October 31, 2010
DO THEY NOT HAVE MAPS, HISTORY BOOKS AND DICTIONARIES IN INDIA?:
It is a recalibration of the Bush-Vajpayee era mantra of "natural allies." Somewhere down the line, Washington has figured out that India is not cut out to be an ally in the traditional sense. Depending on how one looks at it, India is too independent, too timid, too fractious, too tetchy, too assertive, too moralistic, to make a good ally. So it's now a "partner." And in Obama's eyes, "indispensable."
Really? What gives? How come? What is it that India offers the US that the world's superpower (albeit declining) can't live without? Not cheap goods. China takes the cake (and eats it too). Not oil and gas. Not precious metals, rare earths, or hi-technology. We come up short on all the good stuff. We are not even a gateway to landlocked Afghanistan (like Pakistan is, which makes it temporarily indispensable), and the one time we helped US planes refuel during the first Gulf War, all hell broke loose in India. So what are the reasons India is termed "indispensable"?
Well, there are 1.2 billion reasons. It's called the "market" in Americanese. This is the most attractive thing about India right now for the US. Or, to paraphrase an American expression from not so long ago: 'It's our economy, stupid.'A constantly expanding middle-class riding on 8% economic growth into the near future, fuelled by blind American-style consumerist aspiration, hungering for goods, gadgets, and gee-gaws.
Don't believe it? Some of our best and the brightest staff their labs, universities, think tanks and other centers of excellence. We are the repository of prime human capital.
It's nice that they offer a billion customers/workers to our economy, but even setting aside our Anglospheric bonds, just look at a map. Alone, India would be flanked by the Islamists and the ChiComs. Together with the US and the rest of the Axis of Good it flanks those enemies. Posted by Orrin Judd at October 31, 2010 8:15 AM