How will the upcoming Trump leadership in United States and spillovers from 2016 affect India s security calculus?
If U.S. President-elect Donald Trump sticks to his election campaign rhetoric and twitterwords, the relation between U.S. and Russia are set to become “interesting”, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) may become history, Iran nuclear deal make shake a little and the fragile U.S.-China relations may become even more tenuous. While Trump hasn t really talked about India is specific terms, things might become difficult for “fantastic” Pakistan as trump is expected to take a tough line on terrorism. It depends on how much Mr. Trump s views change when he is really sitting in the Presidential chair.
The power projection display of China has forced India to factor in the enhanced assertiveness and aggressiveness of China. From incurcions by fighters and bombers over the East China Sea to positioning air defence weapons on an island in the South China Sea, have sent skirmish feelings to its neighbours. If U.S decides to deal with China in a tough manner, it will need India by its side. India needs to make sure that its interests are insured amidst the power politics.
While Pakistan will continue to meddle with India and support to terrorism would continue, India need to keep its eyes open and stay on guard. Unfortunately, historical cultural relations do not work in realpolitik. India needs to work on its relations with the neighborhood countries to counter increased Chinese and Pakistan investments.
Soft power is important but history has proven hard power is omnipotent for resolute action in the diplomatic and economic arenas.