Commentaries & Articles
India’s Defence Diplomacy as a Component of its Look East Policy
The dominant impulse of India’s Look East Policy (LEP) that was launched in 1992 was economic and cultural, the objective being to reintegrate India economically and culturally with our civilisational neighbours of South East (SE) Asia. In December 2012, the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit was held in New Delhi to signify two decades of India’s LEP. Growing trade ties have corresponded with the expansion of relationship in the areas of defence and security and thus the engagement which was primarily political and economic has acquired strategic content in the recent years.
Strike Corps for the Mountains: Upgrading India’s Military Strategy from Dissuasion to Deterrence
On July 17, 2013, the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) finally approved the army’s proposal for raising a Strike Corps for the mountains. Though the approval came after considerable delay, it is a pragmatic move that will send an appropriate message across the Himalayas. It will help India to upgrade its military strategy against China from dissuasion to genuine deterrence as the Strike Corps, in conjunction with the Indian Air Force (IAF), will provide the capability to launch offensive operations across the Himalayas so as to take the next war into Chinese territory.
India-Bhutan Ties: New Delhi Got it Right
Many in India believe that we have failed in our policy towards our neighbours. For them the hall mark of any successful foreign policy is good relations with neighbours. Because we are so big, many think that we must make an extra effort to win the trust of our neighbours, deal with them generously, without seeking reciprocity, and show greater sensitivity to their concerns, however misplaced. They should be given a stake in our growing economy through unilateral concessions, with any shorter term loss being traded for longer term gains that economic dependence brings.
Social Media: Freedom Yes, License No
The recent expose about Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot allegedly buying ‘Likes’ for his official Facebook page in Istanbul, the ‘Twitter’ war between the ruling Congress and the main Opposition BJP and an outrageous tweet by Congress leader Shakeel Ahmed virtually defending the terrorist outfit ‘Indian Mujahideen’ have once again brought the spotlight back on the role of social media.
Terror Attacks in Bodh Gaya: Prevention is Better than Cure
When serial blasts rocked Mahabodhi temple at Bodh Gaya on 07 July 2013, it was for the first time that a Buddhist holy spot was targeted in India. Ten of the 13 bombs planted at the temple were indeed of low intensity, but their psychological impact was huge. Though no group or individual has claimed responsibility so far, fingers are being pointed at four different directions as possible perpetrators.
Has China Upstaged India in Space Diplomacy?
Space exploration, once a preserve of the advanced industrialized countries, is no more being viewed as an area of esoteric research involving a huge investment and complex technological systems. Indeed, space technology has now become an indispensable tool for improving the quality of human life on earth in addition to helping boost the war fighting capability in a substantial manner. And on the international arena, space cooperation has emerged as a platform for furthering the diplomatic clout and political ambitions besides helping project “soft power”.
Hard Power, The Only Currency That Works in Afghanistan
The so-called Afghan endgame is really nothing more than the US endgame in Afghanistan. For the Afghans, there is unlikely to be any endgame. Even the Americans suspect, even fear, that their exit from, nay abandonment of, Afghanistan will most likely embroil the hapless Afghans in a deadly and brutal battle for survival.
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