies will have to allow inward immigration to continue to grow like the US does. China provides a major conundrum in this context. Aging in China is irreversible. It is the fastest aging society with the greatest military and economic ambitions. Will it become old before becoming rich? As it ages will it continue to be militaristic or turn pacifist? Will it promote inward immigration? Vexing but relevant questions. Do not think this is a figment of my imagination. The aging issue has figured in the recent NPC of the CCP. Even the Chinese are wary of it.
THE NEW GLOBAL ORDER
So far the global order was set by the Big Five monopolistically. Everyone followed suit. The order was based on circumstances of the last century. In current conditions, the Big Five are themselves struggling. To trust them to set the new order will be folly. Very importantly the gap between the Big Five and the rest has narrowed and even turned around in cases. New poles and younger nations aspire for more. During the pandemic, when the chips were down, the Big Five left everyone to fend for themselves. In fact, they were part of the problem of collective global misery. The Failed Five system cannot be reinforced to lead us into another failure. There is no choice but to expand the global leadership and set a new global order for the new challenges ahead.
An analysis based on population, demography, polity, economic potential, military prowess, resource base and technology level clearly indicates that three countries have already surpassed some in the Big Five. These are Germany, India and Japan. No global solution is feasible without them. Other countries in this zone include Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, South Korea, Nigeria and South Africa. The post Second World War Order has to give way to a post-Pandemic Order. Are we looking at a shift from Big Five to a Council of Fourteen?
INDIA AND THE NEW ORDER
India, with its young and aspiring population, vibrant democracy, growing GDP and strategic location has a vital role in the world ahead. In pandemic terms, India has weathered the worst and has started recovering. It will lead in global recovery through its immunisation and vaccine knowledge and experience. This was foretold by a WHO official when the pandemic began. While India does not aspire to be another China, it is the only alternative for decoupling and containing China. It provides scale and safety from Chinese predation and undermining. It is the only country besides the US with the military prowess to confront China at sea or land. It will be an important and critical part of the Indo Pacific Construct. It is one of the few countries which has credible capability to aim for the Moon and the Mars. Surely such a country has to be part of the Global Leadership. On its part, India must have the confidence of breaking the non-alignment mindset. India needs to seek international arrangements best suited to meet its interests while fulfilling a global leadership role jointly. To achieve this, it is axiomatic that India needs internal transformation to let its strengths dominate.
In any estimate: India’s time has come.
Lt Gen P.R. Shankar was India’s DG Artillery. He is highly decorated and qualified with vast operational experience. He contributed significantly to the modernisation and indigenisation of Artillery. He is now a Professor in the Aerospace Dept of IIT Madras and is involved in applied research for defence technology. His other articles can be read on his blog www.gunnersshot.com.
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IAF PARTICIPATES IN 70TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS OF SRI LANKA AIR FORCE
The Indian Air Force aerobatic display teams, the fixed wing “Suryakirans’ and rotary wing ‘Sarang’, along with the Light Combat Aircraft Tejas arrived at Colombo, Sri Lanka last week on an invitation from Air Marshal Sudarshana Pathirana, Commander of the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF). The Suryakirans, Sarang and LCA Tejas will participate in an Air Show at Galle Face, Colombo, scheduled from 3rd to 5th Mar 21 as part of the 70th anniversary celebrations of SLAF.
IAF & SLAF have seen active exchanges and interactions for a number of years in diverse fields like training, operational exchanges and through professional military education courses.
IAFs participation in the 70th anniversary celebration of SLAF is a further manifestation of the strong professional bonds that the two Air Forces share. The IAF Suryakiran Aerobatic Team (SKAT) had earlier toured Sri Lanka in 2001 for the 50th anniversary celebrations of SLAF. As the IAF aircraft take to the skies of Colombo to mark the event, they will script another significant chapter in the traditionally strong IAF-SLAF ties.
NORTHERN COMMAND INVESTITURE CEREMONY
Lt Gen Yogesh Kumar Joshi, GOC-in-C, Northern Command presented Gallantry as well as Distinguished Service awards to Officers, Junior Commissioned Officers and Other Ranks in a solemn Investiture Ceremony at Udhampur. During the ceremony, the Army Commander presented two Bar to Sena Medals (Gallantry) and 50 Sena Medals (Gallantry) to the brave soldiers of the Army. He also presented, three Sena Medals (Distinguished) and six Vishisht Seva Medals for selfless service to the nation. The Army Commander also awarded Unit Appreciation to 26 units for their overall outstanding performance in the Command Theatre. The ceremony was a solemn occasion to honour the acts of valour and selfless dedication to duty of individual soldiers and units.
Speaking on the occasion, the Army Commander brought out that there has been a reduction in terrorist initiated incidents, stone pelting activities and protests as a result of tireless efforts of the Security Forces and the people of J&K.
The Army Commander commended all ranks of Northern Command for their dedication and devotion to duty in the highest traditions of the Indian Army. He congratulated those who were decorated for bravery. He conveyed his heartfelt gratitude to the brave men who made the supreme sacrifice on the borders and in the battle against Internal Security challenges. In the end he urged all ranks, ex-servicemen, civilians and their families to dedicate themselves to the cause of the Nation.
