Category Archives: Strategic Forecast

Leftwing Extremism 2017: Sparks from a Flailing Revolution

Leftwing Extremism 2017: Sparks from a Flailing Revolution

NIAS Strategic Forecast No. 20 | Author: Bibu Prasad Routray| April 2017

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To cite: Bibu Prasad Routray. “Leftwing Extremism 2017: Sparks from a Flailing Revolution,” NIAS Strategic Forecast No. 20. Bangalore: International Strategic and Security Studies Programme, National Institute of Advanced Studies, April 2017.


Shrinking presence of the left-wing extremists, their reduced ability to orchestrate attacks and produce dead bodies of civilians and security forces; and the state’s ability to find support among the traditional recruitment base of the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) – all these are reasons for official optimism regarding the LWE situation in the country.

How is the LWE situation likely to evolve in the country in 2017? This has been analysed from the three important perspectives – state attempts to quell the extremist rebellion, the extremists’ attempts to revive and reorganise their fight, and the aspirations of the people- providing a comprehensive account of how the LWE situation may unfold in 2017.

Sri Lanka 2017: Balancing Act

Sri Lanka 2017: Balancing Act

NIAS Strategic Forecast No. 19 | Author: N Manoharan| April 2017

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To cite: N Manoharan. “Sri Lanka 2017: Balancing Act,” NIAS Strategic Forecast No. 19. Bangalore: International Strategic and Security Studies Programme, National Institute of Advanced Studies, April 2017.


The ‘National Unity Government’ under Maithripala Sirisena completed two years in January 2017. In the commemoration speech, President Sirisena noted that he got a mandate from the people “to restore democracy, media freedom, bring about ethnic reconciliation, to draft a new Constitution, lift the economy from the depths of indebtedness, and improve relations with the international community by following a nonaligned foreign policy.”

Fulfilling the above challenges, however, has not been easy. During 2016, the coalition government faced two main issues in the form of national reconciliation and economic development.

Nepal 2017: Where to from here?

Nepal 2017: Where to from here?

NIAS Strategic Forecast No. 18 | Author: Sohan Prasad Sha & Suman Mondal| April 2017

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To cite: Sohan Prasad Sha and Suman Mondal. “Nepal 2017: Where to from here?,” NIAS Strategic Forecast No. 18. Bangalore: International Strategic and Security Studies Programme, National Institute of Advanced Studies, April 2017.


The perpetual state of political instability and transition now rest upon the politics of ‘amendments’ in the constitution. Major contentious issues are: the demarcation of federal boundaries, delineation of electoral constituencies in upper house and local bodies on the basis of population, recognition of local languages and provisions of citizenship.

But, the roots of constitutional discords not only at the behest of amendments per se but also the asymmetric numerical balance in the Nepalese constituent assembly turn parliament.

Bangladesh 2017: Resurgence of Radicalism

Bangladesh 2017: Resurgence of Radicalism

NIAS Strategic Forecast No. 17 | Author: Bibu Prasad Routray| March 2017

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To cite: Bibu Prasad Routray. “Bangladesh 2017: Resurgence of Radicalism,” NIAS Strategic Forecast No. 17. Bangalore: International Strategic and Security Studies Programme, National Institute of Advanced Studies, March 2017.


In the last two years, Islamist radicalism has witnessed resurgence in Bangladesh… much of these attacks are owned by the Islamic State. While the world believes these claims, government in Dhaka continues to con-test this popular narrative. The ruling Awami League (AL) government on the contrary blames the indigenous Islamists rather than the transnational terror formation for the terror acts. Its response to end such terror has consisted of a series of kinetic operations and systemic targeting of the Islamists.

How is this resurgence of radicalism likely to evolve in 2017? This has been analysed by taking into the two principal factors: operational strength and influence of the Islamists; and Official counter terrorism policy.

China 2017: Foreign Policy Offensive?

China 2017: Foreign Policy Offensive?

NIAS Strategic Forecast No. 16 | Author: Bhartendu Kumar Singh | March 2017

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To cite: Bhartendu Kumar Singh. “China 2017: Foreign Policy Offensive?,” NIAS Strategic Forecast No. 16. Bangalore: International Strategic and Security Studies Programme, National Institute of Advanced Studies, March 2017.


Forecasting Chinese foreign policy is a problematic child and can often go horribly wrong! One example would suffice. Sometime in 2010, a defence journalist had predicted that China would attack India in 2012. Today, seven years down the line, all of us know how bad prognosis it was! Even though more and more predictable scientific tools are being resorted for forecasting, social science research, by its very nature, is all about past and not future.

This paper, therefore, would attempt to draft the possible contours of Chinese foreign policy in some select areas only since it is not possible to discuss the entire gamut of Chinese foreign policy trajectory.

East Asia 2017: In the age of Donald Trump

East Asia 2017: In the age of Donald Trump

NIAS Strategic Forecast No. 15 | Author: Prakash Panneerselvam | March 2017

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To cite: Prakash Panneerselvam. “East Asia 2017: In the age of Donald Trump,” NIAS Strategic Forecast No. 15. Bangalore: International Strategic and Security Studies Programme, National Institute of Advanced Studies, March 2017.


