Partnership in a Balance of Power System

K. Subrahmanyam was Director of the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses from 1969 to 1975 and from 1980 to 1987.
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  • October 2005

    The popular perception in India is that with the end of the Cold War and the collapse of one of the two Superpowers, the bipolar international system has become unipolar. The United States is now assumed to be an unchallenged sole Superpower. Consequently, it is felt in some quarters that the Indo-US Joint Statement of July 18, 2005 is a case of US recruiting India as one of its allies for possible future containment of China. Such a perception nurtures suspicion about the US and its motivation about its attempts to befriend India. Unless there is a clear assessment of the US objective and confidence that it will serve Indian interests, the Government of India will have difficulties in implementing the agreement. The US needs to be considered more realistically as the foremost among six major power centres that constitute a global balance of power system and not the sole superpower with unchallenged domination of the international system. In such a context, increasing cooperation with the US in a number of critical areas fully serves India’s strategic interests. The US too needs a strong India to pursue its own economic, political, and security goals. A strong Indo-US relationship in no way prevents India from having beneficial partnerships with the other major powers in the current international system.

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