India in the ASEAN Geopolitical Construct

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has a geopolitical dimension that people outside the foreign policy circuit in India may not be sufficiently aware of. The ASEAN has always wanted to influence the shape of the regional order in Southeast Asia and the role of major powers in it. How can a group of ten relatively small countries aspire to manage the geopolitics of a region that is stalked by military or economic giants like the US and Japan and rising behemoths like China and India with populations of more than one billion each?

Daljit Singh

Pakistan: Flawed Electoral Environment

The declaration by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) that the presidential polls will be held on October 06 is of critical concern. It is imperative to point out that the ECP has played a very crucial role in facilitating the re-election bid of President Musharraf by declaring that he would be eligible to contest elections, despite a constitutional ban on government officials from standing for elections unless they retire two years prior to the polls.

Samrat Sinha

MRCA Deal: Strategic Considerations & Arms Card

The much awaited request for proposal (RFP) for 126 medium-range multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) was finally announced by the Ministry of Defence in a press release on 28 August 2007. It took nearly two years of deliberations since the request for information (RFI) was issued in late 2005. Six bidders, considered ‘gorillas’ in military business, will compete for the massive $ 10.2 billion contract, dubbed as ‘mother of all deals’ in the history of Indian arms acquisition.

Deba R. Mohanty

ISRO Marching Ahead

Despite more than three decades of international restriction on technology regime, India’s space program has successfully launched INSAT 4CR satellite early this month. The satellite has life span of ten years and it carries 12 high-power Ku-band transponders for direct-to-home television services, facilitate video picture transmission and digital satellite news gathering. The success of this test is very important particularly when viewed at the background of last year’s failure.

Ajey Lele

USS Nimitz in Indian Coast: The Gunboat Diplomacy

The docking of the USS Nimitz in Chennai port has challenged India’s independent foreign policy and its long-lasting tradition against imperialism, colonialism, and superpower hegemony. Supporters of Nimitz’s brief visit who praise it as a testimony to bourgeoning Indo-US strategic relationship should acknowledge the long drawn coercive history of Nimitz nuclear ship and the use of ‘gunboat diplomacy’ to restore US’ imperialistic interests.

Gyana Ranjan Panda

Negotiating With China- II

The fundamental cultural influences [mentioned in the first part of the article, “Negotiating with China-I”, Article No:120, June 14, 2007], have left their imprint upon the negotiating style of the Chinese. Scholars like John Graham and Mark Lam (The Chinese Negotiation. Harvard Business Review, October 2003) have identified and defined a set of eight elements that one would have to contend with when dealing with the Chinese.

Amrish Sahgal

Negotiating with China- I

After four decades of a political standoff, the recent thaw in Sino-Indian relations has seen a renewal of dialogue and the start of substantive negotiations between the two countries. But negotiating with the Chinese – the inscrutable Orientals, as the Europeans called them – requires a very different set of sensitivities and skills to what we Indians are accustomed. Our negotiating skills have largely been limited to Americans, Europeans and West Asians who are distinctly more transparent, open and non-contextual in their negotiations than the Chinese or the traditional Japanese.

Amrish Sahgal

India and the US: Engaged Democracies!

‘Estranged democracies’ is how Dennis Kux once characterised relations between the US and India. For a large part of India’s independent history, Kux’s characterisation hit the nail bang on the head. A norm of suspicion with regards to the American’s seemed to have institutionalised itself within India’s strategic culture, and there were good reasons for this.

Rudra Chaudhuri

Intriguing Indifference: Examining India-Bangladesh Bilateral Ties

With so many ups and downs in the past, New Delhi has pinned high hopes on the military backed Caretaker Government in neighboring Bangladesh for better and progressive ties. Though strange on the part of India to give positive nod to a military powered regime, it strongly believes that the current regime may continue for longer and for better. It seems the campaign for democracy in Southern Asia is not in the priority list of India, for now.

Dr. Satish Kumar