Read our analysis of the Mitchell Report on Israel-Palestinian Crisis -
Voice of the Palestinians - "If the Israelis move their tanks out of Ramallah, we will not follow them to Tel Aviv."
India has suffered immensely from lost opportunities in its long history - especially so in the last fifty years. The lapse was due to the Indian rulers' inability to distinguish friend from foe. This was a legacy of the Nehru era.
Assessment of the global situation
But fortunately today the situation is changing, and intelligent public opinion in India is seeing the global situation increasingly from a realistic viewpoint that is more in tune with the American view on this matter. According to many Indians, including many in the Indian government and bureaucracy, the scenario is emerging very slowly, but also very surely that India and the United States have a common perception of the threat to global peace, a common desire to fight this threat and a common strategy to do so.
There is no official declaration of such an Indo-American Alliance. There is as yet no twenty year Treaty of Friendship between the two countries. India is not part of the NATO or the CENTO (as was Pakistan in the 1950's and 60's. But there is talk like:
"India becomes crucial to the United States strategic thinking"
"India sees the US Alliance as an opportunity."
Now these are not random thoughts, but they are extracts from Studies undertaken by American Military Strategists. Let us take a perspective look at Indo-US relation since 1947:
Nehru, Non-alignment and Indo-US Relations
India has been a politically independent entity for more than 50 years. The why have the two nations, India and the USA been at loggerheads for more than 45 years since 1947?
The answer lies in the wrong alliance mooted by India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Motilal Nehru who decided to be non-aligned (a euphemism for subtle anti-Americanism). The non-aligned bloc which was a motley combination of now defunct states like Yugoslavia, Nasser's Egypt, Indonesia and a few other marginal countries. The Non-Aligned movement was a Pariah in global politics, an untouchable for everybody and a lackey in the hands of the Communist bloc.
The non-aligned movement was more unhinged than non-aligned and turned out to be a damp squib - of which unfortunately the Nehruvian mindset was an ardent, although moronic promoter.
Genesis of the American perception of India
Many of us do not know that in an American Strategic Policy document of 1945 that surveyed the post World War II scenario, stated that India, after gaining independence from British rule would be a "Natural Ally" of the US. But about the emerging nascent Islamic State - Pakistan, it said that the state would be "unreliable" as an ally given the historic reasons of antipathy towards the Western (non-Muslim) world in Islamic Politics.
Had post-independence India's leaders sensed this American mindset, the history of Indo-US relations in the period 1947-1997 would have been quite different. But this was not to be and Nehruvian India floated the non-Aligned movement and allied itself to the Soviet Union. Consequently, America reluctantly endorsed an alliance with its un-natural ally Pakistan the result was Pakistan's becoming a member of the American sponsored alliance CENTO (which was a sub-set of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) that was aimed at containing the spread of communism.
Subtle American Help to Nehru's India
But in spite of the hostile attitude taken by the Nehruvian administration towards America, it was the American's who came to India's assistance in 1962 when Nehru's friend the Chinese stabbed India in the back and occupied a part of the Kashmir state. The US then also extended the nuclear umbrella to India when India did not possess Nuclear weapons which China did.
It is another matter that Nehru's queer attitude towards China by supporting it earlier during its occupation of Tibet and subsequent hostility by giving refuge to the Dalai Lama (as now to the Karmapa), he earned Chinese hostility and gave them an open invitation to attack by keeping the borders sparsely guarded. The Chinese attack on India was a result of Nehru's foolish foreign policy. The kickback of this was that it brought Pakistan and China together in a friendship that is still going on (if not going strong) in spite of the Islamic terrorist activities of the Ughir Muslims against the Han Chinese in Xingiang or what the Muslims call Chinese Turkestan.
But at this juncture help came from the "enemy" - the United States of America. Indians would do well to remember this. This goes to prove that the Americans had the interests of India at heart, in spite of it being said that the Americans only wanted to spike the communists - which was only partially true.
Subtle American Help to Shastri's India
Then during the tenure of the second Indian Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, in 1965 when the Indo-Pakistan war broke out, many would feel that the American gave whole-hearted help to Pakistan with the supply of Patton Tanks. But then why did the Americans not do anything by sending troops into Pakistan to fight India as they did in the case of Kuwait to fight Iraq. Some may say the Americans did it for oil in Kuwait. To them our question is why did the Americans do it then in Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia. They may say the Americans did it to fight communism. But the point is that the Americans did not ensure the victory of Pakistan against India in 1965, something which they could easily have done, had they wanted to.
Subtle American Help to Indira's India
During the tenure of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1971, some would say the Americans sent in their Seventh Fleet in the bay of Bengal when the Indian Army was enforcing a surrender on the defeated Pakistanis at Dhaka. But then why did not the Seventh fleet come into Indian territorial waters and fire missiles at Kolkata? Because the Americans only wanted to show their un-natural ally Pakistan that they were doing "something" against India, which in fact was nothing. The Indians were victorious in 1971 with 90,000 Pakistan troops having surrendered to the Indian Army. Had the Americans wanted they could have done anything militarily against India then. They did not. Let us make a note of this. This was the second subtle American help to Pro-soviet India.
