• Sandy Gordon


South Asia has inherited a volatile ethnic, religious and social mix that generates powerful cross-currents of tension between the states of the region. These cross-currents are intensified by the new forces of the mass media and democracy, which help to create new ethnic and religious consciousness or re-awaken old rivalries. Population growth pushes agricultural and urban systems to the limit and the security environment becomes ever more difficult to manage.


Indian Ocean Nuclear Weapon Military Power Great Power Status Gulf State 
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  1. 1.
    World Bank, World Development Report 1989, Table I, pp. 164–5.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    See ‘Key Economic Indicators’, Asiaweek, 6 July, 1990, p. 6.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Unlike the situation at the time of the 1965 and 1971 wars, Pakistan would not have to fight India with its forces divided between eastern and western wings in any renewed bout. India, on the other hand, is currently struggling with its own serious internal problems.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    See ‘Petrol: The Coming Crunch’, India Today, 15 June, 1990.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    See Leonard S. Spector, The Undeclared Bomb: The Spread of Nuclear Weapons, 1987–88, Carnegie Endowment (Ballinger), Cambridge, Mass., p. 15.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    See Michael Richardson, ‘Southeast Asia Wary’, Pacific Defence Reporter, vol. XVI, no. 8, February, 1990, p. 42.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    See Mohammed Ayoob, India and Southeast Asia: Indian Perceptions and Policies, Routledge, London, 1990, pp. 42–3; and Mohan Ram, ‘Ruling the Waves’, in Far Eastern Economic Review, 15 May, 1986.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    We can even now see signs of the durability of the arms relationship with the recent Soviet offer radically to upgrade the MiG 21 aircraft currently manufactured in India, including with the provision of MiG 29 engines. See Pacific Defence Reporter, May, 1990, p. 31. India is, however, holding out for a deal on joint production of the MiG 29.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Ross Babbage and Sandy Gordon 1992

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  • Sandy Gordon

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