Bhed (Sowing the seed of Dissension)
Kautilya says that creating apprehension and reprimanding is the difference. Thus Bhed performs on the mind, feeding on fear, suspicion, hatred or enmity. Secret agents exercising overt and covert means and propaganda/ psychological warfare are best suited to create dissensions in the opponent’s ranks. Countries do not talk about the use of Bhed (dissension) in public, but in actual practice, use it liberally to separate the people within a country or break up alliances amongst nations. Pakistan’s efforts in Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, and North East is an outstanding example of employing Bhed (dissension). The skillful weaning away of erstwhile Warsaw Pact states and breakaway states of Union of Soviet Socialistic Republic and Yugoslavia by the United States led the Northern Alliance
Dand (Use of Force)
The use of force to solve conflicts needs no elaboration. Nonetheless, the use of force is a measure of last resort when all else has failed, as war would entail losses in men and material even to the victor. Hence, Chanakya, though repeatedly in this Shastra emphasizes on outwitting an opponent but firmly asserts war as a weapon of last resort. Today, nations try to exhaust all available means short of force (Dand) to influence the behavior of another state. Diplomacy as in the case of Doklam and economic sanctions as in the case of North Korea are allowed to run their course before the option of the use of military force is applied.
The Kautilya plans were sometimes applied when the Mughals invaded from the middle-east and later the British conquered India. The important question is can Arthashastra be applied in democracies or is it relevant only to Autocracies. Why is that Plato, Aristotle, Kautilya, and Machiavelli all advocate the rule of the king supreme and state as the ultimate power? In my opinion, the art of war and diplomacy is still applicable but one needs to understand that the social structures are changing faster than they did in earlier times.