Australia’s Strategic Blind Spot Analysis.

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by A.V., Jun 6, 2010.

  1. A.V.

    A.V. New Member

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    Introduction
    Fifteen years ago, Henry Kissinger nominated the United States, the European Union,
    Russia, China and Japan as the five poles of power that would define the new multipolar
    century.1 India made it only as a ‘probable.’
    Today’s reality is that the European Union, Russia and Japan are facing an uncertain
    economic future, and there is increasing agreement that the twenty-first century will be
    an Asian one based overwhelmingly on the rise of China. Although America is entering
    a period of relative decline, it will still remain the dominant power in Asia and the world
    for several decades. On the other hand, the regional presence of a rising China will be
    immense. The 2009 Defence White Paper released by the Department of Defence predicts
    that China will be the strongest Asian military power by a ‘considerable margin.’2
    These kinds of projections have led the Rudd government to adopt a ‘Chinacentric’
    view of our future regional strategic environment and security policy, alongside
    uncritical acceptance that building all-inclusive multilateral security institutions will be
    the most effective way to manage China’s rise and promote continued peace in the region
    into the future. For example, the main impetus behind Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s
    Asia Pacific Community (APC) idea is to build new security architecture in the
    region that can help manage China’s rise and diffuse future tensions. But even if one
    accepts that the continued and rapid rise of China will be the most significant driver
    of change in the region and the most likely cause of instability in Asia, there are
    legitimate criticisms that Rudd’s ‘Asia policy’ is focused too heavily on China and not
    enough on deepening relationships with allies such as Japan—still the second-largest
    economy in the world—and budding partners such as India. The future credentials
    of India are consistently ignored or given relatively little attention by officials and
    strategists in Canberra. Indeed, in the quest to build China-focused security architecture,
    the strategic role of India and the importance of its geopolitical weight in structurally
    constraining and ‘managing’ China are poorly appreciated. Beyond token statements
    acknowledging its rise, India remains our great strategic blind spot.
    Ignoring India is a serious mistake and a significant oversight considering that the
    United States and our other allies and partners in Asia—also looking to anticipate
    future regional problems—are working hard to cultivate a constructive and long-lasting
    diplomatic and strategic relationship with India. Washington and other Asian capitals
    are focused on bulking up bilateral relationships with emerging centres of power such
    as New Delhi rather than the premature building of comprehensive, all-inclusive
    multilateral security institutions in the region. As the Australian Defence White Paper
    acknowledges, ‘strategic stability in the region is best underpinned by the continued
    presence of the United States through its network of security alliances and partnerships,
    including with Japan, the Republic of Korea, India and Australia.’3 Enormous efforts
    and diplomatic resources are being put into building a better bilateral relationship with
    New Delhi in Washington, Tokyo, Jakarta and Singapore, in particular, with impressive
    results. If Australia is to remain a strategically clever, active and relevant middle power,
    it is time for Canberra to do the same.
    India—the other rising great power in Asia
    China’s ongoing economic success story is a spectacular one, but it overlooks the fact
    that the Indian economy—more reliant on domestic consumption and less on state-led
    capital spending—has been booming for almost two decades and has tripled in size since
    1988. India’s GDP as a share of the global economy (by PPP measurement) grew from
    3.4% in 1978 to 4.6% in 2008. Growth per annum has averaged around 7.5% since the
    early 1990s, reaching 9% per annum for the past three years. Goldman Sachs estimates
    that the Indian economy will quadruple in size from 2007 to 2020, will surpass the size
    of the US economy in 2043, and will overtake Japan as the second-largest economy in
    the world behind China.4

    Despite the global downturn, the Indian economy will still grow between 7 and 8%
    in 2009. Importantly, unlike East Asian economies, 30–40% of GDP growth is due to
    rising productivity rather than ever-increasing capital and labour inputs.5 For example,
    since the 1990s, the proportion of growth explained by total factor productivity is around
    40%, compared to around 20% in the early 1980s with impressive improvements in the
    services and industry sectors.6
    True, there are numerous problems that India needs to be overcome—including
    endemic corruption, institutionalised discrimination, an obstructive bureaucracy, the
    need for land reform—before setting on an irreversible path of successful and spectacular
    development. But in terms of exerting a significant strategic presence, it is significant
    that India has the largest middle class in the world—approaching 300 million people.
    China’s middle class is still only 50 million–200 million (depending on the definition).
    This means that India has a critical mass of elites generating crucial economic resources
    required by New Delhi to become a great power even if a large proportion of the
    country remains poor. Unlike China’s ageing problem,7 India will have a favourable
    working age demographic until at least the middle of the century: around 50% of India’s
    population is under 25 years old.8 In contrast, around 2015, more people will be leaving
    the workforce in China than entering it.9 The Indian working-age population is due to
    surpass China’s in 2025 (approximately 900 million people) and its overall population
    will surpass China’s by 2030–40.
    India is not just a rising economic power. It has the second-largest military in the world
    and the fifth-largest navy in the world. Its rapidly growing navy is highly professional
    and includes the British-built aircraft carrier INS Viraat. New Delhi is also designing
    and building its own aircraft carriers, plans to construct its own nuclear-powered carriers
    in the near future, and boasts an indigenously built and designed nuclear powered
    submarine.10 Military spending has been consistently growing at around 10% every year
    and is currently US$26.6 billion, compared to China’s US$70.3 billion and America’s
    $518.3 billion.11
    Many Australian officials privately consider their Indian counterparts as being
    painstakingly difficult and too unpredictable to deal with constructively. Yet, officials
    throughout Southeast Asia suggest to me that while this was their experience with
    New Delhi a decade ago, it is much less so the case today. Australia has a relatively small
    diplomatic presence in New Delhi—albeit ably led by Peter Varghese, former Director-
    General of the Office of National Assessments—and only thinly staffed consulates in
    Mumbai and Chennai.
    Australia under Prime Minister John Howard caught on to the strategic value of
    India only during his final term in office. The current Foreign Minister, Stephen Smith,
    has promised to take Australia-India relations ‘to a new level ... to the frontline of
    our international partnerships.’12 But Prime Minister Rudd, the driving force behind
    Australia’s strategic and foreign policy, has devoted little personal and official energy
    toward any concrete initiatives and secured few outcomes. As Hamish McDonald, the
    Asia-Pacific editor of the Sydney Morning Herald, observes, Australia’s peak intelligence
    body, the Office of National Assessments, is struggling to build its analytical expertise on
    India. Australian diplomats are learning about India after they arrive in their postings.13
    Contrast the Rudd government’s relative neglect of India with the barely reported fact
    that on 24 November 2009, US President Barrack Obama will welcome Indian Prime
    Minister Manmohan Singh for the first state visit of his presidency. Despite earlier fears
    that the Obama administration would eschew the advances in the US-India bilateral
    relationship made under the presidency of George W. Bush, the current administration
    has been making low-key but consistent advances towards India. The choice of Prime
    Minister Singh as Obama’s first state guest is significant because as White House
    spokesperson Robert Gibbs explained, the visit will ‘highlight the strong and growing
    strategic partnership between the United States and India.’14
     
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  3. A.V.

