Friday, October 21, 2005

economist does not want the indo-us nuke deal to go through

oct 21st

this is the first sign that i have seen that indicates the indo-us nuke deal is good for india.

if arch-atlanticist 'economist' magazine thinks it's bad, then in *must* by definition be good for india.

similarly, since the marxists think it's bad, it must be good for india.

well, kidding aside, i think it's *not* a good deal for india, or at the very least, it's not such a good deal that india needs to salivate over it.

the americans are willing to sell -- indeed they are eager to sell -- nuclear reactors to all and sundry, notably arch-proliferator china. so it's not as though they're doing india a major favor by selling us this stuff. well, if they didn't, india is likely to leapfrog their heavy-water technology and move into fast-breeder technology on a commercial scale. at which point, india has adequate thorium fuel and will not *depend* on the west for enriched uranium -- thus removing a key chokepoint they have. thus, the target of this agreement is really the fast-breeder reactor near chennai.

someone had the not-entirely-ridiculous theory that the tsunami not damaging the kalpakkam plant was a major disappointment to chinese and americans.

someone also had an entertaining theory that the tsunami was caused by a couple of american hydrogen bombs exploded in the sumatra trench, and that one of the targets was indeed the fast breeder reactor at kalpakkam.


san said...

I'll still defend the US-India deal, because it allows India to quickly break out of its nuclear isolation and recieve de facto treatment similar to what the Big Five nuclear powers have.

As for fears by other that it can cap India's nuclear program in the long term, I am at pains to emphasize that this is only a bilateral treaty and not an international/multilateral treaty!!

As an illustration of what a bilateral treaty is, let's look at the Shimla Accord, which was a bilateral treaty between India and Pakistan. Pakistan recieved all the benefits up front, with repatriation of its POWs and averting loss of POK and Indian dismemberment of the weakened West Pakistan. But barely 15 years after that, as soon as Pakistan decided to stop honouring that treaty, there wasn't a damn thing India could do about it.

Likewise, with this treaty we get the upfront benefit of escaping nuclear isolation and nuclear containment policies against India. Once we get stronger then we can do as we like. Yes, this agreement requires that we put specific nuclear sites under inspection -- BUT NOT ALL OF THEM -- we get to decide which ones we want and which ones we don't want to be inspected. Nuclear sites we have designated for military use will NOT be part of this inspection regime. What WE CHOOSE to designate will be based on OUR assessment of our legitimate security needs. This is NOT THE NPT, which is a MULTILATERAL TREATY. If we decide to walk away from this BILATERAL arrangement in the future, we would at worst be back to the same isolation we're at now -- having gained all kinds of nuclear tech in the meantime. Pakistan didn't lose from walking away from the BILATERAL Shimla treaty. What did they really lose -- India's respect?? Big deal. Yippee. So what.

But I'm betting that once we're through the doorway, we couldn't be sent back back into isolation by the Big Five no matter what, because the interactions will have grown too strong for them to discard.

Look, Bush and his allies are basically dominating all major branches of the US govt right now, and are capable of getting this bill passed. We won't likely get such an opportunity again.

Let's forget this vain pride of ours, where we refuse to take help from others, even when it's strongly to our benefit. We're living in the real world, not that Shah Rukh Khan movie Swadesh, where we turn up our noses at the outside world and wallow in our own self-exultation. If someone offers us a Shimla deal like Pak got from us, then we really owe it to ourselves to sign it. This will help us to undo the setback we suffered when we made the Shimla pact with Pakistan.

indianpatriot said...

You are at it again. As if this is a great deal. Why should agree for something when 5 recognized powers donot allow their facilities to be inspected. They preach (especially big brother uncle sam) do what I say, donot do what I do. I can understand paranoia of Atlantist ecconomist regarding India (After all their govt. UK looted 10 trillion dollars from India and reduced richest country in the world to one of the poorest one). Simply let this deal fall. In course of time with Surya in the armory and economy growing at the fastest rate in the world with us and chineese power declining India could dictate better terms.

Lest we get burnt
- By Prof. Matin Zuberi

The Indo-US Joint Statement of July 18, 2005 providing the framework for cooperation in the field of civilian nuclear power is, like the proverbial curate’s egg, good in parts. The Prime Minister should be applauded for persuading President Bush to open the door for India to participate in international nuclear commerce and join in the flow of science and technology. The United States has now recognised India as a responsible state with advanced nuclear technology, an indirect admission of its status as a nuclear weapon power. It is a belated recognition of an accomplished fact.

Discussing American acceptance, however grudgingly, of British, French, Chinese, and even Israeli nuclear weapons capabilities, President Kennedy’s special assistant on national security suggested, "What you oppose before it happens is something which it is wise to accept when it becomes real." President Bush has promised to persuade the US Congress, the Nuclear Suppliers Group, and the IAEA to make necessary adjustments accommodating India’s new status.

Reciprocally, India’s civilian and military nuclear facilities are to be separated in a phased manner and civilian facilities are to be placed under voluntary IAEA safeguards that will require a declaration listing all such facilities; India will also sign an Additional Protocol to the safeguards agreement.

There is a delicious irony in the President’s commitments. It was the US that imposed technological hurdles in our nuclear enterprise through its domestic legislation and through the NSG. Now President Bush has committed himself to remove them. This radical shift is summed as "like the Pope saying okay to abortion." According to the "deal," we will now be free to engage in global nuclear commerce, including purchasing enriched fuel for Tarapur, natural uranium, and nuclear reactors from the international market.

