Random Thoughts

A Top Dog Foreign Policy For a Fox Hunt

Strays, Lapdogs, Hunting dogs, Rabid Curs and Respectable Hounds of Hell

US foreign policy perceives the world as a breed of dogs deserving appropriate treatment depending on which category they belong. Much of Africa with the exception of a few North African countries is perceived as a group of stray dogs at the mercy of fate, destined to perish with an occasional scrap thrown at them, out of ennui or amusement and well mixed with intermittent kicks to discipline it to demonstrate, who is the master of the universe.

Latin America constitutes the class of lapdogs and receives gestures of affection with enough threats to keep it servilely docile. Egypt and the client Arab states fall in this category. They are to be petted, vetted, mated and berated at the whims of the master. The above two groups are basically unimportant commensals.

The third group which deserve limited importance, attention or concern,. and have to be pampered, cajoled or dragged kicking and screaming, as they are pedigreed and necessary to give the King, the joy and pride of status. Much care and effort is lavished on them to make them into a pack which follows the chosen victim of the day's hunt. Europe and Japan are the proud recipients of this dubious honor.

The rabid curs are the axis of evil and include the renegade Islamic and Communist states like
Iraq, Libya, Syria and Iran in the first group and Cuba and South Korea in the second group. Afghanistan and Pakistan fell into this category and first group, but the former cur has been mercilessly whipped and tamed and latter because of its nuclear weaponry, effectively quarantined. Pakistan was on the verge of a starvation death, so a judicious combination of carrot and stick lured it into the cage, where it will stay until cured of rabies or euthanized painfully. While this is good short term policy, it is likely to send a wrong signal to Iran and North Korea, which if they have any strategic thinkers, will realize that they have the option of taking one of three paths. Israel's path is a powerful and effective lobby or the path of India, which has chosen to hitch its wagon to the stars and realign its stripes, while preserving a semblance and facade of dignity, are both closed to these two states, though the promise of food, light water reactors and the hope of Germanized unity could tempt South Korea to behave as the US would like. Iran is far more likely to choose the path of the old Soviet Union and China. These states relentlessly pursued the military and nuclear option, atleast until such time as they had an arsenal which could not be destroyed totally by the US without risk of nuclear catastrophe for itself. If adequate wisdom and foresight is not exercised by America, even starving South Korea may emulate the Los Angeles destruction capability option touted by hardliner Chinese PLA generals. It now seems highly probable that some of these so-called pariah states will gravitate to this path, especially since they have seen the rewards that were bestowed on a non-democratic terrorist state like Pakistan to woo it into the American fold, merely because of America's new morbid fear and vulnerability to fanatic terrorists armed with nuclear weapons. No overt statements have been made but America is turning a blind eye to eventual deployment by India and may consider it a useful containment of China. The recent trial balloons by Russia of a tripartite Russia, China, India consultative group was a feeble counterstrategy given short shrift by China at present, but still altered its behavior to make it less belligerent towards India and increase its verbal distance from Pakistan.

The last group of Hounds of Hell, which were labeled Evil Empire and Yellow Peril have now become respectable rivals or limited strategy partners and these are Russia and China, with India aspiring to join the select category but still nowhere near.

The unfortunate moral of the story, proved now by the rewards bountifully given to Russia, China, Pakistan and possibly North Korea, is that no matter how much your behavior is roguish, if you have sufficiently lethal nuclear capability, you will be treated well and better. If you really are the master of the universe and the strongest, you will be above law and morality and someday in the history of the world, be ranked first like America and proclaim to the world, "Kowtow and obey". It matters not that our myopic methods sow seeds, which yield a bumper harvest of folly, as our policy towards the Soviet Union did, when we played the China card and supported Pakistan partisanly. We are the land of instant gratification and follow blindly the classic statement of Keynes, that in the long run we are all dead, both in economic and foreign policy.  


More by :  Gaurang Bhatt, MD

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