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Tracking Security Paradigms

Arun Vishwanathan

Edited by Satish Kumar
Routledge, New Delhi, 2011, pp. xv+520, Rs.995.00


Initiated in 2001, the India's National Security Annual Review (INSAR) over the past decade has evolved into a useful companion in studying India's national security challenges. Like the previous volumes, the INSAR 2010 review covers a wide gamut of issues and areas spanning from global security trends to challenges to India's internal security to the state of play in India's neighbourhood to issues a nuclear India has had to grapple with as well as a very comprehensive account of the evolution of the Indian national security system. A very interesting experiment that has been reintroduced-after a gap of three years-in the current volume of the INSAR is the National Security Index 2010. Though, as detailed below, the index is not without its problems and requires further fine tuning, it is nevertheless commendable that an attempt to put forth such an Index has been made. The volume provides an interesting mix of articles which provide a detailed analysis of several challenges to India's security. The study is divided into four sections namely: National Security Review, National Security Challenges and Opportunities, National Security Index 2010 and finally a Chronology of Major Events in 2009. The first section on 'National Security Review' begins with a description of the global security trends, the external security situation as well as internal security developments. This is followed up by detailed analyses of India's neighbourhood and the security challenges therein. Kudos are in order to the editor and the FNSR Research Staff for putting together two chapters focused on India's engagement with Asia, Africa and Latin America as well as the domestic situation in Pakistan in 2009. Both are crucial issues which require in-depth study and analysis. India's recent engagement with Africa and Latin America seeks to tap the immense potential for cooperation on economic, cultural and diplomatic fronts. Similarly, understanding the political and security situation within Pakistan is crucial to formulating India's strategy towards our western neighbour. One hopes that the next annual number of the INSAR would devote a special chapter on the internal political situation in China focusing on the new generation of leaders who will take charge following the leadership transition at the eighteenth Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) Party Congress. One lacuna that does come to mind while going through this section is the lack of separate chapters on internal security challenges like Left Wing Extremism and insurgency in the North East. Both these are important security challenges that ...

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