Brigadier Vijai K Nair, VSM [Retd] Ph.D.
For a variety of reasons up to the early 1980s India tended to look at its security concerns within the limited scope of its adversarial perceptions vis-à-vis Pakistan and China in a bilateral framework that extended to the trilateral implications. It was not until the latter part of the 1980’s that the Indian perspective of its national security concerns started changing in consonance with a growing consciousness of the need to take into account a holistic regional viewpoint and the ripple effect of contentious issues on India’s national interests.
Academicians and institutions that have played a major part in shaping the attitudes and perceptions of the West about India have traditionally circumscribed this limited appreciation of India’s security concerns even further into a straight-jacketed Indo-Pak standoff to the exclusion of all else. This superficial viewpoint has resulted in considerable misunderstanding on the Indian Government’s national security concerns and policies. Even in this context there are substantial misunderstandings of the Indo-Pak imbroglio defining it to the limitations of the ongoing dispute over J&K. The genesis and future direction of the problem lies in deeply rooted ideological, religious, cultural, and historical reasons with the Kashmir problem only a symptom of the larger problem. What needs to be understood is that the Indian Government has a much broader perspective of its security concerns that it has clearly articulated repeatedly in the Ministry of Defence annual Report that is laid before Parliament when passing the Defence budget.
Simultaneously India’s military started getting upgraded to meet the challenges it perceived from the larger security mosaic. By mid 1980s the growing military capabilities had reached a point where it was well placed to facilitate regional stability to some extent. This was demonstrated by the request of Mauritius and Maldives for military intervention to secure the Governments then in power and India’s willingness to oblige.
The global strategic environment underwent major changes with the break up of the Soviet Union and the demise of the established world order. The emerging order is of a highly transient nature and will take time to shape with the period of transition likely to span most of the coming decade. A period that will be characterized by uncertainty making it difficult for policy makers to formulate policies based on cogent criteria. However, what is obvious is that new centres of power have begun to emerge, the most predominant of which are along the Asia-Pacific Rim and in West Asia, Central Asia and South Asia. The emergence of these new centres of power is bound to have major impact on the global/regional balance of power, which in turn, could lead to a period of uncertainty and instability. The other significant development in recent years has been a variety of new factors such as: the changed dynamics of political interaction, increasing economic dependencies, impact of information technology, universality of environmental degradation and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction have also come into play, seriously impacting on the security of nations.
In the 1990s this process moved forward rapidly with India developing a more holistic and focused approach in keeping with its security and strategic perspectives in relation to the other areas of the region, which are outlined in subsequent paragraphs.
As a consequence of the above, the management of national security has acquired new complexities. National security concerns can no longer be evolved by a process limited to the consideration of traditional politico-military threats. In the emerging environment, these would have to be derived from the analysis of a number of diverse and often conflicting factors, many of them having global and regional ramifications. The Indian Government took cognisance of this transformation and introduced greater sophistication in the evolution of its national security concerns as well as in the formulation of security policies and decision making.
India’s main concern at the global level is a continuing uncertainty about the shape of the new international order and the attempts being made by some of the stronger global powers at creating a discriminatory world order dominated by them. This explains their emphasis, on one hand, on things like non-proliferation, weapons transfer and enforcement of civil liberties and human rights, and, on the other, on promoting international forums and regimes which could discreetly be used to shackle the growth and progress of emerging economies. Their attempt to impose treaties like the Nonproliferation Treaty [NPT] and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty [CTBT] is a part of the same effort. In the light of adverse long-term implications of these moves, India must develop a policy framework to counter and defeat all such attempts. This policy framework should include – a firm rejection of any regime or treaty that is either discriminatory or not consistent with the country’s national interests; encouraging the evolution of the international community towards greater multi-polarity; and, finally, developing a common strategy with the other like minded third world countries to fight attempts being made to impose discriminatory regimes on them. In building various initiatives, full use should be made of all available forums, such as the ASEAN, SAARC, and IORI.
India’s other major concerns at the global level is the emergence of a variety of new threats, such as international and trans-border terrorism, proxy and covert wars, insurgencies fuelled from outside, narcotics traffic, money laundering, demographic shifts and information warfare. As some of these threats are already impinging on its security it is imperative for India to strongly emphasise the need for effective international cooperative effort to identify and act against these threats. While doing so, it must be ensured that a strong posture is adopted against any selective unilateral action of the type that was recently taken by the US against Afghanistan and Sudan as it sets a dangerous precedence, which would negate rather than facilitate multilateral approaches to regional security.
