The twelfth volume in the series India’s National Security: Annual Review offers a detailed analysis of India’s complex security environment: persistence of major threats, alongside a constructive engagement with major powers based on its economic growth, military power and political stability.
Topping the list of India’s external security concerns is China’s veiled hostility, manifest in its strategic nexus with Pakistan, incursions into India’s borders and enhanced military deployment in India’s immediate neighbourhood. Added to these are the intractable boundary dispute and uncertain implications of the recent leadership change in China. India, nevertheless, is attempting to cope with China’s pressures by engaging with it at a diplomatic level and improving its own defence capability. Pakistan remains another major threat, because of its refusal to take action against militants responsible for the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, its efforts at expanding its nuclear arsenal, and the increasing sway of right-wing elements on its society, politics and security forces. India further faces the challenges of facilitating Nepal’s difficult transition to democracy, safeguarding its strategic interests in Afghanistan, stabilising Maldives’ fledgling democracy, and tackling ethnic insurgencies along its borders with Myanmar. On the other hand, there are positives like India’s strategic partnerships with Russia, US, France, Britain, Germany, and Japan, as well as a flowering relationship with Bangladesh.
India’s internal security situation is less alarming, with progress in talks with some North-Eastern insurgent outfits; a sharp fall in casualties due to left-wing extremism (LWE); and a gradual reduction in terrorist-related incidents in Kashmir. But sporadic cross-border infiltrations in Kashmir and spread of LWE to urban areas still pose challenges.
Addressing such and other issues, this book will be indispensable for policymakers and governmental organisations; those in defence and strategic sectors; and students of defence studies, foreign policy, international relations, and political science.