INDIA'S GROWING INFLUENCE IN STABILIZING REGIONAL SECURITY IN SOUTHEAST ASIA
AIR WAR COLLEGE, AIR UNIVERSITY MAXWELL AFB United States
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The decline of the Soviet Union and poor economic growth of India forced India to make dramatic changes in its foreign policy and make a shift from non-alignment to engagement with developed nations in general and Southeast Asia in particular. Indias Look East Policy was drafted in 1991 with an aim of building economic and diplomatic ties with Southeast Asian nations. It also served in enhancing Indias growing strategic importance in the region, build military cooperation and enhance confident of Southeast Asian nations in India. The present Prime Minister of India Mr. Narendra Modi has further given impetus to engagement with Southeast Asian nations with the Act East policy. This paper examines how Indias Look East Policy has enhanced Indias strategic engagement in Southeast Asia and its growing economic and strategic importance in the region. Growing assertiveness of China in the region is a cause of concern for not only Southeast Asian nations but also for the United States, which seeks peace and stability in the region. The paper then explores the US-Indo relations, which have enhanced its economic and military engagement Post-Cold War. Extension of US-India defense framework and participation of India in various military exercises has further strengthened the strategic partnership between the two nations. In the end, the paper explores the growing strategic importance of India in the region, greater politico-military engagement of India with Southeast Asian nations and greater enhancement of economic and defense cooperation between US and India is the way forward for ensuring security in Southeast Asia.
- Government and Political Science