It should be noted that in the past, despite its commitment in an international agreement to supply enriched fuel to Tarapur till 1993, Washington maintained that its domestic legislation did not permit it to do so. Indian applications for supply that required long and acrimonious Congressional hearings were used to discipline India. France, China and Russia later supplied the required fuel. We endured 30 years of technology embargoes and efforts to isolate our nuclear scientific establishment from any kind of foreign collaboration.

These attempts at throttling civilian nuclear technology certainly slowed down our civilian nuclear programme and adversely affected our developmental efforts. Our scientists and engineers, faced with adverse circumstances, managed not only to prolong the life of Tarapur and build the half-completed Rajasthan reactor, but went on to produce several new power plants that are in operation. They succeeded in mastering the entire nuclear fuel cycle. Moreover, with the exception of Tarapur and Rajasthan reactors and related facilities that are under facility specific pre-NPT safeguards, our entire nuclear fuel cycle has been indigenous, autonomous, and free from foreign inspections.

The Prime Minister gave many assurances regarding reciprocity and autonomy of Indian decision-making, including the following: "If there is no action taken by the United States government or if the US Congress does not agree with the US President, we are completely free, for example, to stay where we are. We are not required to do anything;" "before voluntarily placing our civilian facilities under IAEA safeguards, we will ensure that all restrictions on India have been lifted. Our autonomy of decision-making will not be circumscribed in any manner whatsoever;" "it will be an autonomous Indian decision as to what is ‘civilian’ and what is ‘military’. Nobody outside will tell us what is ‘civilian’ and what is ‘military’."

Immediately after the Joint Statement was issued, Nicholas Burns, point man for its implementation, asserted that India had decided to place all its civil nuclear facilities under full IAEA safeguards and that the agreement will have to be implemented by India and then the US will have to seek changes from Congress. IAEA director-general Mohamed ElBaradei’s statement of July 20 expressed happiness at India’s intention "to place all its civilian nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards."

Selig Harrison provided a hidden motive for the shift in American policy. The compelling reality of geology, he pointed out, is that India has 31 per cent of the world’s known deposits of thorium, emboldening it to embark on a rapid expansion of its civilian nuclear programme; and shifting progressively to thorium-based fast-breeder reactors, thereby achieving energy independence.

This means that India can dramatically increase its inventory of fissile material in the next few years. It was, therefore, necessary "to bind India tightly to the global non-proliferation regime." He also observed that India made an important concession by agreeing to place "all of its existing and future civilian nuclear reactors under IAEA safeguards" and to continue its moratorium on nuclear testing. The alternative to the new arrangement, in this view, could have been "the emergence over time of a Gaullist India that would play an unpredictable, freewheeling role in Asia."

A report of the Congressional Research Service raised awkward questions like how complete would be India’s declarations of civilian facilities. What would be the level of intrusiveness of the IAEA’s programme to inspect those facilities? And given the likelihood that nuclear weapon facilities will not be inspected, what would be the added value of the additional protocol? George Perkovich, author of India’s Nuclear Bomb, also cited Indian willingness to place all its civilian nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards.

A major test of Indian intentions, he continued, will be when it is suggested that the Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor and all other research and development facilities should be excluded from IAEA inspection. This "would be mocking every Indian claim about its nuclear programme." With reference to India accepting the same responsibilities as other nuclear weapons states, he suggested that India should sign the CTBT that they have signed although the US and China had not ratified it.

It is, however, the Congressional approval of changes in American laws that is the most complex part of the task before the Bush administration. Nicholas Burns, in his recent statement at the Asia Society, has indirectly confirmed that it was under American pressure that India cast its vote on Iran at Geneva.

Some Congressmen have written to the Prime Minister hoping that India will support the US at the next IAEA Board meeting in November. A cursory glance at the Congressional hearings on Tarapur entitled "Fuel for India" would reveal how Congressmen can bring extraneous factors, including the Emergency and human rights, to pressurise us. A Congressional committee recently held hearings on the treatment of Dalits in India.

The Americans are keen that separation of military and civilian components should lead to all civilian nuclear reactors and associated facilities being brought under IAEA safeguards. They include the Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor in this category. We should not be under any illusion on this point.

Washington voluntarily placed some of its civilian installations under IAEA inspection, originally to train IAEA inspectors and later to remove the stigma of discrimination between nuclear weapon states and non-nuclear weapon countries party to the NPT. Other weapon states followed suit. Out of the 915 facilities under IAEA safeguards worldwide, only 11 are in the five NPT nuclear weapon powers. Of these, three are in China, one in France, one in the UK, none in Russia, and the rest are in the US. These include one power reactor, one research reactor, and two enrichment plants. The six separate storage facilities are in the US.

There are several questions about Indian commitment to put civilian nuclear facilities, along with a declaration, under IAEA safeguards. What would the declaration contain? Will it contain only a list of nuclear facilities? Or would it also include the amount of nuclear material produced in them? If the latter, this would amount to full-scope safeguards. What about the safeguards on Tarapur and Rajasthan stations that were imposed when India was a non-nuclear weapon state? Would they be brought in line with the new safeguards? What kind of Additional Protocol will India accept? These will be irreversible decisions. Nicholas Burns is going to ask about Indian steps to fulfil its obligations. We should not take these irreversible decisions until the Congressional hearings are over.

san said...

Indianpatriot, let me refute all your arguments.

Despite all your claims of "mastery of nuclear fuel cycle" we don't even have a single pebble bed reactor, nor even a light water reactor, but China does. Our existing reactors are known to have significant safety problems.

Thorium is not some ideal magical fuel -- certainly not everyone else is rushing to use it. Not only could we gain access to a wide variety of fuel sources and technologies for fuel reprocessing from this agreement, but how it harm our thorium supplies?

