India’s Strategic Perceptions: Continuity and Change
The end of the Cold War contributed to a complex security and strategic dynamics. In the evolving paradigm, India, in order to pursue its geo-strategic and security interest s, faces several challenges in reorienting its strategic reformulations and at the same time maintaining its strategic autonomy. Considering the current geo-strategic parameters in the form of rise of China, evolving Pakistan-China ‘all weather friendship’ and ongoing imbroglio in Afghanistan on the one hand and the US strategy to contain China, seek assistance from Pakistan to fight international terrorism and shape smooth transition in Afghanistan on the other hand, places India at the centre-stage of the happenings. Given the current circumstances, no doubt, India is not only poised to play an important role in its region but also, at the same time, it possesses the necessary leverage to shape the strategic and security framework in the region either by siding with China or aligning with the US. However, both the permutations would pose serious challenges to India’s long term strategic calculations. A major objective of this paper is to trace the antecedents of India’s strategic culture since its independence, make a descriptive analysis of the predicament in which India is placed in the post -Cold War strategic era and highlight on India’s strategic policy postures portended not only to maintain its strategic autonomy but also to influence the future of the region and counter balance China-Pakistan nexus.