How Dangerous Is India?

India is an emerging economic powerhouse Its wealth and economic strength has been rising over the last decade, averaging an annual growth of 7% a year, and even outgrowing China in the latest quarter of 2015

As part of its overall plan to become one of the next superpowers, India has been using some of its annual $2 trillion GDP to build up its military prowess Already it has the third largest army in the world, with around 13 million personnel With this economic and military strength, combined with its distrust of neighboring countries, ongoing territorial conflicts and a desire to become a major world player, India is huge threat to the international status quo India is in the middle of a power struggle in Asia, caught between the rise of China and the ever-present nuclear power of Pakistan

It’s predicted that by 2030 India will overtake the United States and Europe in terms of GDP, technological investment, and military spending The battle to become one of the most dominant countries in Asia has begun, and the Ditchley Foundation in the UK believe that the risk of conflict is very likely, directly quoting the India-Pakistan relationship as a potential spark for conflict in the whole region In the 2001 bombing of the Indian parliament, 12 people were killed, and India responded by mobilizing its largest force since the 1971 Indo-Pakistani War, sending them to fight against the Jaish-e-Mohammed Some Indian politicians called for action against Pakistan, as they claimed the country was involved in arming and training the militant group Although recently tension has died down somewhat between the two countries, their relationship is still volatile

Since gaining independence in 1947, India has gone to war multiple times with Pakistan Both countries have repeatedly fought over the Kashmir region in the north, where there are actually no official borders – just a ‘line of control’ between the two disputed areas As a result, India and Pakistan have been arming themselves, both conventionally and with nuclear armaments Since 1997, India’s defense spending has doubled in real terms It set its defense budget at $49

7 billion in 2015, the sixth largest in the world The Global Firepower database now estimates that India has the fourth most powerful army globally, behind only the USA, Russia and China This is partly because between 2010 and 2014, India was the largest importer of weapons, accounting for 15 percent of the global arms trade

Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad, is now under pressure to increase its nuclear stockpile as a deterrent, as well as potentially building short-range missile systems and low-yield warheads for a closer, more targeted attack on its rival Pakistan is now thought to have between 100-120 nuclear weapons But according to the United States Government, India has “one of the largest nuclear power programmes” in the world Having signed nuclear deals with Canada and Australia, as well as working with the US

A so that it can join a number of nuclear groups, India’s nuclear capability is tremendous It has never signed the Treaty of Non-Proliferation, or the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty India is estimated to have between 75 to 110 warheads at its disposal Although it possesses fewer nuclear weapons than Pakistan, India is thought to be only one of four countries that possess a full nuclear triad, being able to launch by sea, air or land The Indian army also boasts around 300 tanks, nearly 2000 military aircraft and over 200 naval ships

It’s not implausible to predict that a new Indian-Pakistan conflict could trigger a nuclear war Financially, India is also incredibly powerful It has one of the fastest growing economies in the world, increasing its GDP from $267 billion in 1992, to $185 trillion in 2012 The World Bank for GDP predicts India will control 20% of the world’s share of money by 2040, overtaking America in 2030 and lagging behind only China

This growth and trading power has attracted the attention of many Eastern and Western powers Recently India signed a trading partnership with Japan, which will soon make each other their largest trading partners India also has with deals with Russia, America, Indonesia, Australia, South Korea and several other countries India’s strategic partnerships allow it to experiment with many different political ties, whilst not over committing to an arrangment that may affect their aim of becoming a major global influencer If all goes to plan, in as little as 15 years, India will become one of the most powerful, wealthiest and therefore influential countries in the world

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