Content from the Brookings Institution India Center is now archived. After seven years of an impactful partnership, as of September 11, 2020, Brookings India is now the Centre for Social and Economic Progress, an independent public policy institution based in India.
Brookings India in collaboration with Penguin India launched the book “Choices: Inside the Making of India’s Foreign Policy” by Ambassador Shivshankar Menon, Distinguished Fellow at Brookings and India’s former National Security Advisor and Foreign Secretary.
The book was released by former Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh.
The release was followed by a panel discussion featuring P. Chidambaram, Former Union Finance Minister, Srinath Raghavan, Senior Fellow and author at Centre for Policy Research, and Ambassador Shivshankar Menon. The discussion was moderated by Karan Thapar, a senior journalist.
In the book, Shivshankar Menon talks about five pivotal choices or cases in India’s recent foreign policy history and analyses the insight that informed these decisions. These include the decision to not use overt military force against Pakistan after 26/11 Mumbai attacks, the civil nuclear deal with the United States, the border agreement with China, Indian response to Sri Lanka’s civil war and India’s No First Use Nuclear Policy.
The panel discussion following the book launch largely focused on one aspect of the book: the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai and India-Pakistan relations. There was a detailed discussion on the aftermath of the 2008 Mumbai attacks and the 2016 Uri attack, as also the Indian government’s response to these attacks then and now. According to Menon, the success of a policy can only be determined by the outcomes it produces. No matter how we define goals and objectives in relation to Pakistan, we have not managed to produce the desired outcomes. In that sense, the India-Pakistan relationship has been one of the few major failures of Indian foreign policy according to Menon.
Like other products of the Brookings Institution India Center, this report is intended to contribute to discussion and stimulate debate on important issues. The views are of the author(s). Brookings India does not have any institutional views.