    A.V. New Member

    Joined:
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    The term ‘strategic partnership’ is not deployed lightly in official Washington circles;
    tellingly, Washington has not yet applied similar terms to the US-China relationship.
    It is now well-entrenched in the American strategic community on both sides of
    politics that a growing US-India strategic partnership can serve as a much sought-after
    ‘structural constraint’ to Beijing’s ability to potentially disrupt the existing security
    order, even as China rises. It is widely accepted in both Washington and New Delhi,
    and also throughout Asia, that the US-India partnership greatly enhances the prospect
    of continued stability in the region. True, this is dependent on India continuing to rise
    and being successfully brought into the existing diplomatic and strategic structures in
    Asia. But there is growing evidence that both are occurring, meaning that India is well
    positioned to become the ‘swing state’ that could determine Asia’s future balance.
    The rise of strategic India
    The central position of India, its magnificent resources, its teeming multitude of
    men, its great trading harbours, its reserve of military strength, supplying an army
    always in a high state of efficiency and capable of being hurled at a moment’s
    notice upon any point either through Asia or Africa—all these are assets of
    precious value. On the West, India must exercise a predominant influence over
    the destinies of Persia and Afghanistan; on the north, it can veto any rival in
    Tibet; on the north-east … it can exert great pressure upon China, and it is one
    of the guardians of the autonomous existence of Siam.15
    —Lord Curzon, Viceroy of India 1898–1905
    The recent historical neglect of India as a key strategic player in Asia is an aberration
    given the sheer size of the country in a location that would thrill any geo-strategist—the
    fault of both insular Indian domestic and foreign policy since its independence in 1947
    and a lack of imagination on the part of America and its Asian allies.
    For decades, India was its own worst enemy. The country’s poorly performing
    socialist system, its cultural insularity, and reflexive anti-Americanism limiting
    New Delhi’s influence were shortcomings that stifled India’s economic growth and
    strategic value. Leading foreign policy analyst C. Raja Mohan memorably compared
    India’s older strategic culture and style to a ‘porcupine’—vegetarian, slow-footed,
    defensive, and prickly.16 Prime Minister Nehru’s aversion to the West and the early
    rhetoric of ‘non-alignment’ (which conveniently ignored the fact that India signed
    an alliance with the Soviet Union) dominated Indian strategic culture for decades.
    The result was strategic irrelevance despite the existence of such a large state.
    To be sure, many of the problems between India and the United States, and India’s
    subsequent isolation, were also the result of Cold War politics. During the John F.
    Kennedy administration (1961–63), democratic India was seen as an important
    counterbalance to authoritarian China. However, the Chinese invasion of India in
    1962 meant that India moved closer to the Soviet Union following the Sino-Soviet
    split in the 1960s. Subsequently, during the two Indo-Pakistan wars in 1965 and 1971,
    Washington offered diplomatic and military assistance to Islamabad while New Delhi
    eventually signed a 20-year pact of ‘peace, friendship and cooperation’ with the Soviet
    Union in 1971 (primarily to deter possible Chinese adventurism). Further obstacles to
    a better US-India relationship were erected after President Richard Nixon initiated the
    rapprochement with China in 1972 in order to isolate the Soviets. Even though there
    was a slight easing of tensions between India and the United States when President
    Jimmy Carter assumed power, India’s refusal to support American’s anti-Soviet campaign
    after the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979 significantly reversed any small
    progress in the US-India bilateral relationship. Critically, America deepened its strategic
    relationship with Pakistan after the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The increased
    military cooperation between America and Pakistan raised fears that this might allow
    Pakistan to narrow the military gap with India, and pushed India even closer to the
    Soviet Union.
    India’s emergence from this hiatus happened in a process that unfolded over several
    decades, but 1991 was the year that India decisively woke from its complacent slumber—
    both economically and strategically. Importantly, Prime Minister Narasimha Rao, who
    was elected in 1991, chose the pro-reformist and free-market advocate Manmohan
    Singh as his Finance Minister to deal with the serious fiscal and economic crises facing
    the country.
    India was confronted by a serious fiscal and balance of payments problem that had
    been worsening over a number of years. These deep-seated problems were exacerbated
    by the decision to purchase a large amount of petroleum on the spot market following
    Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait in 1991 as well as dramatic falls in
    remittances from Indian workers in the Middle East as a result of the first Gulf War.
    The decision drained the country’s foreign exchange reserves, and the economic situation
    worsened after India lost its export markets in East Europe following the disintegration
    of the Soviet Union. In barely two years, 1990–91, an estimated 110 million people
    were thrown into poverty.17
    As Finance Minister, Singh was the architect of the economic reforms that reversed
    this crisis and led to a two-decade economic boom. Unlike previous balance of payments
    led crises in 1956–57, 1965–66, and 1980–81where Indian leaders reflexively reverted
    to communist principles and tightened rather than loosen controls and regulations,18
    Singh responded by altering the direction of the nation’s economic policies. This included
    gradually abandoning import-substitution industrialisation, and slowly unravelling the
    regime of licenses, quotas, permits, and other regulations that stifled economic growth.
    To be fair to previous governments, the impetus for gradual, ad hoc liberalisation was
    already evident in the 1980s under the leadership of Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi.19
    But the 1991 crisis gave this trend an irreversible shot in the arm.
    Moreover, the implosion of the Soviet Union woke the Indian strategic community
    from its complacency. India faced the final decade of the twentieth century needing a
    new strategic vision that would complement the primary goals of both maintaining
    its independence and accelerating economic development. Under Prime Minister
    Narasimha Rao, increased engagement with regional powers was seen as a strategy that
    would enhance Indian economic development, status and, ultimately, the country’s
    security. Remaining ‘independent’ no longer implied remaining ‘unaligned’; the latter
    had become devoid of any real meaning. The benefits of being a strategic ‘porcupine’
    were minimal. Instead, New Delhi realised that an economically strong and engaged
    India, rather than a weak and isolated one, was to be the future foundation for an
    effective counter-dominance strategy. But more than this, India also came to the sensible
    realisation that a country of its size, with one of the great civilisations in the world,
    had a natural role to play as a great regional and eventually global power.
    (a) Looking East
    India’s Look East policy was launched in 1992. In his first budget speech in Parliament
    in July 1991, Finance Minister Singh had offered a famous quote from French novelist
    Victor Hugo—‘No power on earth can stop an idea whose time has come’—and declared
    the emergence of India as an economic power as one such idea. But looking east was
    not just an economic decision but an explicitly strategic one. Strategic engagement with
    Southeast and East Asian countries began simultaneously with economic engagement,
    not after it. Prime Minister Rao gave significant momentum to this shift by visiting
    China, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, and SingaporeBy the time Prime Minister Singh came to power in 2004, India had long accepted
    the rhetoric of the twenty-first century being an ‘Asian century’ and its growing
    importance in a changing Asia. India grew in confidence and expressed a desire to play
    a significant role in shaping this new environment.20 For a country that once viewed
    East and Southeast Asia as a region dominated by America and its lackeys, this was an
    enormous change.
    As Prime Minister Singh acknowledged, the Look East policy ‘was also a shift
    in India’s vision of the world and India’s place in the evolving global economy.’21
    India needed to find new friends after the implosion of the Soviet Union. Moreover, by
    the mid-1990s, it was undeniable that China had become a major power in the region.
    The ongoing dispute with Pakistan wasn’t going away, but India’s status as just a great
    South Asian (rather than Asian) power could no longer guarantee the country’s future
    security. In the 1990s, Chinese diplomatic strategy in the South China Sea was impulsive,
    aggressive and impatient. Since then, Beijing’s diplomacy has been much more subtle.
    As the paper observes, China’s rise—from a weak ‘rogue dragon’ to legitimate great
    power—further convinced the Indians that they had no choice but to accept a larger
    role in East and Southeast Asia.
    (b) India and the US—confronting the elephant in the room
    Although President George W. Bush in his second term came to the belated realisation
    that India and America shared important political values and strategic interests, the
    recent strategic interest in India had its roots after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Following
    the American invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 to remove the Taliban from power, there
    was renewed strategic interest in New Delhi since Indian influence in Afghanistan had
    been strong until the rise of the Islamabad backed Taliban’s rise to power in Kabul.
    India had supported successive governments in Kabul until the rise of the Taliban in the
    1990s and subsequently supported the Northern Alliance that helped American forces
    depose the Taliban.22 Since 2001, India has donated US$1.2 billion to Afghanistan’s
    reconstruction, making it the largest regional donor.23
    Nevertheless, any further deepening of diplomatic and strategic relations between
    Washington and New Delhi still had to overcome a traditional stumbling block: the
    reluctance of India’s political and bureaucratic elites to engage with the United States,
    especially after America’s condemnation of India’s nuclear test in 1998 and the persistent
    refusal to accept India as a ‘legitimate’ and ‘responsible’ nuclear power. From New Delhi’s
    point of view, the Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) was an unfair agreement that served
    to entrench the interests of the then nuclear powers of the United States, Soviet Union
    (now Russia), China, France, and Britain. Persistent American backing for what former
    Indian External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh called the ‘nuclear apartheid regime’24
    was viewed as an affront to India. As Indian leaders and strategists consistently argued,
     
  4. A.V.

    A.V. New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    6,503
    Likes Received:
    1,106
    Location:
    Moscow, russia
    The term ‘strategic partnership’ is not deployed lightly in official Washington circles;
    tellingly, Washington has not yet applied similar terms to the US-China relationship.
    It is now well-entrenched in the American strategic community on both sides of
    politics that a growing US-India strategic partnership can serve as a much sought-after
    ‘structural constraint’ to Beijing’s ability to potentially disrupt the existing security
    order, even as China rises. It is widely accepted in both Washington and New Delhi,
    and also throughout Asia, that the US-India partnership greatly enhances the prospect
    of continued stability in the region. True, this is dependent on India continuing to rise
    and being successfully brought into the existing diplomatic and strategic structures in
    Asia. But there is growing evidence that both are occurring, meaning that India is well
    positioned to become the ‘swing state’ that could determine Asia’s future balance.
    The rise of strategic India
    The central position of India, its magnificent resources, its teeming multitude of
    men, its great trading harbours, its reserve of military strength, supplying an army
    always in a high state of efficiency and capable of being hurled at a moment’s
    notice upon any point either through Asia or Africa—all these are assets of
    precious value. On the West, India must exercise a predominant influence over
    the destinies of Persia and Afghanistan; on the north, it can veto any rival in
    Tibet; on the north-east … it can exert great pressure upon China, and it is one
    of the guardians of the autonomous existence of Siam.15
    —Lord Curzon, Viceroy of India 1898–1905
    The recent historical neglect of India as a key strategic player in Asia is an aberration
    given the sheer size of the country in a location that would thrill any geo-strategist—the
    fault of both insular Indian domestic and foreign policy since its independence in 1947
    and a lack of imagination on the part of America and its Asian allies.
    For decades, India was its own worst enemy. The country’s poorly performing
    socialist system, its cultural insularity, and reflexive anti-Americanism limiting
    New Delhi’s influence were shortcomings that stifled India’s economic growth and
    strategic value. Leading foreign policy analyst C. Raja Mohan memorably compared
    India’s older strategic culture and style to a ‘porcupine’—vegetarian, slow-footed,
    defensive, and prickly.16 Prime Minister Nehru’s aversion to the West and the early
    rhetoric of ‘non-alignment’ (which conveniently ignored the fact that India signed
    an alliance with the Soviet Union) dominated Indian strategic culture for decades.
    The result was strategic irrelevance despite the existence of such a large state.
    To be sure, many of the problems between India and the United States, and India’s
    subsequent isolation, were also the result of Cold War politics. During the John F.
    Kennedy administration (1961–63), democratic India was seen as an important
    counterbalance to authoritarian China. However, the Chinese invasion of India in
    1962 meant that India moved closer to the Soviet Union following the Sino-Soviet
    split in the 1960s. Subsequently, during the two Indo-Pakistan wars in 1965 and 1971,
    Washington offered diplomatic and military assistance to Islamabad while New Delhi
    eventually signed a 20-year pact of ‘peace, friendship and cooperation’ with the Soviet
    Union in 1971 (primarily to deter possible Chinese adventurism). Further obstacles to
    a better US-India relationship were erected after President Richard Nixon initiated the
    rapprochement with China in 1972 in order to isolate the Soviets. Even though there
    was a slight easing of tensions between India and the United States when President
    Jimmy Carter assumed power, India’s refusal to support American’s anti-Soviet campaign
    after the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979 significantly reversed any small
    progress in the US-India bilateral relationship. Critically, America deepened its strategic
    relationship with Pakistan after the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The increased
    military cooperation between America and Pakistan raised fears that this might allow
    Pakistan to narrow the military gap with India, and pushed India even closer to the
    Soviet Union.
    India’s emergence from this hiatus happened in a process that unfolded over several
    decades, but 1991 was the year that India decisively woke from its complacent slumber—
    both economically and strategically. Importantly, Prime Minister Narasimha Rao, who
    was elected in 1991, chose the pro-reformist and free-market advocate Manmohan
    Singh as his Finance Minister to deal with the serious fiscal and economic crises facing
    the country.
    India was confronted by a serious fiscal and balance of payments problem that had
    been worsening over a number of years. These deep-seated problems were exacerbated
    by the decision to purchase a large amount of petroleum on the spot market following
    Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait in 1991 as well as dramatic falls in
    remittances from Indian workers in the Middle East as a result of the first Gulf War.
    The decision drained the country’s foreign exchange reserves, and the economic situation
    worsened after India lost its export markets in East Europe following the disintegration
    of the Soviet Union. In barely two years, 1990–91, an estimated 110 million people
    were thrown into poverty.17
    As Finance Minister, Singh was the architect of the economic reforms that reversed
    this crisis and led to a two-decade economic boom. Unlike previous balance of payments
    led crises in 1956–57, 1965–66, and 1980–81where Indian leaders reflexively reverted
    to communist principles and tightened rather than loosen controls and regulations,18
    Singh responded by altering the direction of the nation’s economic policies. This included
    gradually abandoning import-substitution industrialisation, and slowly unravelling the
    regime of licenses, quotas, permits, and other regulations that stifled economic growth.
    To be fair to previous governments, the impetus for gradual, ad hoc liberalisation was
    already evident in the 1980s under the leadership of Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi.19
    But the 1991 crisis gave this trend an irreversible shot in the arm.
    Moreover, the implosion of the Soviet Union woke the Indian strategic community
    from its complacency. India faced the final decade of the twentieth century needing a
    new strategic vision that would complement the primary goals of both maintaining
    its independence and accelerating economic development. Under Prime Minister
    Narasimha Rao, increased engagement with regional powers was seen as a strategy that
    would enhance Indian economic development, status and, ultimately, the country’s
    security. Remaining ‘independent’ no longer implied remaining ‘unaligned’; the latter
    had become devoid of any real meaning. The benefits of being a strategic ‘porcupine’
    were minimal. Instead, New Delhi realised that an economically strong and engaged
    India, rather than a weak and isolated one, was to be the future foundation for an
    effective counter-dominance strategy. But more than this, India also came to the sensible
    realisation that a country of its size, with one of the great civilisations in the world,
    had a natural role to play as a great regional and eventually global power.
    (a) Looking East
    India’s Look East policy was launched in 1992. In his first budget speech in Parliament
    in July 1991, Finance Minister Singh had offered a famous quote from French novelist
    Victor Hugo—‘No power on earth can stop an idea whose time has come’—and declared
    the emergence of India as an economic power as one such idea. But looking east was
    not just an economic decision but an explicitly strategic one. Strategic engagement with
    Southeast and East Asian countries began simultaneously with economic engagement,
    not after it. Prime Minister Rao gave significant momentum to this shift by visiting
    China, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, and SingaporeBy the time Prime Minister Singh came to power in 2004, India had long accepted
    the rhetoric of the twenty-first century being an ‘Asian century’ and its growing
    importance in a changing Asia. India grew in confidence and expressed a desire to play
    a significant role in shaping this new environment.20 For a country that once viewed
    East and Southeast Asia as a region dominated by America and its lackeys, this was an
    enormous change.
    As Prime Minister Singh acknowledged, the Look East policy ‘was also a shift
    in India’s vision of the world and India’s place in the evolving global economy.’21
    India needed to find new friends after the implosion of the Soviet Union. Moreover, by
    the mid-1990s, it was undeniable that China had become a major power in the region.
    The ongoing dispute with Pakistan wasn’t going away, but India’s status as just a great
    South Asian (rather than Asian) power could no longer guarantee the country’s future
    security. In the 1990s, Chinese diplomatic strategy in the South China Sea was impulsive,
    aggressive and impatient. Since then, Beijing’s diplomacy has been much more subtle.
    As the paper observes, China’s rise—from a weak ‘rogue dragon’ to legitimate great
    power—further convinced the Indians that they had no choice but to accept a larger
    role in East and Southeast Asia.
    (b) India and the US—confronting the elephant in the room
    Although President George W. Bush in his second term came to the belated realisation
    that India and America shared important political values and strategic interests, the
    recent strategic interest in India had its roots after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Following
    the American invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 to remove the Taliban from power, there
    was renewed strategic interest in New Delhi since Indian influence in Afghanistan had
    been strong until the rise of the Islamabad backed Taliban’s rise to power in Kabul.
    India had supported successive governments in Kabul until the rise of the Taliban in the
    1990s and subsequently supported the Northern Alliance that helped American forces
    depose the Taliban.22 Since 2001, India has donated US$1.2 billion to Afghanistan’s
    reconstruction, making it the largest regional donor.23
    Nevertheless, any further deepening of diplomatic and strategic relations between
    Washington and New Delhi still had to overcome a traditional stumbling block: the
    reluctance of India’s political and bureaucratic elites to engage with the United States,
    especially after America’s condemnation of India’s nuclear test in 1998 and the persistent
    refusal to accept India as a ‘legitimate’ and ‘responsible’ nuclear power. From New Delhi’s
    point of view, the Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) was an unfair agreement that served
    to entrench the interests of the then nuclear powers of the United States, Soviet Union
    (now Russia), China, France, and Britain. Persistent American backing for what former
    Indian External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh called the ‘nuclear apartheid regime’24
    was viewed as an affront to India. As Indian leaders and strategists consistently argued,
     
