Introduction The concept of balance of power is full of contradictions but it has been one of the most important ideas in the area of international relations. This concept is a very simple one but its free usage by many individuals has caused a great confusion in understanding it. Hence the term balance of power refers to the general concept of one or more states’ power being used to balance that of another state of group of states. Alliances between the states play a key role in the concept of balance of power. Hence in order that a state needs to remain in power, it forms an ally of another state so that the ratio of power gets balanced.
Every state in present day tries to be in par with the great powerful states, it may not be practically possible, however alliances of many states make those allied states almost bring equilibrium in power. Thus the balance’s underlying principle was that all the nth disengaged powers would tend to intervene on the side tat seemed in danger of losing any ongoing war, to ensure that such a loser was not eliminated from the system and absorbed into an emerging colossus.  Balance of power is a central concept in neorealist theory.
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A state’s position determine whether it would engage in balancing or bandwagoning behaviour. It could be said that the balance of power is as old as history itself, for it is no more than the percept of common sense, born of experience and the instinct of self-preservation. Definition ??? The balance of power ‘refers to an actual state of affairs in which power is distributed among several nations with approximate equality’. ??? Morgenthau, 1978. ??? Martin Wight (Butterfield and Wight, 1966: 151) identified nine distinct meaning, or at least nine different ways in which the concept has been used.
Not all can be held to have equal validity, though all have been commonly used. An incorrect usage remains even if it is used frequently. 1. An even distribution of power. 2. The principle that power ought to be evenly distributed. 3. The existing distribution of power. Hence any possible distribution of power. 4. The principle of equal aggrandizement of the great power at the expense of t weak. 5. The principle that our side ought to have margin of strength in order to avert the danger of power becoming unevenly distributed. 6. When governed by the verb ‘to hold’:) A special role in maintaining an even distribution of power. 7. (When governed by the verb ‘to hold’:) A special advantage in the existing distribution of power. 8. Predominance. 9. An inherent tendency of international politics to produce an even distribution of power. ??? The ambiguity of the concept is well captured by Haas, who attaches eight meanings to the balance of power. The salient of these meanings are: 1. A description of the distribution of power as an exact equilibrium of power between two or more contending parties 2.
An equivalent to “stability” or “peace as a universal law of history” 3. A guide to “policy making” 4. Emphasizing “conscious and deliberate behaviour and decision making” ??? The term balance of power is used in the text with four different meanings: 1. As a policy aimed at a certain state of affairs 2. As an actual state of affairs 3. As an approximately equal distribution of power or 4. As any distribution of power. It is difficult to give exact definition to balance of power because as Martin Wright says “the notion is notoriously full of confusions”. Inis. L.
Claude also says: “The trouble with the balance power is not that it has no meaning but that it has too many meanings” But essential idea is very simple but when principle is applied to the international relations, the concept of power means “that through shifting alliances and countervailing pressures, no one power or combinations of powers will be allowed to grow so strong as to threaten the security of the rest” as per Palmer and Perkins. India’s Balance of Power In the Nehru-Gandhi era: After India’s independence there arose a great series of disputes involving India and China, and Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The other nations like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan feared on their national security and particularly about the domination by either India or China. When crises arose in the South Asian region, states made efforts to compensate for these unequal relationships by forming alliances. Indo-Pak rivalry was the one very unique, as the states tried to over power on the territory of Kashmir. The Pakistan got its military support from the US by joining the SEATO in 1954 and CENTO in 1955 and also from the Muslim states of Middle East.
On the other hand India had got its major support from the Soviet Union. Meanwhile, the US had invited India to join its alliance in the Cold War. But Nehru rejected it and adopted the policy of non-alignment as he thought that alliances and counter-alliances were the underlying cause of the war. But he leaned heavily towards the Soviet Union for the military support against an American armed Pakistan. In a speech to the Indian Council of World Affairs in 1949, Nehru argued that India should remain aloof from a global system of military balances: “If war comes, it comes. It has to be faced.
The prevention of war may include providing for our own defense and you can understand that, but that should not include challenges, counter-challenges, mutual cursing, threats, etc. these will certainly will not prevent war but only make it come near” “The fact of the matter is that in spite of our weakness in the military sense ??? because obviously we are not a great military power, we are not an industrially advanced power ??? India even counts in world affairs” The Indian Parliament received a massive criticism for having signed away the Tibet’s independence to China in 1954.
