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US National Defense Strategy 2018 – India's Potential Security Dilemmas

An “unclassified synopsis,” of the United States National Defense Strategy  (NDS) was published on 19 January 2018. The NDS flows from the National Security Strategy declared by President Donald Trump in December 2017. Thus the NDS is a progression of the National Presidential strategy. Broad contours of the NDS are evident in the second paragraph itself which states, “Inter-state strategic competition, not terrorism, is now the primary concern in U.S. national security”. Flowing from this preamble, the NDS defines China and Russia as the primary strategic competitors while North Korea and Iran are rogue actors who also are seen as threats to The United States and allies with international security challenged by “increased global disorder, characterised by a decline in the  long-standing rules-based international order.” ---------------India’s newly adorned de-hyphenated foreign policy where partnerships will be driven by trajectories which do not pose an either-or dilemma to the diplomats will have to work hard to maintain a balanced relationship with the United States on the one hand and Russia which has been identified as the strategic competitor in the NDS. Managing relations with China which are turning increasingly conflictual a la Doklam will also be a challenge for there is only so much that an alignment with the United States can achieve in managing the contested Northern borders.-------------------

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