Every country must make choices about foreign policy and national security. Sometimes those choices turn out to have been correct, other times not. In this insider's account, Shivshankar Menon describes some of the most crucial decisions India has faced during his long career in government—and how key personalities often had to make choices based on incomplete information under the pressure of fast-moving events.
Menon either participated directly in or was associated with all the major Indian foreign policy decisions he describes in Choices. These include the 2005–08 U.S.–India nuclear agreement; the first-ever boundary-related agreement between India and China; India's decision not to use overt force against Pakistan in response to the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai; the 2009 defeat of the Tamil rebellion in Sri Lanka; and India's disavowal of the first-use of nuclear weapons. Menon examines what these choices reveal about India's strategic culture and decisionmaking, its policies toward the use of force, its long-term goals and priorities, and its future behavior.
Choices will be of interest to anyone searching for answers to questions about how one of the world's great, rising powers makes its decisions on the world stage, and the difficult choices that sometimes had to be made.
The rise of Pakistan-backed religious extremist groups in Afghanistan, India, and Central Asia has focused international attention on Pakistan’s premier intelligence organization and covert action advocate, the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate or ISI. While ISI is regarded as one of the most powerful government agencies in Pakistan today, surprisingly little has been written about it from an academic perspective. This book addresses critical gaps in our understanding of this agency, including its domestic security mission, covert backing of the Afghan Taliban, and its links to al-Qa’ida. Using primary source materials, including declassified intelligence and diplomatic reporting, press reports and memoirs, this book explores how ISI was transformed from a small, negligible counter intelligence outfit of the late-1940s into the national security behemoth of today with extensive responsibilities in domestic security, political interference and covert action. This study concludes that reforming or even eliminating ISI will be fundamental if Pakistan is to successfully transition from an army-run, national security state to a stable, democratic society that enjoys peaceful relations with its neighbours.
This book will be of interest to students of intelligence studies, South Asian politics, foreign policy and international security in general.
The LeT terrorists attacked a mix of targets—innocent Indian civilians in public places, Jewish people in a religious-cum-cultural centre and members of the Indian and foreign social and business elite in two five-star hotels. The attacks on the Jewish centre and the hotels lasted over 60 hours and were continuously telecast live by the TV channels.
The success of the terrorist attacks, mounted from the sea, highlighted once again the serious deficiencies in India’s national security apparatus and the role of Pakistan in the spread of terrorism across the world. Have we drawn the right lessons in respect of both? Can the Indian people now expect at least a more robust counter-terrorism policy to prevent another 26/11?