Israel’s Gaza campaign holds few lessons for India, look at Russia-Ukraine instead

India’s options in case of a surprise attack are not similar to those of Israel. While Pakistan is not Gaza and possesses nuclear weapons, it also has an ally in China—a country we’re not exactly friends with.

Speaking at an event in March, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval said that during his visit to Israel, he had asked their top officials about whether India could learn any lessons from their ongoing conflict. The reply he got was: “Be prepared for a surprise.” Doval then expounded on it: “The Russians thought it would be a cakewalk. The Ukrainians thought sanctions would work. We have to have the mindset for surprises. We have to have the instinct.” He said that only those who take “spot decisions” cope with surprise.

What the Israeli officials said and how Doval interpreted it …


Sushant Singh

Sushant Singh is a senior fellow at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi. He has taught at Yale University (Fall 2019 and Fall 2021) and was deputy editor of The Indian Express. A winner of the prestigious Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards in 2017 and 2018, he had earlier served in the Indian Army for two decades. He is also the author of Mission Overseas and co-author of Note by Note: The India Story.