Yogesh Joshi

Research Fellow, Institute of South Asian Studies

Dr Yogesh Joshi is a research fellow at the Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS) at the National University of Singapore and a non-resident global fellow with the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars, Washington DC. Before joining ISAS, he was a MacArthur and Stanton Nuclear Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation, Stanford University, US. He holds a doctorate in International Politics from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. His research focuses on contemporary Indian foreign and national security policy, with an emphasis on Indo-Pacific’s balance of power, evolution of India’s military power and its approach to use of force in international relations. He has co-authored books such as India and Nuclear Asia: Forces Doctrines and Dangers (Georgetown University Press, 2018) and Asia’s Emerging Balance of Power: The US ‘Pivot’ and Indian Foreign Policy (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016). His research has also been published in various publications such as Survival, Asian Security, India Review, US Naval War College Review, International Affairs, Contemporary Security Policy, Diplomacy and Statecraft, Asia Policy, International History Review and Harvard Asia Quarterly.

A police officer examines the bodies of passersby killed in yesterday's airstrike that hit Kyiv's main television tower in Kyiv on 2 March 2022. (Photo by Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP)

On the wrong side of geography: Why is India tolerating Putin’s Ukraine gambit?

ISAS academic Yogesh Joshi notes India’s predicament of being unable to do as its Quad partners would like in voicing stronger objections to Russian actions in Ukraine. Historically, India has been dependent on Russia for military equipment and support, but more significantly, it is straitjacketed by the threat of China in its own backyard. This is motivation enough for it to do its level best not to send Russia into China’s arms.
The BrahMos missile jointly developed by India and Russia, on display at IMDS-2007. (Wikimedia)

Arms sales: A new vector of Sino-Indian competition in the Indo-Pacific

The sale of BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles to the Philippines, even when it is a product of collaboration with Russia, is the first indigenously developed weapon system India has sold in the region, and could drum up interest from other Southeast Asian countries such as Vietnam and Indonesia. With this development, India-China competition in the Indo-Pacific is set to increase as India sends a signal that it is able and willing to respond in kind if China continues to arm India’s adversaries and influence its neighbours.
A child stands near a giant screen showing the image of the Tianhe space station at China Science and Technology Museum in Beijing, China, 24 April 2021. (Tingshu Wang/File Photo/Reuters)

India-China space race: The role of the private sector

As geopolitical competition among global powers extends into outer space, major players are looking at how the private sector can play a bigger part in the space race and boost national space venturing capabilities. Yogesh Joshi and Ashmita Rana note that while India's space expenditure stands at only one-sixth of China's, and the latter seems to be leading the way in working with its private space firms, India's great ambitions and edge over China in working with global partners may give it a greater push to catch up.
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi (right) greets Russian President Vladimir Putin before a meeting at Hyderabad House in New Delhi, India, on 6 December 2021. (Money Sharma/AFP)

India and Russia remain on opposite sides of the Indo-Pacific’s balance of power

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent visit to New Delhi should be seen as one of correcting the downward slide in India-Russia relations rather than a celebration of an age-old strategic partnership, says Yogesh Joshi. Against the backdrop of a rising China, India feels the threat of strengthening Russia-China relations and the latter’s engagement of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Meanwhile, India-US relations have taken on greater strategic significance, and Russia may be wary of India’s involvement in the Quad. With divergent national interests and threat perceptions likely to continue, will it be harder for both powers to find themselves on the same side?
Visitors look at models of military equipment displayed at the China Aerospace Science & Industry Corporation Limited (CASIC) booth at Airshow China, in Zhuhai, Guangdong province, China, 28 September 2021. (Aly Song/Reuters)

Taiwan and Indo-Pacific are the primary targets of China’s hypersonic glide vehicle

Recent news that China had launched a rocket carrying a hypersonic glide vehicle sounded an alarm. Mastery of such technology would mean that China would gain speed, manoeuvrability and surprise in their response, and the fine balance among nuclear-armed states could be upset. From China’s perspective, their nuclear deterrent would be more credible and they would be better able to defend their interests vis-à-vis Taiwan and the Indo-Pacific. No matter the intentions, this might mean rattled nerves and an increased presence of US missile defence systems in the Indo-Pacific.
A US flag flutters in the wind near the National 9/11 Memorial & Museum on 10 September 2021 in the US. (Roberto Schmidt/AFP)

With AUKUS, Southeast Asia may become a more intense battleground

Yogesh Joshi points out that the new AUKUS shows an American recognition of the military threat from China, which is assessed to have the world's largest navy. Such anxiety has the US sharing its most prized military technology of nuclear propulsion with Australia, something it has never done with any country except the UK. With the US determined to maintain primacy in the Indo-Pacific, will there be a greater chance of inadvertent escalation of tensions? Will the Southeast Asian region suffer the brunt of heightened risks?
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a gathering before flagging off the "Dandi March" or Salt March, to celebrate the 75th anniversary of India's Independence, in Ahmedabad, India, 12 March 2021. (Amit Dave/Reuters)

Quad now centrepiece in India’s China strategy

In the past, India was reticent about participating in the Quad. But amid China’s growing military, economic and diplomatic assertiveness and India’s decreasing capability to balance China on its own, the prospect of a Quad mechanism to help it do so is looking more attractive. At the recent first Quad summit, leaders committed to expanding vaccine production in India and building resilient supply chains. If all stars align, India is set to play a greater role in the Quad. How will it use this to its advantage in Sino-Indian relations? Yogesh Joshi analyses the issue.
This handout file photo taken and released by the Indian Navy on 18 November 2020 shows Indian army fighter jets on the deck on an aircraft carrier during the second phase of the 2020 Malabar naval exercise in the Arabian sea involving India, Australia, Japan and the US (the Quad). (Indian Navy/AFP)

South China Sea: The new frontier of Sino-Indian tussle in the Himalayas?

India’s step to send a warship to the South China Sea (SCS) following the clash in the Galwan Valley in the middle of last year proved a point — that it is prepared to link security in the Himalayas to the SCS, which it had erstwhile regarded as a secondary area of interest. Will China bristle at India’s continued quest for leverage and will chances of an accidental escalation in the SCS be raised overall?