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Asian Security Calculus Analysed

Rajendra Kumar Pandey

Edited by S.D. Muni and Vivek Chadha
Pentagon Press, New Delhi, 2013, pp. x 382, Rs. 1295.00


Asian Strategic Review carries forward the tradition of the Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses to bring out an analytical volume comprising contributions of its own researchers on a current theme having wider ramifications for defence and security in the world in general and India in particular. The Asian strategic architecture is in a state of constant and rapid reformulation in the recent past owing to certain obvious reasons having far-reaching implications for the rest of the world. For instance, the rise of China as an economic powerhouse, and its recently exhibited belligerence in its neighbourhood has brought about a subtle rethinking on the security matrix of the region in almost all the countries of the continent. As a result, while the traditional contours of strategic relationship between different countries are being revisited, newer defence agreements and security frameworks are being worked out to meet the challenges posed by the swiftly changing scenario in the region. The volume seeks to critically reflect on the chosen themes.   The first substantive section is on South Asia in which both the papers dwell on subjects of contemporary relevance. The contribution on defence spending in India and its neighbourhood by Laxman Kumar Behera is a well researched piece seeking to present an estimate of the military expendi-ture trends in China, India and Pakistan with focus on explaining the critical factors for such expenditures. However, the discussion in the paper appears slightly monotonous and incomplete as a segmented approach prevents a comparative analysis of the implications of such expenditures on the military and strategic preparedness of each other.   On the contrary, the paper on Afghanistan ‘Beyond 2014: The China Factor’ by Vishal Chandra and Ashok K. Behuria is comprehensive in coverage and incisive in analysis. What, nonetheless, appears to be missing most in the section is a paper on India’s security spectrum in the contemporary times, though passing references have been made to India in certain papers.   The next section has four papers on China. Rukmani Gupta’s paper on domestic developments in China to look into the issues of stability appears pertinent given the significance of domestic stability in the overall security set up of a country. Further, Gupta’s well argued presentation has been ably supplemented by the contribution of Mandip Singh who focuses on the military modernization of China and its implications for India. Holistic treatment of the subject at hand, coupled ...

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