While China has ratcheted up its show of assertiveness in the recent years, India has been quietly preparing for a parity to prevent war. Often parity does not have to be equality in numbers. The fear of pain disproportionate to the possible gains, and the ability of the smaller in numbers side to do so in itself confer parity. There is a certain equilibrium in Sino-Indian affairs that make recourse to force extremely improbable. Both modern states are inheritors of age-old traditions and the wisdom of the ages. Both now read their semaphores well and know how much of the sword must be unsheathed to send a message. This ability will ensure the swords remain recessed and for the plowshares to be out at work.
A disturbed security environment in Asia- Pacific will adversely affect, flow of energy, commerce and trade, leading to escalation of oil prices and hurting global economy. In the larger interest of humanity, it is imperative that every stakeholder acts responsibly and contributes towards the resolution of disputes. Time is critical, and we must act in right earnest to build confidence and create frameworks for enduring peace and stability in the region.
What the Pivot Means Before the heat of US elections and Chinese transition of power cooled off, the well times East Asia Summit and the ASEAN meet at Phnom Phen has focused world attention on SE Asia. With President Obama, Prime Minister Wen Zia Bao and Prime Minister Man Mohan Singh participating in the conference, [...]
We had argued in our post, Cold War Gains Momentum that in the Indian context, USA wants to thin down Chinese influence for which it needs India’s support. It would now be prudent to “engage and act east” firmly with Indian characteristics. Should the economic and military cooperation with US be increased as part of this policy it should not be at the cost of raising tensions with China. A tough call for Indian policy makers.
When US president Barack Obama announced in Canberra that he was refocusing US military attention in the Asia-Pacific region, he was in effect sounding the bugle cry for a new Cold War – this time with China. Just the other day, Obama urged China to “grow up” and act responsibly on the world stage. In the meanwhile, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said on Friday that “outside forces” had no excuse to get involved in a complex dispute over the South China Sea, offering a veiled warning to the United States and others not to stick their noses into the sensitive issue.
India’s strategic environment draws from the fact that though India has an ancient culture but it is a new nation. Over the last 60 years the nation has experimented with various forms of foreign, domestic and economic policy models. From Panchsheel to a dominant government owned stifled economy to the present race, Indian strategic environment and policies have been governed more by the predicaments of the time rather than a well articulated long term vision. There thus is a dismal record of Indian strategic policy and decision making at various levels, be they external posture or management of the internal growth requirements. There resultantly is a lack of a seasoned mechanism for strategic policy and decision making in pursuance of achieving its Core National Interests. This applies specifically to India’s higher defence decision making organisation.
The world is facing a multitude of problems. Chief among them are the financial crisis and Islamist fundamentalism. In this backdrop, a few pertinent questions are: Will liberal-democracy remain the only form of political economy for the future? Are communism and militant nationalism totally dead? In the November Summit, it becomes imperative for the G20 leaders to follow a holistic approach in solving the pressing problems of the day whereby they can begin history.
Sumit Ganguly argues that Good Indo-Russian relations need not necessarily come at the cost of a robust Indo-U.S. relationship. However, bilateral ties aren’t formed or maintained of their own accord. If Obama continues to neglect India, other powers—many of which see the U.S. has a strategic competitor—will step into the breach. Given all the authoritarian regimes, terrorism and the tenuous economic recovery in Asia, can Obama really allow U.S.-India relations to backslide into the mutual neglect last seen during the Cold War?