Choices: Inside the Making of India¿s Foreign Policy

Choices: Inside the Making of India¿s Foreign Policy

by Shivshankar Menon


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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 government—and 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 2005–08 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780815729105
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
Publication date: 10/18/2016
Series: Geopolitics in the 21st Century
Pages: 176
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Shivshankar Menon is a former foreign secretary and national security advisor to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India. He also served as India’s ambassador to China, Sri Lanka, Israel, and Pakistan. He is presently a distinguished fellow at the Brookings Institution and chair of the Advisory Board of the Institute of Chinese Studies in New Delhi India.

Table of Contents

List of Maps ix

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction 1

1 Pacifying the Border: The 1993 Border Peace and Tranquility Agreement with China 7

2 Natural Partners: The Civil Nuclear Initiative with the United States 34

3 Restraint or Riposte? The Mumbai Attack and Cross-Border Terrorism from Pakistan 60

4 Force Works: Sri Lanka Eliminates the Tamil Tigers, 2009 82

5 Why India Pledges No First Use of Nuclear Weapons 105

6 A Final Word 124

Notes 139

Index 147

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