Recommended readings on National Security and International Relations.
Dan Drezner has to be lauded for coming up with this idea of book suggestions for an aspiring political leader. It is worthwhile to borrow his idea in the Indian context: What are the books an aspiring Indian politician should read? I posed this question to a few friends (Dhruva, Rohan, JK and Shubh), while expanding the subject to include National Security.
A few caveats. These books are suggestions for an Indian parliamentarian, and not for a policy wonk or a scholar. They have to be of reasonable length and not too detailed or technical for the target audience. They should also have a readable prose and cohesive narrative, while maintaining contemporary relevance. Of course, it is not possible to have all the books meet all the above criteria.
Here is my pick of ten books, in no particular order, from the combined list of suggestions I received from my friends.
- Indian Security Perspectives by K Subrahmanyam
- India, Pakistan and the Secret Jihad: The Covert War in Kashmir, 1947–2004 by Praveen Swami
- Engaging India: Diplomacy, Democracy, and The Bomb by Strobe Talbott
- Across Borders: Fifty Years of India’s Foreign Policy by JN Dixit
- Crossing the Rubicon by C Raja Mohan
- India’s Nuclear Bomb: The Impact on Global Proliferation by George Perkovich
- Kargil Review Committee Report (Government of India)
- India’s China War by Neville Maxwell
- Supreme Command: Soldiers, Statesmen, and Leadership in Wartime by Eliot A. Cohen
- Empires of the Indus: The Story of a River by Alice Albinia
This list is by no means exhaustive. Feel free to leave your suggestions of recommended readings for an Indian parliamentarian in the comments section.