The power relationship in East Asia depends on the interaction between the three big powers – the US, China and Japan. In the age of Donald Trump, East Asian countries are worried about Trump’s precarious view on the alliance system and regional affairs. The sea-change in the US foreign policy has not only created uncertainty on the economic and strategic front but it also significantly impacted the fate of East Asia.

This report examines and assess responses of Japan, Korea and China to Trump besides looking at emerging issues in the region that might pose a serious challenge to the new US administration.

United States 2017: Trump and Asia

United States 2017: Trump and Asia

NIAS Strategic Forecast No. 14 | Author: Amit Gupta | March 2017

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To cite: Amit Gupta. “United States 2017: Trump and Asia,” NIAS Strategic Forecast No. 14. Bangalore: International Strategic and Security Studies Programme, National Institute of Advanced Studies, March 2017.


On the campaign trail Donald Trump made a series of provocative statements about dealing with China and the broader Asian region. He suggested that his administration could impose 45% tariffs on China, accused Beijing of currency manipulation, and swore to withdraw the United States from the Trans Pacific Partnership.

After being elected, President Trump took a congratulatory call from the President of Taiwan and even questioned the rationality of the United States’ decades long one-China policy. Added to these proclamations was the insistence that a Trump Administration would not tolerate a nuclear and aggressive North Korea.

Where is the Trump Administration likely to go in its dealings with Asia?

The Raddul Fasaad Fallouts: Will it succeed where Zarb-e-Azb failed?

The Raddul Fasaad Fallouts: Will it succeed where Zarb-e-Azb failed?

NIAS Strategic Forecast No. 13 | Author: D Suba Chandran | March 2017

To read the complete report click here

To cite: D Suba Chandran. “The Raddul Fasaad Fallouts: Will it succeed where Zarb-e-Azb failed?,” NIAS Strategic Forecast No. 13. Bangalore: International Strategic and Security Studies Programme, National Institute of Advanced Studies, March 2017.


February 2017 was perhaps one of the worst months in Pakistan’s recent history. A major suicide attack on a rally in Lahore in Punjab was followed by a bigger attack on a Sufi shrine (Qalandar) in Sehwan in Sindh. In between, there were suicide attacks on a court premises in Charsadda in KP. The second major attack, on 16 February 2017, also by a suicide bomber took place in Sehwan in rural Sindh (around 200 kms north of Karachi) was in a Sufi shrine (of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar); the attack was owned by the Islamic State in Pakistan. After a spate of horrific terror attacks, Pakistan has launched a new counter-terrorism offensive – Raddul Fasaad. The scope of the new military operation is larger than Zarb-e-Azb.

Will Raddul Fasaad succeed where Zarb-e-Azb failed? Or, will Raddul Fasaad create more problems and have unintended fallouts for Pakistan, given the current political support (or the lack of it) and the absence of long term political objective to military operations?

Military Courts in Pakistan: Will they return? What are the implications?

Military Courts in Pakistan: Will they return? What are the implications?

NIAS Strategic Forecast No. 12 | Author: D Suba Chandran | January 2017

To read the complete report click here

To cite: D Suba Chandran. “Military Courts in Pakistan: Will they return? What are the implications?,” NIAS Strategic Forecast No. 12. Bangalore: International Strategic and Security Studies Programme, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Januaury 2017.


During the first week of January 2017, many in Pakistan were surprised, when the government allowed the earlier Parliamentary legislation on the military courts to elapse. The civil society in Pakistan, to a large extent, responded positively to this development and wanted the government to take control and initiate a political and legal process to address terrorism. However, two press releases – post 7 January 2017 from the PMO and the military’s ISPR hint at the return of military courts.

A section within Pakistan also wants to extend the military courts for the following reasons. They consider that the regular courts are not fool proof, take time and allow the militants to escape from getting convicted. They also argue that the military courts dispense justice at a faster pace and death sentences will convey a strong message to the terrorists and prevent them from pursuing a violent course. So, will the military courts get re-established? And what will be its long term political implications?

“LoC, J&K and New Delhi:New Pak COAS & Likely Challenges for India”

“LoC, J&K and New Delhi:New Pak COAS & Likely Challenges for India”

NIAS Strategic Forecast No. 11 | Author: D Suba Chandran | December 2016

To read the complete report click here

To cite: D Suba Chandran. “LoC, J&K and New Delhi: New Pak COAS & Likely Challenges for India,” NIAS Strategic Forecast No. 11. Bangalore: International Strategic and Security Studies Programme, National Institute of Advanced Studies, December 2016, available at


Pakistan has a new Chief of Army Staff. Gen Bajwa has been appointed as the new COAS in November 2016, following the retirement of Gen Sharif. After taking charge, Gen Bajwa has made reshuffle within the organization; there is a new Chief of the ISI and also a new Chief of General Staff. In short, there is a new team at the helms of Pakistan’s military and its ISI. From an Indian perspective, it is important to analyse and even forecast, Gen Bajwa’s likely India strategy. The Indo-Pak trend that was set by Musharraf on Indo-Pak relations, especially related to LoC and Kashmir, and pursued by Gen Kayani was broken during the end of Gen Sharif’s tenure.

Given the recent trend in India’s posture towards Pakistan, one could expect an assertive strategy towards Pakistan. What is likely to be Gen Bajwa’s response and road map vis-a-vis India?

Conducting Academic and Policy Research related to National and International Security Issues
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