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The elusive quest for a grand strategy, long a preoccupation inside Washington, has now begun to inform thinking in more distant chancelleries. The Long View From Delhi is the first attempt to elaborate a grand strategy for India. Taking up three possible scenarios for the world in 2020, the authors come up with a foreign policy strategy for India. There is an understandable focus on the United States and China and arguably not enough on India's own tough neighborhood on the subcontinent, but the combination of "net assessment" modeling and informed strategic analysis works impressively.
Kumar, who heads an economic think tank, and Menon, one of the country's premier security specialists, are cogent in their analyses and trenchant in their opinions. Their work is a major contribution to the intellectual transition from India's traditional focus on safeguarding its sovereignty to a greater desire to take proactive positions in world affairs. New Delhi's near obsession with strategic autonomy as an end in itself is giving way to a willingness to exercise responsibility on the world stage, as India moves beyond postcolonial concerns about self-protection to a new role in the making of global rules and even in helping impose them. Indian strategic thinking is evolving to keep up with this change, and this book is a valuable contribution to the process.