Bharat Karnad


BHARAT KARNAD is Emeritus Professor for National Security Studies, Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi and Distinguished Fellow at the United Service Institution of India. His most recent book, Staggering Forward: Narendra Modi and India’s Global Ambition was published by Penguin in September 2018. Previous books include Why India is Not a Great Power (Yet) (Oxford University Press, October 2015), Strategic Sellout: India-US Nuclear Deal (2009), India’s Nuclear Policy (Praeger, 2008), Nuclear Weapons and Indian Security: The Realist Foundations of Strategy, now in its second edition (Macmillan, 2005, 2002), and Future Imperilled: India’s Security in the 1990s and Beyond (Viking-Penguin, 1994) .

He was Member of the (First) National Security Advisory Board, Member of the Nuclear Doctrine-drafting Group, National Security Council, Government of India, and, formerly, Advisor on Defence Expenditure to the Finance Commission, India.

Educated at the University of California (B.A., Santa Barbara; M.A., Los Angeles), he has been a Visiting Scholar at Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champagne, and Foreign Fellow at the Shanghai Institutes of International Studies and the Henry L. Stimson Centre, Washington, DC. He lectures at the top military training and discussion forums, including CORE (Combined Operational Review and Evaluation), DRDO Annual Directors’ Conference, National Defence College, Higher Command Courses at the Army War College, College of Air Warfare, College of Naval Warfare, College of Defence Management, College of Military Engineering, and at Army Command and Corps level fora and equivalent in the other two Armed Services, and Defence Services Staff College, and also at the Indian Administrative Service Academy, Foreign Service Institute, and the National Police Academy.

He was commissioned by the Headquarters, Integrated Defence Staff, Ministry of Defence, to conceptualize, conduct for several years, and lecture at the annual Strategic Nuclear Orientation Course for Brigadier-rank officers and equivalent from the three Armed Services, and conceived and conducted the first ever high-level inter-agency war game on the nuclear tripwire in the subcontinent (at the Army War College, 2003).

He is a TV commentator and writes the occasional newspaper op/ed column in Indian newspapers and a sometime contributor to various periodicals, including a column (‘Realpolitik’) in, Seminar, Open Magazine, India Today, The Week, and web news & views outlets — The,,, The Eastern Link.