India’s Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran outlined a hawkish new policy vis a vis SAARC member countries last week. He said that “India’s sympathies with will always be with democratic and secular forces…we need to go beyond governments.” India further said it would not entertain a SAARC [South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation] in which some of its members perceive it as a vehicle primarily to countervail India or to seek to limit its room to maneuver.
The new doctrine is a significant change in India’s positioning and is being read as a shift towards a more aggressive foreign policy in reflection of India’s growing status as a democratic superpower.
In Asia the US faces two expansionist powers -- China in the east, and India in the south. They are bound to conflict as both seek to project their influence into Southeast Asia, and both have a long-term interest in diminishing US influence in Asia. I fear that this region, not the Middle East, will pose the greatest threat both to American interests and to global security in the coming century.