Perception, Strategy and Interest: The State and Foreign Policy in India after Independence

  • Subrata K. Mitra
Chapter

Abstract

After decades of obscurity and benign neglect by security analysts, South Asia has suddenly loomed large on the radar screens of the Western security establishment. The current U.S.-led war against terrorism is a key factor behind the high profile accorded to this region, for the remnants of the Al Quaida bases in Afghanistan are suspected to have shifted into the tribal areas of Pakistan, supported by a terrorist network spread throughout the region. But even beyond the current problems, security has been a constant factor for South Asia’s policy makers who have had to contend with ethnic conflict, secessionist movements, drugs, illegal weapons smuggling and a weak and ill-equipped state apparatus on an almost constant basis since decolonisation.1 All these problems have become connected and reinforced because of the nuclearisation of India and Pakistan, locked into a proxy war over Kashmir which India cannot manage to win and Pakistan cannot afford to lose.

Keywords

Radar Expense Triad Arena Iraq 

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References

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    See Subrata K. Mitra et al., “Autonomie und Sezessionsbestrebungen in Nordostindien”, in: Erich Reiter (ed.), Jahrbuch für Internationale Sicherheitspolitik 2001. Hamburg: E.S. Mittler and Sohn, 2001.Google Scholar
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    For the sake of simplicity, one can present the situation as symmetric. Pakistani strategists would reason exactly in the same manner as India, though there are variations on the theme of the exact impact of the first strike and the differential capacity for a second strike. The second mode of reasoning is the number of days that the bigger India could sustain a war against Pakistan as opposed to the latter who would prefer a more intense war of shorter duration and must therefore equip itself differently from its physically larger neighbour.Google Scholar
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    Recent reports of Chinese incursions into Arunachal Pradesh and reactivation of the disputed 650 mile border in India’s north-east known as the Line of Actual Control (LAC) denotes what Indian policy makers regard as the hostile presence of the Chinese. Luke Harding, reporting from New Delhi, comments: “If superficially polite, relations between New Delhi and Beijing are best characterised as mistrustful. India accuses China of helping Pakistan to stockpile a nuclear and missile arsenal much larger than its own — a claim backed by US intelligence.” Luke Harding, “China accused of infiltrating into India”, The Guardian Weekly, Oct 18, 2000, p. 17.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Subrata K. Mitra
    • 1
  1. 1.University of HeidelbergGermany

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