  5. A.V.

    A.V. New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    6,503
    Likes Received:
    1,106
    Location:
    Moscow, russia
    India had proven itself to be a responsible nuclear power with a perfect non-proliferation
    history. The continued ostracism of India as a nuclear power, according to New Delhi,
    meant a refusal to recognise and accept India as a rising and responsible great power.
    A major change to repair this rift became apparent when in July 2005, George W.
    Bush and Prime Minister Singh signed a framework for an agreement under which India
    agreed to separate its civil and military nuclear facilities and place all its civil nuclear
    facilities under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards. In return, the
    United States offered India full support for its civilian nuclear program. The result was
    the United States-India Nuclear Cooperation Approval and Non-proliferation Enhancement
    Act, which came into force in 2008. Even though India remains a non-signatory to
    the NPT, the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG)—of which Australia is a
    member—granted India a waiver at the behest of the Americans, allowing India to enter
    into the legitimate market for nuclear materials. The agreement recognised India as ‘a
    responsible state with advanced nuclear technology’ and gave New Delhi what it wanted
    (access to fissile material from international suppliers and civilian nuclear technology)
    and legitimised India as a nuclear power after decades of international ostracism.
    Interestingly, the decision by the United States to move on the nuclear deal followed
    India’s decision to apply for full membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation
    (SCO) in June 2005, and again in October of that year25 (after the conclusion of the
    US-India framework agreement). Even prior to the June 2008 statement by Indian
    External Affairs Minister K. Natwar Singh that India wanted to become a full member
    of the SCO, Beijing and New Delhi spoke ambiguously about working towards a
    ‘strategic partnership.’
    These developments took place during the same time the Central Intelligence
    Agency (CIA) described India as the key swing state in Asia and US strategists were
    urging the Bush Administration to prevent such an Indo-Sino partnership. Even though
    Prime Minister Singh characterised the framework agreement as one that would help
    secure Indian energy security in the future, it was squarely viewed by Indian officials
    as primarily a strategic move closer toward the United States. Notably, the deal was
    criticised by the communists from the Indian Left as being just that—one that entailed
    closer strategic relations with Washington—and condemned by the ultra-nationalistic
    Indian Right as one that would sacrifice India’s ‘strategic independence.’ Similarly, there
    is no doubt that even though the decision to conclude the deal was frequently justified by
    American officials as one designed to help meet India’s development needs by allowing
    it to purchase the nuclear materials it required to generate energy, Washington insiders
    widely admit that the primary motivation was a geo-strategic one.
    Once the framework agreement was concluded, the foundations for a deeper
    strategic partnership between the United States and India were quickly laid. This
    was complemented by India and Japan declaring an ambition for a strategic and
    economic entente ‘between Asia’s two largest democratic powers’ in December 2006.
    Then US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice spoke frequently about the United States
    ‘helping India to become a world power’26 both immediately before and repeatedly after
    the signing of the framework agreement. This grand offer was matched by concrete
    initiatives such as America’s offer to help India produce world class combat aircraft.
    As C. Raja Mohan observes, ‘Our 30-year complaint [about] denial regimes [that] have
    targeted India has now been rubbished with the American offers of joint production
    of world class combat aircraft. This is not to be mistaken for a hardware sale, but a
    realization that the Americans can live with a regional power like India.’27 American
    generosity therefore extended to helping India become a major military power.
    The nuclear deal was also an important prelude towards a so-called ‘de-hyphenated’
    approach to relations between America and India. From New Delhi’s point of view,
    relations with Washington had always been complicated by India-Pakistan tensions.
    Given traditional American support for Islamabad, relations between Washington
    and New Delhi would always be awkward. A superpower like America could never
    be a neutral arbiter in the India-Pakistan issue. Under a ‘hyphenated’ approach,
    the US-India relationship was always vulnerable to Pakistani manipulation. By forging
    a US-India relationship independent of the India-Pakistan issue, the prospect of a blank
    slate, in theory at least, was offered to any emerging bilateral relationship between the
    United States and India.
    India was President George W. Bush’s big strategic play in the twilight of his presidency.
    To entrench the relationship, the strategic deepening between the two countries has
    been augmented by US-India naval cooperation institutionalised at the highest military
    levels, meaning that tactical and operational aspects of the partnership have become
    highly resilient to changing political whims. For example, the Malabar exercises, which
    resumed in 2002 following an interruption in the wake of the 1998 India nuclear tests,
    were elevated in importance. The September 2007 exercises involved military vessels
    and aircraft from the United States, India, Japan, Australia, and Singapore in joint
    exercises in the Bay of Bengal. Interestingly, the last time the American Seventh Fleet
    was in the Bay of Bengal was in 1971 when it was attempting to intimidate India as
    India and Pakistan fought a war that would lead to the establishment of Bangladesh.
    The 2008 exercises took place in the Arabian Sea. These involved the US nuclear
    powered aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan and anti-submarine warfare joint operations
    between the United States and India. This is significant since China is pursuing a
    sea-denial strategy against American maritime dominance, and Chinese submarines in
    Asian waters outnumber the American submarines by over four to one. US Lieutenant-
    Commander John Fleming, who participated in the 2009 exercises off the coast of Japan
    notably remarked, ‘The US, Japan and India share democratic and seafaring traditions’28
    and hinted at inter-operational exercises that go beyond mere tactical operations towards
    strategic cooperation. There is also talk about conducting joint aircraft carrier exercises,
    which would be a major next step in such cooperation.
    Other recent US moves to encourage closer military ties with India have been
    considerable. In January 2009, the Obama administration approved the sale of six
    Lockheed Martin Hercules military transport planes worth US$1 billion to India.
    In March 2009, the State Department approved the sale of eight Boeing P-81 maritime
    reconnaissance aircraft worth US$2.1 billion to the Indians—the largest contract
    awarded to an American company by India. Then in July 2009, Secretary of State
    Hillary Clinton signed an End User Monitoring Agreement of military equipment,
    signaling an upping of trust and cooperation between the two countries. This paved the
    way for the September 2009 sale to the Indians of the ‘futuristic’ shipboard Hawkeye
    E-2D aircraft for Airborne Early Warning (AEW) and battle management. The UAE
    is the only other country that has gained State and Defense Department approval to
    purchase this technology. US sales of military hardware to India are expected to reach
    US$35 billion over the next quarter century,29 strengthening Indian reliance on American
    hardware, spare parts, and technology. India has also been looking to cooperate with
    the United States in building a ballistic missile defence (BMD) system in Asia. Finally,
    US companies are competing with rivals from Russia and France to sell fighter jets
    worth US$12 billion to the Indian Air Force. If Lockheed Martin or Boeing were to win
    the contract, this would decisively shift New Delhi’s planned US$50 billion military
    upgrade away from its traditional reliance on Moscow and towards Washington.
    In a personal letter written by President Obama to Indian counterpart Manmohan
    Singh shortly after Obama’s election victory, the President-elect spoke about the ‘shared
    interests, shared values, shared sense of threats, and ever burgeoning ties between our two
    economies and societies.’ Obama then said, ‘as a starting point … our common strategic
    interests call for a redoubling of US-India military, intelligence, and law enforcement
    cooperation.’30
    The former US Ambassador to India Robert Blackwill notes that the importance of
    India is now ‘sufficiently embedded in the strategic consciousness of the United States.’31
    Likewise, the strategic usefulness of closer relations with the Americans is widely accepted
    amongst India’s policy elites, a theme in Indian foreign policy that has been reinforced
    by the emphatic victory of Prime Minister Singh’s Congress Party-led coalition in the
    May 2009 elections.
    The China strategic conundrum
    The recent American (and regional) interest in India as a strategic partner is enhanced
    by the fact that continued American dominance in Asia faces a new set of challenges
    that were not entirely apparent when America became the world’s only superpower less
    than two decades ago. Global and regional terrorism, as well as the ongoing situation
    in Pakistan and Afghanistan is one challenge. But by far the most important long-term
    challenge is the re-emergence of China as a great power in the region. In particular,
    China presents a strategic conundrum for America and its allies.
    On the one hand, China is emerging as the clear challenger to American dominance,
    values and interests in the region. China’s newfound significance and recent revival
    of its ‘great power mentality’ is built on the back of its spectacular economic growth
    since the reforms in 1979.32 Although a beneficiary of US-backed security and stability
    in the region, China is still a dissatisfied rising power. Driven by a genuine sense of
    ‘150 years of humiliation’ at the hands of Western and Japanese powers, the urge to
    return to greatness is deeply embedded in the expectations of both its leaders and social
    elites. Once the predominant power in Asia for almost 3,000 years, it is only now
    re-emerging within a regional order with a set of rules that it had no role in defining.
    It is also rising within a post-World War II regional security order that was not designed
    to accommodate the return of such a large competitor.
    Chinese regional ambitions, and the view of itself as the historical and natural great
    power in Asia, put it at odds with the US-backed regional order. The question of Taiwan
    remains a flashpoint that could yet lead to war between China and the United States.
    Territorial disputes between China and countries such as India, Russia, Japan, and
    several Southeast Asian states persist even if they are stable for the moment. China still
    claims four-fifths of the South China Sea as its historical waters, and is in the process of
    acquiring a naval capacity that will extend far beyond its stated aim of winning a war
    in the Taiwan Straits. The fact that China remains authoritarian—and a key backer of
    authoritarian regimes in states such as North Korea and Myanmar—creates distrust
    in Washington and many Asian capitals. Political values have strategic significance.
    China will not receive America’s blessing (and that of its allies) as a great power to
    which it will happily cede influence until China gives up its vast territorial and maritime
    claims. Neither will the United States happily support the ‘inclusion’ of Taiwan back
    into Beijing’s fold whilst China remains authoritarian.
    On the other hand, despite widespread distrust of Beijing, the great strategic and
    diplomatic challenge for the United States and countries in the region, including
    Australia, arises from the fact that China is now viewed by the region (and by the
    United States) as a ‘legitimate’ rising state that is indispensable to the regional and
    global economy. Unlike the Soviet Union, or China under Mao Zedong, modern
    China is much more integrated into the existing regional and global economic system.
    This ensures that China is an essential regional and global economic player. In 2008,
    China was responsible for around one-quarter of global GDP growth, overtaking
    the United States as the most important economy in this regard. Chinese exports
    reached US$377 billion in 2008, and it is estimated that China holds more than
    US$1.3 trillion in USD denominated financial assets, including more than US$800
    billion in US Treasury bills.33 China has become the region’s primary export platform,
    importing more from the rest of Asia and exporting more to the rest of the world
    than any other Asian country.34 From US$100 billion in 2004, trade between China
    and ASEAN surpassed US$200 billion in 2008, and there is constant talk—although
    little progress—of a Free Trade Agreement between China and ASEAN by 2010.35
    The economic rise of China has brought enormous economic benefits to the region and
    the rest of the world. Even though almost every country in the region sees the continued
    American presence as a welcome deterrent against a possibly disruptive China, it is
    unthinkable for American allies in Asia to pursue any explicit economic containment
    strategy or to diplomatically isolate Beijing in the absence of serious Chinese provocation.
    Doing so would jeopardise future prosperity in an area where economic regionalism is
    growing and also enrage a great power, hence bringing to a premature end the hope that
    an increasingly ‘socialised’ China could be peacefully integrated into the existing setup.
    To give regional leaders less reason to publically express fears about China’s rise,
    Beijing has conducted a carefully crafted and well-executed diplomatic strategy designed
    to increase acceptance of China as a great power and appease fears that a rising China
    would be a threat to the existing order. For example, Beijing has deliberately highlighted
    ‘consensus’ decision-making as the way forward and is emphasising primarily ‘win-win’
    agreements with states in the region. Its engagement with ASEAN is relentless, having
    attended more than 40 major ASEAN meetings since 2000 compared to the Americans
    who have attended around 10.
     
