Defense Minister of India Manohar parrikar was in his maiden USA visit in his authority as defense minister and it seems he has returned with some new ideas and suggestions which can change the Indian military involvement in global conflicts. Manohar parrikar has indicated that India is open to the idea of fighting against ISIS but under the banner and sanctions of United Nations.
The debate for expansion of Military involvement of India in global conflicts had been taking place inside country for last few years and in 2003 when Atal Biahri Vajpaee was the Prime Minister and US invaded Iraq some sections in India advocated for Indian military involvement in Iraq along with US mission and then general secretary of VHP Dr Pravin Togadia floated the idea before then central government to send its troops in Iraq to help US mission but his idea and suggestion was opposed vehemently from every corner and Togadia was forced to take back his words .
In 2003 the issue of military involvement of India in any conflict where threat or enemy is a physical form of Islamism was even out of thought and sight and any suggestion of this nature could never get any serious hearing from government authorities, but after more than decade something has changed which gives confidence to government to at least look to this idea.
The major difference is the difference between the nature of invasion on Iraq in 2003 and eliminating the threat of ISIS in 2015. After 9\11 US has been able to gobble the global support and consensus to fight against the threat of Islamist terrorism but in less than two years the unilateral decision of US president George W Bush to invade Iraq surprised everyone and the consensus on the war of terror broke and invasion of Iraq was taken by the most countries other than NATO as fight of NATO and USA against Saddam Hussain not against Terrorism.
In 2015 the narrative of war on terror has changed little bit and ISIS has become a global threat and most of the Islamic organizations and clerics also don’t approve the idea of ISIS and it is being more seen as cult of death who is doing more harm to the ideas of Islam rather than obliging to it. This changed perception for ISIS among most of the Muslims and Islamic organizations gives more space to any Indian government to think about its military participation in fight against ISIS.
But this idea of expansion of Indian military involvement in global conflicts is also like walking on the sword because United Nations sometime becomes helpless before big nations when they decide their definitions of threat and terrorism with their priorities which sometimes is more selective and not in consonance to the principle of justice and conscience.
Indian approach to certain ideas and principles have been in consonance to its civilizational ethos where war have been the last resort to establish the “ Dahrma” and the concept of “ Dharma” has been very different with the idea of establishing religion or imposing the will of powerful on weaker nations or group .
If India aspire to become global power and want its voice to be heard and presence felt on global forum then definitely as a nation it has to be ready to take some global responsibilities also and expanding its military mission could be one of them but at the same time we need to keep in our mind that western concept of statecraft and war doctrine is very much derived from Roman empire and believes more in Machiavellian concept of statecraft and sometime western dispensation and analysts confused them ( Including Henry Kissinger) with the ideas of Kautilya or Chanakya and intermingle it with Machiavellian school of thoughts and sometimes see the message of Lord Krishna in ShrimadbhagwatGita as message for war but the difference is Mabhabharat with Gita and Lord Krishna who personifies “ Dharma”.
The interconnected relations between military power and power of state has always been in human history and will always be but India should always keep in its mind its concept of war and statecraft which neither approve any ideas to be part of any extension of neo conflict of Jihad and crusade nor approve the ideas to use the method of war and conflicts to impose the will of superpowers on weaker nations to push its political and economic agenda.