International security should be a collective effort, not a ‘zero-sum game’, Indian defense minister says
A truly stable and just world order can only be created when nations stop trying to secure their own security at the expense of others, Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh has said.
Speaking to the National Defense College on Thursday, Singh argued that the world should develop a collective approach to security.
“India does not believe in a world order where few are seen as superior to others,” he said, adding that India’s own strategic policy should be “moral.”
If security became a truly collective enterprise, then the world could begin to create “a world order that benefits us all”, Singh added.
National security should not be seen as a “zero-sum game” he insisted, adding that nations should instead seek to find “win-win” solutions that would benefit everyone.
“We should not be guided by narrow self-interest that is not beneficial in the long run,” warned the Minister of Defense, calling on the leaders to adopt a principle of “enlightened self-interest” it would make their nations more durable and resilient to shocks.
A “Strong and Prosperous” India should not be built at the expense of others, he said. Instead, New Delhi would prefer “to help other nations realize their full potential.”
The Minister also warned of the growing impact of “information warfare” and bogus political stability information campaigns, which he claims have been used to “shape the opinion or outlook of the masses.
This information war is “most evident in the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine” where both parties use social media to “to spread competing narratives about the war and portray the conflict on their own terms.”
The ideas expressed by Singh resemble the arguments advanced by Russia in early 2022 when it sought an agreement with the United States and NATO to reduce the risk of conflict on the European continent. At the time, Moscow similarly argued that one nation’s security could not be enhanced at the expense of another.
Moscow has asked NATO to refrain from military activity on the territory of the former Warsaw Pact states that joined after 1997, after the fall of the Soviet Union. He also asked NATO to commit not to expand further east. His proposals for a long-term European security architecture were, however, rejected.
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