Archive for the ‘Foreign Policy’ Category

India: Driving the Global Superhighway

An article written by Teresita C. Schaffer on India’s global positioning, with considerations of the country’s role in the United Nations, the G-20, international nonproliferation, and climate change.

In early 1991, as the global structure of the cold war lay in tatters and India was starting to consider the role it would play in the new system that had emerged, the soon-to-depart Indian ambassador to the United States mused about his parting advice. “I keep telling my government,” he told the author, “if you want to drive on the superhighway, you have to get up to 100 kilometers per hour.” The decade that followed was a time of transformation for India, domestically and internationally. A more economically-driven foreign policy was the natural consequence of its accelerating growth. These trends, along with the collapse of the Soviet Union, thrust India’s relationship with the United States into a much more central position for both countries. But the ambassador’s metaphor was particularly apt in describing the coming transformation of India’s role in the world’s multilateral deliberations. Nearly two decades later, India has found the transition to highway speed surprisingly unsettling, but it is starting to find its stride.

Originally published in the Spring/Summer 2010 issue of the Brown Journal of World Affairs.

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The Strategic Implications of India’s Internal Security: Looking Back at Mumbai

An article by Teresita C. Schaffer and Sabala Baskar on security measures taken by the Indian government following the Mumbai attacks in November 2008, particularly as they pertain to Pakistan.

The November 2008 attacks in Mumbai are a reminder of the potential consequences of incidents that neither the Pakistani nor the Indian government can completely control. Specifically, the Mumbai episode demonstrated how quickly a seemingly stable India-Pakistan environment can deteriorate. Besides the familiar arguments for political leadership and persistent diplomacy between India and Pakistan, one factor in reducing this vulnerability is strengthening both governments’ means of detecting, preventing, and responding to such incidents.

Originally published in the Center for Strategic & International Studies‘ South Asia Monitor on April 7, 2009. Read the entire article.

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India and Iran: Limited Partnership, High Stakes

An article by Teresita C. Schaffer and Suzanne Fawzi on the relationship between India and Iran in regard to energy trade, land access, and—of the most concern to the United States—defense.

In recent months, India’s ties with Iran have come under pressure as the civil-nuclear deal falters in New Delhi. Although maintaining positive relations with Washington is a critical foreign policy objective, India’s relations with Iran are important for reasons such as energy supply, geopolitics, and a symbol of India’s ability to retain an independent foreign policy or “strategic autonomy.” Although India and Iran share energy interests and some regional goals, there continues to be a wide gap between words and deeds.

Originally published in the Center for Strategic & International Studies’ South Asia Monitor on December 20, 2007. Read the entire article.

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India’s “Look West” Policy: Why Central Asia Matters

An article by Teresita C. Schaffer and Vibhuti Haté on India’s foreign policy and economic interests in Central Asia, a market that had been largely inaccessible during the existence of the Soviet Union.

India has had its eye on Central Asia for a long time. Its primary interests there are in energy, minimizing Pakistani influence, and establishing itself as a significant player in the interplay of outside powers that is taking shape. The main difficulties lie in connecting Central Asian resources to the Indian market – a familiar problem for the Central Asians. U.S. and Indian interests overlap, but the U.S. is more focused on sustaining the independence of the Central Asian states.

Originally published in the Center for Strategic & International Studies‘ South Asia Monitor on September 5, 2007. Read the entire article.

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India, China and Japan

An article by Teresita C. Schaffer and Vibhuti Haté on India’s economic relations with China and Japan.

Chinese President Hu Jintao’s visit to India in November 2006, and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Japan in December 2006, underline India’s increasing economic and political prominence in Asia. India’s economic relations with China are developing faster than those with Japan. Its strategic connections with Japan are stronger, and lack the undercurrent of rivalry that marks those with China. India is interested in playing a larger role on the broader Asian scene, but at the moment has only a small place in the institutional infrastructure for Asian cooperation. These three countries’ economic and strategic interests, along with those of the United States, come together in the Indian Ocean. That is where the effort to create a peaceful path for the rise of China and India will be tested.

Originally published in the Center for Strategic & International Studies‘ South Asia Monitor on January 3, 2007. Read the entire article.

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