Volume 21, No.4, October 2000

SECUTITY ISSUES IN SOUTH ASIA-US RELATIONS: NEW CONTEXT, NEW BEGINNING

by Imtiaz Ahmed.

            Mr. Imtiaz Ahmed ph. D. is professor of International Relations, University of Dhaka.

          The domain of security has become more complex but at the same time, more central to the lives and livings of the common masses. Any recourse to state-centric view of security is bound to meet with limited success because of resultant insecurity on a number of fronts. These are: i) insecurity of sub-national forces resulting from vigorous practice of majoritarianism; ii) societal insecurity as a consequence of misgovernance and weak and polarized civil society; iii) the feeling of insecurity among the mass people in the context of poor access to basic needs within the boundaries of their original habitat and the consequential internal displacement of people, intra-state conflict, cross-border migration and inter-state conflicts – all arising from the blind replication of modern development activities; and iv) post-nuclear insecurity that has roots in the attempt of India and Pakistan for developing their respective nation states in the image of the modern West. The article argues in favor of substantial transformation of the state of relations between the countries, both within and outside the region, to meet the newer security challenges. The areas where the new US administration might need to act judiciously are nuclearization, democratization, terrorism and environmental issues. In most cases, US administration ends up using outdated policy tools and at times, policies act in contradictory fashion. The article, therefore, makes a plea for rethinking and reinventing policy tools.

 

IRAN’S RELATIONS WITH SOUTH ASIA, CENTRAL ASIA, CHINA AND RUSSIA

by Ahmed Tariq Karim

          Mr. Ahmed Tariq Karim has been Ambassador of Bangladesh to Iran from 1991-95 and Bangladesh’s High Commissioner to South Africa from 1997-98. He held diplomatic assignments In India and China. He was a Senior Visiting Scholar, as “Distinguished International Executive in Residence”, at the University of Maryland at collage Park, USA.

          Iran’s relations with major countries of south and central Asia, as well as with Russia and China warrant closer examination because there are crisscrossing ties among these regions and countries. All have been, and still are in varying degrees, under considerable pressure from the USA and the West on a number of issues, which they consider of vital interest and of importance to themselves – human right, development of nuclear power and technology (nuclear proliferation in Western eyes), space and missile technology, and arms sales. These pressures are very likely to make them gravitate to each other more, in a show of solidarity. Even if Iran’s relations with the United States do become normalized in future, this will not mean jettisoning of the close partnerships which Iran has painstakingly forged, or is in the process of forging, with India, China and Russia. Rather each of the strands between these important countries is likely to continue being strengthened, in bilateral configurations, along parallel tracks, strengthening multi-polarity in the global context, which they all favor.

 

ATTRIBUTES OF NAVAL EXPENDITURE AND ITS EFFECT ON NAVAL CAPABILLTY: A PERCEPTION

by M A Razzak

         Mr. M A Razzak is a Commander in Bangladesh Navy.    

         Irrespective of the shape and size, navies are expected to perform three principle functions – military, diplomatic and policing. Among these, military function is the prime business of the navies. In this functional hierarchy ‘navel capability’ plays a decisive role. The capability of navy emanates from its development, which is capital intensive and expensive combined with time and resource. The paper deals with the attributes of naval expenditures and their effect on naval development with reference to developing countries. The author argues that constrained by domestic environment that tends to contain the expenditure, many developing countries’ navies are confined to coast guard and nation building responsibility while true military function eventually remains beyond its power capability. In this backdrop, the paper suggests that the navies of the developing countries should strike a balance between the availability of found and capacity requirement.

 

GLOBALIZATION AND BANGLADESH’S SECURITY AND FOREIGN POLICIES

by Ruksana Kibria.

          Rukshana Kibria is professor, Department of International Relations, University of Dhaka.   

        In the era of globalization, Bangladesh, like other developing countries, is confronted with threats emanating from both external and internal sources: terrorism, drug trafficking, circulation of light weapons, poverty, political instability environmental degradation. The main purpose of Bangladesh’s foreign policy in the present era should be minimizing the degree of vulnerabilities and reducing threats to its security, as well as possessing the ability to shape its security environment through an effective and realistic assessment of its national interest, and the promotion thereof through pragmatic and active diplomacy.