Sunday, March 12, 2006

The Indo-American Partnership

The Sino-American rapprochement of the 1970s represented a paradigmatic shift in the foreign policy of the United States. Kissinger, who had conceived that alliance, now writes on the emerging Indo-American partnership. Here are selective quotes.

"In the north, India faces the Chinese giant across the intractable barrier of the Himalayas and the Tibetan massif. Here India has pursued the traditional remedy of a great power confronted by a comparable rival - a security belt against military pressure. Neither China nor India has so far engaged in a diplomatic or security contest over pre-eminence in the heartland of Asia. For the foreseeable future, both countries, while protecting their interests, have too much to lose from a general confrontation".

"In the region between Calcutta and Singapore, India seeks a role commensurate with its economic, political and strategic significance.

India is well aware that the future of Southeast Asia will be determined by economic and political relationships in which China, America, Japan and India will be the principal actors. A developing Association of Southeast Asian Nations is, or should be, in their common interest. Attempts at hegemony are likely to lead to countervailing pressures. Here American and Indian interests are - or could be made to be - quite congruent".

"In the region between Bombay and Yemen, Indian and American interests in defeating radical Islam are nearly parallel. Until 9/11, governance in the Islamic world was largely in the hands of autocrats. Indian leaders used nonalignment to placate their Muslim minority by cooperating with the Muslim autocrats.

That condition no longer prevails. Indian leaders know that fundamentalist jihad seeks to radicalize Muslim minorities by undermining secular societies through acts of terrorism.

Contemporary Indian leaders have understood that if this demonstration of global restlessness spreads India will sooner or later suffer comparable attacks. In that sense, even if India had preferred some other battlefields, the outcome of the American struggle against terrorism involves Indian long-term security fundamentally.

America is fighting some of India's battles, and the two countries have parallel objectives even where their tactics differ".


Afzal said...

this is disturbing coz it is founded on a fear of Islam. i agree that our religion has had more violence than others recently but to form an alliance on that "threat" is another story. I am not comfortable with the "partnership" given the hidden anti-muslim bias. this is not to justify fundamentalism at all but to urge moderation.

doubtinggaurav said...


Apologies for any offense, but I think Indian Muslims will do well to distance themselves from Fundamentalist Arabs.

Indian mulisms are inheritors Indic Civilization along with Faith of Islam and as such are candidate for progress.

However by binding themselves and expressing solidartiy with unsavoury elements in the middle east and persia, Indian muslims will end up hurting all the Indians


libertarian said...

Jaffna: very interesting. America is fighting some of India's battles calls for some reflection. Is this really true? Or is this Kissinger's (mild) messiah complex?

Jaffna said...

Hola Senor Libertarian,

The United States war in Afghanistan was in India's strategic interest given the earlier links between the Taleban and Islamist terrorist groups working in Kashmir. I would argue the same for the international crackdown on all transnational religious fundamentalist groups that employ violence as a means to further their political objectives.

Here's other information and I could provide you the link to the Telegraph in the UK that covered the story last year. The United States and Musharraf had shared concerns that renegade generals in Islamabad might have access to Pakistan's nuclear arsenal. On Musharraf's "request", the United States introduced electronic safety codes on Pakistan's nuclear weaponry to prevent "unauthorized" access. The question now is whether these electronic codes could be manipulated by remote control in Washington to jam any "unauthorized" (in their eyes) use.....! If so, the benefits to India are self-evident.

Best regards


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