At the regional level, India’s principal areas of concern are the continuing threats it perceives from China and Pakistan, and the emerging security environment in the Asia-Pacific region.
There is little doubt that China would be India’s main adversary in the long-term. With its ultimate objective to be a global power, China is not only rapidly building up its military and economic strength but is also trying to extend its area of influence in Asia and Africa. India with its large size and growing economic strength would be seen as a major impediment to her aspirations to become the pre-eminent power in Asia. Furthermore, China occupies approximately 40,000 square kms of Indian territory and lays claim to yet another 90,000 square kms. The potential of Sino-Indian conflict of interests in the region is, therefore, substantial, and China can be expected to undermine India’s capabilities by a wide variety of means – direct, indirect and through studied collusion with other States hostile to India. Be that as it may, India’s immediate interest lies in mending political fences with China and building a closer cooperative relationship, while it takes suitable steps to build a robust conventional capability and appropriate strategic nuclear and missile capabilities for the future.
China has continued the process of modernisation of its Armed Forces and has demonstrated its potential to field ICBMs by test-firing the DF-31 and futuristic trends by the successful conduct of laboratory testing of the DF-41 missiles. It is only a matter of time before Chinese SSBNs in the Indian Ocean becomes a reality. The asymmetry in terms of nuclear forces is almost absolute in favour of China. It is also improving its strategic air and sea-lift capabilities. The PLA is being restructured with a view to enhancing its trans-border military capability by improving mobility, firepower, and ensuring better coordination in joint service operations.
The defence cooperation between China and Pakistan also continues. Besides provision of offensive conventional weapon platforms such as the F-7 fighter aircraft, in the recent past US intelligence agencies concluded that China was directly involved in continuing assistance to Pakistan to develop and produce ballistic missiles that would give teeth to its strategic nuclear arsenal.
At a strategic level, the military balance between China and the other countries of South East Asia is altering further in China’s favour giving it the potential for greater influence and leverages in the region. It is also building strategic relationships with some countries on the Bay of Bengal littoral by providing military aid and weapons. It has supplied most of Sri Lanka’s military hardware. Myanamar, which was recognised by both the British and the Japanese as "the back door to India," has in the past three decades been targeted by China to steadily increase its political, military and economic influence. It bought its way into favour with the Myanamarese Burmese military government by facilitating a peace agreement with the Communist Party of Burma a particularly difficult secessionist group, selling them nearly $2 billion of arms, providing cheap consumer goods, re-building strategic surface communications and upgrading port facilities to enhance maritime activities. A strategy that has given it considerable strategic leverage, including a hinterland to the Indian Ocean from where it can prosecute its seaward strategy. These developments along with China’s strategic partnership with Pakistan have security implications for the region, in general and India in particular.
Indo-Pakistani relations are much misunderstood as they flow from the common belief that these arise from the limited territorial dispute over Kashmir. Nothing could be further from the truth. The J&K imbroglio is only part of a larger malaise. From the time of Independence in 1947 various thinkers and analysts in Pakistan have maintained an anti-Indian stance even through the three and a half decades that the J&K dispute was on the back burner. History, a collective national psyche and religious reasons underpin this animosity. Any number of writings from Pakistan show that it has an unfinished agenda arising from the partition, which transcends the on going dispute over J&K.
There are strong reasons for the Indian establishment to conclude that Pakistan's final objective is not limited to the secession of Kashmir from India and its assimilation within the Pakistani political system. Kashmir is only one of the phases within a larger game plan. This was further reinforced by General Pervez Musharraf, in an exposition he made on 13 April 1999, that even if the Kashmir issue is resolved to the satisfaction of Pakistan, our low intensity conflict will continue. He is reported to have said, “an amicable solution of the Kashmir problem would not be the end of the Indo-Pak imbroglio.”
Pakistan's objective is to dismember India and to emerge as the dominant power in South Asia. To achieve this objective a long-term strategy appears to have been carefully thought out and put into force in the middle 1970s. The instruments it appears to have fallen back on are taken from the global 'Pan-Islamisation' strategy, Islamic fundamentalism, indirect military action, direct military action and nuclear terror.
