Nuclear weapons have been shaping the conduct of power politics in South and Southern Asia particularly since Indian and Pakistan tested nuclear weapons in 1998. Pakistan-India-China is a unique triangle in the world where all these three nuclear weapon states share the geographical boundaries with each other. These states do have reasonable missile capabilities too. There are some variations amongst these states in regards to their nuclear weapons holdings however; every state is anticipated to have a minimum of around 100 weapons each.
India from having primarily a continental strategic outlook for most part of the 20th century has started to expand its strategic horizon beyond the South Asian and Indian Ocean regions to the wider regions of the Indo-Pacific in an effort to establish itself as a Great Power in the 21st century. The Indo-Pacific is important to New Delhi’s strategic outlook as it helps transform India from being a continental power to a competing maritime power in the international system.
China has gone around Asia, particularly, Southeast Asia telling countries to behave because they are smaller than China. Beijing however, is strangely more diffident when it comes to Pyongyang’s consistently cocking a snook at it and also complicating China’s regional security environment at the same time.
A joint military exercise has been planned between Nepal and China to be held in February, 2017 causing serious discomfort to India’s strategic interests. The joint military exercise, first of its kind between the two countries, named Pratikar-1, will be training the Nepalese armed forces to deal with hostage kind of scenarios involving foreign terror groups.
When Barack Obama won the American Presidential elections in 2008, there was not much enthusiasm among most of the Indian strategic community. This was partly because of his views on outsourcing, but mostly because of a popular assumption in the community that Republican Presidents are better for India than Democrats. Those who propagate this assumption of course conveniently forget President John F Kennedy’s help during the Sino-Indian War and President Richard Nixon’s infamous ‘tilt’ towards Pakistan and his rapprochement towards China.
In 2015, India was recognised as the main driver of non-OECD oil demand growth at 1.8 million barrels per day (mb/d). Buoyed by low oil prices, India’s consumer demand witnessed a significant boost, reflecting in its record growth in oil demand, which jumped to 0.3 mb/d in 2015 on a year-over-year basis. India, expected to overtake Japan as Asia’s largest oil consuming nation, had found its budget deficit worsening due to oil prices hovering above $100 a barrel.
Questions on credibility of massive retaliation in India's nuclear doctrine have persisted since its public revelation in 2003. Persistence of these questions was evident in the recent round of debates on review of India’s nuclear doctrine, sparked by Defence Minister, Manohar Parrikar’s remarks on the doctrine.
If there is one major global governance issue that could take a hit with Donald Trump’s victory, it is climate change.
The year 2016 closes without India having gained entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). The expectations for this had reached a crescendo around the middle of the year when the Indian application was taken up at the plenary meeting in June in South Korea. However, China did not allow this to happen, burdening the Indian case for membership with several technical, procedural and political issues. Some other nations had a few issues too.
The 2016 South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Summit was cancelled – throwing light on the fragile nature of relations between nations in South Asia. The Narendra Modi-led government applied substantial pressure on Pakistan and stated a clear intent on highlighting that when push comes to shove, diplomacy has to give way to tougher measures.