If we should always be seeking adversity for our engineers to better them, then I can point to numerous examples of our seeking adversity and the results. Letting the Chinese take over Tibet unchallenged. We even voted for China's entry to UN Security Council instead of claiming the seat for ourselves. Hindi-Chini Bhai-Bhai. No doubt we achieved adversity from this, and you will tell me that it has honed our diplomatic skills. We allowed Pakistan to gain nuclear and missile deterrents while watching and twiddling our thumbs. No doubt this was another stroke of genius to attain adversity, so that we can challenge our security forces with attaining "mastery of dodging bullets from hormonal teenagers". We let our guard down and held peace talks with Pakistan while they launched sneak attack in Kargil. No doubt this is another fine example of gaining adversity, which allowed us to weed out weaker soldiers from the army by getting them killed. This allowed the army to achieve "mastery of climbing uphill while bullets rain from above". We are allowing separatists to gain control in NorthEast -- no doubt this is another quest by us for adversity, to sharpen our peoples' skills.

My goodness, with all the adversity we have generated for ourselves, maybe we should sell our brandname on the international market -- we are world-famous for creating amazing adversity from previous advantages.

Call me a softie, but I am not an obsessive glutton for adversity. Why walk when you can ride? Why ride when you can fly? Fine, fine, a little walking exercise is nice when you have the spare time, but for serious trips I suggest more expedient transportation.

Look at the Pakistanis -- do you think they're terribly embarrassed that their missiles and warheads came from Beijing and Pyongyang? I don't see them blushing too much about it.

As for Gaullism -- the French are free-riders comfortably inside the geographic buffer zone of NATO, and they are understandably glad to milk this. India has no NATO. If India is attacked, nobody else will be shedding blood to fight for the nation, it will only be Indians. Even then, most of us will be watching from our armchairs.

What do you mean "irreversible decisions"? When Iran and North Korea are nuclearizing under the nose of NPT, then where is the irreversibility? Let me explain something -- TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER IS IRREVERSIBLE, INSPECTION REGIMES ARE NOT.

So what if we put a couple of fast-breeder facilities under inspection regime, we'll keep others under military designation and thus outside of inspections. We can also build more, since there's no limit on what we can build outside of the civilian sector.

Your article quotes previous inspection regimes for Rajasthan and Tarapur. Tell me, where did Tarapur and Rajasthan nuclear stations come from, if not without outside help? How come the inspections we were under prior to 1974 did not continue afterwards to this day? Weren't such inspections supposed to be irreversible??

What advantage are we gaining from shunning this nuclear deal, and what are we giving up for it? Please spell out some concrete points, and don't give me the stuff about how we will lose the "prestige" of not "attaining mastery" all by ourselves.

Look at how much money we have poured on LCA, Arjun MBT, Akaash SAM, etc, and look at the mediocre results. We still get our best electronics from the Israelis. Spare me the self-consoling Swadesh propaganda.

indianpatriot said...

You come out with weird facts sometimes(In fact most of the times) like China's economy being 6 times the size of India's economy. I asked you proof when actually it is 60 to 75 per cent higher. Allowing regime change in Iran so that US can monopolize all the world's oil and get rid of Pakistan as most allied ally . Somebody posted that it was your dream in multicolor. In fact both Iran and Pakistan were US allies inspite of that US pressured India to give up Kashmir after China war.
Simla accord was signed when India was just recovering from disastrous 60's and after 1971 war and after Kissinger and Nixon's gun boat diplomacy(Sending 7th fleet to Bay of Bengal). In fact 1965 war US analysts were expecting Pakistan to have a walkover in Kashmir. Should Indians trust these machiville Yankees. Just as India voted with Iran US is coming out with 80 F16s for pakistan. I donot believe it is for earthquake relief. You show your naivety too often instead of thinking about Indian national interest. I for one would wait saying ball is in US court. First allow US congress to pass a legislation until that India would not do anything. (which would not happen with convergence of Atlantist democrat non proliferation fundamentalists and evangelical republican fundamentalists. What do you think hearing for scheduled castes in India when thousands of southern african americans were left to their fate after Catrina). Also I remember when Rajeev wrote that instead of kicking out France and putting India in security council (In response to article by Tom Friedman in Newyork Times) it is time to kick out what Gujral called third rate power and put India in. Rajeev is right. Main American purpose behind this agreement is to get by hook or crook Indian fast breeder reactor technology using thorium. Amongst all US analysts Selig Harrison is most friendly to India.
New Delhi, October 21: Despite the tall talk on de-hyphenating US relations with India and Pakistan, the impending American sale(to be announced next week) of 80 F-16s to Pakistan has begun to cast a shadow over the Indo-US regional security dialogue which is being held tomorrow.

There’s growing concern on the Indian side that US tactical interests in Pakistan might begin to overwhelm the proclaimed long-term American commitment to build a strategic partnership with India.

As they survey the Asian security scenarios tomorrow, the challenge for Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran and US Under Secretary of State Nicholas Burns is to begin a frank discussion on Pakistan—a country in which both have huge stakes.

Unless they begin to sort out the fundamentals on where their interests in Islamabad overlap and how the differences ought to be managed, Pakistan might once again trump the prospect of a productive Indo-US relationship.

The only exception to the growing convergence of Indian and American interests in South Asia appears to be Pakistan. Pointing to the new convergence in a speech at New York’s Asia Society last Tuesday, Burns pointed to the ‘‘close consultations on regional issues, such as Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal.’’

‘‘In each of these states, we share with India the basic recognition that the best path to development and peace is a democratic one,’’ Burns added. Nevertheless, this ‘‘active and productive dialogue’’ does not appear to include a serious conversation on Pakistan and its future.