What Nehru’s government had not foreseen was the indirect, perhaps inadvertent, threat that would arise from the American-Pakistani alliances under SEATO and CENTO. The Sino-Indian tensions culminated in war in 1962. This created a doubt in the minds of the Jan Sangh Party-Opposition part (which is now the BJP) about Nehru’s non-alignment policy and it claimed that “the policy of non-alignment was formulated against the background of the Cold War between two power blocs…Today when we are aggressed, we must have allies.  Later in 1970s India developed quasi-alliance with the Soviet Union. Even though the signing of the Indo-Soviet Treaty of Peace and Friendship in 1971. By the mid-1970s, the linkages between regional and global strategic conditions reflected classic conventional balance of power relationships, notwithstanding the fact that the US, the Soviet Union, and China were nuclear weapons states. They followed the ancient and balance of power principle: “an enemy of my enemy is my friend. ” Cold War Conflict Postures and State Alignments Regional Conflicts |Global Conflicts | |India-Pakistan |United States-USSR | |India-China |United States-China (before 1971) | |Pakistan-Afghanistan |China-USSR (after 1963) | |Interrelated Conflicts |Alignment Tendencies | |Pakistan v. India, India v. China |( Pakistan and China | |India v. China, China v. USSR |( India and USSR | |Afghan. V. Pakistan, Pak. v. India |( Afghanistan and India | |China v. USSR, USSR v.
US |( China and United States | |Group One Alignment ( Pakistan, China and United States | |Group Two Alignment ( India, USSR and Afghanistan | After the December 1971 Indo-Pakistani war, there was growing recognition among India’s leaders that the Indo-Soviet Treaty of Peace and Friendship that Prime Minister Indira Gandhi forged in August 1971 was probably insufficient to deter Chine or US intervention in the wars in South Asia. Hence, India maintained its nuclear weapons option, which Indira Gandhi chose to demonstrate in a “peaceful nuclear explosion” in May 1974. India did not exploit its new nuclear capability following Western condemnations of the test, but willingness to exercise the nuclear option remained intrinsic to Indian security planning thereafter.
India had been concentrating in making itself as a powerful state. It was opined that India would never emerge as one of the global power i. e. the sixth center power in the world after collapse of the Soviet Union. But the opening of the globalization era and successful nuclear missile tests, there is no doubt that India is one of the six members in the global balance of power. Balance of Power in the Age of Globalization till the recent years: Expansion of relations with the west: After disappointing itself for decades, India is now on the verge of becoming a great power. The world started to take notice of India’s rise when New Delhi signed a nuclear pact with President George W.
Bush in July 2005, but that breakthrough is only one dimension of the dramatic transformation of Indian foreign policy that has taken place since the end of the Cold War. After more than a half century of false starts and unrealized potential, India is now emerging as the swing state in the global balance of power. In the coming years, it will have an opportunity to shape outcomes on the most critical issues of the twenty-first century: the construction of Asian stability, the political modernization of the greater Middle East, and the management of globalization. Although India’s economic growth has been widely discussed, its new foreign policy has been less noted. Unlike their U. S. counterparts, Indian leaders do not announce new foreign policy doctrines.
Nonetheless, in recent years, they have worked relentlessly to elevate India’s regional and international standing and to increase its power. New Delhi has made concerted efforts to reshape its immediate neighborhood, find a modus vivid with China and Pakistan (its two regional rivals), and reclaim its standing in the “near abroad”: parts of Africa, the Persian Gulf, Central and Southeast Asia, and the Indian Ocean region. At the same time, it has expanded relations with the existing great powers – especially the United States. India is arriving on the world stage as the first large, economically powerful, culturally vibrant, multiethnic, multi religious democracy outside of the geographic West.
As it rises, India has the potential to become a leading member of the “political West” and to play a key role in the great political struggles of the next decades. Whether it will, and how soon, depends above all on the readiness of the Western powers to engage India on its own terms. Three Strategic Circles: India’s grand strategy divides the world into three concentric circles. In the first, which encompasses the immediate neighborhood, India has sought primacy and a veto over the actions of outside powers. In the second, which encompasses the so-called extended neighborhood stretching across Asia and the Indian Ocean littoral, India has sought to balance the influence of other powers and prevent them from undercutting its interests.
In the third, which includes the entire global stage, India has tried to take its place as one of the great powers, a key player in international peace and security. Three things have historically prevented India from realizing these grand strategic goals. First, the partition of the South Asian subcontinent along religious lines (first into India and Pakistan, in 1947, then into India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, in 1971) left India with a persistent conflict with Pakistan and an internal Hindu-Muslim divide. It also physically separated India from historically linked states such as Afghanistan, Iran, and the nations of Southeast Asia. The creation of an avowedly Islamic state in Pakistan caused especially profound problems for India’s engagement with the Middle East.
