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Strategic Alliances

Uma Purushothaman

By Nirode Mohanty
Lexington Books, Lanham, 2015, pp. 227, $90.00


The Indo-US relationship assumes im­portance in a multipolar world with shifting alliances—new partnerships are being formed, some are being renewed and others are breaking up. The US and In­dia have never been as aligned as they are today. There is growing tactical and strate­gic convergence between the two countries. It is in this context that independent scholar Nirode Mohanty analyses the cooperation between the two countries in three specific fields: terrorism, nonproliferation and nuclear energy. These, he believes, are ‘the most current issues of importance to the United States and India’ (p.xiii). Many people could differ with this assessment; China and trade, for instance, might seem more important to many than the three is­sues Mohanty has concentrated on. But Mohanty has his justifications for choosing these three issues. Mohanty provides a brief history of the Indian foreign policy as well as the Indo-US relationship for those not conversant with the facts, and describes how the fledgling country’s foreign policy evolved under Nehru. Mohanty pays particular attention to India’s relations with China, the Soviet Union, the United States and Pakistan and to the Kashmir issue during and after the Cold War. He describes how the United States’s sympathy for newly-independent India was strained by the US Support to Pa­kistan and Nehru’s policy of nonalignment. ‘… the United States recognised the mili­tary and intelligence opportunities a sepa­rate Pakistan could offer’ (p. 45). He says that though relations warmed after the Cold War, they have been tested by the US’s close ties with and Pakistan arms sales to pointing out that in all four wars with India, Pakistan has used American arms (pp. 59–61). In the chapter on terrorism, Mohanty points out that the American war on terror has been ‘selective’ (p. 75). In his attempt to explain ‘terrorism by radical Islam and its campaign of global jihad’, the author looks at the trends in Islamic terrorism, the rise of radical Islam in western countries and gives a brief history of Islamist terrorist organiza­tions like the Taliban, the al Qaeda, the Haqqani network and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. The author names the Uighurs as a terrorist network. But it is patently un­fair to describe a whole ethnic community as a terrorist organization.  The section on terrorism is flawed by the fact that the author concentrates only on terrorism perpetrated by ...

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