Thursday, April 20, 2006

Re: [Fwd: Jim Hoagland interviews Prime Minister Manmohan Singh]

Rajeev Srinivasan wrote:

> apr 20th
> india to become one of 'five or six' major powers, apparently.
> for this, there is no need for the yanks, it will happen in the next
> five years with no particular effort given that india is already the
> tenth largest economy in the world.
> where india needs the yanks is to leapfrog china.
> if india were capable of some fancy footwork it would become *number
> one*: the reason is that china is likely to disintegrate because it is
> a contradiction -- a totalitarian, secretive state which cannot
> survive for long. the us is on a long downhill path.
> if india didnt have utter losers for its 'leaders' india could become
> the Numero Uno.
> as things stand india will be an also-ran, never a contender. nehru's
> vision coming unerringly true.
> -------- Original Message --------
> Subject: Jim Hoagland interviews Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
> Date: Thu, 20 Apr 2006 08:35:24 -0400
> From: Ram Narayanan <>
> To:
> *Bush’s Indian Ally
> *
> By Jim Hoagland
> Thursday, April 20, 2006; Page A25
> NEW DELHI -- At a time when even friendly governments are quick to
> distance themselves from the United States and its pugnacious,
> embattled president, India is a strategic maverick. The former
> firebrand of the Non-Aligned Movement has chosen this moment to forge
> a close partnership with Washington and to speak up positively about
> American power in world affairs.
> "This lack of nuclear cooperation is the last remaining cobweb from
> our old relationship, and we can now sweep it aside," Prime Minister
> Manmohan Singh said with an expressive wave of his hand. "There are no
> other barriers to a more productive, more durable relationship with
> the United States. The potential is enormous for our two nations."
> India is the new China in the eyes of the Bush administration, which
> has promised to help this once-slumbering Asian giant develop into one
> of the world’s five or six major economic and political powers. That
> undertaking has instilled a new sense of security in the Indian
> capital and erased long-standing tensions.
> Singh praised "the new thinking" in Washington during our conversation
> and easily skipped over renewed U.S. arms sales to Pakistan, American
> pressure for action on Iran and other topics that would have sunk most
> of his predecessors into bitter grumbling about neo-imperialism.
> The Indian leader’s impressively modest and precise manner sets a
> moderate tone for his remarks. A visitor quickly understands why he is
> trusted and respected by his peers in the rough-and-tumble world of
> Indian politics. That does not prevent him from being candid in his
> assessments:
> "We recognize that the United States is the preeminent superpower in
> the world and that it is in India’s interest to have good relations
> with the United States . . . as a very important partner in realizing
> our development ambitions," he acknowledged.
> One way of helping with development and environmental protection,
> Singh quickly suggested, was for the U.S. Congress to approve
> legislative changes that clear the way for the United States to
> provide civilian nuclear technology and supplies to India after a
> 32-year ban triggered by India’s development and testing of nuclear
> weapons.
> Bush and Singh reached agreement last July on reciprocal steps for the
> resumption of nuclear energy cooperation outside the international
> Non-Proliferation Treaty. Singh has persuaded his left-wing allies in
> the coalition government he heads not "to wreck the boat" by opposing
> "an agreement that is in India’s interest" because of their suspicion
> of Washington.
> The administration hopes to move the legislative changes through
> Congress in May, giving Bush a badly needed foreign policy success as
> well as the first direct American influence over India’s nuclear
> weapons program, which would be partially covered by new safeguards
> and inspections.
> Singh would not speculate on the consequences of a refusal by Congress
> to accept the agreement. But in response to questions, he did identify
> two things that he does not expect to happen.
> Asked if India would ever put all of its reactors under full-scope
> safeguards -- as some U.S. critics say Bush should have demanded -- he
> replied: "No. We would like the world to move toward universal nuclear
> disarmament. But given the circumstances, we need a strategic nuclear
> weapons program. In our neighborhood, China is a nuclear power and on
> our western frontier there is Pakistan, which developed its weapons
> through clandestine proliferation."
> And he said he could not imagine circumstances that would require
> India to resume nuclear testing, an option that his Indian critics
> assert is a sovereign right. "Our scientists tell me they need no
> further tests. As for the distant future, I cannot predict forever,
> but our commitment is to continue our unilateral moratorium."
> *The conversation underscored for me that flaws in the nuclear draft
> agreement are heavily outweighed by the advantages it brings in
> cutting global pollution, easing pressure on oil markets and bringing
> a substantial part of India’s nuclear program under international
> supervision.*
> Noting that Chinese President Hu Jintao was visiting the United States
> this week, Singh insisted that "we are not developing our relationship
> with the U.S. at the cost of our relationship with China, which is our
> neighbor and with which our trade is growing at a handsome rate. . . .
> President Bush told me this is a sensible way to proceed, and that
> America will remain engaged with China, too."
> *On Iran, he urged Washington to allow "the maximum scope for dialogue
> and discussions. The Iranian regime may need some time to settle
> down." But, he added, "we are very clear that we do not want another
> nuclear weapons power in the region."
> *
> India is moving from a past of shaking an angry finger in the American
> face to providing a helping hand for U.S. power in the future. *The
> Senate and House should move expeditiously to set this transformation
> in motion.
> *
> /
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someone said...