Such tensions intertwined with regional and global great-power rivalries to severely constrict India’s room for maneuver in all three concentric circles. The second obstacle was the Indian socialist system, which caused a steady relative economic decline and a consequent loss of influence in the years after independence. The state-socialist model led India to shun commercial engagement with the outside world. As a result, India was disconnected from its natural markets and culturally akin areas in the extended neighborhood. Finally, the Cold War, the onset of which quickly followed India’s independence, pushed India into the arms of the Soviet Union in response to Washington’s support or Pakistan and China — and thus put the country on the losing side of the great political contest of the second half of the twentieth century. Despite being the largest democracy in the world, India ended up siding with the opposite camp on most global issues. The last decade of the twentieth century liberated India from at least two of these constraints; state socialism gave way to economic liberalization and openness to globalization, and the Cold War ended. Suddenly, New Delhi was free to reinvent its foreign policy — positioning itself to face the rise of China, shifting its strategic approach to its other neighbors, and beginning to work closely with the world’s existing great powers. Series of influences:
India’s recent embrace of openness and globalization has had an especially dramatic effect on the country’s role in the region. As the nations of the subcontinent jettison their old socialist agendas, India is well positioned to promote economic integration. Although the pace has been relatively slow, the process has begun to gain traction. The planned implementation of the South Asian Free Trade Agreement this summer signals the coming reintegration of the subcontinent’s markets, which constituted a single economic space until 1947. At the same time, optimism on the economic front must be tempered by an awareness of the problematic political developments in India’s smaller neighbors.
The struggle for democracy and social justice in Nepal, interminable political violence and the rise of Islamic extremism in Bangladesh, and the simmering civil war in Sri Lanka underscore the potential dangers of failing states on the subcontinent. There are also the uncertain futures of Pakistan and Afghanistan: defeating religious extremism and creating modern and moderate states in both countries is of paramount importance to India. A successful Indian strategy for promoting peace and prosperity within the region would require preventing internal conflicts from undermining regional security, as well as resolving India’s own conflicts with its neighbors. In the past, great-power rivalries, as well as India’s own tensions with Pakistan and China, have complicated New Delhi’s effort to maintain order in the region.
Today, all of the great powers, including the United States and China, support the Indian objective of promoting regional economic integration. The Bush administration has also started to defer to Indian leadership on regional security issues. Given the new convergence of U. S. and Indian interests in promoting democracy and countering extremism and terrorism, New Delhi no longer suspects Washington of trying to undercut its influence in the region. As a result, it is more prepared than ever to work with the United States and other Western powers to pursue regional goals. Meanwhile, the external environment has never been as conducive as it is today to the resolution of tendon-Pakistani conflict over Kashmir.
The conflict has become less and less relevant to India’s relations with the great powers, which has meant a corresponding willingness on New Delhi’s part to work toward a solution. Of particular importance has been the steady evolution of the U. S. position on Kashmir since the late 1990s. The support extended by President Bill Clinton to India in its limited war with Pakistan in 1999 removed the perception that Washington would India and inevitably align with Islamabad in regional conflicts. But India remained distrustful of the Clinton administration’s hyperactive, prescriptive approach to Kashmir. It has been more comfortable with the low-key methods of the Bush administration, which has avoided injecting itself directly into the conflict.
The Bush administration has also publicly held Pakistan responsible for cross-border terrorism and has extracted the first-ever assurances from Pakistan to put an end to the attacks. New Delhi does not entirely believe these promises, but it has nonetheless come to trust Washington as a source of positive of influence on Islamabad. These developments have opened the way for a peace process between the two governments. With the growing awareness that the normalization of relations with Pakistan would end a debilitating conflict and help India’s regional and global standing, New Delhi has begun to negotiate seriously for the first time in decades.
Although the pace of talks has not satisfied Pakistan, the two sides have agreed on a range of confidence-building measures. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has rejected the idea of giving up territory, but he has often called for innovative solutions that would improve living conditions and for common institutions that would connect Kashmiris across the Line of Control. Singh has made clear that the Indian leadership is ready to risk political capital on finding a diplomatic solution to Kashmir. India’s recent effort to resolve its long-standing border dispute with China has been just as bold. New Delhi decided in 2003 to seek a settlement with Beijing on a political basis, rather than on the basis of legal or historical claims.