It is easy for Washington to say its military ties with Islamabad should not and would not affect ties with New Delhi. India could similarly say its ties with Iran should not come in the way of Indo-US partnership.

The logic of de-hyphenation sounds good in theory. However, there is no way of ignoring the Pakistan factor in thinking about Indo-US relations.

It appears that the Bush Administration has made up its mind on selling 80 F-16s to Pakistan. It is a matter of time before the US Congress considers and approves the Administration’s request.

While some in the Indian establishment continue to look at the F-16 sale in terms of air balance with the Western neighbour, the real problem for India lies in its long-term political rather than military implications.

Indian officials are certainly not blind to the new American interests in Pakistan—from the imperatives of the war on terror to management of the unstable neighbourhood in Afghanistan and Iran.

However, if the US sells Pakistan military equipment like F-16s, which have no bearing on the war on terror, India’s focus will have to inevitably turn to the prospect of a long-term US military relationship with Pakistan that might not take into account India’s sensitivities.

Worse still, such a relationship could destabilise not only the peace process between India and Pakistan but also the potential for a strong future military relationship between New Delhi and Washington.

Equally troubling is the trend line in which Washington seems to offer extraordinary political slack to Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf while putting India to a loyalty test on Iran.

The fact that Pakistan’s abstention on the Iran issue at the International Atomic Energy Agency last month has met little criticism in Washington has not gone unnoticed in New Delhi.

While India’s vote with the European resolution has been appreciated, voices in the US Congress have insisted that India be examined again when the Iran’s non-proliferation comes up for renewed debate at Vienna next month.

India’s vote next time around would depend on the merits of the diplomatic circumstances and the state of nuclear diplomacy with Iran. However, New Delhi is disconcerted by any suggestion that links its vote on the Iran issue with the prospect of civilian nuclear cooperation with the US that is dangling in the air.

indianpatriot said...

I read this interesting article.

India has voted in favor of a resolution in the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) criticizing Iran and threatening to refer it to the UN Security Council (UNSC) later. The resolution is considerably weaker than what Western countries had initially sought. The European promoters of the resolution have said they have no intention of seeking sanctions against Iran since that would harm Russia and China. Nonetheless, India supported the resolution while Russia, China, and 10 developing countries abstained. The vote reflects India’s fear of America more than its fear of Iran. Further, the vote is only a step in a longer struggle over Iran’s nuclear program.

America and India have been quarreling over Iran. Events since the American invasion of Iraq have conspired to weaken American and Western influence worldwide. The prospect of an American ground invasion of Iran has receded due to difficulties encountered in Iraq. An air attack alone has a good chance of leaving the United States worse off. That means the United States and the European Union must rely on diplomacy alone if they wish to isolate Iran. Ultimately, that is also impossible, given Russian and Chinese veto rights. Nonetheless, the Western effort has pulled India into the picture.

America is much more hostile toward Iran than is any other state, except Israel. Iran threatens American superpower interests in the Middle East. Iran has a long record of anti-American rhetoric since its revolution of 1979, and did take U.S. embassy staff hostage in that year. That was a reaction to U.S. promotion of the 1953 coup in Iran against a democratic government, and long American support for the Shah’s dictatorship. Nonetheless, Americans at large have not taken kindly to America being repeatedly called “The Great Satan.”

Second, Iran has maintained strong rhetoric against Israel. Iran has also given material support to Hezbollah, a Shia political and guerilla organization in southern Lebanon. Hezbollah fought Israeli forces that had invaded Lebanon in 1982. They inflicted sufficient casualties on the Israelis that they withdrew from southern Lebanon in 2000. Despite Iranian-Israeli hostility, Israel secretly sold weapons to Iran in the early 1980s to use against Iraq.

Further, a Shia suicide bomber killed 241 U.S. personnel in Lebanon in 1983 during a brief American intervention to cover the partial withdrawal of Israelis. Iran’s support for Hezbollah is the principal cause of America’s designation of Iran as a terrorist state. Finally, Iran’s nuclear program clearly includes pursuit of a weapons option. Iran is largely within its Non-proliferation Treaty obligations at this time, but could change its mind later. Iran has developed missiles that could deliver nuclear warheads to Israel.
Iran has had friendly relations with India. Iran is a major energy exporter to India and has the world’s second largest reserves of natural gas, after Russia. India has given low-level military assistance to Iran. In 1994 Iran played a key role in the UN to thwart a Pakistani campaign against India over Kashmir. Iran consistently opposed the Taliban in Afghanistan. In 1998, Iran and the Taliban came close to war. Iran has been a bulwark against Sunni fundamentalism, which is threatening to India. Iran is the citadel of Shia fundamentalism. That is a great threat to religious, social, and political tolerance in Iran, and soon in southern Iraq, but it will not be a direct threat to India.

Iran’s record since 1979 is not highly aggressive, with some exceptions. Its agents have murdered a number of Iranian dissidents in Europe. After the Iraqi aggression in 1980, Iran fought back fanatically, and did not try to conclude the fighting when its position was favorable. And it did support Hezbollah in southern Lebanon. A 1994 suicide bombing of a Jewish organization in Argentina was blamed on Iran by the United States and Israel. The hard evidence is mixed, however. That region does have a concentration of Shia Lebanese immigrants, with ties to Hezbollah. One of the accused conspirators was the former Iranian ambassador to Argentina who had become a university lecturer in Britain. That an Iranian state terrorist would go to work openly in Britain seems unlikely. All other evidence put forward is questionable. Israel has accused Iran of secretly sending arms to the Palestinian Authority. But most of the world would not consider this terrorism.