India is moving from a past of shaking an angry finger in the American face to providing a helping hand for U.S. power in the future. The Senate and House should move expeditiously to set this transformation in motion.

Amazing, isn't it? I've observed this trend in western media in recent days to subtly put the blame on India for our past strained relationship with USA!! They are telling their people to believe that it was actually *our* fault. A lot of American bloggers and others on the Internet are echoing this line. It's mind-boggling some of the things Americans believe. And considering how strong our own intellectuals are and how unbiased our media is, it's entirely possible that the same line might get started to be echoed in our own country!

san said...

India to station MiG-29s in Tajikistan:

India is for the first time building an airbase on foreign soil?
This is quite a novel development to me.

To be frank, given the history of warfare in CentralAsia/Afghanistan, I don't think airpower is likely to be terribly decisive. That region is all about infantry war.

Hmm, what would be some other good candidate countries for India to build airbases in?
How about Maldives? Mauritius? Turkmenistan? Oman?

Dare I say Okinawa? Bali? Cam Ranh Bay?

Well, I hate to be an Indian Macaulayist, but I think we need to help these people manage their security. We can do it better, and this will help to preserve ours.

Tajikistan will give us -- wait for it -- Strategic Depth. After all, better that we fight the enemy on their soil than on ours. I'm imagining the sound of numerous Pakistani gasps erupting as we speak.

san said...

Wow, and Indian Navy will build its first overseas naval station in Madagascar:

It may just be a listening post, but who knows how it could expand?

I think we need to consider all regions bordering the Indian Ocean. After all, if we don't go there first, China certainly will.

EkSh00nyaSh00nya said...

This is a great development -- kinda something like the idea whose time has come.

These countries can trust India as they know it doesn't have nay imperilaistic tendencies and is there to further mutual interests. And as such in the fast changing geo-political scenario, its always a strategic initiative to be there sooner where you ought to be tahn latter (and let the others move in). Whatever floats the boat -- as they say.

Also, India can build goodwill by helping these nations in various areas in which it has expertise in like education, IT, banking etc. Indian businesses can take advantage of the opportunities, no matter how small as of now, to get a toehold and a headstart in their economies.

Hope, the morons sitting in the South Block (the biggest of all -- prime-minion Singh, who unfortunately is no politician or his boss Italian Bardancer) don't screw up.

nizhal yoddha said...

bali, san? of all places? let's leave that alone. it looks almost exactly like kerala, except the natives are much nicer!

otherwise, it's a good idea to extend india's reach. i have long talked about a pax indica in the indian ocean. india needs to spend huge sums on a blue-water navy with two or three carrier battle groups, nuclear submarines, and port facilities in all the littorals. yeah, cam ranh bay in vietnam, subic bay in the philippines, singapore, trincomalee in sri lanka, etc.

san said...

Well, if we can build in Tajikistan, then perhaps Oman, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan might be good candidates as well.

Oman is nicely opposite Pakistan's Gwadar, and Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan are likewise just north of Afghanistan and Baluchistan.

I'm concerned that China will be entering into the Bay of Bengal, either via Burma's Cocos Islands, or else through Bangladesh itself. Presumably Bangla-Burmese tensions preclude China setting up military alliances with both, however when the time becomes right, China could take the Kautilya route and drop Burma in favour of Bangla. If and when they do that, then the threat will become more dire.

KapiDhwaja said...

A long read..India in the Indian Ocean

KapiDhwaja said...

US building more muscle with eye on China

DarkStorm said...

Someone, I actually feel it might be true. Remember Mitrokhin archives. Ok, not Indians to blame, but Indian Commies (an oxymoron at best) are to blame.