Strategic Thought <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In an environment of rapidly transforming geopolitical realities, a more comprehensive all-encompassing deeper understanding of the issues is necessary. Pakistan’s existence and success in achieving its critical objectives is dependent on our comprehensive understanding of the environment around us, as well as our ability to convince others about our positions. Given the complex global political and geo-strategic environment, Pakistan needs a delicate strategic balancing and intricate policy maneuvers. The policy makers as well as academicians of defence, politics and international relations have to create resonance between the real world issues and strategic thought. There is a need to bridge the gap between real world of strategy and its theoretical, intellectual counterpart. Therefore, Strategic Thought Journal has been ploughed in to the national fabric of the academic scheme which focuses on strategic concepts and their relevance with real world.</span></p> National Defence University, Islamabad en-US Strategic Thought 2788-4899 PAKISTAN’S BLUE ECONOMY POTENTIAL, CHALLENGES AND PROSPECTS <p><em>Water and oceans have tremendous value for inhabitation and carry great potential for trade and economic connectivity. The sea-trade has been an ancient activity to build economic power of the state. Pakistan has a coastline of over 1000 km, along with 290,000 extended Exclusive Economic Zone with abundance of marine, fisheries, mineral, and energy resources that can generate additional revenues. Moreover, Pakistan’s geo-oceanic position provides tremendous opportunities of the sea-based activities such as transportation, tourism, shipbuilding, port facilities, and renewable energy. Based on these factors, 2020 was declared as the ‘Year of Blue Economy of Pakistan.’ Also, there are new strategies being conceived by the great powers to harness the potential of sea-based economy. However, along with opportunities, there are problems too; therefore, this paper endeavors to highlight the challenges and prospects of Blue Economy for Pakistan and gives policy recommendations as a way forward.</em></p> Dr. Nazir Hussain Copyright (c) 2023 Strategic Thought 2022-12-31 2022-12-31 4 1 1 12 RECURRING INDIA-PAKISTAN CRISES AND THE DANGER OF INADVERTENT ESCALATION <p><em>Barry Posen has, in his study on Inadvertent Escalation, raised a very pertinent question asking, ‘Can Nuclear Powers fight conventional wars with each other and avoid the use of nuclear weapons?’ This question should always be kept in mind by all nuclear powers especially those with mutually hostile relationships. It is evident that the phenomenon of ‘Inadvertent Escalation’ cannot be understood without an understanding of the process of Escalation. South Asia despite the nuclearization of the region in 1998, has been facing one crisis after another each more belligerent than the preceding one and with the potential to wittingly or unwittingly embroil the antagonists into an irreversible escalation cycle with potentially catastrophic consequences. This paper is aimed at sensitising the decision makers in both countries to the dangers inherent in recurring crises especially in the absence of any overarching restraint regime and to make them understand that they might have escaped devastating results in the previous crises merely due to sheer good luck and not any prudence on their part. A case study of February 2019 crisis between India and Pakistan has been employed to bring home the point. &nbsp;</em></p> Dr. Naeem Ahmad Salik Copyright (c) 2023 Strategic Thought 2022-12-31 2022-12-31 4 1 13 34 HOW HINDU NATIONALISM DIMINISHED INDIAN DEMOCRACY AND SECULARISM? <p><em>Understanding the erosion of Indian democracy and secularism would require the study of transformation of that country’s state and society in the last several years. How a multi-cultural, multilingual and multi-religious state failed to ensure harmony, tolerance and coexistence thus jeopardizing the survival of millions of people targeted by the Hindu fanatics of Bharatiya Janata Party (BPJ) Shiv Sena, Bajrang Dal, Sang Parhiwar and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Singh (RSS)? Political parties and civil society groups pursuing a moderate and tolerant approach should have prevented the surge of Hindu nationalism and persecution of religious minorities, but like taming Indian bureaucracy, judiciary and military, voices of sanity got diminished with each passing day. Fascist behavior motivated by the Modi regime not only tried to suppress voices of dissent but also let loose the goons of Hindu nationalist parties and groups on those who resisted the surge of fanaticism and fascism. This paper will examine in detail with critical thinking the transformation