MILITARY DIPLOMACY AND ITS ROLE IN THE FOREIGN POLICY OF NEPAL
Chatterjee, Anshu N.
Halladay, Carolyn C.
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Historically, Nepal’s relations with China and India had their share of ups and downs. Nepal, given its imbalance in military strength, has less potential to use its military as a hard power to pursue its national interests. This study explores the dynamics of Nepalese military diplomacy in three separate time periods: from 1857 to 1949, during the Rana regime; from 1950 to 1990, after the fall of the Rana regime, the first democratic period in Nepal until the end of monarchical rule; and from 2008 to 2018. The primary patterns of Nepal’s military diplomacy have consisted of appeasing its powerful neighbors, balancing one neighbor against another, practicing nonalignment and internationalism with the United Nations (UN), and maintaining equi-proximity with both neighbors. While some patterns helped Nepal secure its vital interests, others have contradicted its national interests. The study recommends three policy options for effective military diplomacy. Nepal should reassess the 1950 Treaty of Peace and Friendship with India and negotiate and reject any provisions that prevent Nepal from pursuing independent foreign relations with China or any other state. Nepal should capitalize on peacekeeping as a tool of foreign policy and try to maintain its clout in UN affairs. Finally, Nepal should develop a doctrine for how it will use military diplomacy to support foreign policy.
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