  6. A.V.

    A.V. New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    6,503
    Likes Received:
    1,106
    Location:
    Moscow, russia
    India had proven itself to be a responsible nuclear power with a perfect non-proliferation
    history. The continued ostracism of India as a nuclear power, according to New Delhi,
    meant a refusal to recognise and accept India as a rising and responsible great power.
    A major change to repair this rift became apparent when in July 2005, George W.
    Bush and Prime Minister Singh signed a framework for an agreement under which India
    agreed to separate its civil and military nuclear facilities and place all its civil nuclear
    facilities under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards. In return, the
    United States offered India full support for its civilian nuclear program. The result was
    the United States-India Nuclear Cooperation Approval and Non-proliferation Enhancement
    Act, which came into force in 2008. Even though India remains a non-signatory to
    the NPT, the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG)—of which Australia is a
    member—granted India a waiver at the behest of the Americans, allowing India to enter
    into the legitimate market for nuclear materials. The agreement recognised India as ‘a
    responsible state with advanced nuclear technology’ and gave New Delhi what it wanted
    (access to fissile material from international suppliers and civilian nuclear technology)
    and legitimised India as a nuclear power after decades of international ostracism.
    Interestingly, the decision by the United States to move on the nuclear deal followed
    India’s decision to apply for full membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation
    (SCO) in June 2005, and again in October of that year25 (after the conclusion of the
    US-India framework agreement). Even prior to the June 2008 statement by Indian
    External Affairs Minister K. Natwar Singh that India wanted to become a full member
    of the SCO, Beijing and New Delhi spoke ambiguously about working towards a
    ‘strategic partnership.’
    These developments took place during the same time the Central Intelligence
    Agency (CIA) described India as the key swing state in Asia and US strategists were
    urging the Bush Administration to prevent such an Indo-Sino partnership. Even though
    Prime Minister Singh characterised the framework agreement as one that would help
    secure Indian energy security in the future, it was squarely viewed by Indian officials
    as primarily a strategic move closer toward the United States. Notably, the deal was
    criticised by the communists from the Indian Left as being just that—one that entailed
    closer strategic relations with Washington—and condemned by the ultra-nationalistic
    Indian Right as one that would sacrifice India’s ‘strategic independence.’ Similarly, there
    is no doubt that even though the decision to conclude the deal was frequently justified by
    American officials as one designed to help meet India’s development needs by allowing
    it to purchase the nuclear materials it required to generate energy, Washington insiders
    widely admit that the primary motivation was a geo-strategic one.
    Once the framework agreement was concluded, the foundations for a deeper
    strategic partnership between the United States and India were quickly laid. This
    was complemented by India and Japan declaring an ambition for a strategic and
    economic entente ‘between Asia’s two largest democratic powers’ in December 2006.
    Then US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice spoke frequently about the United States
    ‘helping India to become a world power’26 both immediately before and repeatedly after
    the signing of the framework agreement. This grand offer was matched by concrete
    initiatives such as America’s offer to help India produce world class combat aircraft.
    As C. Raja Mohan observes, ‘Our 30-year complaint [about] denial regimes [that] have
    targeted India has now been rubbished with the American offers of joint production
    of world class combat aircraft. This is not to be mistaken for a hardware sale, but a
    realization that the Americans can live with a regional power like India.’27 American
    generosity therefore extended to helping India become a major military power.
    The nuclear deal was also an important prelude towards a so-called ‘de-hyphenated’
    approach to relations between America and India. From New Delhi’s point of view,
    relations with Washington had always been complicated by India-Pakistan tensions.
    Given traditional American support for Islamabad, relations between Washington
    and New Delhi would always be awkward. A superpower like America could never
    be a neutral arbiter in the India-Pakistan issue. Under a ‘hyphenated’ approach,
    the US-India relationship was always vulnerable to Pakistani manipulation. By forging
    a US-India relationship independent of the India-Pakistan issue, the prospect of a blank
    slate, in theory at least, was offered to any emerging bilateral relationship between the
    United States and India.
    India was President George W. Bush’s big strategic play in the twilight of his presidency.
    To entrench the relationship, the strategic deepening between the two countries has
    been augmented by US-India naval cooperation institutionalised at the highest military
    levels, meaning that tactical and operational aspects of the partnership have become
    highly resilient to changing political whims. For example, the Malabar exercises, which
    resumed in 2002 following an interruption in the wake of the 1998 India nuclear tests,
    were elevated in importance. The September 2007 exercises involved military vessels
    and aircraft from the United States, India, Japan, Australia, and Singapore in joint
    exercises in the Bay of Bengal. Interestingly, the last time the American Seventh Fleet
    was in the Bay of Bengal was in 1971 when it was attempting to intimidate India as
    India and Pakistan fought a war that would lead to the establishment of Bangladesh.
    The 2008 exercises took place in the Arabian Sea. These involved the US nuclear
    powered aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan and anti-submarine warfare joint operations
    between the United States and India. This is significant since China is pursuing a
    sea-denial strategy against American maritime dominance, and Chinese submarines in
    Asian waters outnumber the American submarines by over four to one. US Lieutenant-
    Commander John Fleming, who participated in the 2009 exercises off the coast of Japan
    notably remarked, ‘The US, Japan and India share democratic and seafaring traditions’28
    and hinted at inter-operational exercises that go beyond mere tactical operations towards
    strategic cooperation. There is also talk about conducting joint aircraft carrier exercises,
    which would be a major next step in such cooperation.
    Other recent US moves to encourage closer military ties with India have been
    considerable. In January 2009, the Obama administration approved the sale of six
    Lockheed Martin Hercules military transport planes worth US$1 billion to India.
    In March 2009, the State Department approved the sale of eight Boeing P-81 maritime
    reconnaissance aircraft worth US$2.1 billion to the Indians—the largest contract
    awarded to an American company by India. Then in July 2009, Secretary of State
    Hillary Clinton signed an End User Monitoring Agreement of military equipment,
    signaling an upping of trust and cooperation between the two countries. This paved the
    way for the September 2009 sale to the Indians of the ‘futuristic’ shipboard Hawkeye
    E-2D aircraft for Airborne Early Warning (AEW) and battle management. The UAE
    is the only other country that has gained State and Defense Department approval to
    purchase this technology. US sales of military hardware to India are expected to reach
    US$35 billion over the next quarter century,29 strengthening Indian reliance on American
    hardware, spare parts, and technology. India has also been looking to cooperate with
    the United States in building a ballistic missile defence (BMD) system in Asia. Finally,
    US companies are competing with rivals from Russia and France to sell fighter jets
    worth US$12 billion to the Indian Air Force. If Lockheed Martin or Boeing were to win
    the contract, this would decisively shift New Delhi’s planned US$50 billion military
    upgrade away from its traditional reliance on Moscow and towards Washington.
    In a personal letter written by President Obama to Indian counterpart Manmohan
    Singh shortly after Obama’s election victory, the President-elect spoke about the ‘shared
    interests, shared values, shared sense of threats, and ever burgeoning ties between our two
    economies and societies.’ Obama then said, ‘as a starting point … our common strategic
    interests call for a redoubling of US-India military, intelligence, and law enforcement
    cooperation.’30
    The former US Ambassador to India Robert Blackwill notes that the importance of
    India is now ‘sufficiently embedded in the strategic consciousness of the United States.’31
    Likewise, the strategic usefulness of closer relations with the Americans is widely accepted
    amongst India’s policy elites, a theme in Indian foreign policy that has been reinforced
    by the emphatic victory of Prime Minister Singh’s Congress Party-led coalition in the
    May 2009 elections.
    The China strategic conundrum
    The recent American (and regional) interest in India as a strategic partner is enhanced
    by the fact that continued American dominance in Asia faces a new set of challenges
    that were not entirely apparent when America became the world’s only superpower less
    than two decades ago. Global and regional terrorism, as well as the ongoing situation
    in Pakistan and Afghanistan is one challenge. But by far the most important long-term
    challenge is the re-emergence of China as a great power in the region. In particular,
    China presents a strategic conundrum for America and its allies.
    On the one hand, China is emerging as the clear challenger to American dominance,
    values and interests in the region. China’s newfound significance and recent revival
    of its ‘great power mentality’ is built on the back of its spectacular economic growth
    since the reforms in 1979.32 Although a beneficiary of US-backed security and stability
    in the region, China is still a dissatisfied rising power. Driven by a genuine sense of
    ‘150 years of humiliation’ at the hands of Western and Japanese powers, the urge to
    return to greatness is deeply embedded in the expectations of both its leaders and social
    elites. Once the predominant power in Asia for almost 3,000 years, it is only now
    re-emerging within a regional order with a set of rules that it had no role in defining.
    It is also rising within a post-World War II regional security order that was not designed
    to accommodate the return of such a large competitor.
    Chinese regional ambitions, and the view of itself as the historical and natural great
    power in Asia, put it at odds with the US-backed regional order. The question of Taiwan
    remains a flashpoint that could yet lead to war between China and the United States.
    Territorial disputes between China and countries such as India, Russia, Japan, and
    several Southeast Asian states persist even if they are stable for the moment. China still
    claims four-fifths of the South China Sea as its historical waters, and is in the process of
    acquiring a naval capacity that will extend far beyond its stated aim of winning a war
    in the Taiwan Straits. The fact that China remains authoritarian—and a key backer of
    authoritarian regimes in states such as North Korea and Myanmar—creates distrust
    in Washington and many Asian capitals. Political values have strategic significance.
    China will not receive America’s blessing (and that of its allies) as a great power to
    which it will happily cede influence until China gives up its vast territorial and maritime
    claims. Neither will the United States happily support the ‘inclusion’ of Taiwan back
    into Beijing’s fold whilst China remains authoritarian.
    On the other hand, despite widespread distrust of Beijing, the great strategic and
    diplomatic challenge for the United States and countries in the region, including
    Australia, arises from the fact that China is now viewed by the region (and by the
    United States) as a ‘legitimate’ rising state that is indispensable to the regional and
    global economy. Unlike the Soviet Union, or China under Mao Zedong, modern
    China is much more integrated into the existing regional and global economic system.
    This ensures that China is an essential regional and global economic player. In 2008,
    China was responsible for around one-quarter of global GDP growth, overtaking
    the United States as the most important economy in this regard. Chinese exports
    reached US$377 billion in 2008, and it is estimated that China holds more than
    US$1.3 trillion in USD denominated financial assets, including more than US$800
    billion in US Treasury bills.33 China has become the region’s primary export platform,
    importing more from the rest of Asia and exporting more to the rest of the world
    than any other Asian country.34 From US$100 billion in 2004, trade between China
    and ASEAN surpassed US$200 billion in 2008, and there is constant talk—although
    little progress—of a Free Trade Agreement between China and ASEAN by 2010.35
    The economic rise of China has brought enormous economic benefits to the region and
    the rest of the world. Even though almost every country in the region sees the continued
    American presence as a welcome deterrent against a possibly disruptive China, it is
    unthinkable for American allies in Asia to pursue any explicit economic containment
    strategy or to diplomatically isolate Beijing in the absence of serious Chinese provocation.
    Doing so would jeopardise future prosperity in an area where economic regionalism is
    growing and also enrage a great power, hence bringing to a premature end the hope that
    an increasingly ‘socialised’ China could be peacefully integrated into the existing setup.
    To give regional leaders less reason to publically express fears about China’s rise,
    Beijing has conducted a carefully crafted and well-executed diplomatic strategy designed
    to increase acceptance of China as a great power and appease fears that a rising China
    would be a threat to the existing order. For example, Beijing has deliberately highlighted
    ‘consensus’ decision-making as the way forward and is emphasising primarily ‘win-win’
    agreements with states in the region. Its engagement with ASEAN is relentless, having
    attended more than 40 major ASEAN meetings since 2000 compared to the Americans
    who have attended around 10.
     
