Strategic space & diffidence

Source– The post is based on the article “Strategic space & diffidence” published in the Business Standard on 7th January 2023.

Syllabus: GS2- International relations

Relevance– External challenges and its management by Indian strategic establishment

News– The article explains the external security environment of India. It also explains India strategic outlook on issues impacting its national interest

What are different scanerios around external security environmenmt of India?

First scenario– There is relative stability on the border with China. Pakistan is facing internal challenges.

India’s alliances with the west and the east are becoming more durable. They are bound by the glue of the common threat of China.

Second scenario– The Chinese are consolidating their position and the Modi government has failed to deter them militarily or diplomatically.

Pakistan will get over its internal issues eventually and get back to its usual business. China and Pakistan continue to be close allies.

Chinese aggression has compelled India to move its firepower to the northern front. It will provide comfort to Pakistan on western front.

India’s Western allies will remain much too invested in Ukraine.

Third scenario– Both countries are now fully deployed and any quick, low-cost military gains are not possible. Fresh border disputes will bring bad reputation to aggressor internationally.

But things could change dramatically if there is a resolution of Ukraine war. Then China can return to bullying behaviour.

Biggest limitation of Pakistan is its weak economy. After Sri Lanka, Pakistan’s is the most bankrupt economy in the region. it has to manage a large army, maintain internal stability amid rising inflation and joblessness, manage an adversarial relationship with a growing India.

Economic frustrations will fuel support for a populist leader like Imran.

This scenario shows that strategic situation around India has neither improved nor worsened. It’s gone into a rare long and useful stalemate.

The situation of stability will end sooner rather than later. while this affords India some rare strategic breathing time, we should not will waste it.

This is the time to look to the future, accelerate the changes, and fast-forward the reforms.

What has been change in strategic outlook of India after Modi government coming to power?

Since 2014, the Modi government has instituted a significant change in its strategic position. India is no longer hesitate about being seen in alliances.

India old sensitivities still remain. India is the only Quad memeber unwilling to talk about the grouping’s military dimension. The equation with Russia is being managed sensitively.

Most of Indo-pacific allies have clearly stated, public, national security strategies. They also have Indo-Pacific strategies. India is only power with no stated national or Indo-Pacific strategy.

India is not able to craft a national strategic policy because of its location and live land borders. It’s also a challenge to find the resources to raise India’s maritime power.


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