India: Regional Concerns, Global Ambitions
John H. Gill
India faces three major challenges in the near term: coping with incipient shifts in domestic politics, sustaining and expanding economic growth, and progressing to a greater role in Asian and world diplomacy. All of these challenges fall under the shadow of India-Pakistan tensions. The two rivals, however, have a rare and fleeting opportunity to move beyond unpredictable and increasingly dangerous crises to build a sustainable process that minimizes the risk of war. The United States, momentarily enjoying good relations with both countries, can assist in this process by careful and consistent attention over the long term. Crucial to stability in South Asia, India will also begin to acquire greater influence on its periphery and across the globe, particularly in Afghanistan, Central Asia, the Persian Gulf, Southeast Asia, and China. India and the United States will have to strike a balance between their mutual interest in cooperation and India’s inclinations toward strategic autonomy and a multipolar world order.