As a result, during Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s visit to New Delhi in April 2005, India and China agreed on a set of principles to guide the final settlement. The two governments are now exploring the contours of mutually satisfactory territorial compromises. India’s search for practical solutions to the disputes over Kashmir and its border with China suggests that the country has finally begun to overcome the obsession with territoriality that has consumed it since its formation. Ironically, the nuclearization of India and Pakistan in 1998 may have helped in this regard: although nuclearization initially sharpened New Delhi’s conflicts with both Islamabad and Beijing, it also allowed India to approach its territorial problems with greater self-assurance and pragmatism. Liberated India:
Progress on the resolution of either of these conflicts, especially the one over Kashmir, would liberate India’s political and diplomatic energies so that the country could play a larger role in the world. It would also finally release India’s armed forces from the constraining mission of territorial defense, allowing them to get more involved in peace and stability operations around the Indian Ocean. Even with all the tensions on the subcontinent, the armies of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh have been among the biggest contributors to UN peacekeeping operations. The normalization of Indo-Pakistani relations would further free up some of the best armed forces in the world for the promotion of the collective good in the greater Middle East, Africa, and Asia.
Even as the Kashmir and China questions have remained unsettled, India’s profile in its extended neighborhood has grown considerably since the early 1990s. India’s outward economic orientation has allowed it to reestablish trade and investment linkages with much of its near abroad. New Delhi is negotiating a slew of free- and preferential-trade agreements with individual countries as well as multilateral bodies including the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and the Southern African Development Community. Just as China has become the motor of economic growth in East Asia, a rising India could become the engine of economic integration in the Indian Ocean region.
After decades of being marginalized from regional institutions in different parts of Asia, India is also now a preferred political partner for ASEAN, the East Asian Summit, the GCC, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and the African Union. Moreover, it has emerged as a major aid donor; having been an aid recipient for so long, India is now actively leveraging its own external assistance to promote trade as well as political objectives. For example, India has given $650 million in aid to Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban. Meanwhile, the search for oil has encouraged Indian energy companies to tail their Western and Chinese counterparts throughout the world, from Central Asia and Siberia and to western Africa and Venezuela. On the security side, India has been actively engaged in defense diplomacy.
Thanks to the strength of its armed forces, India is well positioned to assist in stabilizing the Indian Ocean region. It helps that there has been a convergence of U. S. and Indian political interests: countering terrorism, pacifying Islamic radicalism, promoting democracy, and ensuring the security of sea-lanes, to name a few. The Indian navy in particular has been at the cutting edge of India’s engagement with the region — as was evident from its ability to deploy quickly to areas hit by the tsunami at the end of 2004. The Indian navy today is also ready to participate in multinational military operations. Axes and Allies: The end of the Cold War freed India to pursue engagement with all the great powers — but especially the United States.
At the start of the 1990s, finding that its relations with the United States, China, Japan, and Europe were all underdeveloped, India moved quickly to repair the situation. Discarding old socialist shibboleths, it began to search for markets for its products and capital to fuel its long-constrained domestic growth. Economic partnerships were easy to construct, and increasing trade flows provided a new basis for stability in India’s relations with other major powers. India’s emergence as an outsourcing destination and its new prowess in information technology also give it a niche in the world economy — along with the confidence that it can benefit from economic globalization.
Barely 15 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, India’s omni directional engagement with the great powers has paid off handsomely. Never before has India had such expansive relations with all the major powers at the same time — a result not only of India’s increasing weight in the global economy and its growing power potential, but also of New Delhi’s savvy and persistent diplomacy. The evolution of Sino-Indian ties since the 1990s has been especially important and intriguing. Many see violent conflict between the two rising Asian powers as inevitable. But thanks to New Delhi’s policy of actively engaging China since the late 1980s, the tensions that characterized relations between them from the late 1950s through the 1970s have become receding memories.
Bilateral trade has boomed, growing from less than $200 million in the early 1990s to nearly $20 billion in 2005. In fact, China is set to overtake the European Union and the United States as India’s largest trading partner within a few years. The 3,500-kilometer Sino-Indian border, over which the two countries fought a war in 1962, is now tranquil. And during Wen’s visit to India in April 2005, India and China announced a “strategic partnership” — even though just seven years earlier New Delhi had cited concerns over China as a reason for performing nuclear tests, prompting a vicious reaction from Beijing. India has also cooperated with China in order to neutralize it in conflicts with Pakistan and other smaller neighbors.
In the past, China tended to be a free rider on regional security issues, proclaiming noninterference in the internal affairs of other nations while opportunistically befriending regimes in pursuit of its long-term strategic interests. This allowed India’s sub continental neighbors to play the China card against New Delhi when they wanted to resist India’s attempts to nudge them toward conflict resolution. But now, Beijing has increasingly avoided taking sides in India’s disputes, even as it’s economic and security profile in the region has grown. China is not the only Asian power that India is aiming to engage and befriend. Japan has also emerged as an important partner for India, especially since Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has transformed Japanese politics in the last few years.