The Rationale behind America's Policy towards Pro-Soviet India
We may wonder "Why did the Americans openly help Nehru in 1962, and subtly and secretly help Shastri in 1965 and Indira Gandhi in 1971 if India was officially an ally of the Soviet Union? The reason lies in the fundamental American perception of India being its "natural ally" which has been part of American strategic policy since 1945 (two years before India has even become independent).
The Afghan War
The Soviet Intervention in Afghanistan was the last chapter of America's "un-natural alliance" with Pakistan. With the USSR becoming history, there remained no logic for any animus between the USA and Russia. The dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, the fall of the Berlin wall, the unification of the Germanies all led to a change in American policy that was till then geared towards the Cold War.
The NEW Evil Empire
During the heyday of the Cold War the Americans called the Communist Bloc the Evil Empire. But that empire disappeared without causing any evil. The euphemism "Evil Empire" gradually started becoming a reality with the emergence of the fallout of the American sponsored war against the Communist Soviets in Afghanistan. This story is well known and does not call for elaboration here.
Suffice it to say that leaders like Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden, Muammar Gaddafi, Yasser Arafat, the Iranian Ayatollahs, Parvez Musharraf and terrorist organizations like Al Qaeda (the Base), Taliban, Hezbollah, Hamas, Fatah, Islamic Jihad, Muslim Brotherhood, Abu Sayyaf, Harkat-ul-Ansar, Jaish-e-Mohammedi, Lashkar-e-Toiba, Hizb-ul-Mujaheddin, Islamic Salvation Front (Front Islamique du Salut - FIS), etc., are the new faces of an anti-American (in fact anti-civilizational) challenge in the Post-communist era. A new Evil Empire had begun to emerge.
And this evil empire is not going to be disbanded the way communism had melted just one fine day, when Gorbachev was detained in their last gasp by the communist czars in Crimea. We fear that this evil empire is going to lead us through Armageddon and Apocalypse into a new but shattered post war world.
Kargil - The New Paradigm for Indo-American relations
Every shift in policy needs a hub around which it can change course. The hub in the case of Indo-American relations proved to be Kargil. Never before Kargil had America's pro-India slant been so open and frank.
Former President Clinton's Visit to India and then to Pakistan
The difference in the nature of the visit of former President Clinton to India and then to Pakistan made things very clear about the American Perceptions about India and Pakistan. The warmth in India was matched with President Clinton's stern coldness in Pakistan.
The Bush administration's Shift in Policy from engagement onwards
While the Clinton administration advocated and ensured the US' engagement with India, the Bush administration is intent in moving on with this relationship. Now the Bush administration with Colin Powell' s Iraq (Gulf) War legacy is working towards a more pro-active relationship with India. From the Indo-US engagement, the best is yet to come.
Rationale behind an Indo-American Alliance
- India and America are functioning democracies
- Indian and American psyches are against theocratic and military dictatorships
- Both Indians and Americans have attitudes favoring the growth of business and free enterprise. There are no hang-ups in either country, towards the growth of a liberal globally-integrated economy. This is unlike the orthodox attitudes in some cultures that oppose banking and finance on theological grounds of preventing the collection of commercial banking interest on business loans and advances.
- A majority of Indian and American people are for liberal modern fun-loving easygoing lifestyles
- Indian and American psyches are for scientific progress epitomized by Information Technology.(One indicator of this is the presence of Indians in large numbers at NASA, Silicon Valley, and in the medical and other professions in the USA).
- Indian and American psyches are for integrating the global economy into one organic entity.
- Indian and American psyches are for equality of the sexes, women's education, role for women in public life, unlike the hijab, burqua, chador culture of keeping women in the veil and denying them franchise in parliamentary elections.
- Indian and American psyches are for modern secular education and against theocratic education in Madarasas (theological schools).
- Indian and American psyches are against terrorist activities of the theological delinquents like the Jihadists.
Thus, we can see how the scale in heavily loaded in favour of ending the subtle understanding that has existed between India and the United States of America and the beginning of an open understanding, cemented by a formal Indo-American Treaty of Friendship, and Alliance. This treaty need not be against our friends the Russians or against our neighbors the Chinese. In this context a question that comes to mind is; 'Can India learn from Russia's move to join a common missile defense shield (Son of Star Wars) mooted by the USA?'