  7. A.V.

    A.V. New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    6,503
    Likes Received:
    1,106
    Location:
    Moscow, russia
    Moreover, Chinese attempts to build a case for its legitimacy in Asia, Europe and
    America have been helped by the fact that China’s return to greatness is a long-awaited
    development not only for China’s 1.3 billion people but also for the approximately
    40 million Chinese diaspora throughout these continents.
    Beijing has even shown that it is capable of innovative regional leadership through
    the formation of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) with China, Russia,
    Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan as full members. Four states, India,
    Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan, have observer status. Although arguably creating distrust
    in equal measure, China is also buying friends and influencing countries through
    ‘no-strings attached’ aid policies in countries such as Cambodia, Myanmar and Sri Lanka.
    China has no interest in improved governance or better institutions in these recipient
    countries but expects and receives their support in the manner of client states.
    China’s economic integration and diplomatic successes presents a profound
    conundrum for the United States and its regional allies. Explicit attempts to ‘contain’
    China and keep it isolated will create a resentful great power. Any regional government
    seen to be explicitly containing China will find an unsupportive domestic and regional
    audience. Even as suspicions of Beijing’s long-term intentions grow, few states in Asia
    are prepared to miss on the immediate benefits of economic cooperation with China,
    and are reluctant to explicitly alienate such an important rising power.
    The permanence of Sino-Indo tensions
    The rise of China is frequently seen as an East and Southeast Asian strategic conundrum
    while India has long been viewed only as a South Asian power. Yet, in many respects,
    India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru shared Lord Curzon’s expansive view of
    the country’s strategic worth: India was ‘the pivot round which the defense problems
    of the Middle East, the Indian Ocean, and Southeast Asia revolve.’36 Likewise, Prime
    Minister Singh argued that India’s strategic footprint as a ‘super regional power covers
    the region bounded by the Horn of Africa, West Asia, Central Asia, Southeast Asia and
    beyond, to the reaches of the Indian Ocean.’37 A large country of such geo-strategic
    significance and ambition was always likely to experience tensions with Asia’s other great
    traditional power, China. As US-India policy expert Ashley Tellis argues, ‘China and
    India appeared destined for competition from the moment of their creation as modern
    states.’38 C. Raja Mohan makes a similar point:
    I tell the Americans: You balanced China from 1949 to 1971, but then allied
    with Beijing from 1971 to 1989. India has been balancing China since the day
    the Chinese invaded Tibet in 1950. We have always balanced China—and that’s
    what we’ll continue to do.39
    'China and
    India appeared
    destined for
    competition
    from the
    moment of
    their creation as
    modern states.'
    12 Foreign Policy Analysis
    Twentieth century history and the first decade of this century confirm this hypothesis.
    Even though Prime Minister Nehru initially held an optimistic view of India-China
    relations as the driving force behind a resurgent Asia, relations had soured by the late
    1950s with China accusing India of nursing ambitions for a ‘greater Indian empire.’40
    China’s invasion of Tibet in 1950 had previously erased the traditional buffer between
    China and British-ruled India. This was always a concern for Indian strategists even
    though Nehru initially turned a blind eye for the sake of harmonious China-India
    relations. The China-India war in 1962 led to a defeat for India and China seizing the
    Aksai Chin region, which linked Tibet and Xinjiang provinces.
    China still claims some 90,000 square kilometres of Indian territory, including large
    parts of the eastern-most Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh (which has Myanmar to its
    east). To put this in geographical context, the disputed area is more than twice the size
    of Switzerland. Tensions remain real, illustrated by China recently blocking the Asian
    Development Bank’s US$2.9 billion loan destined for India because US$60 million of
    it was earmarked for a water program in Arunachal Pradesh.41 More recently, Beijing
    expressed ‘strong dissatisfaction’ over Prime Minister Singh’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh
    to help campaign in a local election. New Delhi responded by reaffirming that Arunachal
    Pradesh is ‘an integral and inalienable part of India.’42 The Indian military reported
    270 Chinese border incursions into Indian territories in 2008, double the figure from
    2007 and more than three times from 2006.43 As Newsweek reported, the Chinese
    state-run People’s Daily in an editorial in June 2009 criticised recent moves by India
    to strengthen its border defences and ominously declared that ‘China will not make
    any compromises in its border disputes with India.’ The editorial then asked whether
    New Delhi had ‘weighed the consequences of a potential conflict with China.’44
    China and India are also constantly locked in a battle for influence in the buffer state
    of Nepal and the Bay of Bengal access state of Bangladesh. For example, China backs
    the Maoists in Nepal and sells arms to Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Nepal in an attempt
    to foment ‘contained instability’ and gradually dilute Indian influence in these states.
    Importantly, China offers just enough strategic and military (including nuclear weapons
    and ballistic missile45) assistance to Pakistan to keep India distracted in South Asia but
    not enough to become a focal point in the existing India-Pakistan problem. Finally,
    New Delhi is apprehensive about China’s militarisation, and in particular nuclearisation,
    of the Tibetan plateau. As an indication of very real tensions, China has not extended its
    ‘no first use’ of nuclear weapons doctrine to include India.
    The land disputes are not the only sources of tension. A key component of Beijing’s
    strategy was to help keep India preoccupied with its land-based neighbours, allowing
    Beijing a freer hand in the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean. But the dependence of
    both China and India on shipping commerce, especially energy imports (that pass through
    the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Aden, the Indian Ocean, and the Malacca Straits) will
    most likely make sea-based rather than land-based competition more important.
    Even back in 1993, a former director of the General Logistics Department of the
    People’s Liberation Army, Zhao Nanqi, reversed long-standing policy by arguing that
    they could ‘no longer accept the Indian Ocean as an ocean only of the Indians.’46
    The Chinese Navy is now the second-largest navy in the world, with more than 250,000
    personnel and over 300 ships.47 It has been building three new submarines a year since
    1995 and now has around 85—the second largest such fleet in the world after the
    United States.48 It is building at least five ballistic missile submarines, each carrying
    12 intercontinental missiles and each missile having three nuclear warheads. To counter
    India’s natural advantage of access to the Indian Ocean (as well as American Fifth Fleet
    based in Bahrain), China has set up naval ports, listening stations, logistics facilities, and
    refueling depots in waters belonging to Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan49 in addition
    to one in Cambodia. This includes facilities in the Coco Islands, which lie only 18 km
    north of the Indian naval base in the Andaman Islands. China is constructing a waterway
    that extends from Yunnan province to the Bay of Bengal through the Irrawaddy River
    in Myanmar.50 These are segments of what American and Indian analysts call China’s
    emerging ‘string of pearls’ strategy:51 efforts to increase access to ports and airfields,
    develop special diplomatic relationships, and modernise military forces that extend from
    the South China Sea through the Strait of Malacca, across the Indian Ocean, and on to
    the Arabian Gulf. Although there are still only very few actually discernable ‘pearls’ on
    the string, only Indian influence has prevented China from successfully signing on other
    ‘string of pearls’ candidates such as Bangladesh, Maldives, Mauritius, and Seychelles.
    There is strong evidence that competition between the two powers now involves
    both land and sea. For example, Indian strategist and former intelligence chief
    Vikram Sood believes that China’s strategy is all about keeping India bogged down by
    fomenting instability in its relations with Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Myanmar,
    whilst encircling India with its ‘string of pearls’ strategy—a move designed to ‘put
    India in pincers.’52 Beijing’s strategy was to confine India to being a South Asian power
    with only limited ambitions in the Indian Ocean, and prevent it from becoming an
    Asian or a global power. But the growing interests and ambitions of India means China
    will be disappointed in this regard. The reported February 2009 stand-off between
    Chinese destroyers and an Indian submarine in the Gulf of Aden—in international
    waters far away from Chinese and Indian territorial borders—is significant.
    As C. Raja Mohan notes, the fact that the stand-off took place in neutral territory
    suggests colliding interests that extend way beyond the territorial waters of either nation.53
    India is threatening to constrain Chinese influence in the South China Sea, and China
    is moving into India’s sphere of influence in the Indian Ocean.
    Although China’s yearning for a dominant role in a future post-America Asia leaves
    little room for Indian leadership, New Delhi sees itself as a major centre of power in
    Asia (and not just South Asia). It is significant that the most recent Indian naval strategy
    manual is titled Freedom to Use the Seas and speaks about India being ‘among the foremost
    centres of power—economic, technological, and cultural—in the coming decades.’
    In New Delhi’s eyes, this calls for ‘a concomitant accretion of national power, of which
    the military power will be a critical dimension.’54 Although both countries are still
    primarily focused on domestic development and tensions can therefore be managed,
    there is little doubt that a rising India and China remain ‘strategic adversaries.’
    Democratic India as a counter-balance against China
    India’s commitment to democracy is sincere, having been long established and reaffirmed
    over decades. In a speech in 2005, Prime Minister Singh said that the ‘idea of India’
    is the ‘idea of an inclusive, open, multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-lingual society.’
    Singh believes that this is ‘the dominant trend of political evolution of all societies in the
    21st century ... Liberal democracy is the natural order of political organisation in today’s
    world. All alternate systems [are an] aberration.’55
    To be sure, democracy by itself has never been enough to overcome the different
    strategic cultures and diverging interests of India vis-à-vis America and its allies. There is
    no preordained harmony between the world’s most powerful democracy and the world’s
    largest democracy. For example, in examining the UN voting patterns of India compared
    to the United States in issues such as human rights, the Middle East, and arms control,
    the voting coincidence between the two powers varied from zero percent to 45% from
    1997–2003.56 But converging regional interests mean that democratic India becomes
    a strategic asset of huge significance. Indian and American leaders now refer to each
    other as ‘natural allies.’57 In particular, both sides believe that cooperation will eventually
    create a power balance in Asia that will help keep potential Chinese ambitions in check
    and constrain the ability of Beijing to challenge the existing liberal, open order in the
    future.
     