There was a revival of liberal mass sentiment in Iran in the late 1990s. The overwhelming election victories of President Khatami were the result. Iran is not a democracy, though, and the winner of the election does not rule. Unelected clerics rule. Under more favorable international conditions, the tolerant majority of Iranians might have made headway against theocratic oppression. George Bush sabotaged their position. He declared Iran to be in the “Axis of Evil” during Khatami’s presidency. Then he invaded neighboring Iraq. While Iranians welcomed the end of Sunni dominance over the Shia majority in Iraq, they knew Bush intended them no favor. The Europeans and Americans have worked to restrict Iranian nuclear technology. The Iranian response is similar to the Indian response to such efforts. Just before the last election America mounted a radio propaganda campaign toward Iran encouraging people to boycott the election. The result was that the most anti-American candidate—Ahmedinejad—won with a huge turnout.

The global power structure has changed significantly in even the last two years. During 1990-2003 Russia and China voted to renew the sanctions on Iraq every six months despite their intense opposition to the sanctions. Now Russia is again strong with booming oil and gas revenues—strong enough to dare veto Western efforts to sanction Iran through the UNSC. China has major energy and commercial interests in Iran and has gained enough confidence to exercise its UNSC veto against Western interests. India has become strong enough to be considered a factor in Iran. The weak IAEA resolution against Iran is evidence that the world order is indeed changing from unipolar to multipolar.

India and America disagree about the desirability of post-colonial sovereignty. The question in Iran is how mucch latitude it has within its own boundaries. America argues that state sovereignty has been abused in some cases, should not be upheld as a universal principle, and Western interventions promote modernity. India considers post-colonial sovereignty a precious achievement and argues that aggressive Western interventions have done more harm than good for democracy and human rights. Washington and Delhi agree on Afghanistan, where the Taliban rejected the sovereignty of others, but not on Iraq. The United States has enabled elections in Iraq, but does not allow the winners to control even the Iraqi army, to say nothing of U.S. forces. Further, the intervention has generated new threats to human rights. Guerilla wars force armies to make a trade-off between the lives of soldiers and of civilians in their choice of tactics. The U.S. military in Iraq, using heavy firepower in urban areas, has made this choice unfavorably for Iraqi civilians. The jihadi atrocities in Iraq would not have occurred without the U.S. attack.

The difficulties encountered in Iraq, combined with the revelations of Katrina, have now led the great majority of Americans to question the wisdom of the occupation. The questioning should and likely will extend to wider issues. America will have to learn to respect sovereignty as a universal principle. There have been very few interventions with lasting humanitarian benefits in the post-colonial era. Situations like Rwanda can be handled multilaterally, without unilateral aggression. If America does return to the fold of universal state sovereignty, U.S.-Indian concord will increase.

U.S.-Indian relations are unfolding within a larger historical process. Over the last five centuries of capitalist history, there has been a tendency for the most advanced economies to pull up some other economies, even while suppressing many others. These rising powers have sometimes challenged and at other times supported the established powers. For example, Britain enabled the rise of America and Germany in the second half of the 19th century. Germany then challenged Britain, while America supported it, but later displaced it from the top position. That dynamic will not be repeated precisely. Nonetheless, India is trying, like America before, to rise with the political support of the established power. America might be willing to go along, but certainly wishes to avoid Britain’s fate.

America’s current diplomacy against Iran is predicated on a unipolar strategy. A nuclear Iran would be threatening to American hegemony. Nuclear Pakistan is not, and hence has not attracted the same degree of opprobrium. Iran’s neighbors are not nearly as worried as America. Israel is worried, but has a nuclear deterrent itself. India has put up some resistance to this unipolar strategy and then compromised. But unipolarity itself is breaking down. If the United States recognizes this trend and embraces a graceful transition, there will be great cooperation from India in building a new institutional order. America has already taken some steps in this direction. That it has not attacked Iran yet is a good sign. But right now American foreign policy is caught in a limbo between clinging to a fading hegemony and playing the first among equals in a multilateral order.

Sanjoy Banerjee teaches international relations at San Francisco State University. He writes about India, America, and the world.

san said...

indianpatriot, I don't see anything in this which helps India. Okay, so suppose we get Gaullist and make a career out of thumbing our noses at the Americans -- so how does this automatically advance Indian interests?

I understand the point about US assistance to Pakistan. But obviously India is not going to be able to convince the US or any country to simply drop its national interests and substitute them with India's goals. That's why I made the case for regime-change in Iran in order to devalue Pakistan's strategic worth and thus reduce the military support it gets from outside.

But let's say we do it your way and we forget this deal, plod along with fast-breeder reactor development to build more reactors for ourselves along with more nukes. How long will this take? How will this enable us to stop Pak terrorism from inflicting more attrition on India?

When you live in a tough, violent and crime-ridden neighborhood, it's not a great idea to always be walking around alone - I don't care how big you are. This is especially true when there are others roving around in packs. Even a tiger can be taken down by a pack of hyenas. The Islamists are quite a large pack of nations and sub-nationalities. Notice how many seats they have at the UN compared to the lone India. At this point, Pakistan can get more votes to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council than India can. Note that Pakistan has still proliferated vital nuclear tech to its brothers in Iran despite any disagreements over Afghanistan. Even though Pak has recieved all kinds of aid in the aftermath of this quake, note how the $150M contribution from Turkey and the $200M contribution from Saudi dwarf contributions from US and others by a wide margin. You see, there are countries who will do that for Pak in its hour of need. Who would have ponied up that much money for India in its hour of need, if that quake had struck 500 miles SouthEast? Nobody would. Because you want us to be loners.

