Nations across the globe, and particularly in Asia, need to diversify their strategies to address the numerous challenges they face
Sharing a common strategic vision and a combined approach to ensure mutual economic prosperity through a multi-layered and multilateral strategy is going to dominate the world order in the coming days. What is required is to develop a fresh perspective for a more mature reliance on international cooperation between nations to enunciate a new strategy of retaliation, threatening a severe response to any attempt to destabilise the world order. There are areas where strong relations can generate development funds for integrated education, medicine, science, technology and biotechnology and strategic planning dealing with threats by various nations across the globe.
The new opportunities such as the Presidency of G 20, Quad Group and Chair of Interpol and SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization) provide a great opportunity for India to have an in-depth analysis and systematic examination of the myriad problems of International Relations and make a sincere effort to find solutions and fill the gap in the existing realms of strategic strategies. There is bound to be a serious concern over the need to change the existing — and also evolve a new — strategic approach. The heads of the States of the Quad Group — India, Australia, Japan and the US — recently held a meeting to counter the Chinese threat and to ensure a free and secure Indo-Pacific.
Analysts are of the view that it will provide the much-needed impetus to work out a new security roadmap in dealing with the most obnoxious forms of modern terrorism. It is a welcome development as it would provide a platform for multi-layered security cooperation to deal with various other issues like funding terrorist activities, policing cooperation and dealing with cyber threats through enhancing technological innovation and tightening border and maritime security information-gathering exercises.
International cooperation through such platforms may further provide help in tracing the roots of the problems. It is already getting clear that nations across the globe and more so in Asia need to diversify their strategies to counter the numerous challenges they face. Our strategic policies should be able to adapt to the challenging environment as well as efficiently implement recommendations. Since today threats are more severe and enemies more organised than ever before, new concepts of safety and security should be followed. These are changing times and many changes have occurred in international relations recently.
A modern, vigilant and assertive military, intelligence, police and paramilitary network should replace the old one. Many important suggestions and recommendations of various committees are out of tune with existing circumstances. The old mindset and predilections of powerful syndicates within the system haven’t changed as desired. There are concerns about the need for a new consensus in strategic planning in the backdrop of sponsored terrorism from across the border.
Nevertheless, there have been constant efforts at the various summits that would further boost and cement the ties between nations giving a push to the environment for stabilizing economic growth strategic security, prosperity, stability and combating sudden challenges arising due to climate change. Foreign relations operate with the help of an efficient diplomatic system and diplomacy is all about the right gestures and cooperation and coordination in times of crisis. The Prime Ministers of Belgium and Spain and the French President appreciating India’s efforts to combat the pandemic can only lead to further cooperation. There is, however, no lack of unanimity concerning nuclear energy, sustainable development and environmental issues. The increasing support and agreement concerning limiting climate change issues and opening up gateways for renewable energy and development in technological knowhow along with channelizing the sources of power generation and creating a mechanism to withstand any sudden threat posed by China’s BRI (Belt and Road Initiatives) augur well for peace and prosperity of all member countries. During the last few years, there have been closer ties with Germany, Italy and the Netherlands, them being the biggest importers from India while Germany, France and Belgium are the largest exporters of goods. Further negotiations may lead to the creation of a strategic mechanism to provide a shield against terrorism, international crime, drug dealing, smuggling and cyber threat unleashed by non-state actors. This may also accelerate maritime-friendly ties and bolster security around the Indian Ocean and Indo-Pacific areas which have lately become areas of concern. The Prime Minister's call for coming together and close cooperation in fighting international threats including cybercrimes, poaching, corruption, and international terrorism exhibits the need to develop international strategies for the establishment of an extremely capable international intelligence system in close cooperation to ensure such threats can be encountered at early stages.
Though the contiguity of Indo-US relations in the field of nuclear energy and modernisation of military and intelligence is highly desired, India will have to work carefully to protect its national interests. The key here is freedom of expression with emphasis on non-hierarchical and egalitarian ways of structuring social relationships, and in a manner that is consistent with our inherited core values.
The world order has already transformed from Cold War Era Bipolar into Unipolar and now with multipolar centres of power. The voice of those nations once not so prominent due to international politicking now become extremely vital for IR. This is a time of essence and high time we realised that in changing the paradigm of international politics all nations need to chip in their best to make it a much better place to live in.
(Author, a recipient of the Bharat Gaurav award is a professor and an expert on strategic affairs. Views expressed are personal)