During a visit to New Delhi just a couple of weeks after Wen’s in April 2005, Koizumi announced Japan’s own “strategic partnership” with India. (This came despite Japan’s harsh reaction to India’s nuclear test in 1998, which prompted Japanese sanctions and an effort by Tokyo to censure India in the United Nations and other multilateral forums. ) Amid growing fears of a rising China and the incipient U. S. -Indian alliance, Japan has elevated India to a key player in its long-term plans for Asian security. Recognizing the need to diversify its Asian economic portfolio, Tokyo has also, for political reasons, begun to direct some of its foreign investment to India (which has overtaken China as the largest recipient of Japanese development assistance).
Since the start of the Bush administration, Japan has also shown increasing interest in expanding military cooperation with India, especially in the maritime domain. India, too, has recognized that it shares with Japan an interest in energy security and in maintaining a stable balance of power in Asia. Japan actively supported India’s participation in the inaugural East Asian Summit, in December 2005, despite China’s reluctance to include New Delhi. Neither India nor Japan wants to base their political relationship exclusively on a potential threat from China, but both know that deepening their own security cooperation will open up new strategic options and that greater coordination between Asian democracies could limit China’s impact.
India’s relations with Europe have been limited by the fact that New Delhi is fairly unimpressed with Europe’s role in global politics. It senses that Europe and India have traded places in terms of their attitudes toward the United States: while Europe seethes with resentment of U. S. policies, India is giving up on habitually being the first, and most trenchant, critic of Washington. As pessimism overtakes Europe, growing Indian optimism allows New Delhi to support unpopular U. S. policies. Indians consistently give both the United States and the Bush administration very favorable marks; according to a recent Pew Global Attitudes poll, for example, the percentage of Indians with a positive view of the United States rose from 54 percent in 2002 to 71 percent in 2005.
And whereas a declining Europe has tended to be skeptical of India’s rise, the Bush administration has been fully sympathetic to India’s great-power aspirations. Still, India does have growing economic and political ties with some European powers. Although many smaller European countries have been critical of the U. S. -Indian nuclear deal, the continent’s two nuclear powers, France and the United Kingdom, have been supportive. Paris, in particular, bet long ago (well before Washington did, in fact) that a rising India would provide a good market for high-tech goods; with this in mind, it shielded New Delhi from the ire of the G-8 (the group of eight highly industrialized nations) after India tested nuclear weapons in May 1998.
In the last several years, the United Kingdom has also started to seize economic opportunities in India and has been generally accommodating of New Delhi’s regional and global aspirations. In the wake of the Soviet Union’s collapse, India also worked to maintain a relationship with Russia. The two states resolved residual issues relating to their old semi-barter rupee-ruble trading arrangements, recast their 1971 peace and friendship treaty, and maintained military cooperation. When President Vladimir Putin succeeded Boris Yeltsin, in 2000, India’s waiting game paid off. A newly assertive Moscow was determined to revive and expand its strategic cooperation with India.
New Delhi’s only problems with Moscow today are the weakening bilateral trade relationship and the risk of Russia’s doing too much to strengthen China’s military capabilities. Charm Offensive: At the end of the Cold War, the prospect of India’s building a new political relationship with the United States seemed remote. Washington had long favored Pakistan and China in the region, India had in turn aligned itself with the Soviet Union, and a number of global issues seemed to pit the two countries against each other. Yet after the Cold War, India set about wooing the United States. For most of the Clinton administration, this sweet-talking fell on deaf ears, in part because Clinton officials were so focused on the Kashmir dispute and nonproliferation.
Clinton, driven by the unshakable assumption that Kashmir was one of the world’s most dangerous “nuclear flashpoints” and so needed to be defused, emphasized “preventive diplomacy” and was determined to “cap, roll back, and eventually eliminate” India’s nuclear capabilities. Of course, Clinton’s approach ran headlong into India’s core national security concerns — territorial integrity and preserving its nuclear option. Pressed by Washington to circumscribe its strategic capabilities, New Delhi reacted by testing nuclear weapons. But even as it faced U. S. sanctions, New Delhi also began to proclaim that India was a natural ally of the United States.
Although the Clinton administration was not interested in an alliance, the nuclear tests forced the United States to engage India seriously for the first time in five decades. That engagement did not resolve the nuclear differences, but it did bring Clinton to India in March 200o — the first American presidential visit to India in 22 years. Clinton’s personal charm, his genuine empathy for India, and his unexpected support of India in the 1999 war with Pakistan succeeded in improving the atmospherics of the relations and in putting New Delhi on Washington’s radar screen in a new way. It took Bush, however, to transform the strategic context of U. S. -Indian relations.
