Wednesday, July 14, 2010

National Security: Indian Grand Strategy- a book review

Monday, June 14, 2010
Washington DC: release of book on Indian Grand Strategy for Foreign Policy

Admiral Raja Menon is a former career officer and submarine specialist in the Navy. He is the author of The Indian Navy: A Photo Essay, Maritime Strategy and Continental Wars and A Nuclear Strategy for India. He is a distinguished fellow in the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies and the National Maritime Foundation.

Joining Admiral Menon for the forum will be Ashley Tellis, a Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and Lisa Curtis, Heritage Foundation's Senior Research Fellow on South Asia. S. Enders Wimbush, Hudson Institute's Senior Vice President, will moderate. Wednesday, June 23, 2010 12:30-2:30 PM

Analyzing some of the major influences on foreign and security policy in India, this synthesis of insights assesses emerging global scenarios from an Indian perspective and details their likely impact on India's current and future national interests. This study first uses the Net Assessment method to detail the scenarios that the country will face in 2020 and then utilizes a transparent method to build three scenarios that India could face and compares them to other situations created by the United States National Intelligence Council and a group of Indian Practitioners. Closing with a possible foreign policy strategy, this reference clearly explains the choices that await a rising India.

The book spells out four possible global scenarios in 2020. The first is one in which the US reinvents itself and surges forward on the tide of development of alternate energy sources. The second envisages a scenario in which the relative power of the US declines and a multipolar world emerges in which regional powers rise to run their regions unilaterally – India in South Asia, China in continental Asia, and the US with Brazil in the Americas. While globalisation reduces political rivalry between nations, there is no co-ordinated action against terrorism and rogue, non-state actors.

The third scenario is one in which the US and China establish a duopoly and begin to co-operate in controlling world institutions, leaving former friends of the US, including India, without a platform. India will then be faced with the choice of either joining the duopoly or facing isolation. The final scenario is one in which economic growth in both the United States and China remains depressed while India grows at a sustained annual rate of nine to ten per cent. The world takes longer to recover from the recession, international bodies become weak and the US becomes more isolationist. India becomes a powerful entity by 2020 but has not yet developed mechanisms to play the role of a constructive global or regional power. Of these, the worst-case scenario from India's perspective is the emergence of a US-China duopoly where China remains hostile to India and the US is unavailable as a balancing power.

The book outlines a strategy that will help India tackle the challenges posed by the possible shift in global power arrangements. It includes:
  • A strong focus on achieving sustained economic growth with equity as that helps India to withstand a possible duopoly
  • A hedging military strategy that enables India to switch theatres between North-Continental and South Maritime, abolishing all institutions for passive territorial defence and unifying military command
  • A technology strategy that gives the private sector its head with government joint ventures and subordinates the human resource development and science and technology ministries to that of service providers with measurable outputs to ride a possible US wave of alternate energy innovation
  • A national security strategy that creates mechanisms that conjoins the NSA system to the parliamentary system
  • A domestic strategy that reforms all domestic institutions, particularly the police and the civil service, under external supervision and
  • The recreation of a foreign policy apparatus that can implement this strategy abroad.

    The challenges that India will face in implementing this strategy will come from:
  • The rise of a galloping China with perceived unsolvable disputes with India and ruled by a monolithic, single party
  • The fundamentalist threat from an unstable Pakistan in a close alliance with China
  • The region being overwhelmed by Chinese economic blandishments to support regimes politically hostile to India
  • The fraying of international institutions
  • A degraded neighbourhood because of economic compulsions in Bangladesh, continued political upheaval in Nepal, simmering discontent and low level conflict in Sri Lanka and jihadi threat in Pakistan and
  • The loss of naval superiority in the Indian Ocean.

    The book also raises questions about whether India has operational mechanisms needed to implement the strategy that it has outlined. It points out that the lack of a strategic core, which directs policy and oversees implementation, is a major lacuna that needs to be addressed urgently.

    Refreshments will be served.
    Books will be available for purchase.

    To RSVP, please send your name and affiliation to
    Betsy and Walter Stern Conference Center
    Hudson Institute
    1015 15th St, NW,
    Sixth Floor
    Washington, DC 20005
    washington dc: release of book on Indian Grand Strategy for Foreign Policy
    US India Friendship Net
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