  8. A.V.

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    Moreover, Chinese attempts to build a case for its legitimacy in Asia, Europe and
    America have been helped by the fact that China’s return to greatness is a long-awaited
    development not only for China’s 1.3 billion people but also for the approximately
    40 million Chinese diaspora throughout these continents.
    Beijing has even shown that it is capable of innovative regional leadership through
    the formation of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) with China, Russia,
    Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan as full members. Four states, India,
    Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan, have observer status. Although arguably creating distrust
    in equal measure, China is also buying friends and influencing countries through
    ‘no-strings attached’ aid policies in countries such as Cambodia, Myanmar and Sri Lanka.
    China has no interest in improved governance or better institutions in these recipient
    countries but expects and receives their support in the manner of client states.
    China’s economic integration and diplomatic successes presents a profound
    conundrum for the United States and its regional allies. Explicit attempts to ‘contain’
    China and keep it isolated will create a resentful great power. Any regional government
    seen to be explicitly containing China will find an unsupportive domestic and regional
    audience. Even as suspicions of Beijing’s long-term intentions grow, few states in Asia
    are prepared to miss on the immediate benefits of economic cooperation with China,
    and are reluctant to explicitly alienate such an important rising power.
    The permanence of Sino-Indo tensions
    The rise of China is frequently seen as an East and Southeast Asian strategic conundrum
    while India has long been viewed only as a South Asian power. Yet, in many respects,
    India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru shared Lord Curzon’s expansive view of
    the country’s strategic worth: India was ‘the pivot round which the defense problems
    of the Middle East, the Indian Ocean, and Southeast Asia revolve.’36 Likewise, Prime
    Minister Singh argued that India’s strategic footprint as a ‘super regional power covers
    the region bounded by the Horn of Africa, West Asia, Central Asia, Southeast Asia and
    beyond, to the reaches of the Indian Ocean.’37 A large country of such geo-strategic
    significance and ambition was always likely to experience tensions with Asia’s other great
    traditional power, China. As US-India policy expert Ashley Tellis argues, ‘China and
    India appeared destined for competition from the moment of their creation as modern
    states.’38 C. Raja Mohan makes a similar point:
    I tell the Americans: You balanced China from 1949 to 1971, but then allied
    with Beijing from 1971 to 1989. India has been balancing China since the day
    the Chinese invaded Tibet in 1950. We have always balanced China—and that’s
    what we’ll continue to do.39
    'China and
    India appeared
    destined for
    competition
    from the
    moment of
    their creation as
    modern states.'
    12 Foreign Policy Analysis
    Twentieth century history and the first decade of this century confirm this hypothesis.
    Even though Prime Minister Nehru initially held an optimistic view of India-China
    relations as the driving force behind a resurgent Asia, relations had soured by the late
    1950s with China accusing India of nursing ambitions for a ‘greater Indian empire.’40
    China’s invasion of Tibet in 1950 had previously erased the traditional buffer between
    China and British-ruled India. This was always a concern for Indian strategists even
    though Nehru initially turned a blind eye for the sake of harmonious China-India
    relations. The China-India war in 1962 led to a defeat for India and China seizing the
    Aksai Chin region, which linked Tibet and Xinjiang provinces.
    China still claims some 90,000 square kilometres of Indian territory, including large
    parts of the eastern-most Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh (which has Myanmar to its
    east). To put this in geographical context, the disputed area is more than twice the size
    of Switzerland. Tensions remain real, illustrated by China recently blocking the Asian
    Development Bank’s US$2.9 billion loan destined for India because US$60 million of
    it was earmarked for a water program in Arunachal Pradesh.41 More recently, Beijing
    expressed ‘strong dissatisfaction’ over Prime Minister Singh’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh
    to help campaign in a local election. New Delhi responded by reaffirming that Arunachal
    Pradesh is ‘an integral and inalienable part of India.’42 The Indian military reported
    270 Chinese border incursions into Indian territories in 2008, double the figure from
    2007 and more than three times from 2006.43 As Newsweek reported, the Chinese
    state-run People’s Daily in an editorial in June 2009 criticised recent moves by India
    to strengthen its border defences and ominously declared that ‘China will not make
    any compromises in its border disputes with India.’ The editorial then asked whether
    New Delhi had ‘weighed the consequences of a potential conflict with China.’44
    China and India are also constantly locked in a battle for influence in the buffer state
    of Nepal and the Bay of Bengal access state of Bangladesh. For example, China backs
    the Maoists in Nepal and sells arms to Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Nepal in an attempt
    to foment ‘contained instability’ and gradually dilute Indian influence in these states.
    Importantly, China offers just enough strategic and military (including nuclear weapons
    and ballistic missile45) assistance to Pakistan to keep India distracted in South Asia but
    not enough to become a focal point in the existing India-Pakistan problem. Finally,
    New Delhi is apprehensive about China’s militarisation, and in particular nuclearisation,
    of the Tibetan plateau. As an indication of very real tensions, China has not extended its
    ‘no first use’ of nuclear weapons doctrine to include India.
    The land disputes are not the only sources of tension. A key component of Beijing’s
    strategy was to help keep India preoccupied with its land-based neighbours, allowing
    Beijing a freer hand in the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean. But the dependence of
    both China and India on shipping commerce, especially energy imports (that pass through
    the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Aden, the Indian Ocean, and the Malacca Straits) will
    most likely make sea-based rather than land-based competition more important.
    Even back in 1993, a former director of the General Logistics Department of the
    People’s Liberation Army, Zhao Nanqi, reversed long-standing policy by arguing that
    they could ‘no longer accept the Indian Ocean as an ocean only of the Indians.’46
    The Chinese Navy is now the second-largest navy in the world, with more than 250,000
    personnel and over 300 ships.47 It has been building three new submarines a year since
    1995 and now has around 85—the second largest such fleet in the world after the
    United States.48 It is building at least five ballistic missile submarines, each carrying
    12 intercontinental missiles and each missile having three nuclear warheads. To counter
    India’s natural advantage of access to the Indian Ocean (as well as American Fifth Fleet
    based in Bahrain), China has set up naval ports, listening stations, logistics facilities, and
    refueling depots in waters belonging to Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan49 in addition
    to one in Cambodia. This includes facilities in the Coco Islands, which lie only 18 km
    north of the Indian naval base in the Andaman Islands. China is constructing a waterway
    that extends from Yunnan province to the Bay of Bengal through the Irrawaddy River
    in Myanmar.50 These are segments of what American and Indian analysts call China’s
    emerging ‘string of pearls’ strategy:51 efforts to increase access to ports and airfields,
    develop special diplomatic relationships, and modernise military forces that extend from
    the South China Sea through the Strait of Malacca, across the Indian Ocean, and on to
    the Arabian Gulf. Although there are still only very few actually discernable ‘pearls’ on
    the string, only Indian influence has prevented China from successfully signing on other
    ‘string of pearls’ candidates such as Bangladesh, Maldives, Mauritius, and Seychelles.
    There is strong evidence that competition between the two powers now involves
    both land and sea. For example, Indian strategist and former intelligence chief
    Vikram Sood believes that China’s strategy is all about keeping India bogged down by
    fomenting instability in its relations with Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Myanmar,
    whilst encircling India with its ‘string of pearls’ strategy—a move designed to ‘put
    India in pincers.’52 Beijing’s strategy was to confine India to being a South Asian power
    with only limited ambitions in the Indian Ocean, and prevent it from becoming an
    Asian or a global power. But the growing interests and ambitions of India means China
    will be disappointed in this regard. The reported February 2009 stand-off between
    Chinese destroyers and an Indian submarine in the Gulf of Aden—in international
    waters far away from Chinese and Indian territorial borders—is significant.
    As C. Raja Mohan notes, the fact that the stand-off took place in neutral territory
    suggests colliding interests that extend way beyond the territorial waters of either nation.53
    India is threatening to constrain Chinese influence in the South China Sea, and China
    is moving into India’s sphere of influence in the Indian Ocean.
    Although China’s yearning for a dominant role in a future post-America Asia leaves
    little room for Indian leadership, New Delhi sees itself as a major centre of power in
    Asia (and not just South Asia). It is significant that the most recent Indian naval strategy
    manual is titled Freedom to Use the Seas and speaks about India being ‘among the foremost
    centres of power—economic, technological, and cultural—in the coming decades.’
    In New Delhi’s eyes, this calls for ‘a concomitant accretion of national power, of which
    the military power will be a critical dimension.’54 Although both countries are still
    primarily focused on domestic development and tensions can therefore be managed,
    there is little doubt that a rising India and China remain ‘strategic adversaries.’
    Democratic India as a counter-balance against China
    India’s commitment to democracy is sincere, having been long established and reaffirmed
    over decades. In a speech in 2005, Prime Minister Singh said that the ‘idea of India’
    is the ‘idea of an inclusive, open, multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-lingual society.’
    Singh believes that this is ‘the dominant trend of political evolution of all societies in the
    21st century ... Liberal democracy is the natural order of political organisation in today’s
    world. All alternate systems [are an] aberration.’55
    To be sure, democracy by itself has never been enough to overcome the different
    strategic cultures and diverging interests of India vis-à-vis America and its allies. There is
    no preordained harmony between the world’s most powerful democracy and the world’s
    largest democracy. For example, in examining the UN voting patterns of India compared
    to the United States in issues such as human rights, the Middle East, and arms control,
    the voting coincidence between the two powers varied from zero percent to 45% from
    1997–2003.56 But converging regional interests mean that democratic India becomes
    a strategic asset of huge significance. Indian and American leaders now refer to each
    other as ‘natural allies.’57 In particular, both sides believe that cooperation will eventually
    create a power balance in Asia that will help keep potential Chinese ambitions in check
    and constrain the ability of Beijing to challenge the existing liberal, open order in the
    future.
     