Convinced that India’s influence will stretch far beyond its immediate neighborhood, Bush has reconceived the framework of U. S. engagement with New Delhi. He has removed many of the sanctions, opened the door for high-tech cooperation, lent political support to India’s own war on terrorism, ended the historical U. S. tilt toward Pakistan on Kashmir, and repositioned the United States in the Sino-Indian equation by drawing closer to New Delhi. India has responded to these sweeping changes by backing the Bush administration on missile defense, the International Criminal Court, and finding alternative approaches to confronting global warming. It lent active support to Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan by protecting U. S. ssets in transit through the Strait of Malacca in 2002, agreed to work with the United States on multinational military operations outside of the UN framework, and, in 2005 and 2006, voted twice with Washington against Iran — an erstwhile Indian ally — at the International Atomic Energy Agency. India also came close to sending a division of troops to Iraq in the summer of 2003 before pulling back at the last moment. Every one of these actions marked a big departure in Indian foreign policy. And although disappointed by India’s decision to stay out of Iraq, the Bush administration recognized that India was in the midst of a historic transformation of its foreign policy — and kept faith that India’s own strategic interests would continue to lead it toward deeper political cooperation with Washington.
New Delhi’s persistence in reaching out to Washington since 1991 has been driven by the belief that only by fundamentally changing its relationship with the world’s sole superpower could it achieve its larger strategic objectives: improving its global position and gaining leverage in its relations with other great powers. But India’s ability to engage everyone at the same time might soon come to an end. As U. S. -Chinese tensions grow and Washington looks for ways to manage China’s influence, questions about India’s attitude toward the new power politics will arise: Can India choose to remain “nonaligned” between the United States and China, or does India’s current grand strategy show a clear bias toward the United States?
The nuclear pact unveiled by Bush and Singh in July 2005 — and consolidated when Bush went to New Delhi in March 2006 — was an effort by Washington to influence the ultimate answer to that question. Bush offered to modify U. S. nonproliferation laws (subject to approval by Congress, of course) and revise the global nuclear order to facilitate full cooperation with India on civilian nuclear energy. New Delhi, in return, has promised to separate its civilian and military nuclear programs, place its civilian nuclear plants under international safeguards, and abide by a range of nonproliferation obligations. India’s interest in such a deal has been apparent for a long time.
Having failed to test weapons before the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty was drafted, in 1968, India was trapped in an uncomfortable position vis-a-vis the nuclear order: it was not willing to give up the nuclear option, but it could not be formally accommodated by the nonproliferation regime as a nuclear weapons state. India’s motives for wanting a change in the nuclear regime are thus obvious. But for the Bush administration, the deal is less about nuclear issues than it is about creating the basis for a true alliance between the United States and India — about encouraging India to work in the United States’ favor as the global balance of power shifts.
Ironically, it was the lack of a history of mutual trust and cooperation — stemming in part from past nuclear disputes — that convinced the Bush administration that a nuclear deal was necessary. An impossible ally: Many critics argue that the Bush administration’s hopes for an alliance are misplaced. They insist that the traditionally nonaligned India will never be a true ally of the United States. But such critics misunderstand India’s nonalignment, as well as the nature of its realpolitik over the past 60 years. Contrary to a belief that is especially pervasive in India itself, New Delhi has not had difficulty entering into alliances when its interests so remanded.
Its relationship with the Soviet Union, built around a 1971 peace and friendship treaty, had many features of an alliance (notwithstanding India’s claim that such ties were consistent with nonalignment); the compact was in many ways a classic response to the alignment of Washington, Beijing, and Islamabad. India has also had treaty-based security relationships with two of its smaller neighbors, Bhutan and Nepal, that date back to 1949-50 ??? protectorate arrangements that were a reaction to China’s entry into Tibet. In fact, there is no contradiction between India’s alleged preference for “moralpolitik” (in opposition to pure power politics, or Machtpolitik) and the Bush administration’s expectation of an alliance with India.
New Delhi is increasingly replacing the idea of “autonomy,” so dear to Indian traditionalists, with the notion of India’s becoming a “responsible power. ” (Autonomy is thought appropriate for weak states trying to protect themselves from great-power competition but not for a rising force such as India. ) As India starts to recognize that its political choices have global consequences, it will become less averse to choosing sides on specific issues. Alliance formation and balancing are tools in the kits of all great powers — and so they are likely to be in India’s as well. That India is capable of forming alliances does not, however, mean that it will necessarily form a long-term one with the United States.
