Saturday, November 06, 2004

A clue to Bush II's foreign affairs perspective

November 5
In a word, more of the same. Deja vu all over again, in Yogi Berra's immortal words.
Richard Haas is supposedly a 'South Asia' expert and was influential in Bush I.
Note that India doesn't figure in the 'major powers', which are China and Russia.
India does figure in the 'big powers', which are China, Russia, India and Japan. Since Henry Kissinger has the same list, this must now be the default option.
But then immediately after that, Haas goes into India-Pakistan-equal-equal.
Therefore, Bush II is going to be 'South Asia' oriented: Musharraf as Major Non Nato Ally, India as a country to keep down. The very term 'South Asia' is intended to inflate Pakistan's importance and reduce India's. Otherwise, the area should naturally be called the Indian subcontinent.
Note that among the nine major items Haas suggests, there is nothing of great importance for India. For instance:
Control of proliferation of nuclear weapons by China and Pakistan
Managing Afghanistan so that the Pakistani Army (also known as the Taliban) do not infiltrate the country again
Human rights issues in Tibet
The Maoist inflitration into Nepal (and by extension into India via the PWG)
Islamist terrorism in Bangladesh
India, as usual, has to fight its own battles.
The one good thing about Bush is that we will not have to listen to lectures from East-coast pundits about Atlanticism and proliferation.

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