Vol. 2 No. 1 (2014): CISS Insight Quarterly News & Views, March 2014
Book Reviews

Jaswant Singh, India at Risk: Mistakes Misadventures and Misconceptions of Security Policy

Muhammad Faisal
Research Assistant at the Center for International Strategic Studies (CISS)
CISS Insight Journal 2014
Published March 20, 2014
How to Cite
Muhammad Faisal. (2014). Jaswant Singh, India at Risk: Mistakes Misadventures and Misconceptions of Security Policy. CISS Insight Journal, 2(1), P73-75. Retrieved from http://journal.ciss.org.pk/index.php/ciss-insight/article/view/193


Reexamining major internal and external security challenges India has faced since its independence in 1947, Jaswant Singh puts critical lens on conceptualization of security threats facing India and management of these threats by New Delhi. Being a former soldier, the politician Jaswant Singh explores national security challenges from geopolitical and operational perspectives. He underlines several crucial factors from which stemmed various security challenges, including devastating partition of India, fragmentation of territorial and strategic unity of the sub-continent, challenging tasks of nationbuilding in the aftermath of partition and failure of the leadership to have ‘territoriality’ of India recognized internationally. He differentiates between geography and territoriality and refers to the latter as the international boundaries of India. He points to the grave mistake of not instituting a strategic culture by the Indian leadership that can rise above the domestic political milieu and meet challenges confronting India as a state.

Partition of India and Chinese occupation of Tibet is at the heart of current Indian security challenges. PM Nehru’s aspiration to make 20th century an ‘Asian Century’ unfortunately turned into a catastrophe for India. Since then India is locked between ‘four lines’: Durand and MacMohan Lines, the Line of Actual Control and Line of Control. This strategic imprisonment was compounded by lack of indigenous thinking to break free from these territorial barriers. Moreover, India also did not develop surplus military power in the initial decades of its independence that would have enabled it to project power beyond its borders.