What’s India Thinking This Week?

The Research & Analysis section of The Dispatch features original ideas, research work, analysis, and commentary on a wide variety of subjects by some of brilliant minds in India’s growing community of strategic thinkers. In this newsletter on Saturdays, we bring to you a range of pieces selected by our Editor from those published across the week.


What are the key tenets of China’s propaganda regime?

By Atharv S Desai
China has unleashed an international propaganda offensive, and demonstrated its ability to obscure truth while changing narratives, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Beijing is efficiently exploiting the platforms of journalism and social media to further its cause. Along with the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) traditional approach to cultivating China’s positive image globally, this new strategy, drawing on Russian media warfare tactics, is to “sow doubt, dissension, and disarray” to cause public information anarchy. [Read the full story here]

Deciphering Russia’s new nuclear strategy

By Rajorshi Roy
On June 2, 2020, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law the country’s new nuclear strategy, titled “Basic Principles of State Policy of the Russian Federation on Nuclear Deterrence.” This is the first time that Kremlin has publicly released a strategic nuclear planning document. While largely in sync with Russia’s 2014 Military Doctrine, the new six-page document, nevertheless, sheds light on the Kremlin’s nuclear rethink. This includes the rationale for a more robust nuclear deterrence and conditions that may entail the launch of nuclear weapons, including their ‘first use’. Against the backdrop of these developments, several pertinent questions arise about the nature of Russia’s new nuclear strategy, the timing of its release, and the message it seeks to convey to its adversaries and allies alike. [Read the full story here]

COVID-19 and its ‘low’ impact on the LWE movement

By Dr Bibhu Prasad Routray
As the COVID-19 pandemic wreaks widespread socio-economic disruption across India, what could be its impact on the Left-Wing Extremism (LWE-affected) theatres? Would the pandemic affect the fighting potential of the extremists? Would it aid the security forces’ operations? Is a resolution to the conflict situation on the cards? In the absence of any conclusive evidence and to avoid being speculative in nature, this analysis employs a four-parameter assessment to deduce the possible impact of the pandemic on LWE. [Read the full story here]

Afghanistan: Concerns regarding political prospects and Washington-Kabul relations

By Fawad Poya and Bushra Tariq
Developments in the run up to and post the signing of the February 2020 US-Taliban agreement have generated considerable concern regarding the political future of Afghanistan as well as regarding the prospects of the US-Afghanistan partnership, especially the Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) and the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA). This commentary examines the operative aspects anchoring those concerns. [Read the full story here]


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