Europeans have learned how to gang together into the EU pack. Even the Americans who were always the world's strongest superpower since WW2 still created alliances like NATO. Despite China's large size, it still has pushed for trade blocs like APEC, and is even now pushing for an East Asian bloc which will exclude the US. The Chinese seem well aware of the power of blocs and groupings. They're no longer the novices whom Nehru strutted around to introduce to others at the Bandung conference and similar "non-aligned" gatherings in 1960s. So who's queueing up to form a bloc with India? I don't see anyone.

The Left in India don't care whom they form a govt with as long as it's opposed to BJP. Just as I don't feel blind anti-BJPism is a worthwhile basis for a political movement, I'd likewise caution you that your blind anybody-but-America approach is not automatically synonymous with Indian national interests.

mitra said...


Readers comments regarding controversial topics like Casteism, Aryan Invasion Theory etc are either being locked out or simply disappearing. I hope this is just a coincidence and not a reflection of Hindutva's inability to face rational discussion.

Latest to disappear " matrimonials and the online world; the persistence of caste" -

indianpatriot said...

Hi San,
I never followed any ideology of blind anti americanism. For me Indian national interests come first.
First if Iranian terrorists kill few yanks why should I shed some tear. If terrorist state of Pakistan with uncle sams gift of 80 F16s goes back to its adventurous way (like 1948, 1965, 1999), Iran is the state which offered India facility for air bases and naval bases. Imagine a situation where Indian air force planes can strike at will on Pakistani western side from Iranian bases and on the east side from bases in India. For further research read a report on the Janes defense review. I posted an article saying even Israel helped Iran against Iraq. As an aspiring great power India can balance its relations with Israel, Iran and Uncle Sam. It is none of Uncle Sam's business to teach India how to conduct its relationship with other countries. Unfortunately UPA capitulated for few crumbs.

2) Apart from Kashmir, there is a region of India called NorthEast India. The problems of North East India are mostly due to Evangelical missionaries mainly from USA. (I donot deny problems from Bangladesh or China. But I believe main problem is from Evangelical christianity). For a perspective from an American born Christian converted to Hinduism see the link below.

Finally a bottom line question. Why did Pokhran II happen. It was little to do with Pakistan, something to do with China and mostly to do with fear amongst Indian establishment that India could be a target like Iraq for uncle Sam. Eventhough chances of such an event happenning are reducing after Yanks shot themselves by Invading Iraq and their pathetic performance of their armed forces.
As a person you have the right to propagate your views. However donot try to propagate your own created views that China's economy is 6 times the size of India or if a vote takes place Pakistan will get membership of security council. Why can not it throws its hat into the ring.

san said...

indianpatriot - Iran allowing Indian planes to use their airbases to attack Pakistan?? You must be dreaming. Are you aware of what religion they are?

Yes, Israel helped Iran against Iraq, and so did USA. They both mostly also helped Iraq against Iran. Their divide-and-rule strategy worked well until Saddam got too big for his britches and decided to invade Kuwait. This made continuation of the previous strategy impossible.

Alright, my comment about 6:1 ratio should have referred to exports and not GDP, but even in GDP the Chinese have more than double ours:,,0_S1-1_CORPXID0029-2_-3_PWB110475452-4_-5_-6_-7_,00.html

What would Iran do for us against China, btw? They are allies with China, and not enemies.

Again, I feel you are wrong to think that Islamic Iran will side with India against Pakistan just because of mere Shia-Sunni differences. You don't see Iran siding with US against AlQaeda over Shia-Sunni differences, so I don't see how we can expect some grand alliance for ourselves.

I would point out that not all US politicians are allies of Evangelicals, so you need to avoid throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

I didn't say that Pakistan will get permanent membership in UN Security Council, I'm saying that it can rally more votes to its side than India can, due to its coreligionist ethnic bloc. I'm trying to say that it doesn't pay to be a loner, which is what you're espousing. Being friends with an unreliable mullahcracy like Iran is not going to raise our fortunes.

san said...

Here's an oldie but a goodie:

International News London Telegraph
Sunday 10 November 1996
TITLE: The state that got stuck
By Trevor Fishlock, in New Delhi

FIFTY years after partition, the founders' dream of a secular
democracy in a Muslim homeland is as far away as ever. In India it is
1996, but in Pakistan the date is still 1947.

Almost 50 years on, the momentous question posed at the end of the Raj
and the partition of India - what is Pakistan for? - remains the
corroding and central enigma of the country founded as a Muslim

The [9]second downfall of Benazir Bhutto is another dismal but
unsurprising episode in Pakistan's enduring melodrama. Arrogance,
corruption, lawlessness and a political and moral bankruptcy play
their parts, but all the wretchedness and writhing of the "land of the
pure" derive from its chronic inability to decide what it should be.

It often seems that only when they are watching the national cricket
team do Pakistanis unite in a national idea. Otherwise, this is a
state that has failed to make itself a nation.

It proclaimed itself at the start as a secular democracy, but those
who went by train, car and bullock cart to found Pakistan did not pack
strong seeds of democracy in their baggage. Democracy never rooted and
half of Pakistan's independent years have been spent under military
regimes; and much of the other half under megalomaniac, corrupt or
ignoble civilian rule.

This failure is inevitably compared - in the most painful way possible
for Pakistan - with India's success as a democracy. A battered
democracy admittedly, but it works. Nearly a billion people, speaking
15 official languages, with myriad problems, have a strong and abiding
sense of India.

