Following are the external determinants of foreign policy:
1. World Situation
A prevalent framework of world politics plays decisive role in deciding the foreign policy of a country. When India became independent, world was divided into two hostile camp, which was much beyond India’s capacity to change. In the bi-polar world dominated by military alliances, India sought its interest in maintaining distance from military alliances but forging ties with individual countries from both the blocks. In the subsequent years, as Pakistan moved closer to the western block and China became hostile to India, New Delhi forged closer comprehensive ties with the USSR. After the demise of USSR, India began to re-set its relations with the US as it remained as the only super power in world politics.
2. Military Strength of Adversaries
India had opted for peaceful world order and friendly relations with its neighbours at the outset of independence. However, disputes with Pakistan over Kashmir and conflict with China on border issues forced wars on India. Consequently, India had to adjust its foreign policy goals and embarked upon increasing military strength commensurate with the strength of its adversaries. This has resulted in India buying weapons and military technologies from various countries, and accordingly strengthening bilateral relations with those countries.