  9. A.V.

    A.V. New Member

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    As the paper pointed out earlier, India has traditionally been preoccupied with landbased
    instability in its borders with Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar. But the great
    powers in Asia are littoral states, and maritime power is critically important. As India’s
    Converging
    regional interests
    means that
    democratic
    India becomes a
    strategic asset of
    huge significance.
    14 Foreign Policy Analysis
    power and interests grow, it is wisely focusing on its sea-based priorities and objectives,
    which will be more important in the future. This has opened up opportunities for the
    United States, its allies and partners, and India to reinforce and entrench their still
    fledging strategic partnership with extensive tactical cooperation at all levels.
    India is adamant that it must remain the hegemon in the waters hugging its territorial
    borders. This is a concession the Americans and most of Asia are more than happy to
    make and will most likely offer India their blessing in this regard. In practical terms,
    India would seek an effective veto over actions of outside partners in these areas.
    In the broader Indian Ocean (as well as the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal),
    the US Pacific Command is eager to expand further naval cooperation with India in
    protecting the sea-lanes of the Indian Ocean. The United States and India will likely
    increase the scope and frequency of the already extensive naval and air force exercises
    and planning in these Indian Ocean sea lanes58 as well as deepen the broad-based
    dialogues and briefings with India. These briefings cover a wide range of matters relevant
    to South, Central and Southeast Asia, spanning Chinese military developments, policy
    in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, as well as US policy with rogue states such as Iran and
    North Korea. In terms of naval cooperation, Ashley Tellis suggests that ‘a cooperative
    division of labour with respect to ocean surveillance, search and rescue, anti-piracy
    operations, and humanitarian assistance would be a good place to start.’59 Indeed, this
    has occurred. India, with regional blessing, is becoming a hegemon in its own backyard
    and one of the great powers in Asia.
    Built on the back of quiet and tireless diplomacy and thriving bilateral relationships,
    Indian naval cooperation with Southeast Asia is also impressive. According to Udai Bhanu
    Singh, Research Officer with the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA),
    the conclusion of a bilateral defence cooperation agreement with Singapore in 2003
    opened the door for India to ramp up its security diplomacy in Southeast and East
    Asia.60 India has since signed defence cooperation agreements with Indonesia, Malaysia,
    Vietnam, and Cambodia. In fact, India-Indonesia naval cooperation goes back 14 years to
    the Ind-Indo Corpat arrangement, and New Delhi arranges more tactical naval exercises
    with Jakarta than any other country, including the United States. In 2005, the Indian
    aircraft carrier INS Viraat made inaugural visits to the ports of Singapore, Jakarta, and
    Klang in Malaysia. Already, India has naval bases in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands
    at the western mouth of the Malacca Strait, giving New Delhi a huge advantage over
    Beijing when it comes tactical positioning in this crucial shipping laneway.
    Chinese attempts to extend its naval reach and power through relationships with
    states such as Pakistan, Myanmar and Sri Lanka directly work to dilute Indian naval
    influence in the south Arabian Sea, south Indian Ocean, and southern parts of Bay of
    Bengal. America is already explicitly committed to helping India become a world power,
    and more specifically, a world naval power. This is aligned with Indian intentions to
    become one of the great naval powers able to materially influence matters in the waters
    to its west, east and south.
    Importantly, Southeast Asia feels remarkably unthreatened by the rise of the Indian
    Navy. As former Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew points out, Asia (with the
    exception of China) is not fundamentally concerned with India’s economic and military
    rise.61 In supporting an enhanced Indian naval presence in the Indian Ocean, it is
    unlikely that the Indian Navy would seek to overplay its role since it would not have the
    capability to demand a greater role in the Persian Gulf, Malacca Straits, or the South
    China Sea and impinge on America’s preferred areas of influence. In fact, it is likely
    that New Delhi will happily support continued American naval pre-eminence in these
    areas. The tactical confluence of interests means that Washington, New Delhi and South
    East Asian capitals consider each other’s naval presence—and the network of bilateral
    partnerships with New Delhi—as stabilising forces for the region. Offering India an
    enhanced role is already indicating to New Delhi that Washington and Asian allies and
    partners are prepared to welcome India as an emerging and trusted great powerThe US-India partnership, as well as Indian engagement with East and Southeast
    Asia, is still in its early stages, but the foundations to build further are solid. If these
    relationships can continue to prosper from the bottom-up and if India’s strategic
    partnerships can be further integrated into the existing US-led order in Asia—for which
    the early indicators are promising—India’s future strategic, military and economic
    weight means that the twin prospects that China’s rise can be peacefully managed and
    the existing liberal order can survive rise dramatically. China is an ambitious and even
    revisionist power (when it comes to its land and maritime borders), but it remains a
    sensible rather than reckless one. This is why a continued American presence and the
    informal network of bilateral security relationships remain the single-most important
    factor in preserving the peace now and in the future. Placing structural constraints on
    Chinese actions as it rises will remain the primary and effective strategy in meeting the
    challenge of the Chinese conundrum. India is poised to add its formidable and growing
    weight in reinforcing this approach.
    That this can continue to occur depends on the successful coordination of many
    parts moving in sync. For example, India’s growing role as a strategic player depends
    on the continued success of its economic reform program and rapid development.
    The US-India relationship and Indian partnerships with other states depend on
    continued, tireless bottom-up functional cooperation, as well as top-down intent from
    all sides. There is still much work to do in order to build the region’s acceptance of any
    growing US-India partnership such that the partnership (as well as India’s other bilateral
    relationships) augments rather than competes with the existing US-led regional order
    as well as other regional institutions. For example, many Southeast Asian states will not
    easily accept agreements that are seen as competitive and dilute ASEAN’s relevance.
    A case in point is the 2007 Quadrilateral Initiative between the United States, India,
    Japan and Australia. The Initiative was viewed as an agreement that could reduce the
    relevance of ASEAN and of ASEAN-led forums such as the ARF. It was also seen as too
    explicitly an anti-Chinese containment agreement that might cause smaller states to
    ‘choose’ between China and Initiative members.
    Moreover, New Delhi needs to further enmesh itself in the manifold and sometimes
    tedious multilateral forums and processes that characterise diplomacy in Asia.
    Even though multilateral institutions such as ASEAN and the various ASEAN-led forums
    are weak in terms of compliance and enforcement procedures, they serve the purpose of
    reinforcing norms of counter-dominance and counter-interference in each other’s affairs.
    This is an important complement to the US-led ‘hub-and-spokes’ structure that has
    underpinned security and stability since World War II. China, for example, has learnt
    that it is much more effective to work with ASEAN to build influence and legitimacy
    than attempt to bully its way into ascendency.
    Finally, the ‘strategic encirclement’ of China with India as one of the major centres of
    power needs to remain subtle and restrained. New Delhi must be allowed to continue to
    forge its own way and remain a ‘structural constraint’ on Chinese ambitions and actions,
    not an explicit one that is part of an anti-Chinese alliance. Importantly, China needs to
    remain confident that its interests and path towards continued prosperity lie in acceding
    to the existing US-led structure and competing within it rather than transforming or
    superseding it.
     
