Foreign Policy

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  • New START and the Obama Administration: Hurdles Still Ahead

    With the Senate Committee on Foreign Relatons agreeing on September 16 to send the New START to the full Senate for ratification, the prospects of realising the potential of the Obama administration’s signal foreign policy achievement seem to have improved considerably.

    September 23, 2010

    Can the Rise of ‘New’ Turkey Lead to a ‘New’ Era in India-Turkey Relations?

    What will define the future of Turkey-India relations in not Cyprus or Pakistan, but the stress on mutual strengthening of their economies and providing an environment for greater understanding of each other.

    September 21, 2010

    As Dragon flexes muscle, the Rising Sun goes defensive

    China’s rise has become a matter of concern throughout Asia and led to changes in the strategic postures of its neighbours. Japan has begun to rethink its own defence strategy and security policy in response to China’s military modernization.

    September 09, 2010

    Arnab Dasgupta asked: Why India is not following a pro-active policy towards Taiwan as a counterweight to China?

    Jaganath Panda replies: India officially endorses the ‘one-China’ policy. That means; India officially recognizes the legitimacy of the PRC as the legitimate entity of both ‘mainland China and Taiwan’. Hence, the diplomatic and strategic space for India is limited as far as Taiwan is concerned. Besides, India's relations with China are more important strategically than Taiwan. It is not a wise move for any modern, rational state like India to use this kind of proxy. This is for two reasons: (a) India would not like to damage its relationship with China by unnecessarily pursuing a ‘pro-active’ policy towards Taiwan; (b) no major country in the world would like to use this tactic, given the importance China holds in world politics. As far as Taiwan is concerned, India has good economic, social and cultural linkages; but political/strategic relations will always remain a restricted one.

    Portuguese-speaking countries: a new niche for Indian foreign policy?

    If India wants to engage with the “Global South” in a more meaningful way, it should recognize its Anglophone bias and consider developing relations with Portuguese-speaking countries and thus open one more front in its foreign policy.

    August 26, 2010

    Indonesia’s New Foreign Policy - ‘Thousand friends- zero enemy’

    Indonesia is trying to gain the leadership position in Southeast Asia through constructive and cooperative gestures and balanced bargaining between major powers.

    August 23, 2010

    Tenets of Indian Foreign Policy and Indo-US Partnership

    The ongoing Indo-US partnership talks are interesting considering the international systemic developments, and seen from the outside is an odd development happening at the heart of rising powers in global politics.

    July 22, 2010

    V Subrahmanyam asked: Is the world going to be multipolar, if so who could be the players in the coming days?

    Smita Purushottam replies: There is near unanimity that the world is evolving towards a multipolar order and there are many theories regarding the candidates, or the “Poles”. As early as 1997, Henry Kissinger had predicted the decline of the unipolar order and the rise of Russia, Japan, China and even India. More recently Parag Khanna (“Second World”) felt that there would be three power blocs – the US, China and the EU. Chinese experts in the year 2000 debated the role of the US, China, Russia, Japan and India in a future order. The Goldman Sachs BRIC report predicted that the BRIC economies (Brazil, Russia, India and China) would be bigger than the G6’s in 2050.

    Several questions arise. Are the criteria for being defined a “Major Power/Pole” purely economic, or economic, technological and military? How could “Black Swan” events - unanticipated developments such as major wars, climate change related disasters, and technological breakthroughs [clean energy such as fusion energy, artificial intelligence, robotics and biotechnology - which could increase life spans engendering massive societal changes (George Bernard Shaw’s “Back to Methuselah” provides an inkling of what is in store!)] - transform future scenarios? Will they upset all calculations regarding futuristic power configurations (remembering that these breakthroughs are more likely to occur in advanced economies anyway)?

    The economic factor is the most reliable clue for predicting power quotients, and has been so throughout history (see Paul Kennedy’s “Rise & Fall…”). Nations which have quietly built up economic strength outlast their rivals through War and other calamities. The other historically revolutionary force is Technology. The major “Poles” in the future will thus most probably be growing and innovative powers such as China, US, India, Japan, Germany, Russia, Brazil and South Africa.

    Expanding the Horizons of Indian Foreign Policy

    Like NAM, neither the IBSA nor any other forum will be permanent or best, though they are just one step in hopefully a direction to find a better and just global political order.

    July 19, 2010

    Sudhakaran asked: What role do the noble ideals of the Indian constitution have in the practical formulation of strategic domestic and foreign policies?

    Arvind Gupta replies: The Indian Constitution encompasses the noble ideas of democracy, justice, liberty, equality and fraternity etc. The Constitution has made India a sovereign democratic republic. Every citizen has certain fundamental rights. The rights of minorities are also protected under the Constitution. All policies of the government, domestic or foreign, derive their legitimacy from the Constitution. Article 51, which forms part of the Directive Principles of State Policy, deals with international interests and foreign policy. It requires the state to promote international peace and security, maintain just and honourable relations between nations, have respect for international law, fulfill treaty obligations and encourage settlement of international disputes by arbitration. This Article forms the basis of India's foreign policy which promotes peace and cooperation.