Basic Determinants of a Foreign Policy
• Geographical position and size of territory
• Nation’s history, traditions and philosophical basi
• Natural resources
• The compulsion of economic development
• Political stability and structure of government
• The necessity of peace, disarmament and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons
• Military strength
• International milieu
The period from Independence through 1950s and 1960s constituted the most idealistic phase of India’s foreign policy under the guidance of India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. The new nations that got independence after the long period of colonial struggle found themselves in a very difficult situation with respect to economic development. So it was necessary to align with either of the blocs – United States of America (USA) or Union Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR). Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister, was opposed to the rivalry of the two superpowers (America and Russia) who were trying to extend their influence over the newly emerged nations of Asia and Africa. So he chose the path of Non- Alignment (i.e., not aligning with any bloc) in the face of the bipolar order of the Cold War and tried to form a third bloc of nations in international affairs.
“Broadly, non-alignment means not tying yourself off with military blocs…. It means trying to view things, as far as possible, not form the military point of view, though that has to come in sometimes, but independently, and trying to maintain friendly relations with all countries”.