India as a Regional Power: Opportunities and Constraints
India has long sought to play a role commensurate to its size, economic capacity and political standing. Regional states, especially Pakistan, have challenged this aspiration. Consequently, India has been forced to devote significant resources to cope with Pakistan’s intransigence. It has also resorted to harsh measures ranging from outright intervention to coercive economic diplomacy to induce various neighbors to conform to its expectations. As its economic prowess increases and there is a commensurate growth in its military capabilities, India will probably be able to pursue its preferences without resorting to overt coercion. Instead, its very success should lead the smaller states, with the likely exception of Pakistan, to bandwagon with India rather than engage in various attempts to balance its power in the region.
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