What also needs to be appreciated is that because of the concentration of Islamic fundamentalists based in Afghanistan the Taliban has outgrown the rigid control imposed by its Pakistani mentors and is fast assuming the ‘pan-Islamic’ mantle to wage Jehad in a concentrically widening area. The fronts of this Pan Islamic Jehad are now in J&K to the East, Chechnya to the North and the Balkans in the West. Pakistan has got caught up in this larger movement and is now actively waging a Jehadi war against India, with all its components – cross border terrorism, narco-terrorism, subversion et al, not only in Kashmir but also the North Eastern extremities of India.
This notwithstanding, Pakistan is not a major player on the Asian scene, nor is it a direct military threat to India. Pakistan’s main importance lies in the fact that it has a critical geo-strategic position in relation to the Central and West Asian region, which are of considerable strategic and economic importance to the Western world. To that extent, the US and other Western States’ policies towards Pakistan would be a factor that could impinge upon India’s security. The continuing Sino-Pak nexus and the clandestine supply of nuclear and missile technology by China to Pakistan and proclivity of Pakistan to use low cost options of terrorism and insurgencies, and of conducting a proxy war in the State of Jammu and Kashmir [J&K] are a matter of great concern to India. However, options available for dealing with these security concerns are constrained by a number of political and military factors and the need to prevent any escalation of events, which would be detrimental to India’s interest. India has, therefore, no option but to follow a two pronged policy vis-à-vis Pakistan – a strong and uncompromising military posture combined with a flexible political approach designed to improve relations by promoting understanding and expanding cooperation in as many fields as possible.
The emerging security environment in the Asia-Pacific region is another major source of concern for India. This concern arises from factors like the US strategic and economic interests in the region, the emergence of China as a major military and economic power, Russian search for new alliances in the area, increasing economic importance of the Asian region by the break up of the former Soviet Union, all have the potential of converting this region into an area of major turbulence in the future. In this scenario, India needs to evolve a broad based strategy that would not only ensure the security of its vital interests but also provide policy options for effectively responding to developing situations in the area.
India’s geo-strategic location dictates that the primary focus of its security policies must be its relationship with the neighbouring countries and the countries that form part of its ‘extended security horizon,’ which in one official publication is defined as, “regions with economic, social, cultural, and environmental linkages result in overlapping security interests.”
India’s security is directly linked with that of its small contiguous neighbours such as Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Maldives and Sri-Lanka who form an integral part of India’s strategic defence. India’s security interests, therefore, lie in promoting close and harmonious relationships with these countries as well as in ensuring that there is no inimical foreign presence or attempts at destabilization of these countries. It is also necessary for India to maintain an out-of –the-country contingency capability to go to the assistance of these countries incase such assistance is asked for.
The countries that form part of India’s ‘extended security horizon’ include the countries of the ASEAN, Central Asia, the Gulf Region and the Indian Ocean community. There is a mutuality of interests between India and these countries in promoting peace and stability in the region, as well as in maintaining a suitable environment for orderly all round development of these States. In recent years, India has initiated a number of new steps to promote peace in the region and to develop greater mutual understanding with these countries. These include forging of links with the ASEAN and the Asian Regional Forum [ARF], initiatives designed to develop closer political, social and cultural relations with the countries of the Central Asian region and the promotion of defence related linkages with countries of ASEAN and Asia Pacific region. These initiatives should be further expanded to enlarge the areas of cooperation and understanding between the countries of the region.
An important challenge to India’s security has recently arisen from the emergence of a fundamentalist regime in Afghanistan. This development is not only a serious threat to India’s secularism, but is also a potentially destabilizing factor in the region. The spill over effect of the emergence of this regime could also have serious implications in terms of its impact on foreign supported militancy in Kashmir. India has, therefore, a stake in seeing the ultimate evolution of a broad-based non-fundamentalist regime in Afghanistan. A greater understanding with Iran and other like minded countries should be an important dimension of India’s policy to achieve this aim.
Another area that merits especial attention in the context of India’s security interests is the Indian Ocean, which “is of strategic importance to India’s security. A substantial part of India’s external trade and energy supplies pass through this region. The Security of India’s Island territories, in particular, the Andaman and Nicobar islands remain an important priority. Drug trafficking, sea-piracy, and other clandestine activities such as gun running are emerging as new challenges to security management in the Indian Ocean Region.” “Owing to its peninsular nature, India has two coastlines that are over 7600 km long with island territories on both sides. India’s Exclusive Economic Zone [EEZ] extends to over two million square kilometers,” giving rise to concerns about peace and stability in the Indian Ocean.