It is humiliating for Indians that the former Prime Minister and
several ex-ministers are charged with corruption, but Indians find
hope in the institutions of the judiciary, a free press and robust

Although the men who carved Pakistan from the sub-continent dreamt of
building a homeland, they unwittingly created a moon in India's orbit.
Pakistan did not arise from a long, passionate, national struggle.
Essentially it was a by-product of the Indian freedom campaign and was
concocted in a hurry as the British prepared to wrap the flag and
march away.

Hard-line clerics insisted that, since Islam was all-providing, there was
no room for democracy

Pakistan owes its existence to the intractable Mohammed Ali Jinnah and
to acceptance of the two-nation idea of Hindu-Muslim incompatibility.
India launched itself on the back of its history, with Prime Minister
Nehru revelling in democratic debate on Westminster-green benches.

Pakistan, meanwhile, set out under its dying founder on the doubtful
premise of a state for Muslims - with no history of national, cultural
or geographic unity. Indeed, in the part of India delineated as
Pakistan there was no Muslim majority in favour of partition. Jinnah
was backed by landowners and an elite who chose Pakistan because they
thought they would lose out in India.

Pakistan thought that India might break up under regional, linguistic
and economic strains. But it was Pakistan that shattered
catastrophically when East Pakistan seceded bloodily in 1971 and
became Bangladesh.

This was proof that Islam was not glue enough. And Islam does not
unite the four provinces in the remnant of Jinnah's Pakistan. Sind,
Baluchistan and North West Frontier Province look suspiciously on
dominant Punjab, which has always formed the backbone of the army.

It is another matter of Indian pride that there has never been any
political role for the army, whereas in Pakistan the military reckoned
it had to rule because politicians were incompetent; and it made sure
its officers were given good jobs.

The province of Sind and its wealthy landowners were the power base of
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the brilliant and monstrous demagogue who rose to
power after the military had ruled for 11 years. The spoilt son of a
landed family, raised in Sind's feudal tradition, he hoisted
democracy's banner, having learnt, "to live by a profitable absence of

This set the tone. As a democrat he was a sham, a bullying
election-rigger. "There's no such thing," he said, "as a good, moral,
consistent politician."

Dangerously, he publicly taunted his army chief, General Zia. "Come
here, monkey," he would say to him. Perhaps it was then that the
smiling Zia thought of the uses of nooses. In any case Zia seized
power in 1977 and Bhutto was hanged. His daughter Benazir was filled
with hatred of the military and she determined that she should succeed
her despotic father.

In 1947, Muslim leaders rallied around the moderate, whisky-drinking
Jinnah in the hope that Pakistan would be run on Islamic lines. They
soon quarrelled with secular Pakistanis who certainly did not want to
be ruled by mullahs. Hard-line clerics insisted that, since Islam was
all-providing, there was no room for democracy.

Thirty years later they found their champion in the devout Zia, who
decided that if Pakistan was to have any meaning, it was Islamic or
nothing. His strict Islamicisation, with an emphasis on Islam's penal
code rather than its compassionate side, was resented by many
Pakistanis, who did not want their country to have a reputation for

Pakistan cannot help but compare itself with powerful, democratic India

After Zia was killed in an aircrash, apparently by a bomb, Pakistan
returned to ramshackle civilian rule. The record is bad. Ms Bhutto has
been thrown out of office twice by presidential decree for undermining
public faith in honest government; so has her rival, former Prime
Minister Sharif.

Meanwhile Ms Bhutto's husband, Asif Zardar, is a symbol of the
country's grotesque political corruption. He is known as Mr Thirty Per
Cent, for the size of the pay-off he is said to demand for government
contracts. His wife made him investments minister.

These political shenanigans have been played against a background of
growing lawlessness. The war in Afghanistan left Pakistan awash with
weapons, plentiful supplies for drug gangs and arms runners. In
Karachi, hundreds have died in street warfare between the authorities
and the Mohajir community - the Muslims who fled India and became
important builders of the new Pakistan. Now, feeling done down, they
demand a separate state.

It was in that city that Benazir's brother, Murtaza, her political
enemy, was shot dead in September, doubtless an assassination, though
no one thinks Ms Bhutto was involved. All of this amounts to a
terrible ganglion of strife and corruption.

Ms Bhutto, as arrogant as the father she adored, is despised by many
for betraying the country and presiding over a disastrous economic
decline. It is hard for Pakistanis to know where to turn. There are
hopes that a Mr Clean will come along and save Pakistan from its mess.
Imran Khan is talked of in this respect, but, looking back over their
history, many Pakistanis would say, "God save us from saviours".

Meanwhile, Pakistan cannot help but compare itself with powerful,
democratic India. The bitter divorce has left both countries
treasuring the offences of history, believing only the worst of each
other. But at least Indians have a positive identity - "We are
Indians". Pakistanis find themselves only with a negative identity -
"We are not Indians".

mitra said...

The above article is a warning for us. It shows what fate befalls a coutry that starts taking religion too seriously.

indianpatriot said...

Hello Mitra,
We know what happens when leaders take religion called Marxism as state religion. Soviet Union collapses. All Eastern European countries leaders are chased away like dogs.(We should do that to Marxists leaders in Kerala and West Bengal).
Hi San you had asked proof Iran is allowing bases for India. I have enclosed link. Iran is Shiaite Country hated by Sunni Wahabi Soudi Arabia and mainly Sunni Pakistan. India and Iran colloborated extensively to help Ahmed Shah Masood against Taleban while US, SA and Pakistan actively supported them. Hope you come up with actual facts to back up your assertion. Wahabis in Iraq kill shias. It happens in Pakistan too.

