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Fumbling soft state: Forget Pakistan, for South Asian countries India is fair game

Discussion in 'Indian Army' started by anuanoop0, Jan 15, 2013.

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  1. anuanoop0

    anuanoop0 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    When Swedish economist Gunnar Myrdal coined the phrase "soft state" in the early 1960s, he did have countries such as India in mind.
    What he was speaking of was states that had low expectations from its citizens.
    Today, the phrase is used to refer to countries like India in a different way - as states which, despite their size and power, are unable to exercise the influence that should by right be theirs.
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    Indian Border Security Force (BSF) soldiers patrol along the India-Bangladesh border at Fulbari on the outskirts of Siliguri

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    China has invested heavily in the Burmese army

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    Geography gives Pakistan a big advantage in the post-American pullout phase in Afghanistan

    India is larger than all the other South Asian nations combined, but despite its size and economy, it looks like a pitiable giant in the neighbourhood.
    Whether it is Bangladesh, Sri Lanka or Nepal - leave alone Pakistan - cocking a snook at India is par for the course.

    Take Sri Lanka, a country for whose security more than 1,000 soldiers and officers of the Indian Peacekeeping Forces (IPKF) laid down their lives.
    Yet, today, Colombo keeps New Delhi at an arm's length and ignores the politically sensitive Indian concern over the rehabilitation of its Tamil minority.
    This is despite a highly favourable free trade agreement that has increased commerce between the two countries manifold and promoted Indian investment in the island.

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    India is larger than the rest of its South Asian neighbors combined

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    Despite strong trade links India's political ties with Sri Lanka remain strained over the Tamil minority

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    India could do little when the island-nation threw out GMR from its new airport project

    As for Nepal, not even the US and Canada have the kind of open border that India has with its northern neighbour, one that is of enormous benefit to the Nepalese.
    Yet, every government that takes office in Nepal thinks nothing of playing the Chinese card against India.
    With the Maoists having become an important force in the country, China's influence is likely to grow, though India has been diplomatically quite effective in checking this trend as of now.
    India is not a small country - on a European map it would stretch from Minsk to Madrid. It has the world's largest standing army, and one of the larger air forces and navies.
    Its economy is already eight times as large that of the next biggest country, Pakistan, and slated to get even bigger in the coming decade.
    India's advantages are accentuated by geography and culture.
    The former makes India the natural centre of the subcontinent - Bangladesh is virtually "India locked" as is Nepal because of the high Himalayas, and Pakistan is cut off from West Asia by turbulent Afghanistan and the deserts of Balochistan.
    One important reason for India's inability to exercise its clout is that the smaller countries have, at various times, brought in effective "offshore balancers" to counter India.


    Read more: WORLD-DEFENSE-REVIEW: Fumbling soft state: Forget Pakistan, for South Asian countries India is fair game
     
  2. Guynextdoor

    Guynextdoor Lt. Colonel SENIOR MEMBER

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    Re: Fumbling soft state: Forget Pakistan, for South Asian countries India is fair gam

    BS
     
  3. AccessDenied

    AccessDenied Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    Re: Fumbling soft state: Forget Pakistan, for South Asian countries India is fair gam

    Dude....seriously??

    I find at least some of the things to be true; like the situation in SL and Bangladesh. While I do not agree with the crux of the argument in the article i,e to turn ourselves into some sort of a regional bully; I do agree that we have to stop relying solely on soft power in our foreign policies. The way lanka, nepal and bangladesh are leaning towards China is evidence that our foreign policy in the region is either flawed or inadequate in scope.
     
  4. Guynextdoor

    Guynextdoor Lt. Colonel SENIOR MEMBER

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    Re: Fumbling soft state: Forget Pakistan, for South Asian countries India is fair gam

    We were never known to be a 'soft power'. J N Dixit was called 'Viceroy' of India in Sri Lanka. The author is a numbskull:

    A) Sri Lanka: While the author waxes eloquent on 'IPKF', let him also reflect upon the fact that the original Sinhalese revolution segregated against the Tamils and remained so for several decades. Recent military victories establishing Mahinda Rajapakse was after an explicit agreement with India to reverse that segregation and ensure Tamilian rights will be maintained and, at enormous political risk, the president there is proceeding to maintain the terms of that agreement. You wanna know how risky it is? The general who led the offensive ( a folk hero there and was considered a presidential candidate) not only tried to garrison Tamil dominated areas but also launch a coup to capture the presidency itself (something we helped him avoid). The port that the chinese are building was first offered to India- only after we rejected it did the Sri Lankans take it China. I guess the author will not feel happy about Indian influence until he sees every sri lankan crawl on his knees- that sort of stuff doesn't happen.

    B) Nepal- may the author reflect upon the fact that 'Maoist' comes from 'Mao' ie the chinese 'Mao'. We didn't lose nepal because of any shortfall in foreign policy- it was because one kooky prince decided to take an A K 47 and mow down all of his family. That created a situation in which through a violent revolution the maoists took over. And if the author is implying that maoist comrades are singing to china's tunes (that is not the full case, we still have good control over policy there) and not India's then...wheel back to the 1st sentence of maoists from china

    c) Bangladesh is one of our most spectacular succeses in recent times. After following a policy of hostility towards india for well over two decades, their government has tried to seal a better relationship. They just booted out and handed over to us several top ulfa leaders- is this guy on crack?

    India's foreign policy was and is one of the most effective institutions and Pak's misadventure DOESN't take away some of the excellent work that they have done till date. The author, as I said, is a numbskull.
     
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  5. AccessDenied

    AccessDenied Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    Re: Fumbling soft state: Forget Pakistan, for South Asian countries India is fair gam

    Awesome if you are right.
     
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