“The island territories in the East are 1300 km away from the mainland and are virtually adjacent to our ASEAN neighbours. Thus, India’s geographical location endows us with vast maritime, economic and energy resources in terms of EEZ, sea-borne trade, living and non-living seabed resources and equally enormous deposits of oil and gas. However, at the same time, these geographical features also entail major security implications.”
The strategic importance of this Ocean lies in the fact that the bulk of the worlds’ oil reserves are located on the Ocean littoral or in the land locked hinterland. It is also the only route through which major powers can access the vast market potential and raw materials of the Asian countries or move forces to safeguard their interests in the area. All major powers, therefore, have a stake in the free movement of shipping through this Ocean. Any attempt to dominate the sea-lanes through this Ocean, could, therefore, lead to a conflict, which in turn could seriously impinge upon India’s security.
An analysis of India’s national security concerns would not be complete without a reference to a variety of non-military challenges that the country faces. In this context, the most significant development in the recent years has been the challenges posed to India’s security by the increased link-up between hostile external forces and domestic forces of political subversion. Pakistan sponsored acts of terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir and elsewhere in India, induction of trained mercenaries to fight a proxy war in Jammu and Kashmir, and the supply of sophisticated weaponry including rockets and highly destructive explosive devices have substantially raised the level of threat being faced by India. Another factor that has raised the level of conflict in India’s troubled region has been the proliferation of small arms in the South Asian region, which is a direct fallout of the Afghan conflict. Added to this is the problem of the intricate linkages between the drug traffickers and arms dealers. As the challenges arising from these transnational problems defy strictly national solutions, India must pursue the policy of building bilateral and multilateral cooperative relationships to deal with these threats.
The long-term objective is to develop a peaceful environment and good relations with all of India’s neighbours extending across the entire depth of the perceived ‘extended security horizon,’ that would facilitate a stable environment for national growth. To achieve this India would endeavour to evolve appropriate initiatives for friendly and cooperative relationships with all countries in West Asia including Pakistan, the Central Asian States, Indian Ocean littoral and the South East Asian States, as the most effective means to develop mutual understanding and ensuring mutual security. To achieve this India needs to formulate and implement political, economic and cultural ties, and where necessary forge arrangements for military cooperation with individual countries in this region and make efforts to weave them into the larger matrix within cooperative multilateral arrangements.
These initiatives fall into the following broad categories:
Develop multilateral initiatives with global and regional powers to fight the scourge of terrorism, drug trafficking, proliferation of small arms, money laundering and so on that are emerging as the primary instruments to destabilise societal norms amongst the developing states thus engendering a threat to the collective security environment.
The Indian ocean region [IOR] is the critical core that binds the economic fabric of the littoral States, the states lying in the ‘extended security horizon’ and the global powers that depend on strategic raw materials to maintain their being. It is also the medium for projection of military power that is required to ensure regional security and stability. India’s central position and its dependence on the stability of the IOR suggests that it participates in all bilateral and multilateral initiatives to police and secure the Indian Ocean from piracy, domination and conflict.
Develop India economically and militarily to enable it to fulfill its responsibilities that go to ensuring stability in the region. China’s growing military power in updating both its conventional military and strategic nuclear weapon capabilities, cast a shadow over the East Asia, Southeast Asia and South Asian regions. In the light of this India is also developing a suitable strategic deterrent capability to correct the imbalances in the power structures that are beginning to emerge.
Finally it is within this region that the non-status-quo ‘Pan Islamic Jehadi Movement’ has put down its roots and is working outwards with a debilitating effect on the stability of the region as a whole and the security of individual States in particular. An initiative designed for a multilateral arrangement to curb and then douse this inflammatory strategy would be in India’s interest.
The emerging security environment in the East Asia region would have a direct bearing on India’s security environment in the long-term. India needs to develop its relations with countries in East Asia and those that fall within its ‘extended security horizon’ i.e. South East Asia to facilitate a benign security environment that would not impinge on the security interests of the States that have a stake in the region. This would include a sensitive approach to US interests in particular.
