Archive for January, 2012

Indian views on a nuclear armed Iran

Can India play a role in preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons? Today’s post highlights the differences in opinion amongst top Indian experts on issues of nuclear disarmament, India’s energy security, and Indian-Iranian relations.

India’s “Great Power Realists” and “Hyper-Nationalists” are ideologically in favor of nuclear deterrence as a means of maintaining international security. On the other hand, “Leftists” and “Neo-Nationalists” are staunchly opposed to any country acquiring nuclear weapons.

  • Bharat Karnad, well-known security expert at New Delhi’s Center for Policy Research in New Delhi, believes that India is more secure because it has nuclear weapons. He does not support President Barack Obama’s call for global nuclear disarmament, and generally is less critical of the possibility of a nuclear-armed Iran.
  • Mani Shankar Aiyar, Member of the Indian Parliament, argues that universal, non-discriminatory and verifiable nuclear disarmament should be the most important item on the international community’s security agenda. He considers all nuclear-armed countries, from the United States to China to Iran, as threats to India’s security; even India itself should not have developed nuclear weapons.

For those opposed to a nuclear-armed Iran, what do they think should be done? “Liberal Globalists” and “Standard Nationalists” tend to support multilateral diplomacy over great power politics. (more…)

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Conference on India as a Global Power: Contending Views from India

Bharat Karnad, Lalit Mansingh, Deepa Ollapally, TN Ninan, Mani Shankar Aiyar

Bharat Karnad (Centre for Policy Research), Lalit Mansingh (Indian Foreign Service), Deepa Ollapally (GWU), TN Ninan (Business Standard), Mani Shankar Aiyar (Rajya Sabha) on Session 1 Panel: Indian Views on National Security and Defense

The Rising Powers Initiative, in partnership with the Center for New American Security (CNAS) hosted a conference on January 23 and 24 in Washington, D.C. entitled, “India as a Global Power: Contending Views from India.” The conference featured a panel of prominent Indian guests. The delegation included Mani Shankar Aiyar, Member of Indian Parliament, Rajya Sabha (Council of States); Bharat Karnad, Research Professor in National Security Studies, Centre for Policy Research; Lalit Mansingh, Former Foreign Secretary of India and Ambassador to the United States; and TN Ninan, Chairman and Chief Editor of the Business Standard.

The morning of January 23 included two sessions on Indian Views on National Security and Defense and Indian Views on Economics, International Institutions, and Transnational Issues. The first panel, chaired by co-PI Deepa Ollapally, elicited the Indians’ diverging views on national security and defense topics. Specifically, panelists debated Indian foreign policy on Pakistan, China, the South China Sea, Afghanistan, and Iran.   (more…)

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Taiwan’s Election and Reactions from Asian Powers

On January 14, Taiwan’s voters elected incumbent President Ma Ying-jeou to a second term in office, while also giving his ruling Nationalist Party (KMT) a legislative majority. In this post, we highlight Chinese, Indian and Japanese commentaries on the implications of this election for cross-strait relations and regional politics.


The party-owned press hailed Ma’s electoral victory as one more step closer toward political negotiations with Taiwan:


Indian commentaries focused on the opportunity to expand India’s economic relations with Taiwan, with references to geopolitical competition with China:


Japanese newspapers from different ends of the political spectrum converged in their skepticism that Ma’s victory boded more stable cross-strait relations:

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