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Arming without Aiming

India's Military Modernization

Stephen P. Cohen and Sunil Dasgupta

Publication Year: 2013

India has long been motivated to modernize its military, and it now has the resources. But so far, the drive to rebuild has lacked a critical component—strategic military planning. India's approach of arming without strategic purpose remains viable, however, as it seeks great-power accommodation of its rise and does not want to appear threatening. What should we anticipate from this effort in the future, and what are the likely ramifications? Stephen Cohen and Sunil Dasgupta answer those crucial questions in a book so timely that it reached number two on the nonfiction bestseller list in India.

"Two years after the publication of Arming without Aiming, our view is that India's strategic restraint and its consequent institutional arrangement remain in place. We do not want to predict that India's military-strategic restraint will last forever, but we do expect that the deeper problems in Indian defense policy will continue to slow down military modernization."—from the preface to the paperback edition

Published by: Brookings Institution Press

Front Cover

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pp. 1-3

Title Page

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p. 4-4

Copyright Information

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pp. 5-7


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pp. 8-9

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Preface to the Paperback Edition

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pp. ix-xiii

Since the publication of Arming without Aiming in 2010, India’s military modernization continues to be a central problem in it’s rise as a great power. India lives in and is adjacent to some of the most . . .

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Preface to the First Edition

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pp. xv-xix

There is widespread acknowledgment that India is newly important. Whether emerging, rising, or an Asian “giant,” there is some expectation that India’s new affluence will enable it to deploy vastly improved . . .

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pp. xxi-xxii

The modernization of India’s defense and military establishment is very much a work in progress. The dramatic changes in India over the last five years prolonged the writing of this . . .

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Restraint and Affluence

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pp. 1-28

One of the most remarkable attributes of India as an independent nation has been its longstanding restraint in military strategy. Reticence in the use of force as an instrument of state policy has been the . . .

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Struggling with Reform

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pp. 29-52

India’s policy of strategic restraint determines the pace, direction, and scope of reform in the country’s national security system, which serves as the transmission that converts the country’s new affluence . . .

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Army Modernization

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pp. 53-70

The extent to which the Indian armed forces modernize will depend greatly on the ability of the Indian Army to accept a reduced position in the service triumvirate. The army eclipses the other services in . . .

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Air and Naval Modernization

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pp. 71-96

While the modernization of the Indian Army sets the pace of military change in India as a whole, rebalancing the armed forces in favor of air and naval power will be the proof of real transformation. The . . .

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The Reluctant Nuclear Power

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pp. 97-122

India’s May 1998 test of five nuclear weapons was a major break with the past; many predicted that India’s trajectory henceforth would be of greater assertiveness. This view was reinforced by India’s declaration . . .

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Police Modernization

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pp. 123-142

The main issues of military modernization center on the armed forces, but the most common threat to India’s security manifests itself at home in the form of insurgency and terrorism. While tackling these . . .

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Fighting Change

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pp. 143-163

In the larger historical and comparative context, India has managed its armed forces quite well. By promoting a relationship between the armed forces and the political community that was compatible with . . .

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America and Indian Rearmament

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pp. 164-185

Over the last sixty years American attitudes toward the modernization of India’s military and the idea of a strategically important India have waxed and waned. The Roosevelt administration at first sought . . .


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pp. 187-212


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pp. 213-223

Back Cover

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p. 248-248

E-ISBN-13: 9780815724926
E-ISBN-10: 0815724926
Print-ISBN-13: 9780815722540

Page Count: 223
Publication Year: 2013

Edition: revised with a new preface