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Editorial (12 Jan, 2022) – Drishti IAS

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This editorial is based on the article “The Sail That Indian Diplomacy, Statecraft Need” published in ‘The Hindu’ on 11/01/2022. It discusses the recent geopolitical changes in Central Asia and Eurasia and India’s diplomatic needs in this scenario.

Reference

The year 2021 has been a year of unfortunate events related to Iran’s nuclear issue, rising oil and gas prices, deepening crises in Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and the return of Taliban to power with US withdrawal from Afghanistan. All these developments are of great concern to India’s continental security interests. India’s continental strategy, of which the Central Asian region is an essential link, has progressed gradually over the past two decades, with a focus on promoting connectivity, increasing defense and security cooperation, expanding India’s ‘soft power’ and trade and India tried its best in areas like promoting investment. This is commendable but as it is now clear, it is not sufficient to address the wider geopolitical challenges prevailing in this region. Striking the right balance between continental and maritime security will be most reassuring to India’s long-term security interests.

Geopolitical changes in Eurasia

  • Recent Events: The outspoken rise of China, the withdrawal of US and NATO forces from Afghanistan, the rise of Islamic fundamentalist forces, and the changing dynamics of Russia’s historically stabilizing role (most recently in Kazakhstan)—all these developments have contributed to the landslides in the Eurasian landmass. The stage has been set for the intensification of political rivalry.
    • This geopolitical competition is marked by the weaponization of resources and geographical access in the form of dominance by China and other major powers.
  • Centrality of Russia in Eurasian Geopolitics: The current crises in Belarus, Ukraine, the Caucasus and Kazakhstan may each have its own specific logic and trajectory, but combined they are reshaping the geopolitics of Eurasia.
    • Russia, with its vast geographical expansion in Eurasia, is at the center of this reorganization.
    • Moscow’s military intervention in Kazakhstan and its recent talks with the US on Europe’s security underscore Russia’s centrality in Eurasia.
  • China’s increasing interference: China’s willingness and capacity for military intervention and power projection now extend far beyond its immediate territory.
    • China is not only rising in the maritime domain as a major power, but it is also expanding its territory on the Eurasian continent through the following steps:
      • in central asia Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) projects expanding to Central and Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, reducing traditional Russian influence
      • Access to energy and other natural resources.
      • Dependency investing.
      • cyber and digital penetration, and
      • Expanding influence among political and economic elites across the continent.
  • Decline in American influence: Although the US has a substantial military presence on the continental periphery, the US military presence on the main Eurasian landmass has decreased substantially.
    • While in 1992 there were more than 2,65,000 US troops stationed under European command, their number now stands at 65,000.
    • The US had about 100,000 troops in the early 1990s in the area now known as the ‘Indo-Pacific Command’, which, despite the rise of China’s military power, currently has only about 90,000 soldiers, often from Japan and Japan. Committed to the regional defense of South Korea.
    • Although the US is a pre-eminent naval power in the region, it defines its strategic priorities in the light of its own power, particularly in the Indo-Pacific.

associated challenges

  • Limited impact on site area: The US, which can be an important ally in consolidating the Indian position in Eurasia, is a powerful force in the Indo-Pacific region, but it has left relatively little influence in the land area.
    • The associated dimensions of maritime security and naval power are not sufficient instruments of state policy as India seeks to build diplomatic and security to fortify itself against unilateral actions by China and the emergence of unipolar Asia.
  • India’s Border and Connectivity Problems: The continued threat from Pakistan and China on two fronts set the stage for a difficult continental dimension of India’s security. There has been an increase in the militarization of the borders with Pakistan and China.
    • India has been subjected to a land embargo by Pakistan for more than five decades, revealing a strange relationship scenario between two states that are not technically engaged in war.
      • Connectivity has no meaning if access continues to be blocked by an enemy neighboring state contrary to the principles of international law.

way ahead

  • Central Asia is the key to Eurasia: It is relatively easy to build a protective wall against Chinese maritime expansionist advantage and reverse its advantage compared to the long-term strategic advantage that China hopes to secure in continental Eurasia.
    • Just as Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) The centrality of India is the key to the Indo-Pacific, the centrality of the Central Asian states should be important to Eurasia.
  • Solving connectivity problems: It may seem strange that while India stands with the US and other countries in supporting the right to freedom of navigation in the maritime domain, it does not demand India’s right to interstate trade, commerce and transit with the same force. —whether it is in the context of a barrier imposed by Pakistan on transit to Central Asia or the lifting of the US embargo on transit into Eurasia via Iran.
    • The challenges to India’s physical connectivity with Eurasia have become even more serious with the recent developments in Afghanistan.
    • India’s deprivation position in the Eurasian continent in terms of connectivity needs to be reversed.
  • Ensuring Continental and Maritime Interest: It is very clear that India will not have the opportunity to choose one country over the other, so it will have to acquire the necessary strategic vision and acquire the necessary resources to advance continental interests without ignoring its interests in the maritime domain. Will have to deploy.
    • For this, more assertive efforts for continental rights (transit and access), greater cooperation with partners in Central Asia and Iran and Russia, and Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) more active engagement with the economic and security agendas of the

Conclusion

India will need to define its own standards of continental and maritime security in line with its interests. The strategic autonomy inherent in doing so will help India’s diplomacy and state policy move through the difficult scenario of the near and distant future.

custom question: Striking the right balance between continental and maritime security will be most reassuring to India’s long-term security interests. Comment

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Usama Younus

Usama Younus is the owner and super admin of the site he's is an expert in news editing, tech and entertainment magazine management, and articles editing E.T.C.

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