Exploring Alliances and Alignments
China’s aggressive actions in Ladakh have prompted national conversations in India on issues such as military preparedness, border infrastructure and foreign policy, among others. An important node in the ongoing discussion on foreign policy is whether India should declare a formal alliance with the United States.
Alliances between countries are often defined as agreements for mutual support in case of war. However, in the past two decades, the nature of warfare has undergone significant shifts because of technological developments. In some instances, sharing of high-end technologies can have a far greater impact than pooling human resources during warfare. From an Indian perspective, the notion of armies from two countries fighting shoulder-to-shoulder is rather a World War II or a Cold War construct. Moreover, India has one of the world’s largest armies, in terms of personnel, and therefore, it does not require boots on the ground from its partners. What India needs instead, is a quick technological upgradation of its defence forces, sharing of military equipment, and a co-ordinated diplomatic strategy to meet the challenges from the northern and western fronts.
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