“Indian elites show little evidence of having thought coherently and systematically about national strategy… Few writings offer coherent, articulated beliefs or a clear set of operating principles for Indian strategy,” wrote American think tanker George Tanham in a paper prepared for the U.S. government in 1992.
A glaring lacuna
Most Indian students of strategy and security studies rightly disagree with this rather presumptuous argument, especially since Tanham located the causes of the Indian inability to think strategically in its historical and cultural specificities. And yet it is pertinent to ask, even today, whether India thinks about strategic affairs in a systematic, consistent and coherent manner or whether its national security runs on ad hoc arrangements and ‘raw wisdom’. Or is it that the political class has traditionally been too cagey about putting out a national security strategy, even a mere declaratory one as opposed to an operational one, in black and white? Read More