The question of what to make of the extraordinarily fluid politicalmilitary situation in Asia today has bedeviled policymakers in numerous world capitals with increasing persistence since the demise of the Cold War. Did the Soviet Union’s precipitous decline at the end of the twentieth century presage the blossoming of a unipolar world at the onset of the twenty-first in which the United States would exercise for an indefinite time unrivaled hegemonic power? Or was the Soviet Union’s collapse less an occasion for American triumphalism than a deceptive distraction from the more elemental truth that a momentous shift in global power was under way, that new centers of power were rising with inexorable force in Asia, and that, when the shift was concluded, we would likely be living in a much more Asia-centric and multipolar world? If such a world were actually developing, who would be the main contenders in it? Which of them would be allies? And which of them enemies? Especially in China’s case, where the country’s huge size and mounting economic and military capabilities naturally command the widest possible audience and make the answers to these questions far from academic, the assessment of its political ambitions and future potential increasingly topped foreign office agendas (giving birth to legions of China-watchers reminiscent of the now vanished breed of Kremlinologists that once monitored the minutia of the Soviet Union’s Communist overlords). But in India’s case, too-albeit with a reduced sense of urgency-many foreign office agendas were beginning to give more attention than had been customary to its leaders’ ambitions and to the country’s ability to support them. India was rising, many agreed, and it was now also a country to be reckoned with.