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India's Strategic Leap

V.R. Raghavan

By C. Raja Mohan
India Research Press, New Delhi, 2006, pp. 311, $35.95


More has happened in taking India –US relations to higher levels in the last twelve months than in the preceding twelve years. The period has witnessed one of the most intensely argued public discourse on India’s strategic needs. The discourse involved political parties, India’s Atomic Energy Establishment, a host of experts in India and the US. Indian and US officials parleyed intensively and extensively to make it possible for a new strategic partnership to begin. The media in both countries went hammer and tong for and against the nuclear deal between the two countries. Major nuclear powers and others with nuclear capabilities or uranium and technology resources joined the fray. It had become a free for all for proponents and opponents of the deal. The dust raised by the intellectual melee obscured the fundamentals of the strategic issues for the lay observer.   C. Raja Mohan has rendered a service to the experts and less informed alike, by compiling a readable and credible account of this tumultuous engagement between India and the US. Raja Mohan is a dependable strategic analyst who can be trusted to sift the grain from the chaff in strategic issues. He has the rare ability to look into the future even while reporting on the ongoing and current developments. He is trusted both by the official circles and the reading public because of his record of not putting a spin on facts, or, lending his voice to ideological agendas. His speedily but effectively compiled record of the ups and downs in the process of getting the nuclear deal to come through will be closely read and used as reference material.   The book assesses the sequence, structure and dynamics of the Indo-US negotiations in the Bush Years. Notwithstanding the criticism of President George W. Bush and his policies on many levels, it cannot be denied that he has pushed hard to build a US relationship in dramatically advantageous terms with India. If things move in the coming months on expected lines, India would have come a very long way in gaining all its strategic aspirations since the nuclear tests of 1998. Raja Mohan’s valuable book records in clinical terms the history of India’s strategic evolution since 1998.   The book starts with the stunning drama of the July 2005 meet in the White House.The statements of President Bush and Dr. Manmohan Singh laid out the broad framework ...

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