Key points from the chapter in "India's Path to Power: Strategy in a World Adrift"
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Over the next decade, global information politics will rise in salience amid sharper international contestations in technology and cyberspace. Three trends are likely to be the most prominent during this period:
To protect its interests India must develop the capability both to use the cyber domain to achieve state objectives and to deny adversaries such use in the international arena.
- the partitioning of cyberspace into two or more spheres; India must not become part of the Sinosphere; while siding with the West, must develop indigenous capabilities in core tech domains.
- the political power of private technology platforms; India must not allow any entity, foreign or domestic, to acquire information market dominance
- and the politics of pervasively networked societies; where social harmony, national unity and trust are crucial for national security; a diverse, free media environment is necessary.
A globally competitive tech industry, some networking of the armed forces and use of cyber tools by intelligence agencies does not by itself make India a cyber power.
To become a credible cyber power, India must
- systematically invest in capabilities, and
- assemble them into employable instruments of statecraft.
- partners and adversaries must recognise India’s ability to achieve political outcomes using cyber power.
- India’s inclusive digital infrastructure and model of building an innovative digital economy offers other countries with an option different from the US, Europe and China.
- “Self-reliance” in tech is chimera: India must build resilient inter-dependence with all its partners, and with China.
- Human capital is India’s comparative advantage: public investment in building up core tech knowledge base in the workforce, and diplomacy must concern itself with promoting free movement of Indian nationals across borders.
This is along the lines of the Atomic Energy and Space Commissions in the 1950s and 60s that developed nuclear and space capacity. Those were pure governmental efforts. Cyber must transcend governmental boundaries.
Develop strategy, doctrine and extensive cyber arsenal within the timeframe of a few years A networked national initiative that draws on strengths and resources in government, private sector, civil society and individual citizens Develop offensive cyber capability
To read about more things like this, you can check out my published raw notes and my massive archives. The report covers recommendations for foreign policy, defence policy, geo-economics, the environment and the social sector.
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