A must-read for policymakers, students, researchers, and even experts
By Adam Rizvi, Book Review, New York, TIO: West Asia or the Middle East is an extended neighborhood for India and has always figured prominently in global geopolitical games. For India, it has unique strategic importance due to energy security, food, and fertilizer security, diaspora security, and maritime security of sea and trading lanes including piracy and terrorism. The pivot moving towards the South and the Indo-Pacific region has acquired greater strategic significance in the Indian Ocean region.
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West Asia continues to remain in a churn festered by several hot spots including Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Iraq as Arab Spring 2.0 straddle the region forcing socio-economic reforms. Middle East Process remains defunct as the Israel-Palestine conflict remains on the brink. The region also continues to suffer from geopolitical, geo-economic, and geo-religious contestations among major powers like Saudi Arabia, UAE, Turkey, Egypt, and Iran. Qatar has emerged as a new ‘Go To’ country.
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Due to perceived nonchalance and withdrawal of the USA, which was its sole security guarantor, the regional majors have begun to look for some modus vivendi among themselves as they enhance their engagements with China and Russia to a great extent even India. The rapprochement between Israel and some Arab countries like UAE and Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco have paved the way for new power equations as India, Israel, UAE, and the USA become engaged in a new Economic Quartet. Winds of Change are visible as the Russia-Ukraine crisis casts a new shadow on the regional dynamic. The quest for strategic autonomy is distinctly on the horizon.
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The book has been neatly divided into three sections viz. The Super Power Dynamic; Intra-Regional Dynamic; and India’s West Asian Quest.
In this compendium, over a dozen distinguished authors and regional experts from India, Israel, Jordan, Turkey, UAE, and the USA have delved deep into the evolving security scenario across the spectrum ranging from defense and security issues to economy to India’s interests and way forward. This is a book that clinically examines critical security issues in West Asia, offers insights, and affords solutions and some policy choices for India in a dispassionate manner.
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The book, especially Ambassador Trigunayat, argues that even though under Prime Minister Narendra Modi perhaps one of the biggest success stories in foreign policy has been India’s ‘Act West ‘Policy which has focused on enriching bilateral ties with nearly all the countries in the region as strategic autonomy of the Indian foreign policy became even more evident in its de-hyphenation policy which enabled New Delhi to wade through the regional crisis adroitly. However, evolving dynamic and China’s increasing presence in West Asia require a reorientation towards a whole region approach.
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The book is also available on #Amazon link is https://www.amazon.in/dp/939009559X
Edited by Ambassador Trigunayat (IFS Retd)
Published by Pentagon Press, New Delhi for the Vivekananda International Foundation