Multilateral Approaches to Security Management Articulated by the Government Of India
In its Ministry of Defence Annual Report 1999-2000 the Government has laid out the general principals that would govern its approach to multilateral arrangements and initiatives to meet India’s national security interests and has gone on to amplify these in their specific context. Extracts are listed below:
The concept is based on:
1. Promoting further cooperation and understanding with neighbouring countries and implementing mutually agreed confidence-building measures.
2. Working with countries of the Non Aligned Movement (NAM) to address key challenges before the international community and engaging in cooperative security initiatives such as the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF).
3. Pursuing security and strategic dialogues with major powers and key partners.
4. And, following a consistent and principled policy on disarmament and international security issues based on the principles of supreme national interest, universality, non-discrimination and equal security for all salient features of national security environment.
Myanmar. India is cooperating with Myanmar in areas such as border management, control of illegal trafficking of narcotics, and border trade. A security dialogue with Myanmar has been maintained. The relationship is widening into a number of developmental areas, including Agriculture, Power Generation, Transport and Science and Technology.
Central Asian countries and India have a common stake in countering religious extremism and terrorism. India’s traditional links with the region are being strengthened through enhanced dialogue and interaction as well as India’s positive and constructive participation in regional security initiatives such as the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building in Asia (CICA). … Contribution to the development of the region by promoting trade and investments, including through bilateral credits, and offering training facilities. In 1997 India, Iran and Turkmenistan signed a trilateral transit agreement to facilitate trade with Central Asia. India and the countries of Central Asia have a common stake in peace and stability in the region. … Cooperation between India and the Central Asian countries is a high priority on the agenda for closer relations with these countries.
ASEAN. … the fostering of mutually beneficial defence related linkages between India and the countries of south East Asia play an important role in making the Asian region, an area of peace and stability. These linkages could include an increased number of exchange of visits by naval vessels, training of military personnel, joint military exercises, provision of repair facilities for military equipment, supply of spares, joint development of equipment and technologies required by the Armed Forces and engagement in regular political-military dialogues and closer interaction between institutes dealing with defence and strategic issues.
Asia Pacific Region. Since 1996, India has been an active participant in the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), the only security dialogue forum in the Asia-Pacific region. … India sees the ARF as a desirable initiative for fashioning a new pluralistic and cooperative security order in tune with the diversity of the Asia-Pacific region and in consonance with the transition away from a world characterized by blocs built around military alliances.
Russia. India and the Russian Federation have long standing mutually beneficial relations in the field of defence within the overall framework of their time-tested ties that are characterized by continuity, trust and mutual understanding. Long Term Indo-Russian Programme of Military-Technical Cooperation up to 2010 signed in December 1998 was yet another important step in this direction. India and Russia are determined to raise the level of their multifaceted cooperation to a strategic partnership. Both countries seek a multi-polar world and share an identity of views on a wide range of issues, including on the growing scourge of international terrorism. Both appreciate the need for both bilateral and multilateral endeavours to eradicate this scourge. Our defence ties with Russia encompass defence supplies, broad-based cooperation in defence production and R&D, service-to-service exchanges, training and naval ship visits.
USA. The US has resumed its IMET programme and in keeping with the improving relations between the two countries, the institutional framework including the Defence Policy Group, the Joint Technical Group and Service-to-Service level Steering Groups for cooperation evolved over the years, need to be revived and strengthened. The two countries are also engaged in discussions to assess the threat of international terrorism and measures to counter it.
Nuclear Policy & Disarmament. India is consistent in its commitment to the elimination of weapons of mass destruction and to global nuclear disarmament on a universal and non-discriminatory basis. … India (is) committed to cooperating with like-minded States to ensure that the emerging world order will rest on the principles of universality, democracy and non-discrimination. India … shall not transfer nuclear weapons or related know-how to other countries … and maintains an effective system of export controls and shall make it more stringent where necessary to render it more effective in the context of a nuclear India. India has made a formal commitment to no first use of nuclear weapons, maintains a unilateral moratorium on explosive nuclear tests and … is engaged in negotiations at the Conference on Disarmament on a treaty banning production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. India has an effective export control mechanism in place that is continuously refined and updated to prevent the unauthorized transfer of sensitive equipment, material and technologies.