INDIAN AIR FORCE PARTICIPATES FOR THE FIRST TIME IN EX DESERT FLAG-VI
Ex Desert Flag is an annual multi-national large force employment warfare exercise hosted by the United Arab Emirates Air Force. The Indian Air Force is participating for the first time in Exercise Desert Flag-VI along with air forces of United Arab Emirates, United States of America, France, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Bahrain. The exercise is scheduled from 3 March 2021 to 27 March 2021 at Al-Dhafra airbase, UAE.
The IAF is participating with six Su-30 MKI, two C-17 and one IL-78 tanker aircraft. C-17 Globe-master will provide support for induction/ de-induction of the IAF contingent. Su-30 MKI aircraft will undertake long range ferry, routing direct from India to the exercise area with aerial refuelling support from IL-78 tanker aircraft. The aim of the exercise is to provide operational exposure to the participating forces while training them to undertake simulated air combat operations in a controlled environment. The participating forces will get an opportunity to enhance their operational capabilities along with mutual exchange of best practices.
The large-scale exercise involving diverse fighter aircraft from across the globe will provide the participating forces, including IAF, a unique opportunity to exchange knowledge, experience, enhance operational capabilities and interoperability. Exercising and interaction with the participating nations in a dynamic and realistic warfare environment will also contribute to strengthen international relations.
Over the last decade, IAF has regularly hosted and participated in multi-national operational exercises, wherein collaborative engagements are undertaken amongst the best air forces of the world.
MoU signed to support families of service personnel deceased in line of duty
Directorate of Indian Army Veterans (DIAV) and Veena Nayyar, wife of late Vice Admiral K.K. Nayyar, former Vice Chief of Naval Staff, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to pledge Rs 2 crore for welfare schemes run by the Army, Navy and Air Force. Veena Nayyar presented a cheque of Rs 2 crore to three Services which was received by Admiral Karambir Singh, Chief of the Naval Staff, Gen MM Naravane, Chief of the Army Staff and Air Marshall VPS Rana, Air Officer In Charge of Administration at Army Headquarters, New Delhi.
The main objective of the MoU is to facilitate various welfare schemes instituted for next of kins of service personnel died in harness. The welfare schemes include Education Scholarships and Computer Grant for wards and widows of deceased service personnel, Grant for Higher Education of widows and marriage grant for widows and daughters. The Chief of the Naval Staff and the Chief of the Army Staff conveyed their gratitude to Veena Nayyar for her benevolent contribution to the three Services and said that her noble gesture would support more than one lakh widows and wards in leading a respectful life.
DIAV is one of the primary organisations of Indian Army which looks after the Rehabilitation and Welfare of the families of Service personnel who have died in harness. DIAV has disbursed approximately Rs 86 crore to about 76,000 beneficiaries over the past 20 years towards various welfare schemes. Lt Gen Harsha Gupta, Adjutant General and Veena Naravane, president Army Wives Welfare Association, and Sudha Gupta, general secretary, Army Wives Welfare Association, were also present on the occasion.
ARMY HOLDS MULTIPLE RECRUITMENT RALLIES IN DIFFERENT STATES
This is the first Army recruitment rally after prolonged lockdown and Covid-19 restrictions.
Army Recruitment Rally for various categories of soldiers is in progress under aegis of Tiger Division at Sunjuwan Military Station from 15 February to 6 March. The rally is being organised for the youth of all the ten districts of Jammu Division. Army Recruiting Office (ARO) Jammu in close coordination with Shivalik Brigade, Civil Administration of Jammu Division and J&K Police is conducting the ongoing rally in a smooth and transparent manner.
Maj Gen Vijay B. Nair, General Officer Commanding, Tiger Division reviewed the conduct of recruitment rally. The GOC was briefed by Brigadier AP Singh, Commander Shivalik Brigade and Director Recruiting, Jammu about various arrangements including various security, anti-touting and Covid-19 related measures.
This is the first Army recruitment rally in this region after prolonged lockdown and Covid-19 restrictions. An overwhelming response from the exuberant youth has been recorded and approximately 40,000 candidates have registered online. The rally is witnessing immense participation from the well prepared local youth of all ten districts of Jammu Division towards joining Indian Army. Covid-19 protocol is being followed during the rally by all participants and recruiting staff.
ARMY RECRUITMENT FOR MAHARASHTRA AND GOA
The Army Recruitment Rally, Kolhapur, was planned to be conducted at Shivaji University Sports Ground, Kolhapur from 5 to 25 March, for the youth of Maharashtra and Goa, thereby giving them an opportunity to serve the motherland and lead a dignified life. However due to alarming situation of increasing Covid-19, the civil administration has requested for postponement of the said rally till 15 March 2021.
Recruitment Rally will now be conducted for Soldier General Duty (All Arms), Soldier Clerk/Store Keeper Technical/ Inventory Management, Soldier Technical, Soldier Technical (Aviation/Ammunition Examiner), Soldier Technical (Nursing Assistant), Junior Commissioned Officer Religious Teacher (RT), Soldier Tradesman 10th and 8th passed categories and Soldier Pharma from 16 March to 4 April 2021 subject to clearance given by Civil Administration. This rally is applicable to candidates of six districts of Satara, Sangli, Solapur, Sindhudurg, Kolhapur and Ratnagiri of Maharashtra State and North Goa & South Goa of Goa State (except Junior Commissioned Officer Religious Teacher (RT), & Soldier Pharma).
