Has Washington removed the restraints on India’s response to future terror attacks originating from Pakistan? That’s what Ajai Shukla suggests in parsing a statement made by Defense Secretary Robert Gates during his recent visit to India. More significantly, says Shukla, Gates repeated the formula almost word for word days later in Pakistan, instead of walking it back for the Pakistani viewing audience. Was Washington merely waving the India stick to nudge Islamabad towardgreater cooperation in the Af-Pak war? Or, is the U.S. starting tobelieve that Islamabad is a lost cause, and that India can be used –not just politically and […]
U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates told reporters in New Delhi thatterroristgroups in South Asia have created a syndicate under Al-Qaida, with theintent of destabilizing the entire region. He says groups could try toaccomplish this goal by either provoking conflict between Pakistan andIndia or by chipping away at Pakistan’s stability from the inside. Inan effort to create a strong counter-terrorism effort in the region,Gates is encouraging the governments of India and Pakistan to worktogether in Afghanistan, with the utmost transparency, to quellsuspicions from both parties.
In an illustration of the power of inertia in international relations, reports indicate that India will go ahead and ink a $1.2 billion deal for 29 Russian-made MiG-29s. The two relevant storylines here are the decline of Russia’s defense industry and India’s budding strategic (and security) relationship with the U.S. Neither was enough to derail a deal that will also create its own inertial pull well into the future. This is worth keeping in mind when contemplating scenarios involving major shifts in strategic orientations, of the kind I tend to be fascinated by — a U.S.-Iran rapprochement, an autonomous European […]
India continues to burnish its international image with initiatives like Brand India, a public-private campaign whose stated mission is to “build positive perceptions of India globally.” But when Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh acknowledged the country’s undernourished children as a “national shame,” it highlighted how India’s economic success co-exists with its persistently high rates for hunger, malnutrition, and income poverty. According to the World Bank, 46 percent of Indian children below the age of five are underweight, and the World Food Program says that 230 million Indians are living with hunger. Clearly India’s robust 8 percent growth in GDP does […]
NEW DELHI — Fly three hours in just about any direction from New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport, and you’re likely to land in a zone of either ongoing or recently resolved armed conflict — Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Burma for the former, Sri Lanka and Nepal for the latter. What might be surprising, though, is that those odds are not diminished if you travel by road within India. As a result of structural complexities inherent to the Indian state, New Delhi faces internal security challenges that range from terrorism and militant Naxal extremism to insurgencies and proxy wars. Violence, […]
Bereft of an ally since the collapse of monarchical rule in Nepal nearly four years ago, China has been struggling to secure its place in the buffer state, wedged between China’s volatile Tibet region and its regional rival, India. Hardly a month goes by now without a high-level Chinese delegation arriving in Kathmandu seeking assurances on its security interests. In February 2005, China offered then-King Gyanendra a lifeline by calling his seizure of power, which otherwise prompted widespread international condemnation, an internal matter. A year later, when the royal regime no longer seemed tenable, China scrambled to build ties with […]
Bilateral relations between Bangladesh and India have recently improvedas Bangladesh clamps down on separatist rebels. Indian officials wereoptimistic during the first official visit of the Bangladeshiprime-minister to Indian soil while both nations have interests inimproved relations that could facilitate trade and securitycooperation. Al Jazeera’s Prerna Suri reports from New Delhi.
The U.S.-India civilian nuclear agreement, signed in October 2008 after intense bilateral negotiations, is a crucial trade deal for both nations, offering India’s fledgling civilian nuclear industry the opportunity to access sophisticated U.S. technology, while providing American companies with the possibility of significant commercial benefits from the engagement. However, despite the deal’s obvious benefits and the urgency displayed by both countries to get it signed over a year ago, obstacles still remain to making it operational. To finalize the agreement, the Bush administration overruled longstanding U.S. non-proliferation policy by implicitly recognizing India as a nuclear power. The deal was also […]
Last month, the Indian central government abruptly ended days of violent protests by carving out a federal state for the Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh. In an effort to end a five-decade-long internal conflict, the world’s largest democracy ceded a state for the greater good of stability and governance. India’s war-weary neighbor, Sri Lanka, would do well to take a page from New Delhi’s playbook as it looks to foster peaceful relations with its own minority Tamil population. The Sri Lankan government must take advantage of its recent military defeat of the Tamil Tigers insurgency (LTTE) by negotiating for political […]
Analysts have long wondered if the Chinese navy (PLAN) had a third island chain strategy, beyond the publicly declared strategies for the first island chain (centered on Taiwan) and second island chain (extending from Japan to Indonesia). Many American commentators believed that such a strategy would refer to the ability to project power capable of reaching America’s bases in Hawaii. However, China’s recent maritime activities — such as its extended counterpiracy patrols in the Horn of Africa and its involvement in a number of port development projects in Indian Ocean littorals (dubbed the “string of pearls”) — have raised the […]