Indian Naval Strategy in the Twenty First Century by James R. Holmes, Andrew C. Winner and Toshi Yoshihara : Routledge, 2 Park Square, Abingdon, Oxon, UK, 2009, Pp 228 £ 75
1. The book has been written by an eminent panel of strategist from the US Naval War College. They are experts in U.S., Chinese, and Indian maritime strat as also U.S. diplo & mil history incl public international law. In addition, James R Holmes, apart from having authored numerous books has also been a visiting scholar at the Institute for Defense Studies & Analyses, New Delhi, in 2006 & is an auth on the region. The book is div into 10 chapters & will be of interest to students of sea power, strat studies, mil ldrs & Asian studies. It is recommended for all libraries which caters to the needs of such indls. The novel has been written in a very lucid manner. It is well documented, researched and presented in a simple form, so as to be understandable by readers from all walks of life. The topic discussed is relevant & has international ramifications.
2. The book is an earnest attempt to explores India's rich, yet undocumented naval heritage & comes up with India's likely naval strategic options. Advent of a resurgent India, has prompted, albeit for the first time to study India's emerging maritime strat & to offer a systematic analysis of the interplay between western mil thoughts, Indian maritime traditions & geo-pol realities. .
3. The book commences by examining the rich historical past of the nation & comments upon the decline of the Indian & Chinese maritime tradition's in the subcontinent. Simultaneous rise of European & subsequently of USA naval power & their worldwide influence is delved into. The similar historical parallels between USA & India have also been incorporated by the authors to derive useful lessons in arriving at initial conclusions of India's new found interest in seas. Lack of strat thinking in nation's sixty years of existence & its fallout on nation's IS sit & foreign policy is also discussed in detail in chapter two. Inadequate availability of recordings in realms of naval happenings in our past have hampered true examination of our heritage. The impact our geo-strat loc, ancient texts like Arthashastra & imp personalities along with the past events have had on our evolving naval strategy is studied in detail & suitable lessons drawn.
4. The authors have rightly iden nation's current maritime thought process as \being influenced by the pre-independence British strat as also landmark events of 18th & 19th century. The nation's, Naval Doctrine of 2004 & “Maritime Mil Strat”, published in 2007 also finds a mention in the book & is analysed in detail in lt of the nation's security obj. The revival of Indian Navy's strat thought process & its impact on doctrine, defence review, force structure are also analysed in detail in 4th chapter.
5. From the 5th chapter onwards, book examines readiness status of sea services in mtrl terms to execute countries maritime mil strat. The rise in def spending, esp for Indian navy since 1992 has been discussed in detail along with current & future force structures. A brief about nations expanding overseas naval coop is also incl. India's third component of triad & the ongoing naval nuc pgme, both in terms of platform & wpns, though shrouded in mystery is analysed by the authors in sufficient detail.
6. The newly unveiled jt maritime strat of US Navy, Marine Corps & Coast Guard along with its possible impact on evolving Indian naval strat finds a mention in the seventh chapter. The same has iden Indian Ocean as one of the most imp diplo, eco & strat Z in the world. The dynamics of a rising China & its reactionary strat in view of India's evolving eco, diplomatic & naval power is analysed. India's global ambitions & roles (part of expanding rings of concentric circles) are also discussed. Finally the book has rightly iden the ‘Strategic Triangle', emerging betn India, China & USA & their interactions as harbinger of the world events. A large no of security equations have emerged & are elucidated in the last chapter. The book has systematically analysed India's maritime future and spelt out its imp in south Asia's maritime future.
7. The books high cost will restrict its access to readers. However, the authors must be complemented for producing a detailed study affecting one of the most imp region's in the world.
Book No. - 36125, Issued on 20 Jan 2010.