Management of such a large number of candidates requires details planning and meticulous execution on ground. Towards this, the State and district administration has been more than forthcoming in providing requisite assistance and making available required infrastructure. Candidates are advised to carry all required original education certificates, adequate number photographs, valid affidavit as per format given in notification and must be properly filled. “No candidates will be allowed entry into rally without correctly filled Affidavit” and a certificate that he is free from Covid-19 symptoms from Government Medical Officer not more than 72 hrs earlier. Candidates in their own interest must carry out basic medical pre-inspection regarding any temporary medical condition, presence of wax in the ears and free from Covid-19, etc. These actions will be enable smooth participation of the youth in the recruitment rally and will facilitate Army authorities in flawless conduct of the rally. Army authorities advise all candidates not fall prey to touts as the entire recruitment process is very fair and transparent. Any tout approaching any candidate must apprise military officials / Civil Police. For any further queries candidates may drop their queries on www.joinindianarmy.nic.in contact land line No 0231-2605491.
RECRUITMENT RALLY UNDER RECRUITING ZONE PUNE
The Covid-19 pandemic situation is now visibly in control. The successful conduct of Recruitment Rally at Jamnagar wef. 1st to 15th Feb has instilled much needed confidence in the environment that with strict implementation of precautions /protocols a recruitment rally can be conducted.The Recruitment Year 2021- 2022 will commence wef. 01 April 2021 onwards and the Zone will witness back to back rallies covering geographical area of Maharashtra, Gujrat, Goa, Daman, Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli. The Army Recruitment Office (ARO) wise distribution of districts for all rallies commencing wef. 1 April 2021 will be as elucidated. ARO Aurangabad will cover districts of Aurangabad, Buldana, Hingoli, Jalgaon, Jalna, Nanded, and Parbhani. ARO Ahmedabad will cover districts of Ahmedabad, Anand, Arvalli, Banaskantha, Bharuch, Chhota udepur, Dahod, Dangs, Gandhinagr, Kheda, Mahisagar, Mehsana, Narmada, Navsari, Panchmahal, Sabarkantha, Surat, Tapi, Vadodara, Valsad, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman.
RO (HQ), Pune will cover Districts of Pune, Ahmednagar, Beed, Latur, Osmanabad and Solapur. ARO Nagpur will cover districts of Nagpur, Wardha, Washim, Amaravati, Bhandara, Gondia, Gadchiroli, Chandrpur, Akola and Yavatmal. ARO Mumbai will cover districts of Mumbai City and Mumbai Suburban, Thane Raigad, Nasik, Palgarh, Dhule and Nandurbar. ARO Kolhapur will cover districts of Kolhapur, Satara, Sangli, Sindhudurg, Ratnagiri & Goa State. ARO Jamnagar will cover districts of Jamnagar, Porbander, Rajkot, Amreli, Bhavnagar, Junagarh, Surendranagar, Kutch, Diu, Gir Somnath, Botad, Morbi, Devbhoomi Dwarka and Patan.Anticipating heavy footfall during these rallies, all necessary arrangements are being made in coordination with the civil administrative to ensure Covid-free conduct.
DRDO celebrates National Science Day
National Science Day 2021 was celebrated in Defence Research & Development Organisation, DRDO Head Quarter in New Delhi on 1 March with great fervour. To mark the occasion, a special function was organised by Defence Science Forum. Principal Scientific Advisor to Government of India, Prof K. Vijay Raghavan, was the Chief Guest on the occasion. The function was presided over by Secretary DDR&D and Chairman DRDO Dr G. Satheesh Reddy.
In his keynote address, Prof Vijay Raghavan said that there is a significant amount of work being done by DRDO that epitomises quality science. He appreciated the speed and quality of innovations by DRDO during the pandemic. He stated, “We are a design driven world, and our two major goals should be designing and manufacturing indigenously”. He further said that in this new era of partnership between DRDO and industry, we should have the capability to buy local and make local.
Secretary DD R&D and Chairman DRDO in his address congratulated the scientific community for its ongoing quest to achieve excellence and self reliance. He emphasised the need to concentrate on science in laboratories and academic institutes to come out with state of art technologies. He highlighted the requirement for a focus group in each DRDO laboratory to work on future technologies. Dr G. Satheesh Reddy further said that it is very important for any nation to work on the fundamental side of science, for which the universities need to be made stronger, so that the nation can come out with quality products.
DRDO Science Day orations were delivered by scientists of three DRDO laboratories namely, Advanced Systems Laboratory (ASL), Hyderabad, Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), Bengaluru and Defence Research and Development Establishment (DRDE), Gwalior. National Science Day is celebrated each year on 28 February to commemorate the discovery of “Raman Effect” in 1928 by Sir C.V. Raman, which led to the Nobel Prize being awarded to him in the year 1930.
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