International Relations (GS 2)
Fragmenting World Order (The Hindu, 15th March 2022)
Author: – Suhasini Haidar
UN & UNSC as Sitting Ducks
- The global order has broken down and events in Ukraine have exposed the United Nations and the Security Council for their complete ineffectiveness.
- Ukraine is in fact a bigger blow to the post-World War order than any other.
- This situation is akin to USA’s invasion on Iraq, when the global community sat down watching the crisis unfold.
- Day by day there are emerging images of Innocent Civilians being killed and millions of refugees fleeing Ukraine.
- This is counter to every line of the UN Charter preamble, i.e. “tosave succeeding generations from the scourge of war.
Relevance of P5 Countries
- While the Russian envoy to the United Nations was presiding over a UN Security Council discussion on the Ukraine crisis.
- Putin was broadcasting his decision to “launch military operations” on Ukraine at the same time.
- This speaks volumes for the respect the P-5 member felt for the proceeding.
- P-5 members such as the United States, the United Kingdom and France did not seek to strengthen the global order either.
- It is shocking to see Russian recklessness with regard to nuclear safety in Ukraine.
- Ukraine has suffered the worst impacts of poor safety and planning following the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.
- After the U.S.’s detonation of atomic bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 led to the establishment of the IAEA in 1956.
- What is the point of having these organizations when Russia’s Military is targeting Ukraine’s Nuclear Plants.
- The world must also consider the cost to the nuclear non-proliferation regime’s credibility.
- Both Ukraine and Libya that willingly gave up nuclear programmes have been invaded.
Role Of Non State Actors
- There are also the covenants agreed upon during the global war on terrorism
- They have been degraded, with the use of non-state actors in the Ukraine crisis.
- Pro-Russia armed militia operated in the Donbas regions, challenging the writ of the government in Kyiv.
- Zelensky, has also invited all foreign fighters who are volunteering to support his forces to the country.
- It is hoped that other countries around the world, including India, make efforts towards preventing such “non-state actors” from joining a foreign war.
- Economic sanctions by the U.S., the U.K. and the European Union (EU) also point to a fragmentation of the global financial order.
- The obvious fallout of this “economic cancel culture” will, without doubt, be a reaction — a pushback from Russia
- Russia will explore alternative trading arrangements with countries such as China, India and much of the Eastern Hemisphere.
- Russian banks will now use the Chinese “UnionPay” for online transactions.
- Gradually, the world may see a “non-dollar” system emerge which would run banking.
New Delhi Needs To Ponder
- The last 3 weeks have no doubt reversed many of the ideas of 1945 and 1990, fragmenting the international order established with the UN
- Is this ushering towards an era of de globalization?
- India’s abstentionist responses and its desire not to be critical of any of the actions taken by the big powers might keep Indians safe in the short term.
- But in the long term, it is only those nations that move proactively to uphold and reinvent the global order that will make the world a safer place.
Question Framed From Editorial
- The Crisis Unfolding in Ukraine is also witnessing another Crisis of a crumbling global order led by United Nations. Do you agree? (150 words)
Geopolitical Reset (Indian Express, 15th March 2022)
Author: – C Raja Mohan
Great Power Triangle
- Russia’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine is triggering some major geopolitical changes across the world
- Not all of them might endure, but they help assess the current geopolitical flux.
- There seems to be a great power triangle between the US, Russia, and China
- Since assuming power, Biden hoped to distance Russia from China and focus all of America’s energies on the Indo-Pacific.
- Whichever way this plays out, the current crisis has revealed America’s pole position in the great strategic triangle.
Unity within West
- US primacy amongst the great powers has been reinforced by the restoration of strategic unity within the West
- While many trans-Atlantic differences remain on the nature and extent of sanctions against Russia.
- The crisis has revealed the enduring sources of Western unity.
- While Xi Jinping & Putin might have been celebrating the Retreat of America from Afghanistan.
- The present crisis has shown coming together of western powers swiftly.
Discipling of Europe
- Illusions of normative soft power and the faith in mercantilism had blinded the continent to geopolitical challenges presented by Russia and China.
- Europe’s belief that it can enrich itself in the Russian and Chinese markets while expecting Washington to do all the heavy lifting on security is no longer sustainable
- The German decision on rearmament announced in the wake of the Russian aggression marks a definitive geopolitical turn in Europe.
- EU cannot boost Russian revenues while Moscow wages war in Europe is beginning to dawn upon.
- EU pays Russia $110 billion a year for imports of oil, natural gas, and coal
Shift in Asia
- Tokyo, which actively wooed a hard-to-get Moscow for more than a decade, has returned to a hawkish line
- Sensing the dangers from a Sino-Russian axis and fearing that Europe could distract America, Japan is rethinking its nuclear abstinence.
- Developments in Europe reinforce Tokyo’s determination to strengthen its conventional military capabilities and deepen the alliance with the US.
- South Korea wants to explore potential cooperation with the Quad.
- While the ASEAN remains torn between the US and China.
- Many in the region are waking up to the dangers of betting that Beijing’s rise is irreversible.
- The first major conflict amongst the great powers in the 21st century has presented India with multiple challenges.
- This Includes India’s long-standing reliance on Russian military supplies.
- However, this is also an opportunity for Delhi to increase its heft in the changing global balance.
- New Delhi must move on a war-footing towards a rapid modernisation and expansion of its Domestic Defence industrial base.
Defence Manufacturing (GS 3)
War’s Cold Facts, What India needs to learn (The Hindu, 15th March 2022)
Author: – Manmohan Bahadur
Ukraine is Alone
- A nation’s vital interests can be protected only by that nation itself.
- It is Ukrainians alone who are facing the brunt of the Russian military might.
- Good intentions and media statements have never stopped a bullet.
- There would be soul searching that is ongoing in the minds of allies such as Japan, South Korea and Taiwan too.
- The fallacy of a ‘friend’ coming to fight with you and for you has been exposed, yet again.
- During the 1962 India-China war, Moscow had no time for New Delhi.
- The 1965 war was one of redemption as India re-armed itself in a big way, a drive that continued and gave us the outright victory in 1971.
- Then, in 1974, it is to the credit of the Indian leadership for demonstrating India’s scientific capability through a ‘peaceful’ nuclear explosion
- Credit to the leadership in 1998 for going overtly nuclear.
- Between two nuclear capable nations, an atomic weapon is a deterrent in the nuclear realm.
- As India faces two nuclear adversaries, the reality of India having lagged in true indigenous conventional capability must be accepted
What it Truly Means to Have Strategic Autonomy?
- For a nation to have strategic autonomy in matters of national security, self-sufficiency in Defence manufacturing is very essential.
- This would afford the required deterrence to prevent war, and to prosecute it (war) if deterrence fails.
- A nation’s standing in the pecking order based only on soft power is short lived.
- The Atmanirbhar thrust of the Government in matters of Defence manufacturing has to become a national endeavour.
Question Framed From Editorial
- Ukraine proves that hard power dictates terms in geopolitics. Critically Evaluate (250 words)