functionof its concerns over escalation of tensions in its vital strategic vicinity.

India’s positive role in the newly formed Indian Ocean RimCommunity also underlines its desire to evolve a cooperative framework ofrelations among the littoral countries of the Indian Oceanwithout undue interference of outside powers.India’s demand for oil supplies is slated to grow very steeplyin the coming decades. Till such time that Central Asian vast reserves arefully exploited, the Persian Gulf which is currently accounting for 60 per cent of world’senergy resources, would hold the key to global energy security. The potentialof the South China Sea remains as yet largely untapped.

West Asia andthe Persian Gulf in particular would thus continue to remain a region ofgreat strategic concern for all major powers, including some of the erstwhileself-sufficient countries like Russia, China and Indonesia whose reserves are getting fast depleted. Given India’s strategic location to the area, India’s has abiding interests in long-term stability and peacein the area because any potential destabilisation or conflict would lead toinsecurity in India’s strategic neighbourhoodIt isclear from the foregoing that India has to resolutely address itself to theemerging set of challenges and opportunites in the changed world order in acoordinated and comprehensive framework of paramount importance would be itsability to project its (long-term strategic perspectives and interests inresponding to the interplay of domestic imperatives, regional balance of forcesand global dynamics in the coming decades. The overarching reality of India as a large independent nation which is destined to play animportant role on the global stage would undoubtedly prevail over the presentdifficulties and obstacles.

The need for India to come to grips with the complexities of the rapidlychanging configuration of forces at the domestic, regional and global levels,however, remains self-evident. India’s long-term strategic perspectives would have to showgreater dynamism and flexibility in responding to the increasingly complexdemands of national security, regional aspirations and global commitments. Thiswould at the least call for clearly defining India’s security interests and evolving a coherent andmulti-layered framework of its security policy and perspectives. In the finalanalysis, India’s own strengths and capabilities–political, economic andmilitary–would alone add substance to India’s future projections as a power of some consequence in theemerging global order. 

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