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A clear-eyed look at modern India’s role in Asia’s and the broader world
One of India’s most distinguished foreign policy thinkers addresses the many questions facing India as it seeks to find its way in the increasingly complex world of Asian geopolitics. A former Indian foreign secretary and national security adviser, Shivshankar Menon traces India’s approach to the shifting regional landscape since its independence in 1947. From its leading role in the nonaligned movement during the cold war to its current status as a perceived counterweight to China, India often has been an after-thought for global leadersuntil they realize how much they needed it.
Examining India’s own policy choices throughout its history, Menon focuses in particular on India’s responses to the rise of China, as well as other regional powers. Menon also looks to the future and analyzes how India’s policies are likely to evolve in response to current and new challenges.
As India grows economically and gains new stature across the globe, both its domestic preoccupations and international choices become more significant. India itself will become more affected by what happens in the world around it. Menon makes a powerful geopolitical case for an India increasingly and positively engaged in Asia and the broader world in pursuit of a pluralistic, open, and inclusive world order.
A look behind the scenes of some of India’s most critical foreign policy decisions by the country’s former foreign secretary and national security adviser.
Every country must make choices about foreign policy and national security. Sometimes those choices turn out to have been correct, other times not. In this insider's account, Shivshankar Menon describes some of the most crucial decisions India has faced during his long career in governmentand how key personalities often had to make choices based on incomplete information under the pressure of fast-moving events.
Menon either participated directly in or was associated with all the major Indian foreign policy decisions he describes in Choices. These include the 200508 U.S.India nuclear agreement; the first-ever boundary-related agreement between India and China; India's decision not to use overt force against Pakistan in response to the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai; the 2009 defeat of the Tamil rebellion in Sri Lanka; and India's disavowal of the first-use of nuclear weapons. Menon examines what these choices reveal about India's strategic culture and decisionmaking, its policies toward the use of force, its long-term goals and priorities, and its future behavior.
Choices will be of interest to anyone searching for answers to questions about how one of the world's great, rising powers makes its decisions on the world stage, and the difficult choices that sometimes had to be made.