of Indian state and society and the diminishing status of tolerance, moderation, democracy and secularism since the Modi regime took over in 2014. Is there a light at the end of tunnel as far as promising future of Indian democracy and secularism is concerned or the country will further drift into the web of Hindu nationalism and fascism? &nbsp;</em></p> Dr. Moonis Ahmar Copyright (c) 2023 Strategic Thought 2022-12-31 2022-12-31 4 1 35 51 INDIA’S EVOLVING MISSILE DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY IN SOUTH ASIA: MOTIVATIONS AND CHALLENGES <p><em>India’s missile development becomes one of the significant delivery systems for increasing Indian deterrent forces. As India’s economic imperatives and its strategic partnership with the leading powers grows, its Defence Research and Development Organization tends to embark upon competing strategic force projects that include different variants of missile development programs primarily at three broader competing levels in order to understand the rationale of India’s missile development program. They include short, intermediate, and long range of missile variants. While conceptualizing India’s competing strategy of its missile development program, the article concludes that India’s development of missiles program will have certain implications for Indian deterrent force posture in general and South Asian deterrence stability in particular.</em></p> Dr. Zafar Khan Copyright (c) 2023 Strategic Thought 2022-12-31 2022-12-31 4 1 52 73 BUILDING SOFT POWER: CHALLENGES OF PAKISTAN’S FOREIGN CULTURAL POLICY AND THE WAY FORWARD <p><em>This paper undertakes a critical analysis of the dialectics of soft power in the current interstate system. It puts forward the concept of the cultural ecosystem consisting of a broad array of interconnected cultural institutions as the domestic infrastructure of soft power building. A dynamic foreign cultural policy, based on the successful pursuit of the cultural interests of a nation, depends on the high domestic performance and internationalization of the national cultural ecosystem. Pakistan lacks this approach. Development of cultural ecosystem and cultural value creation and linking them to different types of relevant diplomacy is proposed as the way forward. The article ‘Emergence of Cyber Militia: Time to Revisit undertakes a critical analysis of the dialectics of soft power in the current interstate system. It puts forward the concept of the cultural ecosystem consisting of a broad array of interconnected cultural institutions as the domestic infrastructure of soft power</em></p> Ali Shah Copyright (c) 2023 Strategic Thought 2022-12-31 2022-12-31 4 1 74 91 THE REVIVAL OF JCPOA: CHALLENGES AND CONSEQUENCES FOR GLOBAL PEACE AND DEVELOPMENT AMID NEW REGIONAL ALIGNMENTS <p><em>Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is a mixed blessing for international peace and security but its revival may lead to fresh challenges to regional powers due to fluid international environment. In early March 2022, signals from Vienna were that the tricky negotiations spread over one year to revive JCPOA were “on the verge of success”.&nbsp;&nbsp; But soon the optimism dissipated. Widely different assessments of the Doha talks by the stakeholders nuanced their strategies. For instance, the EU representative for foreign policy and security, Joseph Borrell Fontelles cautioned against “crossing the finish line”. The US Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley declared it “a wasted occasion.” Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian expressed his determination “to continue negotiating until a realistic agreement is reached.”&nbsp; Erwin Van Veen explains the variant views and held that these leaders’ perceptions of broader geopolitical environment in which the negotiations for nuclear deal are taking place, their own domestic constraints, and the combined effect of these variables led to different interpretations and for “upping the game”.</em></p> Ambassador (Retired) Sanaullah Copyright (c) 2023 Strategic Thought 2022-12-31 2022-12-31 4 1 92 108 PAKISTAN AND SAUDI ARABIA: AN ENDURING PARTNERSHIP <p><em>Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are historic friends, enjoying deep political, security, economic and cultural ties. Both nations also have shared concerns and interests on regional and global issues of peace and security. Their partnership has taken a strategic shift in the recent past, which is manifested particularly in close collaboration in security and economic spheres. Pakistan has intensified security cooperation with Saudi Arabia in bilateral and regional domains. While continuing to aid Pakistan’s frail economy with significant loan commitments and oil supplies on deferred payments, the Kingdom has undertaken major investments in its energy sector. The economic diversification under the Saudi Vision 2030 of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman offers enormous opportunities for Pakistan’s trade and investment relationship with the Kingdom and employing its skilled manpower in Saudi mega development projects. Pakistan can likewise play a greater role in addressing Saudi Arabia’s growing needs for regional security amid the changing geo-strategic environment in the Middle East.