The Proliferation Of Small Arms to non-state actors, the qualitative improvement in the lethality of small arms, in terms of the impact of high technology and their easy availability. … Apart from a deliberate transfer of small arms to parties involved in low intensity conflicts there is also a widespread clandestine movement of such arms in the international market. India would participate in any bilateral or multilateral arrangement that would curb this phenomenon.
Energy Security. India’s energy security would need to take into account some or all of the following factors: Mutually beneficial arrangements with India’s eastern neighbours as well as Nepal for long term energy exploitation and sharing; energy cooperation and sharing arrangements only with countries whose actions do not undermine India’s security; cooperating with other interested parties in protecting the sea-lanes of communication; focused investments in maritime and naval assets to ensure adequate reach and endurance; and greater involvement in exploration projects overseas pertaining to oil and gas resources.
THE US: COMMON DENOMINATOR IN THE REGIONAL AND GLOBAL SECURITY MOSAIC
As of the Second World war US national security interests in the East Asia region developed in keeping with its Cold War strategy to contain the Soviet Bloc and to secure its strategic foothold on the Asian landmass in conjunction with its integral Pacific assets. In keeping with this and the global nature of its national interests the US considers itself an Asian power and has created strategic partnerships in the region that are based on a politico-military and economic plurality. The post Cold War withdrawal of Russian power has caused a debilitating vacuum in the East and Southeast Asian region that has unscrambled the logic of previously put together alliances. This has led to a need for a new approach to secure US security interests along its western flank. Furthermore, the displacement in its strategic military configuration brought about by the removal of strategic bases in Southeast Asia has generated peculiar problems of force projection along the entire breadth of the Asian underbelly, designed to ensure the security of friends and allies that have traditionally been supportive of US national interests in Asia. Therefore, the US is today in the process of re-conceptualising its Asia policies, and restructuring its military means to meet the new ‘Asian order.’ Albeit with the same levels of intensity as it did during the Cold war.
To quite a degree the focus has shifted from Russia to issues that concern the US strategic matrix along the Asia-Pacific Rim i.e. China the emerging economic power with its own nuclear deterrent and regional aspirations that tend to deviate from US strategic interests. The US Administration has not, so far been able to put together a comprehensive and coherent ‘China Policy, which besides causing turbulence with US security policies for the region, has a direct bearing on the perceptions of other regional powers that have to cater for their own security interests.
The issue in determining the nature of multilateral initiatives to ensure stability in the region lies to a great extent in the shaping of US ‘China Policy’ and its ripple effect on the other States of the region. In the words of George W. Bush, "We must see China clearly -- not through the filters of posturing and partisanship. China is rising, and that is inevitable. Here our interests are plain: We welcome a free and prosperous China. We predict no conflict. We intend no threat. And there are areas where we must try and cooperate: preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction … attaining peace on the Korean Peninsula. … Beijing has been investing its growing wealth in strategic nuclear weapons … new ballistic missiles … a blue-water Navy and a long range Air Force. It is an espionage threat … all public dissent against the party and the government effectively silenced … All these facts must be squarely faced. China is a competitor, not a strategic partner. We must deal with China without ill-will -- but without illusions."
As of date we are not certain of the direction that this relationship between the US and China will take. As put most aptly in the Economist, “Whether as partners or competitors—as the Bush team would more accurately have it—America and China have a testy agenda to work through, from China’s troubling proliferation habits and patchy human-rights record, to America’s missile-defence plans and its arms sales to Taiwan.”
In so far as India is concerned it lies in the middle of the areas of US strategic interest – East, West and Central Asia though for policy purposes it falls within the area of responsibility [AOR] of C-in-C Pacific Command [PACCOM]. However, India’s interests in its ‘extended security horizon’ fall in the AOR of both PACCOM and US Central Command, which is responsible for West and Central Asia.
Therefore, while identifying the areas in which multilateral/multinational initiatives to facilitate the management of the security environment are relatively easy, the problem of negotiations and implementation could prove to be difficult.
Having said that, there are numerous areas in which, US and Indian interests converge and provide scope for cooperative arrangements between the two countries. Broadly the areas that have been looked at in recent studies carried out in the respective countries that have identified a number of areas where, the US and India, could cooperate with each other to their mutual benefit are:
Specific interest in keeping the SLOC open. Reduce the load on an over stretched US military which has diminishing base facilities by sharing in the defence of the oil resources in the Gulf and assist in securing the SLOC extending from Malacca to Hormuz Straits and the Cape of Good Hope.
