The tragedy of partition was compounded by the economic division of South Asia, an outcome that did not need to accompany the political separation. India’s efforts at regional economic integration will have implications for both peace and development.
The emerging concept of India as a “first responder” reflects the country’s growing capability and increasing willingness to assume the role of a leading power.
Regional connectivity projects give Afghanistan a substantive trading alternative to Pakistan and provide a powerful mechanism for trade and economic development.
One of the unintended consequences for China from the Doklam crisis would be an India that is forced to think far more strategically about coping with China’s power.
India’s traditionally neutral position in the Middle East has ended with the landmark Israel visit. The future balancing of India’s westward pivot will be determined by a new regional order led assertively be Saudi Arabia, and one which sees Iran as enemy number one.
As India settles into an extended military standoff with China in the Himalayas, it can’t afford to take its eyes off Beijing’s maritime forays in the Indian Ocean.
While India’s current approach is focused on connectivity and friendly delivery, one should not forget that its geostrategic and democratic concerns about Sri Lanka can often induct a sudden policy shift.
In 1990, India conducted the world’s largest civilian airlift to evacuate more than 100,000 members of the Indian diaspora from Kuwait during the Gulf War. In 2016, the Hindi film “Airlift” depicted the evacuation operations.
The uncertainty surrounding the Trump administration has created a space for India to take more of a lead in the region.
Keeping India’s policy on an even keel will take constant work and will require periodic “wins” for Trump to feel that his—and American—interests benefit from this relationship.