Whether it does will depend on the extent of the countries’ shared interests and their political capacity to act on them together. The Bush administration expects that such shared interests — for example, in balancing China and countering radical Islam in the Middle East — will provide the basis for long-term strategic cooperation. This outcome is broadly credible, but it is by no means inevitable, especially given the United States’ seeming inability to build partnerships based on equality. When it comes to facing a rising China, India’s tendency to engage in regional balancing with Beijing has not come to an end with the proclamation of a strategic partnership between the two nations.
Indeed, preventing China from gaining excessive influence in India’s immediate neighborhood and competing with Beijing in Southeast Asia are still among the more enduring elements of India’s foreign policy. Despite Western concerns about the military regime in Myanmar, New Delhi has vigorously worked to prevent Yangon from falling completely under Beijing’s influence, and India’s military ties with the Southeast Asian nations are expanding rapidly. In 2005, when Pakistan pushed for giving China observer status in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, India acted quickly to bring Japan, South Korea, and the United States in as well.
Given India’s deep-seated reluctance to play second fiddle to China in Asia and the Indian Ocean region — and the relative comfort of working with a distant superpower — there is a structural reason for New Delhi to favor greater security cooperation with Washington. In the Middle East, too, India has a common interest with the United States in preventing the rise of radical Islam, which poses an existential threat to India. Given its large Muslim population — at nearly 150 million, the third largest in the world — and the ongoing tensions stemming from the subcontinent’s partition, India has in the past acted on its own to avert the spread of radical Islam.
When Washington aligned with conservative Islamic forces in the Middle East during the Cold War, India’s preference was for secular nationalist forces in the region. When the United States acted ambivalently toward the Taliban in the mid-1990s, India worked with Russia, Iran, and the Central Asian states to counter the Taliban by supporting the Northern Alliance. Now, although some in India are concerned that alignment with the United States might make India a prime target for Islamist extremists, there is no way India can compromise with radical Islam, which threatens its very unity. But shared interests do not automatically produce alliances.
The inequality of power between the two countries, the absence of a habit of political cooperation between them, and the remaining bureaucratic resistance to deeper engagement in both capitals will continue to limit the pace and the scope of strategic cooperation between India and the United States. Still, there is no denying that India will have more in common with the United States than with the other great powers for the foreseeable future. While New Delhi has acknowledged that U. S. support is necessary for India’s rise to be successful, Washington has recognized India’s potentially critical role in managing emerging challenges to global order and security.
As a major beneficiary of accelerating globalization, India could play a crucial role in ensuring that other developing countries manage their transitions as successfully as it has, that is, by taking advantage of opportunities while working to reduce the pain of disruption. Given the pace of its expansion and the scale of its economy, India will also become an important force in ensuring that the unfolding global redistribution of economic power occurs in an orderly fashion. Meanwhile, India could become a key player in the effort to modernize the politics of the Middle East. If nothing else, India’s success in ensuring the rights and the integration of its own Muslim minority and in reaching peace with Pakistan would have a powerful demonstration effect.
To secure a long-term partnership with India, Washington must build on the argument of “Indian exceptionalism” that it has advanced in defense of the recent nuclear pact, devising a range of India-specific policies to deepen cooperation. India is unlikely, however, to become a mere subsidiary partner of the United States, ready to sign on to every U. S. adventure and misadventure around the world. It will never become another U. S. ally in the mold of the United Kingdom or Japan. But nor will it be an Asian France, seeking tactical independence within the framework of a formal alliance. Given the magnitude of the global security challenges today, the United States needs more than meek allies.
It should instead be looking to win capable and compatible partners. A rising India may be difficult at times, but it will act broadly to defend and promote the many interests it shares with Washington. Assisting India’s rise, then, is in the United States’ own long-term interest. Paradoxical India India is a study in stark contradictions. And as two new reports nicely illustrate, perhaps nowhere is this truer than in the country’s effort to achieve great power status. One of the foundations of India’s growing stature on the world stage is its dynamic, internationally-competitive private sector ??? an area where India shines in contrast to China’s reliance on state-owned enterprises.
Indian entrepreneurs and business leaders are admired worldwide, and the country’s rising “soft power” appeal rests in important measure on its reputation for corporate prowess. Indeed, the Indian approach to frugal innovation (“jugaad”) has become the latest buzzword in Western business circles (for example, ‘The India Way’, a new book published by Harvard Business School). And the country’s technology titans ??? Infosys, Tata Consulting Services and Wipro ??? have quickly become global icons that are poised to challenge the world-wide dominance of such U. S. services providers as IBM, Accenture and EDS. A new report by Ernst & Young shines additional light on this aspect of Indian power. It finds that the country’s companies are developing new frontiers in Europe.
