Condoleezza Rice, Wen Jiabao, Junichiro Koizumi’s visits, the signing of a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation agreement with
Located where it is, on the flanks of the Asean and the East Asian region, and those of the West and Central Asia, India is in a swing-zone from where its huge working age population, intellectual resources, manufacturing and agricultural potential and military power, can enable it to influence events in these regions.
There is a 19th century echo in the word ‘geopolitics’. Yet, it best describes the moves taking place on the chessboard of nations today. In the most basic sense, ‘geopolitics’ is about the correlation between geographical location and political power, and the division of the world into core and periphery areas. But in a more sophisticated sense, it is a palimpsest layered over by the resources a nation has, both physical and human, its demographic profile, its political system and its military power. Given its size,
Since then the country followed a three-pronged approach. First, to reintegrate
In the process,
In orthodox balance-of-power theory, States choose to balance or bandwagon a hegemonic power. The choice before many of the smaller Asian powers is to bandwagon with rising
But we must be careful not to transpose too much of the 19th century balance-of-power ideas on the situation of today. In a world where rivals like the US and China are each other’s biggest trade partners, and nuclear weapons maintain the balance of terror, competing States need to evolve ways of cooperating with each other and developing a vested interest in the other’s well-being. That is why it would be a serious mistake to see
There was a time when geopolitical power was defined by simple arithmetic of adding the tanks, aircraft and warships, or counting the GDP numbers and natural resources. No longer. Nuclear weapons can, if used, trump any conventional measure of military strength. But the lesson of the Soviet collapse was that even nuclear weapons cannot get you too far.
Power today is a multifarious compound of economic strength, cultural vibrancy, diplomatic skills and, of course, military power. It is as much about location, as it is about an optimum mix of soft and hard power. In all these departments,
It is a well-known axiom that the strength of a gravitational force is proportional to the mass of a body. In the Asian context, there is just one country that can approach