Atlantic Council Chairman Jon M. Huntsman, Jr. and South Asia Center Acting Director Bharath Gopalaswamy write for The National Interest on the recent shift in India’s foreign policy from an intention to be a “balancing” power to a desire to be a “leading” power:
Although India’s economic story has been the subject of much discussion in the United States in the past decade, its foreign policy has not received similar attention. This has something to do with the consensus in Washington about India’s hesitancy in the exercise of realpolitik.
Last month, however, India’s newly appointed foreign secretary and leading strategist Subrahmanyam Jaishankar delivered an attention getter. In a major speech, Jaishankar emphasized that India was intent on playing the role of a “leading” instead a “balancing” power in Asia. This statement comes as a significant shift to the prevailing perceptions concerning India’s reluctance to actualize its role as a great power.