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Re: nuclear India

[Topics under debate]: GOOD GOVERNANCE
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Abhijit is right in that India's military needs should be balanced to
its "security scenario". But I disagree with his limiting the security 
perimeter to South Asia only. Given NATO's hegemonic actions
in Kosovo which let us all remember is still a part of the sovereign
state of Yugoslavia, can Kashmir be far behind ? India needs to project 
power not only in South Asia but globally. To this end, the
development of ICBM capability is a must, and I believe a start has
been made in this regard with "Surya" which is currently undergoing
preliminary R&D. Also, given that Pakistan is in a process of slow motion 
disintegration, we need to focus on the potential impact of partial 
reabsorption whether we like this prospect or not.

The bottom line: Mr. Narayanan is correct. We need to stop worrying about 
the P-5 and go on continuously upgrading our military capacity and funding 
R&D looking to our long term strategy of becoming a global power by the 
mid-21st century.

Abhijit wrote:

We all seek a resurgent India but a very high level of investment in the 
military may not be the way. Indeed our investment in the military should be 
made on the basis of a rational assessment of the security scenario in south 
asia in the short,medium and long terms. We should also consider other 
regions of interest and ensure that we have the ability to protect our 
interests there. Spending our resources on building the military to a level 
which exceeds our requirements may be counterproductive since it may send 
the wrong signals to potential friends.

Ram Narayanan wrote:

Despite the gains, however, there is little evidence of a resurgent
India.The country still presents itself internationally as a soft state 
susceptible to outside pressure. The months-long delay in flight-testing the 
Agni 2 was proof of that. Instead of determinedly pushing ahead with 
follow-up steps in the shortest period of time, India feels compelled to 
balance its defiance with conformist behaviour. It has gone out of the way 
to assure the great powers it poses no threat to the non-proliferation 
regime, even though it can never be recognised as a nuclear-weapons state 
under the present system.

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