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Arun is a doctoral candidate in airpower and grand strategy at the Department of War Studies, King’s College London, where his thesis analyses RAF combat air acquisition. This feeds into a wider interest concerning how the development, production and diffusion of military technology interacts with international relations. He took his first degree in engineering at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, which was followed by a master’s at King’s and an internship at NATO. For the 2022-23 academic year, he will be a Hans J. Morgenthau Fellow in Grand Strategy at the University of Notre Dame and an Adam Smith Fellow in Political Economy at George Mason University, having previously served as a research assistant to Paul Kennedy at Yale.

Research Project Summary:

Arun’s thesis builds on his Masters by exploring the role of airpower in British grand strategy. Whereas previous scholarship has tended to contemplate it in operational terms alone, airpower’s economic, diplomatic, technological and military dimensions render it an ideal test-bed for the analysis of strategic decision-making in war and peace. Whitehall’s renewed emphasis on grand strategy – as articulated in the Fusion Doctrine and Integrated Review – presents an opportunity to study contemporary conceptualisations of the military-industrial complex. In particular, exploring oligopolistic behaviour and the state’s control over technology transfer will reveal how the Government navigates between the competing priorities of allied interoperability, intra-Alliance industrial competition, and inter-service rivalry amidst budgetary and geopolitical pressures, to configure the future force structure. Arun’s thesis will blend both qualitative analysis and mathematical modelling to explore these dynamics and test those theories which purport to predict state behaviour. The result will yield policy-relevant insights for the RAF as it conceives its sixth-generation fleet.

Supervisory Team: Professor John Gearson and Dr David Jordan