Shivshankar Menon’s new book throws light on India’s foreign policy

New Delhi, Nov 18 (IANS) Former Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon has penned an insiders account of the decision-making process of Indias foreign policy in his new book, “Choices: Inside the Making of Indias Foreign Policy”, that hit the stores on Friday.

The official book launch is scheduled on December 2 at India International Centre here.

In the book, Menon, who was also India’s National Security Adviser, looks at “five absolutely crucial moments in recent history” that have had a great impact on present day India.

In this book, published by Penguin, Menon describes some of the most crucial scenarios that India faced during his long career in government and how key personalities often had to make choices based on incomplete information under the pressure of fast-moving events.

Menon, who was Foreign Secretary from October 2006 to July 2009, mentions some major Indian foreign policy decisions, in which he either participated directly in or was associated with.

These include the India-US nuclear agreement; the first-ever boundary-related agreement between India and China; India’s decision not to use overt force against Pakistan in response to the 26/11 terrorist attacks in Mumbai; the 2009 defeat of the brutal civil war in Sri Lanka; and India’s disavowal of the first-use of nuclear weapons.

Menon examines what these choices reveal about India’s strategic culture and decision-making, its policies toward the use of force, its long-term goals and priorities and its future behaviour.

“Choices will be of interest to anyone searching for answers to questions about how India, one of the world’s great, rising powers confronts and arrives at decisions on the world stage, and the tough choices that sometimes have to be made,” Penguin said in a statement.

A career diplomat, Menon has served as India’s envoy to Israel (1995-97), Sri Lanka (1997-2000), China (2000-03), and Pakistan (2003-06). He was the NSA from January 2010 to May 2014.