Ranjit B Rai
This is a letter Ex America at a time in history when India is on the rise in what is dubbed as a Maritime Century. India’s geography, its intelligent population, its democratic ideals and its nuclear and fine military are its assets. Its economy is still nascent in comparison to USA, China, ASEAN and the West with restrictive policies that hinder Infrastructure and growth. But over 75 million are richer than Western Middle class, which gives India an aura of richness- sans manufacturing. Indians are now world travelers.
IDF had mulled over this Analysis awaiting Nikki Haley’s visit and 2 Plus 2 meet as discussions in USA revealed, “ USA has never allowed any nation ‘Strategic Autonomy’ that India professes is written in its foreign policy. Think this over with China, West Asia, Iran, Japan, Korea and the Cold War and even Pakistan in view.” IDF smelt the roses.
Now that 2 plus 2 meet between Pompeo, Mattis and Sushma and Nirmals is postponed, IDF sees a snub that India continues to openly defy US over its resolve to buy $ 4 billion worth of six S-400 Anti Ballistic Missile Regiments from Russia when a cheaper US THAD is on offer and oil from Iran (which will mellow) and not sign the two left over Foundation Agreements—-CISMOA for Communication equipment controls on military toys we buy from USA that India calls COMCASA , and BECA for Space collaboration with USA. Indians must smell the Roses too as IDF did in the cool of USA for three weeks when Roses were in bloom, and Delhi sizzled in the heat, decrying the 43 year old Emergency !
IDF reports US Economy is up, the Green Back is strong, employment is up, jobs are available and the general military mood is upbeat with a $ 716 billion budget compared to India’s $ 46 bill. Food, clothes, cars and petrol are cheaper than in India and this PPP economy is bullshit. PPP was dreamed up decades ago by Western Economists to placate poorer nations. But in a globalised world real economy matters. A Porche in USA costs 68 lacs and is double in India.
Every plane flying out of India to USA, EU and London is full in summer, visa queues are long so Indians are big spenders in FFE abroad and all who buy luxury goods in India are actually spending FFE. 80% cargo imported to India is paid for in FFE and even freight. PPP is redundant.
President Trump meets Putin in Helsinki soon and apologists say that is the reason 2 Plus 2 is postponed but IDF stands by its analysis, as it collaborative. Read Indrani Bagchi in TOI who always calls a spade a spade.
Indian American Nikki Haley the closest confidant of President Trump was in India to advance US-India relations and gauge the mood in India met PM Modi. She told an ORF audience that all nations are supporting sanctions on Iran and hinted she did so to PM too. Discussion on Russia was avoided as that will come up in 2 Plus 2 ! USA has asked Germany also to stop biz with Iran and Merkel is smelling the coffee.
After three weeks in USA, IDF gauged India is pitching itself higher than its ability in its foreign and military and economic policy when the atmosphere in India lacks a stable social atmosphere, and the political situation is in flux with impending state and national elections, which will delay India’s foreign policy and military purchase decisions. There is talk India will teach Pakistan a lesson to stop CPEC and India will look to USA’s support which will come. In 2014 PM Modi had said Pakistan should concede POK, as it is India’s. Is release of Surgical Strikes Video a harbinger ???
Americans love action and innovation even in foreign policy as North Korea showed and do not like half hearted measures. Today’s leaders like Trump, Xi Jinping and Putin and now Erdogan are more dictatorial and IDF includes PM Modi. IDF worries Democracy is in retreat in larger nations and BJP is battling an opposition of its own making, which harps on democracy ?
Brick bats are welcome but read the full 1400 worded post !
Reading New York Times for three weeks at $ 4 a piece in USA one hardly saw a story from India, but showed the power and economy of USA which has debts but has assets too and is not worried. China will not prevail for decades like Russia learnt. India is there but low in USA’s calculus, except with marketing officials looking to sell US goods and Apple loves India for its market. USA is strong in Cyber and gleans a lot of Government and business data by data interception and data mining. India has no cyber fire wall and even Government sites and systems have been attacked. We are Nanga !
All this was de-moralising who thought PM Modi has dazzled the world with the world’s fastest growing economy and felt USA has conceded New Delhi is the indispensible fulcrum for strategy of the world in the East as Admiral Mahan and Ambassador Pannikar predicted for the 21st century.
Instead USA looks to India’s total co-operation to pry open its economy and even UAE’s open 100% FDI economy is quoted not pleased with only Malabar Exercises that Navy does the nation proud.
India is a net security provider for the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) goaded by USA, but IDF was asked for details of what that means and US Navy looks to joint patrols in IOR/SCS (Adm Harry Harris going as US Ambassador To Korea) , joint tracking of Chinese PLA (Navy) submarines and for that the Foundation agreements like CISMOA and BECA need inking, and USA does not mind if India calls them with other names as it changed LMS for LEMOA to show Strategic Autonomy.
China too craves to take over a joint security role in Indian Ocean like USA did in the Cold War and looks to bases like India does. News has come India has given money to Seychelles to give a base in Assumption Island and it will please the Seychelles opposition to concede. USA supports India and also looks to an Indian base in Socotra.
IDF had posted earlier what C Raja Mohan writes is UAE is the new Sparta in the Gulf.