Non-Traditional Security: Publications

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  • Space as the Source of Our Future Energy

    The idea is to launch giant orbiting solar collectors into space, where there is no night, and beam the power to receivers on the ground, where it is fed as electricity to the grid. Long championed by former President Dr. Abdul Kalam, and the Aerospace Society of India (AeSI), the idea is seen as a long-term solution for energy security and climate change, and the most environmentally benign and scalable renewable energy option, which deserves its own focused development programme.

    May 22, 2009

    The Indian Military and the Environment

    Environmental degradation, climate change and ozone depletion are complex challenges which need to be addressed by society. The equipment intensive military with high budgets, fossil fuel consumption, and extensive use of chemicals also owns prime real estate such as military stations and cantonments.

    May 18, 2009

    Food Price Rise: An Ethanol Twist

    The recent food price inflation leading to food insecurity has been one of the immediate and striking outcomes of the recent oil price spikes and the global financial meltdown. This has triggered a chain reaction leading to the diversion of arable land in the form of overseas land grabs, and agreements between commercial food and finance industry. For instance, corns and scare economic resources are being diverted to the production of green bio-fuels such as ethanol and bio-diesel.

    May 14, 2009

    Oil Price Volatility and India’s Energy Security: Policies and Options

    The recent downslide in crude oil prices from a peak of US $147 a barrel to below $40 and speculated to fall further to $25 has evidently provided relief to oil importing countries, which have been triply inflicted by huge oil pool deficits, growing food prices and global economic downturn. But based on current oil market fundamentals and past experience, there is no reason not to believe that the current fall in oil prices is likely to be temporary. Sooner or later prices will rise and may even be higher than the recent peak because of two particular reasons.

    January 09, 2009

    New Challenges of Cyberwar: Stocktaking from Mumbai Experience

    The November 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks have highlighted the new challenges posed by cyberwar. A faked telephone call from the India Foreign Minister to the Pakistani President caused a diplomatic flutter. It appears that the new civilian leadership in Pakistan was not aware of diplomatic protocol involved in such telephonic contacts and was fooled into believing that this was indeed a genuine communication.

    December 31, 2008

    Former Maoists In Ecological Task Force Units In Nepal

    In the just concluded two-day conference at the IDSA on “Changing Political Context in India’s Neighbourhood: Prospects of Regional Cooperation”, Dr Hari P. Bhattaria from Tribhuvan University, Nepal alluded to the problem of integration of over 19,000 former Maoists in the Nepal Army or para-military forces in Security Sector Reforms.

    November 11, 2008

    The oil price Conundrum

    As the saying goes, everything that goes up had to come down. The same holds true for the price of oil, which has seen a slide of around 55% in just three months. At one point of time there were even predictions that prices would reach $200 a barrel. However, currently, the price of oil has dropped to $68 a barrel, from a high of over $147 in July this year. But the question is how and more importantly, why did this happen, and in such a short time.

    October 24, 2008

    Russia maintains energy superpower status, for now

    The Russia-Georgia conflict has caused several analysts to state that Moscow’s main goal was to ensure its energy dominance in the region. Though this may not be entirely correct – other Russian security interests were equally at play – energy issues did have a large role. Ever since Vladimir Putin took over the reins, he had time and again reiterated the importance of energy in Russia’s regional, and indeed its global, policy. It is well known that Moscow will not allow its supremacy to be compromised. Putin’s successor Dmitry Medvedev appears to be continuing with his mentor’s policy.

    September 04, 2008

    Geophysical Threats and ENMOD

    The term “environment” has come to be used in security discourse at three levels. At the first level is the issue of the degradation of the natural resource base, exhaustion of renewable resources and the upsetting of ecosystems by human action, all of which are contributing to environmental degradation and global climate change. The second level is the link between environment and war. Preparations for war and the use of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction have caused the maximum damage to the environment.

    May 16, 2008

    Whose Arctic is it anyway?

    2007 will be remembered as the year of climate change and high oil prices. Starting with the first of the four reports of the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the debate culminated in the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to Al Gore and the IPCC. Even the ill-fated Bali conference which failed to provide concrete direction to the future of international environmental policy reinforced the need for swift global action to curb carbon emissions.

    January 01, 2008

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