Mar 28, 2023
Mar 28, 2023
In a unipolar world it makes sense to ally with the dominant power and India is abandoning its nonaligned status to curry America's favor for the benefit of technology and foreign investment. The critical question is at what price. America's interests are to use India to contain China in conventional military strength. It wants India to maintain a large modern armed force. Only India can match China in numbers. It has common land borders with China and thus can serve as a launching point for American air and land forces in any future conflict with China, just as Britain did against Germany in WW2 due to its contiguity.
John Mearsheimer's book on great power strategy clearly delineates that no great power can achieve world dominance unless it has nuclear dominance. This is why America continues to improve and maintain its nuclear arsenal in violation of the letter of the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty. It is however hampered by Russia which has been dethroned in economic and conventional military terms, but still retains nuclear parity. To counter that, America has spent over a hundred billion dollars on anti-ballistic missiles and is militarizing space with so-called rods from god. Mearsheimer points out that it is absolutely imperative that the sole regional hegemon like America, thwart the rise of a distant regional hegemon. He illustrates the historical failure of any regional hegemon to project power beyond large bodies of water. The best strategy is to create regional competitors. Thus America has promoted the remilitarization of Japan in Northeast Asia and is shifting naval and armed forces to Guam in the Pacific ocean.
It has failed in South Korea which is becoming more hostile to both America and Japan and likely to remain neutral or possibly even friendly towards China. America's foolish policy towards North Korea and not reining in Japan on the matter of a few disputed islands is the cause of this. America therefore wishes to buttress India on China's southern flank, but does not wish India to achieve an independent nuclear deterrence or missile delivery systems to match China. It has made its second foolish mistake by enriching China by trade to appease the greed of its multinational corporations which finance its two equally irresponsible political parties. It knows that India can be bullied presently but ultimately it may show the same independent streak like China, which has come to haunt America presently.
Thus it has twisted India's arms to vote against Iran twice at the IAEA, jeopardizing its energy supplies. Similar pressures have been put about India's energy deals with Syria, Sudan and Mynmar. Rumor has it that it is currently pressuring India not to test Agni 3, its 3000 Km. ballistic missile. The current Indian prime minister is too beholden to Sonia to make independent decisions and she is subject to American pressure. Thus India's policies are at the mercy of a chain of puppets.
What is interesting is that Pakistan has resisted pressure and is going on with the Iran gas pipeline. It also will not serve as an airbase against China and its land connection to China is the highly vulnerable Karakoram highway. It is greatly beholden to China and unlikely to provide an attack base against China for all the tea in America. It did so against its progeny Taliban in Afghanistan to save itself from American bombardment. It cannot abandon reliable China for unreliable America which has left it at the altar on more than one previous occasion. It knows that America needs it to pressure Iran and serve as an entry point to Afghanistan and access Central Asian energy reserves. This is why it can partially thumb its nose at America by refusing to allow the interrogation of A. Q. Khan.
India seems to be blissfully unaware of its importance to America and thus it remains hanging dry in the wind as American Congress modifies the nuclear deal to ban any further tests and now floats the cutoff of production of fissile material. It is interesting that it has allowed Japan to amass enough Plutonium for nearly 5000 bombs. The Indian leadership behaves as though it has a screw loose in rushing into treaties and hoopla without forethought or foresight. Now America is tightening the screws on India.
The current American administration lurches from blunder to blunder out of neo-con hubris as the unraveling of Afghanistan and Iraq show. It has rejected sensible compromises with North Korea due to persistent belligerence, as pointed out by Selig Harrison and others and gratuitously insulted China during Hu's recent visit and pointed fingers at Russia which resulted in a sharp hostile rejoinder by Putin. In the meantime China and Russia are expanding the SCO to lock out America from the region and trying to be inclusive to Iran and even India.
America suffers from a credibility gap like the boy who cried wolf. After the Iraq debacle no one pays attention to its scare tactics on WMDs. Its foolish partiality in dealing with the Palestinian and North Korean crises have Convinced the Arab street and South Korea that it is not an honest mediator. Its tolerance of the autocratic regimes in Morocco, Algeria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Gulf States and Azerbaijan makes a mockery of its agenda to promote democracy. Its neoliberal exploitation has disenchanted the Caribbean and Latin American nations. Its promotion of free trade agreements is ignored because of its domestic agricultural subsidies and selective tariff trade barriers to appease domestic vested corporate interests. Thus its proclamations barely elicit anything more than bored yawns the world over.
India's problem is a crisis of confidence and will, compounded by the naive ignorance of any realpolitik by its leaders. Its parliament consists of a large percentage with criminal charges against them. The scandals of the American Congress and lobbyists, though of lesser magnitude are a close match of India's corrupt elected leaders. The bumbling pair are destined to step on each others toes to the detriment of both.
More by : Gaurang Bhatt, MD