November 28, 2007

W AND THE REST:

Will the USS Kitty Hawk cement U.S.-India military ties? (M.D. Nalapat, November 28, 2007, UPI Asia)

Thanks largely to India's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, who shared with his leftwing British friends a dislike of the Yanks, the geopolitically senseless alienation between the United States and India continued for five decades after India's independence in 1947. [...]

Even as late as the 1990s, the U.S. was pressuring India to surrender the Kashmir valley to Pakistan. At the same time the Clinton administration was covertly backing the jihadi elements that finally took power in Kabul in 1996 as the Taliban. Interestingly, as yet the U.S. Congress has not opened an enquiry into the 1994-96 policies that resulted in Osama bin Laden's patrons being given charge of Afghanistan, with consequences that have been disastrous for international security.

Relentless U.S. and British pressure since the 1950s on the Kashmir issue, and lavish military and civilian help given to Pakistan, caused New Delhi to gravitate toward the Soviet Union. Even in its 1971-1977 heyday, however, the strategic relationship between New Delhi and Moscow never resulted in a single Soviet soldier coming to India for basing or training.

Nowadays the U.S. military routinely undertakes joint exercises and training sorties in India. Fear of international jihad and worries over a fast-developing Chinese military have made the United States and India de facto military allies.

However, within both countries strong lobbies are still at work to abort this alliance. Within the United States these anti-India groups have coalesced around two poles. The first comprises those who take a Euro-centric view of the world, seeing it in terms of the West and the Rest. Such individuals see little value in a full-fledged alliance with India that might divert focus from NATO. According to this school, the only core international partners of value to the United States in worldwide conflicts are the other NATO countries.

The other lobby hard at work within the United States to sabotage the India-U.S. military alliance comprises backers of the Pakistan army.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 28, 2007 10:45 PM
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