Indian Military Diplomacy Essay

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ISA S Working Paper No. 144 – 20 February 2012 469A Bukit Timah Road #07-01 Tower Block National University of Singapore Singapore 259770 Tel: 6516 4239 / 6516 6179 Fax: 6776 7505 / 6314 5447 Email: isassec@nus.edu.sg Website: www.isas.nus.edu.sg From Isolation to Partnership: The Evolution of India’s Military Diplomacy C. Raja Mohan1 Introduction On the face of it, ‗military‘ and ‗diplomacy‘ belong to two very different realms. Diplomacy is peaceful interaction between nations aimed at resolving differences and promoting cooperation. If diplomacy is the first line of engagement between states, military is seen as the last and involves use of force. The connection between diplomacy and use of force, however, should not be seen as two ends of a spectrum. States have long used demonstration of military capabilities and threats of use of force as instruments to boost negotiating leverage with other states. ‗Gunboat diplomacy‘ is a well-established tradition in modern statecraft. Military diplomacy, as a term, has gained currency in recent years, especially after the Cold War, when Western powers began to more frequently deploy armed forces for a range of new missions—from peace-keeping and peace-building to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. The practice of military diplomacy must also be seen in the context of Western countries attempting to reform the security sector in Eastern Europe after the collapse of the Soviet Union and in the developing world after the Cold War. With the prospect of a conventional conflict with other major powers ruled out for all practical purposes and the 1 C. Raja Mohan is a Visiting Research Professor at the Institute of South Asian Studies, an autonomous institute at National University of Singapore, and a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Policy Research, Delhi. He can be contacted at isascrm@nus.edu.sg. The views

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