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  • India: An Uneasy Onlooker!

    India’s decision to abstain on the Libya vote shows its distaste for taking a clear position on international issues.

    March 21, 2011

    Public Diplomacy in India's Foreign Policy

    The last few years have witnessed an incredible change in global communications as well as politics. The proliferation of 24/7 news channels, the spread of the Internet and the ready availability of mobile phones with digital cameras are having a profound impact on the international media and on the manner in which governments formulate their media strategies. At the same time, global issues like terrorism, climate change or even multilateral trade negotiations have come to be closely intertwined with the domestic political agenda.

    March 2011

    Venkat asked: As we are moving close with USA, how are we going to balance our friendship with Russia too. What is India's future foreign policy on this?

    Smita Purushottam replies: India’s relations with the United States and with Russia do not represent a Kierkegaardian choice, i.e., India is not being forced to choose between one or the other. The United States and Russia are rapidly improving bilateral relations, as can be seen from recent developments - for example the NATO-Russia Council meeting in which both sides agreed that they no longer constituted a threat to each other, and when the U.S. ratified the new START Treaty while leaving Russia’s superiority in tactical nuclear weapons intact. A leaked Russian foreign ministry policy document which people believe is genuine - clearly delineated that improving ties with the West is a priority for Russia, which seeks to modernize and upgrade its technology and economy in partnership with the West.

    Therefore there is no contradiction for India, which has excellent relations with both countries, and accordingly, no need for “balancing”.

    The only area where closer Indo-US relations could affect Russia is in the field of defence purchases. India needs to modernize its armed forces and equip them with the latest and best defence technologies available in the world so that it can meet modern day challenges. Recent encouraging statements from the United States which have indicated lifting of restrictions on high technology exports to India and also that India could participate in the joint strike fighter programme are huge departures from the traditional American stand and could make America a very attractive partner. Meanwhile, India also has to weigh the record in terms of its tried and tested cooperation with Russia. Russia has always been a steady and assured supplier in times of war and crisis and any decision that the government takes will obviously take all these elements into consideration. Moreover, India and Russia are taking steps to rejuvenate technological cooperation in their defence partnership. Elements of cooperation and competition will have to be handled maturely by all sides while India will have to take decisions based on its long term national interest.

    Indonesia in India’s Look East Policy

    Political, economic and strategic factors in the post-Cold War period call for expanded co-operation between India and Indonesia.

    January 20, 2011

    Mosaics of Cultures: Investigating the Role of Cultural Linkages in India-Indonesia Relations

    The cultural linkages between India and Indonesia have to be leveraged, as a foreign policy tool, to take India-Indonesia relations to the next level.

    January 19, 2011

    India's Neighbourhood Policy: Perceptions from Bangladesh

    Security has been a major driving force of India's neighbourhood policy. India's sympathies with democratic forces and its aversion to extra-regional presence are all geared to optimise its security interest, which is ensconced in its principal belief of a stable neighbourhood while engaging in a mutually beneficial relationship. Within this broad framework, this paper attempts to study Bangladesh's reaction to these parameters of India's neighbourhood policy.

    January 2011

    Thinking about an Indian Grand Strategy

    This article is primarily a conceptual overview on the theme of a grand strategy for a rising power such as India. The objective is to promote a systematic and structural way of thinking on grand strategy—the dynamic art of relating ends and means. The author identifies and expounds on the major domestic and international variables that will shape India's grand strategy.

    January 2011

    Tasks before Indian Foreign Policy

    India is contesting elections for the non-permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for a two-year term, 2011–12. If elected, it will return to the Security Council after a gap of 18 years. During this long hiatus, the geopolitical environment in the world has changed dramatically. As a member of the UNSC, India will be called upon to deliberate over a host of new issues and threats to international security.

    January 2011

    India’s Season of Summits

    The world needs India as a balancer – in trade, as a market, as an alternative model, and as a world power.

    December 30, 2010

    The 2010 U.S. Mid-Term Elections and American Foreign Policy

    International security analysts must begin a discussion on how reductions in the U.S. defence budget will influence the nature of bilateral security relationships across Asia

    November 16, 2010