Hurdles to the possibility of an Indo-American Alliance
While advocating this unorthodox idea of an Indo-American alliance, we need to remember that both India and the USA carry the baggage of the last 50 years, of a history of formal hostility to each other. The hangover of this formal hostility is not going to disappear overnight. It will keep re-appearing in the guise of statements prepared by the MEA (Ministry of External Affairs) of India, such as the one in which India condemned the recent American-British air raids over Iraq, or the imprudently voiced Indian concern for the "human right violations" in Palestine. (In the context of Palestine, India should not forget that a similar scenario of mindless Islamic terrorism exists in Kashmir. And that both the Indian and Israeli governments are fighting a defensive war and so neither can be accused of human right violations in a war not of their choosing and which has been imposed upon them). Such policy aberrations on part of the Government of India (GOI) will be thorns in the idea of an Indo-American alliance. It would be advisable for the GOI to be more sensitive to American (and Western) concerns and desist from unnecessarily thumbing its nose at the USA. India should be more empathetic to American sensitivities about Israel and Iraq.
Due to the hangover of past hostility towards India, the Americans on their part will try to contain India's growing power and try to isolate India from Russia. One instance is the American demand that Russia stops supplying nuclear fuel to India. Or that America sees India as a regional power in South Asia as threatening the nations of West Asia in general and Pakistan in particular. Such irritants would continue to exit because of the past hangover of formal Indo-American hostility. Both India and the USA have to take such passing irritants in their stride and recognize the broad consensus of the realpolitik of the situation of theology-inspired terrorism facing them today and which will bedevil both nations and global peace in the future. Pakistan on its part will try to exploit such aberrations to the hilt and try to drive a wedge between India and the US. In the interests of fighting the (partly Pakistani sponsored) threat of theology-inspired Islamic terrorism facing the world today, both India and the USA (especially India) should be alert to such Pakistani designs and work towards an understanding with the USA that will culminate in a formal Indo-American military alliance in due course.
India should Proactively take a pro-US initiative
And towards this objective of an Indo-American military alliance, it is India which should take the initiative, since it was India that initiated the anti-American move in the form of the Non-aligned movement in the 1950s and it was India that after refusing to join the US sponsored CENTO, went ahead and signed the Indo-Soviet Treaty of Friendship in the 1970s. As against this, the USA did not initially follow any anti-Indian foreign policy in the period around 1947-1950. But it was India that gave umbrage to the US, by following a subtle anti-American foreign policy.
The American policy of being pro-Pakistan, was only a belated reaction to India's pro-Soviet tilt that was directed against American interests. Hence it is for India to now absorb the anti-Indian barbs that emanate from the USA due to the hangover of India's anti-American policy during the Cold War era. To achieve this, the GOI should desist from ruffling American feathers by shooting its mouth off on issues like the US bombing of Iraq and on the Police action which the Israelis take against the Palestinian street-fighters. India should now take a broad view of where its long term future interests lie and join hands with the USA and other Western powers in warding off the common threat to regional and global peace from theology-inspired terrorism. An Indo-American military alliance is the need of the day.
This Indo-American Alliance should in fact be a common board of friendship for all countries that want to overcome the challenge posed by theology inspired terrorism the world over. A challenge which has spread its wings from the World Trade Center in the USA to Chechnya in the Russian Federation to Xingiang in China, to Southern Philippines, to the West Bank in Israel, to Kashmir… And which will spread to endless places like a cancer across all parts of our planet if all the sensible nations do not undertake the painful but necessary surgery - Urgently.
The USA is the savior of the future of Human civilization
In this context we can confidently state here that in the oncoming conflict between theology-inspired terrorism and the rest of human civilization, the United States of America is going to play a pivotal role of being the savior of Human civilization from becoming extinct in face of the mortal challenge to it from theology-inspired terrorism. In this scenario the sensible thing for all nations to do, is to forget the Cold War mindset and join hands with the USA to jointly fight for saving human civilization. The need to do this is already being felt in different parts of the world.
The opposition of the Russians to the USA going ahead alone with a national missile defense shield and their stressing on a pan-European shield is a seminal indicator of the need for co-ordination to fight a common enemy. This need for a co-ordinated effort is being felt by statesmen in different capitals of the world like Washington, Moscow, London, Jerusalem, New Delhi, etc. A similar need will increasingly be felt in more countries in the coming months and years.
Destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas by the Taliban and other similar acts of Vandalism by the forces of Theology-inspired Terrorism
Events like the destruction of the Buddhist heritage by the Taliban would serve to articulate this unitary element in the foreign policies of countries as diverse as Japan, Ukraine, India, Thailand, UK, the Russian Federation, etc. Whatever the differences in the past; the future foreign policy of different countries in the globe would center around overcoming the challenge posed by theology-inspired terrorism to world peace. In this context, India should have a realistic assessment of the geo-political situation and not miss the bus again as it had done so earlier due to the Nehruvian mindset. It is imperative that this time, India is on the right side of the emerging global divide and the impending conflagration between theology-inspired terrorism and human civilization
An Indo-American alliance in the future global scenario, is critically necessary from this perspective. Both, the Bush and Vajpayee administrations realize this and hence should work further in this direction.
- The Hindu Mahasabha
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