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Lost In A Multipolar World

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is a busy man these days ??? on a legacy tour, trying to underscore his credentials as a foreign policy leader of consequence. At home, though, he remains isolated, marginalized by his party, mocked by the opposition and hounded by the national media. Not surprising, therefore, that at the end of his 10-year stint at the helm of Indian politics, he is seeking refuge in foreign lands.  Singh visited the United States in September for the UN General Assembly meeting and then the Association for South-East Asian Nations summit in Brunei, together with a bilateral visit to Indonesia, before heading off again, first to Russia and then to China, two critical states in India???s foreign policy matrix. On the surface, New Delhi???s foreign policy is doing well ??? major partnerships look steady and various joint declarations proclaim a convergence of interests. But a closer examination suggests that, in the name of multipolar diplomacy and non-alignment, Indian foreign policy is in danger of becoming rudderless, especially with economic decline and political turmoil at home. India???s major relationships are suffering as questions emerge in Washington about India’s rise, in Moscow about the gravitation to the West, in the East and Southeast Asia about India as credible balancer ??? all this emboldens China.India???s ties with the United States, which Singh bolstered with the signing of the US-India civil nuclear pact, are now flagging. There???s a sense of despondency about the future of India as a potential strategic partner in Washington, unprecedented in the last two decades. The growing differences between the two today are not limited to one or two areas but spread across most areas of bilateral concern.  The United States is unhappy that despite valiant efforts to bring India into the nuclear regime the nation has yet to make headway in selling nuclear reactors there. India is concerned by the US immigration changes and f



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