Challenges to Indian Security in the New Decade

by Akash Mishra

In the summer of 2019, the Tufts Institute for Global Leadership, in conjunction with the United States Naval Academy, sent two students from the Tufts chapter of ALLIES and four midshipmen from the US Naval Academy chapter to India as a part of the 2019 ALLIES Joint Research Project. 

As one of the members of the Tufts cohort, I was given the unique opportunity to explore the India-related topic of my choosing by engaging with the academic leaders and policymakers that shape Indian foreign policy on a daily basis. In keeping with my major and academic interests at Tufts, I chose to use my time in India to study the core security challenges that I thought India might face as it moves into the new decade. 

Using a research strategy that combined direct interviews with decision makers and thought leaders in India with substantive review of existing works on Indian foreign policy, I came to the conclusion that India faces security challenges in three key areas:

  1. Managing continued disputes with Pakistan regarding radicalization in Kashmir
  2. Countering Chinese militaristic and commercial incursion into the Indo-Pacific and Chinese technological incursion into India’s telecommunications networks
  3. Managing military modernization and strategic defense cooperation 

My research delves into the historical causes and current policy frameworks surrounding these challenges, and briefly proposes policy to counter them with some emphasis on India’s history with Pakistan and China, placing these histories in context with India’s security challenges. 

Ultimately, this project was a remarkable learning experience. I was able to interview some of the most successful and authoritative voices in Indian foreign policy while also getting to interact with Midshipmen from the U.S. Naval Academy. 

While this project was enormously exciting to work on, I hope to take this research further, studying the effects of the recent repeal of Article 370 of India’s Constitution (on Kashmir’s status in India), and the effects of the CAA/NRC protests.  

Until then, I hope you enjoy this presentation.

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