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Game Theory in Indian Diplomacy

For decades, India has had several territorial disputes with both China and Pakistan. With China, the Aksai China and the Arunachal Pradesh are the two main territories under dispute. The 1962 Sino-Indian War was fought as a result of this dispute, but the conflict was never fully resolved, leading to continued tension between the two countries. The most notable territorial conflict between India and Pakistan is the Kashmir conflict. Both Pakistan and India claim that the Kashmir region belongs to them. This conflict has resulted in 3 wars, and while the violence has decreased in past years, the dispute remains unsettled. Due to these disputes with Pakistan and China, Indian diplomacy has had to account for tension in relations with these countries.

The author of this article argues that India’s diplomatic relations with China and Pakistan can be modeled as a Prisoner’s Dilemma. He says that the India can choose to either “cooperate” or “betray” these countries. According to him, while India has been too eager to cooperate in the past, the current president’s diplomatic policies may reflect a better strategy in this game. The article states that the best strategy in the Prisoner’s Dilemma is to start by cooperating and then continue cooperating until your opponent betrays. By this logic, he argues that it is the best option for India to respond to betrayal with betrayal and not simply cooperate as it has done in the past. It is clear from the tone of the article that the author favors the Indian government, so while this strategy could give India a leg up in disputes, it may not improve its diplomatic relations with China and Pakistan


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