Indian investors are now the second-ranked providers ??? just behind the Americans ??? of foreign direct investment in Europe in the business services, software and financial sectors. The report also predicts that China and India will emerge as the most attractive destinations for global FDI flows over the next three years. But as a second just-released report highlights, India still has far to travel before it can truly claim to play in China’s economic league. According to a survey??of some 1,400 expatriate business executives in Asia, conducted by the respected Hong Kong-based firm, Political and Economic Risk Consultancy, India holds the dubious distinction of possessing Asia’s most inefficient bureaucracy.
The Indian penchant for copious amounts of red tape, the report argues, is holding the country back from matching China’s world-beating growth rates, not to mention deterring additional foreign investment. The survey’s findings mirror the results of several other studies:?? ??? The World Bank’s 2010 survey on the ease of doing business ranks India 133rd out of 183 countries (right behind Tanzania and Malawi). By comparison, China places 89th. ??? The 2009-2010 Global Competitiveness Index issued by the World Economic Forum, scores India 95th out of 133 countries in terms of the burden of government regulation (China ranks 21st). ??? The 2010 Index of Economic Freedom put out by the Heritage Foundation (a Washington DC-based think tank) and the Wall Street Journal ranks India 124th (right behind Cote d’Ivoire).
In the area of business freedom, India scores well below global standards and significantly lower than in China. As the Index notes, “India’s overly restrictive regulatory environment does not facilitate entrepreneurship or realization of the economy’s full potential. ” India’s ascent up the great-power ladder is one of the signal developments of the 21st century. Yet as these new reports make plain, the country is making the climb with its hands restrained. Conclusion Balance of power remains as a guide in understanding international relations. The role played by balance of power considerations and politics have been witnessed in several regions of the world. Countries like China,
Russia, India, Israel and Iran, faced with twin risks of conflict in their backyard and American intervention, have been increasingly sensitive to power relations both in their immediate neighbourhoods and at the global level. A world of six balancing powers and balance of power politics among them is altogether a new experience for the Indian political class, bureaucracy, media and academia. Over the last 60 years, this nation has been conditioned, to denigrate the politics of balance of power. It never occurred to our politicians that non-alignment was balance of power in a bipolar world where the two powers that constituted the opposing poles could not go to war because of nuclear deterrence. Already, India is fast learning to play the balance of power politics.
There are strategic partnerships between India on the one side and Russia, the US, EU, China and Japan on the other side as individual partners. The balance of power relationship is a dynamic one that needs continuous adjustment in the relationships to ensure an equilibrium. Therefore, to effectively tackle the foreign policy and defence problems of the 21st century, India needs to replace the old, Cold War mindset, develop a new understanding of the emerging world and come to terms with both balance of power politics and globalization. Some of the shibboleths of the last 50 years such as non-alignment, unipolar world, the public sector at the commanding heights of economy, autarchic economics and technology etc. have to be shed. This is not an easy task. Bibliography Books: 1.
Balance of Power, Theory and Practice in the 21st Century, Edited by T. V. Paul, James J. Writz, and Michel Fortmann (Stanford Unversity Press, Stanford, California, 2004) 2. International Relations, Joshua S. Goldstein and Jon C. Pevehouse, 9th Edition (Pearson-Longman, 2006) 3. The Balance of Power, History and Theory, Michael Sheehan (New York: Routledge, 1996) 4. Politics Among Nations, The Struggle for Power and Peace, Hans J. Morgethau, Edited by Kenneth Thompson and David Clinton, 7th Edition (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1978) Articles: 1. Emerging Power, The Tribune, Special Supplement, Chandigarh, Saturday, September 24, 2005 2.
Concept of Balance of Power in International Relations, Subhya Pandey, March 16, 2009, www. legalserviceinida. com ———————–  George H. Quester, Offense and Defense in the International System (1977, p. 64)  Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s Foreign Policy: Selected Speeches, September 1946- April 1961 (New Delhi: Publications Division, Government of India, 1961), 46.  Ibid. , 47.  From the 1967 election manifesto of the Jan Sing, in K. Raman Pillai, India’s Foreign Policy: Basic Issues and Attitudes (Meerut: Meenakshi Prakashan, 1969), 232  http://www. doingbusiness. org/Rankings  http://www. weforum. org/documents/GCR10/Full%20rankings. pdf  http://www. heritage. org/index/Ranking. aspx