12 Jan INDIA-CENTRAL ASIA AND OTHER POWERS ( IR )
INDIA-CENTRAL ASIA AND OTHER POWERS- Today Current Affairs
CONTEXT: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is going to host 5 Central Asia leaders at the Republic Day Parade on January 26, highlighting the prominence of the Central Asian region in India’s security.
Developments of concern for India’s continental security interests-
- The collapse of American military power in Afghanistan
- The incorporation of Kabul by the Taliban
- The advancing influence of Pakistan and China.
In India’s continental strategy, the Central Asian region is an important link, witnessing progress over the past two decades, promoting-
- security and defence cooperation
- adding to India’s soft power and boosting trade and investment.
Focus on Eurasia: The Hindu Analysis
- Rise of China
- The withdrawal of the United States/NATO forces from Afghanistan.
- The rise of Islamic fundamentalist forces.
- The changing dynamics of Russia’s role ex. in Kazakhstan.
Related multilateral mechanisms, like —
- Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)
- Collective Security Treaty Organisation
- Eurasian Economic Union
All have set the stage for hiking the geopolitical competition on the Eurasian landmass.
Nature of new competition, practised by China and other big powers is like-
- To weaponise the resources and geographical access as dominating form
India need to evolve the effective continental strategy, to deal with it.
Some course correction: The Hindu Analysis
During the past decade, India’s maritime vision and ambitions have grown dramatically, proof is-
- The National Maritime Strategy
- The Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR) initiative for the Indian Ocean Region
- Major initiatives relating to the Indo-Pacific and the Quad
It was also a response to the dramatic rise of China as a military power.
That said, maritime security is important to keeping sea lanes open for trade, commerce and freedom of navigation, resisting Chinese territorial aggrandisement in the South China Sea and elsewhere, and helping littoral states resist Chinese bullying tactics in interstate relations.
To strengthen deterrence against Chinese unilateral actions and the emergence of a unipolar Asia→ India seeks diplomatic and security policies alongwith latest developments
The notable feature is that- Chinese willingness and capacity for military intervention and power projection are increasing by leaps and bounds in the maritime domain as well as expanding on the Eurasian continent via its Belt and Road Initiative.
Like ASEAN, centrality is key to the Indo-Pacific and Eurasia.
Border, connectivity issues→ with Pakistan and China.
Increased militarisation of the borders with Pakistan and China
- The Ladakh sector
- Permanent deployment on the Siachen Glacier
India has been facing over 5 decades to a land embargo by Pakistan, though technically not at war.
The India’s marginalisation of the Eurasian continent in terms of connectivity should be reversed.
Explaining case of the U.S. : The Hindu Analysis
The following developments will have intense consequences for Eurasian security-
- The ongoing U.S.-Russia confrontation relating to Ukraine
- Russian opposition to future NATO expansion
- The broader questions of European security, following the demise of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty.
The bottom line is clear – the U.S. would be severely stretched if it wanted to simultaneously increase its force levels in Europe and the Indo-Pacific.
If a major conflict erupts in Central Europe, pitting Russia, Ukraine and some European states — it will stall any hopes of a substantial U.S. military axis to the Indo-Pacific.
Russia and China do not need to be alliance partners to allow for coordinated actions relating to Taiwan or Donbas.
Going forward, it is clear India will not have the luxury of choosing one over the other; we would need to acquire strategic vision and deploy the necessary resources to pursue our continental interests without ignoring our interests in the maritime domain.
This will require a more assertive push for our continental rights —
- working with our partners in Central Asia
- with Iran and Russia
- Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU)
- Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO)
Striking the right balance between continental and maritime security will, perhaps be the best guarantor of India’s long-term security interests.
India need to define its own parameters of continental and maritime security having its own interests in mind.
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Plutus IAS Current Affairs Team Member