</em></p> Dr. Ali Awadh Asseri Copyright (c) 2023 Strategic Thought 2022-12-31 2022-12-31 4 1 109 118 QUAD TO AUKUS: IMPLICATIONS FOR THE REGION AND BEYOND <p><em>China’s growing status as an economic hegemon and United States’ recent withdrawal from Afghanistan has caused it to be keener in its offshore balancing strategy than ever before. Since the Continent of Asia has remained the most contentious theatre for global power politics in recent past, major powers are not willing to lag behind economically or militarily. Besides Indo-US strategic partnership, US has recently ignited another concern of arms race and the weakening norm of nuclear non-proliferation regime by introducing the AUKUS alliance in parallel to the resurgence of Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad). Inception of such regional strategic arrangements is directly posing grave threats to regional peace and broader strategic stability. The Indo-US strategic partnership and US leverage has encouraged India to be more aggressive in its hegemonic designs in the region and would likely continue to do so. Consequently, the region and particularly Pakistan, is likely to face all enhanced security challenge which would need to be countered. This paper aims at evaluating the global and regional implications of Quad and the AUKUS, suggesting possible response options for Pakistan to counter the growing Indian aggression in the region. &nbsp;</em></p> Hananah Zarrar Aqeel Ahmed Gichki Copyright (c) 2023 Strategic Thought 2022-12-31 2022-12-31 4 1 119 135 INDIAN BALLISTIC MISSILE DEFENCE SYSTEM AND SOUTH ASIAN DETERRENCE EQUATION <p><em>Since the overt nuclearization of South Asia, nuclear deterrence has been prevailing between India and Pakistan owing to their mutual vulnerability. India, however, is trying to develop a Ballistic Missile Defense System primarily motivated by hegemonic pursuits. This paper analyses India’s development of the Ballistic Missile Defense System and its effect on the deterrence equation in South Asia. It argues that the introduction of Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) in South Asia would supplement volatility in the region threatening the precarious strategic stability. India is doubling down on its hegemonic designs by riding on multiple boats and is trying to diversify its counterforce options. This Indian behavior challenges the very essence of deterrence as India is endeavoring to eliminate the existing mutual vulnerability in South Asia. This prestige and power-driven pursuit of India will exacerbate the security dilemma, which undermines the strategic stability. Pakistan, alluding to the Indian BMD, has rationalized the development of Multiple Independent Re-entry Vehicles (MIRVs), cruise missiles, and other technological modernizations to ensure the perseverance of strategic stability and deterrence equation in the region. &nbsp;</em></p> Amber Afreen Abid Copyright (c) 2023 Strategic Thought 2022-12-31 2022-12-31 4 1 136 154 INDIA’S STRATEGIC FORCE MODERNIZATION AND ITS IMPLICATIONS ON STRATEGIC ENVIRONMENT OF PAKISTAN <p><em>South Asia is one of the most volatile regions in the world due to presence of two belligerent neighbors – Pakistan and India. The region has witnessed numerous wars and skirmishes. The advent of nuclear weapons in the region in 1998 has added more to the complexities. With aspirations of being a big power, India has initiated a comprehensive military force build up. India is modernizing its strategic/nuclear forces even beyond its security needs. This is a perfect example of a state being a power maximizer as believed by offensive realists. This aggressive behaviour of India has some serious implications for Pakistan, which has always sought a strategic stability in the region. Knowing that arms race is an expensive enterprise, Pakistan would not get into parity with India but will look for cost effective solutions to keep the balance. This research looks into the major development in India’s strategic forces and analysing rationale behind offensive force build-up through perspective of Offensive Realism. The research also discusses the implications of the Indian strategic force enhancement for Pakistan. &nbsp;</em></p> Abeer Iftikhar Tahirkheli Copyright (c) 2023 Strategic Thought 2022-12-31 2022-12-31 4 1 155 171