Please check the link and verify facts. I could have posted Janes (Reputed defense affairs magazine. But it is for subscribers only)

Why should Islamic country allow bases for America. It is mostly to do with power relations in the world. I donot deny US is predominant power in the world but its decline has started. Iran feels threatened by US and they have lot of Soviet equipment which India is familiar with. Also India is a rising power(Probably you may not see it). I believe decline of American influence in middle east is good for Indias interests. Even better if US retreats lock, stock and barrel from Diego Garcia base in Indian occean. Indian occean region starting from Australia to South Africa, India has the second most powerfull navy. I can give articles to prove that. If US retreats see who holds the advantage.
Regarding challenge from China, I have this opinion. If they cannot claim Taiwan lying 100 miles of their coast with 45 times population and GDP of $1.4 trillion, I donot believe they will be in a position to threaten India in Indian occean region in the near future. But it does not mean that China cannot threaten India. I believe India, China, USA will be the most signifant powers in descending order in 2050.

san said...

Mitra, while I am an atheist, I agree with Indianpatriot's comments about how USSR imposed atheism as the state religion, instead of allowing freedom of choice. I would also tell you that monotheistic religions tend to be the next worst in imposing their God on everyone else, as compared to the pluralism of polytheism.

Indianpatriot, you still give Iranian mullahs far too much credit, and you relied upon them to give India military support in attacking Pakistan, then not only will you end up disappointed but more importantly the Indian people will. So I find your blind faith in the Ayatollahs to be dangerously naive. They were forced to turn to us because of the danger Pakistan's Taliban posed to them. Now Taliban is no longer in power, and there is no pressure on Iran from that corner anymore. Similarly, just because we helped Bengali Muslims get freedom in 1971, doesn't mean they won't turn on us afterwards when their war with Islamabad is over.

Notice that the Ayatollahs are rather isolated internationally because they defer their national interests in favor of religious interests. Nah, I wouldn't trust those guys farther than I can throw them.

We are better off seeking improved ties with the Americans, who are our largest export market after all. They will be able to help us against China. I'm surprised that you don't see China as a threat -- your position sounds like CPI(M). They can certainly threaten us through the Indian Ocean, but mainly it's our border we have to worry about.
They are already backing Maoist insurgents in the NorthEast and in Nepal. To ignore the Chinese threat is to be dangerously ignorant.

mitra said...

Why do we get so many Red Herrings served for dinner on this blog.

We are discussing religion, not Marxism. That can be discussed seperately.

San, If you think Hinduism is Polytheistic, I am afraid you have no idea about Hinduism.

And why should a self-proclaimed atheist advocate religion as a basis for nation building? Beats me.

mitra said...

Indianpatriot said: "I believe India, China, USA will be the most signifant powers in descending order in 2050.

What is the basis for your assertion, or is this what you wish should happen.

Literacy: India(167th rank)
Life expectancy : India(161st rank , 63.32 yrs)
GDP per capita: US( 4th rank, $39734 ) , India (143rd rank , $3072)
Military expenditure: US(~ $ 300 Billions) , China($ 56 B) , India($ 11 B)

Time for a reality check??

mitra said...

Indianpatriot said: "I believe India, China, USA will be the most signifant powers in descending order in 2050.

What is the basis for your assertion, or is this what you wish should happen.

Literacy: India(167th rank)
Life expectancy : India(161st rank , 63.32 yrs)
GDP per capita: US( 4th rank, $39734 ) , India (143rd rank , $3072)
Military expenditure: US(~ $ 300 Billions) , China($ 56 B) , India($ 11 B)

Time for a reality check??

san said...

Mitra, please quote me where I stated that religion should be the basis for nation-building. I've made no such statement. I've only said religion is no justification for extra-territorialism.

mitra said...

San, I like to read what you intend to say than what you actually said.

mitra said...

mitra said...

San, I like to read what you intend to say than what you actually said.

The above post was not made by me, the real Mitra. The above Mitra is not logged in.

Please troll in your own names.

san said...

you like to read what you want to imagine in others, and not what's really there. take some prozac, it'll help you with the hallucinations.

DarkStorm said...


Please troll in your own names.

to troll is something else. It is something similar to "trawl", from trawlers, fishing ships/boats. It is like posting to start a chain of posts. Generally , such troll posts do not have any logic or meaning, and are meant to inflame.

You probably meant post in your own names.

DarkStorm said...

Hi San, IndianPatriot,

Take a look at this. Dont we already have the tech for thorium based power plants.

mitra said...


Thank you for enlightening me.

DarkStorm said...

Well, Mitra, my pleasure.

Think we trolled too much earlier, so the blogs get censored, like you mentioned in a previous post.

Troll is also related in the sense of letting the line and waiting for a fish to take it. (trawl). So in newsgroups, it becomes like you send out a post with the intention to inflame, hoping some fishes might get caught and start a flame war. Internet sure has some strange terminology.

mitra said...

Yes, but trawlers generally have Seine nets or Purse nets which they just drop when they encounter a school. But yes, seems to be related to fishing rather than the mythical creatures.

DarkStorm said...

But yes, seems to be related to fishing rather than the mythical creatures.

Yeah, casting the net or throwing the line whatever. It is the meaning which is more important here.

In literature it is related to those monster like creatures.
The words trawl and troll sound similar, and somehow it caught on in meaning in both senses in newsgroups and web forums all over the world.
So to call someone a troll is also an insult, as also to indicate that this person is looking for trouble.
I guess you never seen some conversations that go on in IRC tech channels.

Anonymous said...

This mitra (Mutra) must be some hard-core christist marxist jehadi...

Saale ke saath tark karne me mazaa aayega...

This son of many fathers seems to be a real jerk....