Act in concert with the US to curb terrorism in West and Central Asia against individual terrorist groups and where politically viable against identified ‘state sponsors’ of terrorism.
Ensure that Pan-Islamic fundamentalists do not extend their sway over the region. Take a more active role in Afghanistan to help bring peace to that country and stop the spill over of Taliban[isation] to neighbouring countries.
US concerns in Asia will be guided by the objective of disallowing Asia to be dominated by a power antagonistic to US interests and any Indo-US security arrangement would lie outside the existing understanding of any alliance system. The US would expect India’s role would be limited to helping retain equilibrium on the continent.
The point to be borne in mind is that whatever arrangement or arrangements for different objectives the US and India may arrive at, it is not a strategic alliance against China, but a means to ensure a stable security environment in South and parts of Southeast Asia, which each country requires in its larger national interest. Therefore whatever means India may determine to put into place to counterbalance Chinese influence would necessarily be wholly Indian and unrelated to any bilateral/multilateral security initiatives.
The factors that influence the nature of the global environment in the 21st century are a product of the multiplicity of issues that drove the post Second World War period, as also a complex set of interdependencies that call for a new look at the hitherto limited definition of the term globalisation. Peace and stability is attainable only if the political, socioeconomic, environmental policies that influence the State being in a regional and global security environment are appropriately harmonized. This calls for compatibility in State policies and regional security imperatives within the larger framework of a peaceful and stable global environment. In other words, we are now at that point of civilisational evolution, that to attain stability, States’ security policies need to be woven into a the larger global framework.
The management of the security interests of individual states is a sovereign duty and right that is indisputable, but it is equally susceptible to the vagaries of the regional and global security environment. National security interest’s of States, on the other hand, are a product of the collective national aspirations resulting in specific national goals and threats perceived to the attainment of these goals. The question here is whether we can address the disparate issues in a global perspective, and to do so where do we start? At the bottom, i.e. individual States being persuaded into harmonizing national policies to conform to a regional model? Or do we agree on a global model that is acceptable to all so that regional and State security frameworks can be designed to conform with the desired global pattern?
The disparity in the power quotients of States and their contribution to the global order is such that I do not see a consensus on a model for a secure and stable global order emerging. As the same logic applies at the regional level, especially where the variations in perceptions of the geographical and political limits of a region are sharply defined. The answer lies in creating bilateral and multilateral security arrangements between States to reduce existing and emerging tensions in matters related to the security environment.
 Lieutenant General K. K. Hazari, PVSM, AVSM. [Retd]. Seminar Proceedings – “Perspectives on National Security”, 23-26 November 1998. National Defence College, New Delhi.
 Ministry of Defence annual Report FY 2000-01. Paragraph 1.21. p. 5.
 Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Mushaf Ali Mir. ‘PAF to Acquire F-7 Aircraft From China.’ The DAWN. Dateline 13 March 2001.
 Statement by Director of Central Intelligence George J. Tenet before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on the "Worldwide Threat 2001: National Security in a Changing World" (as prepared for delivery) - 07 February 2001. “Chinese missile-related technical assistance to foreign countries also has been significant over the years. Chinese help has enabled Pakistan to move rapidly toward serial production of solid-propellant missiles.”
 Ministry of Defence annual Report FY 2000-01. Paragraph 1.29. p. 7
 General Pervez Musharraf. Address to the Karachi Chapter of the ‘English Speaking Union.’ Reported by the Indian High Commissioner in Pakistan who was present at the proceedings. Aldo ‘Public Opinion Trends’ POT Pakistan. May 19, 1999. pp. 1692-93.
 Brigadier A.R. Siddiqui, in an article in The Nation. April 29, 1999.
 K. K. Hazari. Op.Cit.
 Ministry of Defence annual Report FY 2000-01. Paragraph 1.23. p. 6.
 Ministry of Defence annual Report FY 2000-01. Paragraph 1.8. pp. 3-4.
 Ambassador Sha Zukang. Actually, such updating is generally practiced by all nuclear-weapon countries, not just by China, which has been developing nuclear weapons over the past 40 year or so, said Sha. Cited by Xinhua News Agency. Dateline Beijing 14 March 2001.
 George W Bush. In a pre-election statement made on national TV network.
 Bush’s Asian challenge - Mar 15th 2001. From The Economist print edition.