Last month – Japan (Narendra Modi, India’s Prime Minister, left, speaks to Shinzo Abe, Japan’s Prime Minister), Germany, the UK among others – pledged commitments to India’s economic security. The pledge, “special” strategic and global partnership, along with vocational training and infrastructure projects, renewable energy or the remedying of environmental damage, especially in river basins across the country – and millions of dollars for public and private investment and financing. India’s ambitious economic and social transformation has created a security dilemma. In the offing, a consistently more competitive and dangerous world (Glaser, 1997).
The Security Dilemma
The security dilemma exists when “many of the means by which a state tries to increase its security decrease the security of others” (Jervis, 1978). First, it provides the rational foundation for what Jervis termed the ‘spiral model’, which describes how the interaction between states that are seeking only security – economic or otherwise – can fuel competition and strain political relations (Glaser, 1997). Second, Jervis explains that the magnitude and nature of the security dilemma depend of two variables: offense-defense balance and offense-defense differentiation.
Offense-defense theory argues that the relative ease of offense and defense varies in international politics. When the offense has the advantage, military conquest becomes easier and war is more likely; the opposite is true when the defense has the advantage. The balance between offense and defense depends on geography, technology, and other factors (Brown et. al., 2004).
Cooperation or Competition?
The reality is mass cooperation and participation in creating energy efficiency, clean technology at affordable prices, food security, and building model towns with facilities for solid waste management and waste water treatment is a boon for growth and competition. That said -a large scale resetting of extant decision structure mechanisms and strategy is underway. Needless to say, powerful interest groups that will benefit from this change have every reason to exaggerate the dilemma.