Category Archives: India

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So Long, 2013; Welcome 2014…I Think!

by Ehsan Ahrari on January 2, 2014, No Comments

Happy new year to all my global friends and contacts! 2013 has been an okay year for the United States, in terms of its foreign policy in the Middle East and in the Asia-Pacific.  (more…)
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The Surveillance State of America, Part II

by Ehsan Ahrari on June 12, 2013, No Comments

We now know for sure that, not just Americans, but the whole world is under the constant surveillance of the "Surveillance State of America."  However, if you are living in Congo, Guatemala, China, or another autocratic hell, you will not be surprised by this news, because most of us have assumed that the "security state" is everywhere. (more…)
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Perspectives on the Second Nuclear Age

by Ehsan Ahrari on April 29, 2013, No Comments

The threat of the outbreak of a nuclear war between the two superpowers has ended with the implosion of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War.  However, the threat of a military conflict escalating into a nuclear conflagration remains quite palpable in the "second nuclear age."  That is the basic theme of Paul Bracken's, The Second Nuclear Age: Strategy, Danger, and the New Power Politics.  There are not too many books that are more persuasive in establishing the argument involving the end of one historical era–the first nuclear age–and the beginning of another–the second nuclear age than this one.  It is also insightful in describing how distinctive the second nuclear age has already been from the first one and why it is going to be more conflict prone and trickier to "manage" than the previous one.   (more…)
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Pakistan: The Garrison State in the Author’s Own Words

by Ehsan Ahrari on January 27, 2013, No Comments

Pakistan: The Garrison State, Origins, Evolution Consequences (1947-2011). Oxford University Press, Karachi, 2013. ISBN 978-0-19-906636-0 http://www.oup.com.pk/shopexd.asp?id=2416 This study seeks to solve the following puzzle: in 1947, the Pakistan military was poorly armed and lacked the infrastructure and training needed to function as an effective branch of the State. It was not directly involved in politics. Over time, not only has it become a middle-range power possessing nuclear weapons, it has also become the most powerful institution in the country with de facto veto powers over politics. How and why did this happen and what were its consequences? (more…)
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The Pakistan Army’s New Warfighting Doctrine

by Ehsan Ahrari on January 4, 2013, 1 Comment

The Pakistani Army has a new doctrine that would be the basis of its future force modernization and training endeavors.  The decision is depicted by some insiders as a "paradigm shift."  While the use of that phrase may be an exaggeration, there are two factors that have the potential of resulting in a real paradigm shift, if implemented to their fullest extent. (more…)
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Comments on “The Non-Unitary Model and Deterrence Stability in South Asia” by George Perkovich

by Ehsan Ahrari on November 23, 2012, No Comments

George Perkovich's essay, "The Non-Unitary Model and Deterrence Stability in South Asia," is a brilliant piece of scholarship.  In this essay, the author discusses the most menacing yet the most ignored issue of nuclear deterrence between the two intense rivals of South Asia–India and Pakistan. (more…)
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Book Review: Ahmed Rashid’s Pakistan on the Brink: The Future of America, Pakistan, and Afghanistan

by Ehsan Ahrari on April 14, 2012, No Comments

Allah, Army, and America used to be catchphrases to describe the internal political dynamics, as well as the foreign policy behavior, of Pakistan in the previous several decades.  That reality has undergone palpable erosion regarding the influence of the United States on Pakistan under the presidency of Barack Obama.  That is certainly not good news for him, since his political stakes are high.  The Afghan war is a "war of choice" for him as much as the Iraq war was a war of choice for George W. Bush.  Obama cannot lose the war in Afghanistan.  However, for him to win, he needs Pakistan's cooperation and help, which has been getting increasingly hard to come by in the past several months.  Since the support for the Afghan war is steadily in the American domestic arena, Obama has deftly set a date of withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan.  He is hoping that such a decision would help him win his reelection campaign. However, wars have their own logic, in determining the winner
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Reshaping America’s Military to Fight Wars in a Transforming World

by Ehsan Ahrari on January 5, 2012, No Comments

The continuing economic crisis has created new pressures and demands for reduced expenditures inside the United States.  The chief question is how to lower defense spending without damaging America's capacity to project power globally and being able to fight more than one war in different regions of the world.  The fact that no such situation would present itself in the near future is irrelevant; the requirements of contingency planning make it vital that top U.S. civilian and military leaders remain prepared for emergencies.  An added variable is the presidential campaign that is currently being waged inside the United States.  This is also a time when a sitting president becomes a target of challengers to his job for not paying adequate attention to America's military strength.  These realities also necessitate a declaration of a "new" strategy. (more…)
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The Emerging Global Realignments

by Ehsan Ahrari on December 27, 2011, No Comments

For the students of international affairs, the notion of power realignment is an old one.[1]  When it really happens, the erstwhile great powers, or even the superpowers, are likely to encounter pleasant or unpleasant surprises.  The year 1991 was one such occasion, when the communist superpower imploded, thereby freeing a number of nations of Eastern/Central Europe and Eurasia, triggering a series of rounds of NATO "enlargement," and, most importantly, creating a "unipolar moment."  The United States remained the only superpower.  The period between 2008 and 2011 is both unique and somewhat similar to that of 1991.  It is similar in the sense that it is also bringing about the decline of the United States.  It is unique in the sense that, unlike the rather quick implosion of the Soviet Union, America's decline is a long and drawn out process and potentially reversible. (more…)
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India’s Unending Quest for a Mythical Hero

by Ehsan Ahrari on October 21, 2011, 1 Comment

One of the chief differences between India and China is that the latter has institutionalized the process of change in its top leadership, while India still suffers from a small-village mentality of relying on a "wise" leader from a clan.  In this instance, the focus is the Nehru clan, the family of Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India.  The Nehru family, directly or indirectly, has played a leading role in governing India throughout its existence as an independent nation, with only a few periods of interruption.  Sonia Gandhi – wife of one of India's Prime Ministers, Rajiv Gandhi, who was son of Indira Gandhi, another Prime Minister, and the grandson of Jawaharlal Nehru – is the real power behind the current Congress Party-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA).  Since she is suffering from an undisclosed ailment, which is unofficially described as some type of cancer, the talk is once again on about the succession to premiership of Rahul Gandhi.  He