The PM hasn’t allayed India’s fears about American defence relations!
Fears about Indo-US co-operation on our strategic defence not allayed by the PM and his advisers.
The Indo-US nuclear deal has created a deadlock for the UPA. The Left is posturing. Everyone who knows the history and the mentality of the Indian Communists says that the Left is always trouble makers and they don’t do anything to promote India’s progress.
The real question before India is what is the future of India? What are the perceptions of India’s real security concerns?
India is emerging as a major economic and strategic power for the simple reason we are the largest democracy and an economic power driven by the IT revolution. India is the world hub for outsourcing that has made Indian technical human resources number one in the world.
That is why the USA needs India’s friendship and in turn India too needs US friendship. This simple truth somehow gets politicised for various reasons in various forms.
Yes, we all know that there is a strong anti-American feeling worldwide for the obvious reason America is a sole world superpower and in a world of 200 states, most of them small and economically weak, it is just natural that the big power is always resented. Also, the globalisation has given rise to new perceptions and new aspirations. There is a historically unprecedented economic growth, thanks to globalisation (what is globalisation and its plus and minus points is another separate topic) and the new prosperity of the new century needs to be properly appreciated by the thinking sections in India. Certain historic perspective is needed to appreciate this.
For instance, the last half a century, after the end of the second world war and also after the old colonial empires all disintegrated in the wake of the end of the world war, the last half a century has been free of a new world war. Though there have been minor wars, the disintegration of Soviet Russia in 1989 and a new sense of awakening leading to new states seeking their own identities that is why we saw the wars in the Balkans, in the Middle East and also the rise of a new international terrorism.
The USA has to bear the brunt of the superpower status and in a world that is free of a world war; the new issues have led to some uncertainties. The international terrorist attack in New York had shaken the old confidence of the USA. This was the first time a major attack takes place against the USA. As such the US resorted to a unilateral war, first, in Afghanistan and then in Iraq.
Now, after the two years of Iraqi war experience, the USA seems to have learnt some lessons. The Iraqi war seems to be going on wrongly for a long time now and the next moves, after the exit of Tony Blair, seems to be somehow bring in the UN into the war management. As Eric Hobsbawm, the historian has pointed out that in Iraq, the USA doesn’t deploy the US army personnel as such, in fact, it is noted that about 30 thousand private (profit-making) army contractors, war contractors are engaged to fight the war!
Yes, in the time of outsourcing, even fighting a major war like the Iraqi war is waged through outsourcing!
The trend might even lead to a new type of UN “peace-keeping” international war machine!
The US certainly looks war-weary and a bit tired too! So, it seeks new allies.
The Indo-US nuclear deal is in fact a favour done by the US to India. All the US expects, though it is not stated by both sides openly, is that India must be a new ally in the search for a new security for the world as it is emerging.
India also has to look beyond its current, rather narrow perceptions. India stands isolated in the nuclear technology field. India can’t pretend to be a sovereign country, yes sovereign we are surely, but in the sense of our freedom to go ahead and conduct a nuclear test as such, India has to tread cautiously, right?
That is one reason why India seeks to develop its energy security through this nuclear co-operation. But then no one can say, either the UPA government or the Left or any other significant opinion, that India is free to test nuclear weapons in the near future. Nor, is it right. So, there is much unsaid hypocrisy in India about our freedom to test, our capability to develop our nuclear power potential, nor India’s wisdom not to co-operate with the USA.
Let us be a bit frank. There is a new Cold War cloud in India at present.
China is making unfriendly noises, China is also in the process of forming an unsaid independent security bloc in the name of the Shanghia Cooperation Organisation in which China and Russia are playing a leading role. In this India is not a party, though we have indicated we will participate in trade and economic spheres but not in security and strategic matters. Russia is also going about its own security expansion moves, just now we read that Russia has resumed its global bomber patrols, this is seen as a major shift in Russia’s security posturing.
We have to see that the US has not reacted in any major way but only expressed its irritations only.
Also, the recent assertion of the commander of the Russian navy that Moscow intends to re-establish a permanent naval presence in the Mediterranean is a threat, as seen from Washington and Tel Aviv.
Also, China and Pakistan are seen by India for long as the areas of genuine concern.
So, India can’t live in isolation for long. Nor does it mean we have to rush to enter into any security and military pact with the USA. But we have to realise, sooner or later, that in the emerging world scenario, in the context of the globalisation, that India’s strategic interests demand a new calibration of mutually useful interests. This only points towards a new realignment with the US economic and strategic perceptions.
International affairs are a complex field and no one can really pretend to be an expert.
Anyway, the time has come to articulate our concerns. The Indian Left has never been comfortable with the American hegemony. Perhaps, they, the Left, might not care to know, that when it comes to the theory of hegemonic powers, be it the new American hegemony, there are others too, outside the cosy Left establishment that even genuine democrats, liberal democrats, the very liberal free world opinion, is equally concerned. But then, the world is so ordered that there can’t be a simple or simplistic solutions or ways out.
We have to learn to live with the existing realities.
As for India, we can’t be led by any other opinion except by our own independent national interests. But then this too is to put things very simplistically only. India has to be guided by the larger world good. We have to become pro-active in UN reforms; we have to be pro-active in many other international arenas. Already, we are not conceding the US demands at the WTO. Nor we are conceding the US wishes in many other areas. All these have to be understood and articulated.
The point is that the global strategic interests demand a nuclear weapons free world. Towards this end India has to work. Also, we have to remind ourselves, even if we conclude the nuclear deal in its current forms, we can’t go ahead and test nuclear weapons.
But it looks silly to give up the deal by putting it in cold storage on the fear of a possible fall of the UPA government.
By saving the government by postponing the nuclear deal, the UPA and their short-sighted Communist allies only postpone the moral burden of living up to the expectations of the present generation to lead them into a possible safe future global path.
If this moral dilemma which is real, then, the collective wisdom of the people and the political class must come into play and assert its march towards a future.
In one word, if the UPA and its trusting allies feel that they are doing this deal with the future of India in mind, then, they might even be ready to risk and take the decision to take the larger issues before the people in fresh elections. Let the Left be exposed for what they are worth. True leadership is tested only in such times.
Image Source : acus.org