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2020-09-23 1 ENGLISH REPORTS
Tis NBR Special Report is designed to show that U.S. policymakers cannot assume the fxity of Indian strategic preferences. It presents a paper originally written under contract for the U.S. government in February 2019 and sketches three alternative futures of India as a strategic actor in the next two decades. Tese futures were conceived to be provocative, unlikely scenarios. But in just the eighteen months since the paper was drafed, events in India have prefgured all three scenarios, suggesting they are eminently plausible. First, the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, emboldened by its decisive re-election in May 2019, has accelerated its Hindu-nationalist agenda. Most signifcantly, this included the revocation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special autonomous status in August 2019 and the concerted messaging from government and military leaders that India still claims the Pakistan-controlled portion of Kashmir. Tat messaging remains for now a diplomatic and narrative device, although it resonates alarmingly with this report’s frst scenario focused on a revisionist India.
New Delhi has signaled a new appetite for taking strategic risks. It launched a provocative air strike against Pakistan in February 2019, in the very same week that the original paper was being fnalized. Alongside the Indian Army’s reorganization into integrated battle groups—designed to implement the ofensive Cold Start doctrine—this portends an India that is more comfortable with risk-generation as a tool of statecraf, as envisioned in this report’s second scenario. Tird, the ongoing border crisis with China—including a deadly skirmish at the Galwan River in June 2020—has already hardened Indian attitudes toward this rival. India has been engaged in its own form of strategic competition with China for decades, which has customarily featured the deliberate use of strategic ambiguity. But the current border crisis has energized many Indian voices calling for a frmer line against China, and it could in retrospect serve as the catalyst for more vigorous strategic rivalry, as described in the report’s third scenario. Te original paper has been lightly edited to refect these developments. None of this is to suggest that the far-fetched scenarios envisioned are now likely. But it should serve to underscore the warning to policymakers that India is not a static object. Just as policy should remain fexible enough to parry the thrusts of strategic rivals, it should also be alert to the evolving postures of the United States’ strategic partners.
标签： ENGLISH REPORTS