INDIA'S GRAND STRATEGY: AMBITIONS AND CAPACITY
Thomas, Suzelle M.
Khan, Feroz H.
Halladay, Carolyn C.
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There currently exists a critical consensus that India’s leaders lack a grand strategy to direct internal and external policies. Recent literature focuses increasingly on this issue to address the question of India’s ability to counter China’s rising influence in South Asia and the Indian Ocean Region. This thesis analyzes the ideological and historical factors that have contributed to India’s grand strategy policy-making process. Specifically, the research focuses on two primary schools of strategic thought in India’s rich history: the Indira Doctrine and the Gujral Doctrine. This study builds on George Tanham’s mandala system of strategic thinking, which places India’s spheres of influence into three concentric circles: the core, periphery, and extended neighborhood. Using this analytical framework, this thesis tests the Indira and Gujral Doctrines for their ability to resolve India’s strategic concerns in each sphere of influence. The study concludes that India will not be able to counter China’s influence or project its own global power until strategic issues in the core and periphery are resolved. In light of India’s desire to wield great power, this thesis suggests that India’s leaders draw on the policies found in the Indira and Gujral Doctrines to devise a coherent grand strategy.
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