  10. A.V.

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    Conclusion: the importance of courting India


    India is an Asian giant growing in confidence, ambition, power, wealth, and influence.
    Its diplomats are also increasingly active in the region. For example, India has announced
    plans to create 514 new positions in its Ministry of External Affairs over the next
    10 years.62 Importantly, its rise is not feared by other Asian states and its values and
    interests are closely aligned with our own.
    Placing structural
    constraints on
    Chinese actions
    as it rises will
    remain the
    primary and
    effective strategy
    in meeting the
    challenge of
    the Chinese
    conundrum.
    India is poised
    to add its
    formidable and
    growing weight
    in reinforcing
    this approach.
    16 Foreign Policy Analysis
    Yet, current Australian government strategic thinking focuses excessively on
    East Asia and China in particular. For example, as Chris Rahman observed, the rise
    of India’s navy a decade ago even caught Canberra by surprise.63 Admittedly, defence
    cooperation with India has since deepened. For example, Canberra and New Delhi have
    signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Defence Cooperation in 2006 designed to
    deepen practical defence ties in maritime security and counter-terrorism. An Information
    Sharing Agreement was signed in 2007, which ‘will facilitate the sharing of classified
    information betw een the two countries’ defence organizations.’64 Most recently, Foreign
    Minister Stephen Smith visited New Delhi and formally requested that Australia be
    allowed to participate in the annual US-India Malabar exercises.65 These are positive
    developments.
    However, the patient approach of quietly and steadily building meaningful bottomup
    military functional cooperation with the Indians in defence, as well as the need to
    conscientiously deepen the bilateral relationship, is at odds with Prime Minister Rudd’s
    attempts to hurriedly lead the construction of comprehensive, multilateral top-down
    security architecture for the whole region before Australia, the United States, or Asia is
    ready. Doing so prematurely will simply exacerbate the insecurity of Asian states vis-àvis
    a rising China since any such new structure would have to explicitly allow China an
    equal strategic status as a player in the region. Regional states will want this to occur only
    when they are sure that China is fully committed to the pre-existing rules and norms of
    behaviour in the region, which will be some time away. Meanwhile, America and Asian
    allies and partners much prefer to bulk up the informal network of security alliances and
    partners (including with India) to hedge and maximise leverage against a rising China
    before any serious discussion of new comprehensive and inclusive security architecture
    can take place. Far from the region entering into a dangerous period of ‘strategic
    drift’ as Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd contends,66 there is evidence that the
    United States, India, and key Asian partners are increasingly reading from the same
    strategic blueprint: A strong bilateral relationship with a rising India will be a critical
    factor in forging and strengthening the balance against a rising China in the future
    and in structurally constraining Beijing’s actions.67 A fully engaged India will improve
    the region’s leverage over a potentially disruptive China in the future. Subsequently,
    America and Asian states are busy doing the hard graft of building a lasting economic
    and strategic relationship with a rising India and bringing New Delhi into existing
    regional structures.
    There is less evidence Canberra is reading from the same page.
    First, pushing for institutions that are all-inclusive and designed to discuss the full
    spectrum of security matters is certainly premature. Besides threatening to dilute the
    current strategy use to both assist with and manage China’s rise, it goes against regional
    diplomatic culture in discussing tensions in open forums involving third parties.
    The most constructive work is done behind doors without the pressure of a high-profile
    security forum. Besides, the great fear of smaller Asian states is to have to ‘choose’ between
    the United States and China. They have never had to do so explicitly because they do
    not take part in any substantive, high-level action-based security forums involving both
    China and the United States. A pan-Asian security forum might very well change that.
    Second, and more related to the arguments in this paper, simply arguing that
    India be included in future security institutions is a token gesture that pays only lipservice
    to India’s growing importance. That India is poorly appreciated by the Rudd
    government—despite the commonality in values and strategic interests as well as the
    enormous economic opportunities presented by India’s rise—is confirmed by the lack
    of energy and resources devoted to building the bilateral relationship with New Delhi.
    As C. Raja Mohan observes, the weakest link in strategic and diplomatic cooperation
    between India, the United States, and other Asian states is the weak relationship between
    New Delhi and Canberra.68 Discussions about what top-down, overarching security
    architecture we should build (rather than the diplomatic and security relationships we
    A fully
    engaged India
    will improve
    the region’s
    leverage over
    a potentially
    disruptive
    China in the
    future.
    Foreign Policy Analysis 17
    first need to renew and reaffirm) are putting the strategic cart before the horse and are
    a mistake and distraction. Bear in mind that a poorly developed relationship between
    Canberra and New Delhi is not a regional deal-breaker when it comes to New Delhi’s
    growing strategic weight—India will simply become too big and important. But a poor
    or undeveloped relationship will do more future harm to Australia than it will to India.
    The India factor in Asia’s future will rise in importance despite our neglect, but it will
    reduce Australia’s future regional strategic relevance.
    More generally, Canberra should reduce its focus on top-down architecture building
    for the moment and instead direct our limited resources and attention toward improving
    bilateral relationships, such as with Asia’s other giant—India. This also makes sense since
    Canberra’s influence will be enhanced in any future regional institution if Australia’s
    bilateral relationship with key players such as India is first strengthened.
    The paper is not denying that some efforts have been made. The annual talks
    between the Australian Chief of Defence and Indian counterparts is a good initiative,
    but Australia’s poor overall diplomatic engagement with and strategic appreciation of
    India is nevertheless worrying. For example, while Australia holds an annual Defence
    Strategic Dialogue with China involving the Secretary of Defence in addition to the
    Chief of Defence Force, there is no equivalent annual Secretary-level bi-lateral dialogue
    with India.69 Even though the Rudd government in 2008 pulled out of the ‘Strategic
    Dialogue plus India’ involving the ill-fated Quadrilateral Initiative partners, there is
    no reason why Canberra should not work towards instituting an annual Secretarylevel
    bi-lateral security dialogue with New Delhi to discuss bottom-up cooperation,
    but prudently leaving aside top-down strategic matters until New Delhi is ready.
    Meanwhile, Australia has its own nuclear-related stumbling block with India that
    is holding back the prospect of better relations. It is time to revisit the arguments for
    and against selling uranium to India—a non-signatory to the Non Proliferation Treaty
    (NPT)—that are becoming less relevant. The Rudd government’s refusal to honour
    the previous Howard government’s deal to sell uranium to India—despite Rudd
    subsequently supporting the 2008 ‘India waiver’ as a member of the 45-nation Nuclear
    Suppliers Group (NSG) which allowed the sale of uranium to India in 200870—remains
    an inconsistent, anachronistic and dogmatic stance, and an unnecessary slight against
    India.71 Despite the Rudd government’s continual reassurance that Australia’s refusal
    to sell uranium to non-signatories of the NPT is not aimed at India,72 the fact remains
    that the only other nuclear powers that are non-signatories to the NPT are North Korea
    and Pakistan.73 New Delhi therefore sees Canberra’s position as tantamount to treating
    ‘responsible India’ as an ‘irresponsible rogue state’ or as a ‘nuclear proliferator,’ although
    India (unlike Pakistan) has never been one. This stumbling block in our relations with
    New Delhi should be removed.
    Furthermore, the ‘Asia-Pacific’ has always been understood as a strategic rather
    than geographical construction. Given its growing economic interests as a result of
    the Look East policy, Canberra should devote proper resources to seriously push the
    argument that India be incorporated and encouraged to play an active role into the full
    array of existing regional institutions, especially a reorganised Asia-Pacific Economic
    Cooperation (APEC) organisation. Indeed, even though bilateral relationships remain
    the main game, China is cleverly using existing institutions to extend its influence.74
    Given India’s rising role as a ‘structural constraint’ and counter against Chinese power
    and influence, Canberra should relentlessly seek to push for New Delhi’s inclusion in as
    many existing regional multilateral forums as possible.
    The enormous importance of India should no longer be our strategic blind spot.
    If Australia and the Rudd government can help smooth the path of a rising India into
    Asia, then we will undoubtedly enhance our future relevance and play our part in
    reinforcing existing foundations for a stable peace and prosperity in the region that may
    yet survive for decades.
     
  11. A.V.

    A.V. New Member

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    Conclusion: the importance of courting India


    India is an Asian giant growing in confidence, ambition, power, wealth, and influence.
    Its diplomats are also increasingly active in the region. For example, India has announced
    plans to create 514 new positions in its Ministry of External Affairs over the next
    10 years.62 Importantly, its rise is not feared by other Asian states and its values and
    interests are closely aligned with our own.
    Placing structural
    constraints on
    Chinese actions
    as it rises will
    remain the
    primary and
    effective strategy
    in meeting the
    challenge of
    the Chinese
    conundrum.
    India is poised
    to add its
    formidable and
    growing weight
    in reinforcing
    this approach.
    16 Foreign Policy Analysis
    Yet, current Australian government strategic thinking focuses excessively on
    East Asia and China in particular. For example, as Chris Rahman observed, the rise
    of India’s navy a decade ago even caught Canberra by surprise.63 Admittedly, defence
    cooperation with India has since deepened. For example, Canberra and New Delhi have
    signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Defence Cooperation in 2006 designed to
    deepen practical defence ties in maritime security and counter-terrorism. An Information
    Sharing Agreement was signed in 2007, which ‘will facilitate the sharing of classified
    information betw een the two countries’ defence organizations.’64 Most recently, Foreign
    Minister Stephen Smith visited New Delhi and formally requested that Australia be
    allowed to participate in the annual US-India Malabar exercises.65 These are positive
    developments.
    However, the patient approach of quietly and steadily building meaningful bottomup
    military functional cooperation with the Indians in defence, as well as the need to
    conscientiously deepen the bilateral relationship, is at odds with Prime Minister Rudd’s
    attempts to hurriedly lead the construction of comprehensive, multilateral top-down
    security architecture for the whole region before Australia, the United States, or Asia is
    ready. Doing so prematurely will simply exacerbate the insecurity of Asian states vis-àvis
    a rising China since any such new structure would have to explicitly allow China an
    equal strategic status as a player in the region. Regional states will want this to occur only
    when they are sure that China is fully committed to the pre-existing rules and norms of
    behaviour in the region, which will be some time away. Meanwhile, America and Asian
    allies and partners much prefer to bulk up the informal network of security alliances and
    partners (including with India) to hedge and maximise leverage against a rising China
    before any serious discussion of new comprehensive and inclusive security architecture
    can take place. Far from the region entering into a dangerous period of ‘strategic
    drift’ as Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd contends,66 there is evidence that the
    United States, India, and key Asian partners are increasingly reading from the same
    strategic blueprint: A strong bilateral relationship with a rising India will be a critical
    factor in forging and strengthening the balance against a rising China in the future
    and in structurally constraining Beijing’s actions.67 A fully engaged India will improve
    the region’s leverage over a potentially disruptive China in the future. Subsequently,
    America and Asian states are busy doing the hard graft of building a lasting economic
    and strategic relationship with a rising India and bringing New Delhi into existing
    regional structures.
    There is less evidence Canberra is reading from the same page.
    First, pushing for institutions that are all-inclusive and designed to discuss the full
    spectrum of security matters is certainly premature. Besides threatening to dilute the
    current strategy use to both assist with and manage China’s rise, it goes against regional
    diplomatic culture in discussing tensions in open forums involving third parties.
    The most constructive work is done behind doors without the pressure of a high-profile
    security forum. Besides, the great fear of smaller Asian states is to have to ‘choose’ between
    the United States and China. They have never had to do so explicitly because they do
    not take part in any substantive, high-level action-based security forums involving both
    China and the United States. A pan-Asian security forum might very well change that.
    Second, and more related to the arguments in this paper, simply arguing that
    India be included in future security institutions is a token gesture that pays only lipservice
    to India’s growing importance. That India is poorly appreciated by the Rudd
    government—despite the commonality in values and strategic interests as well as the
    enormous economic opportunities presented by India’s rise—is confirmed by the lack
    of energy and resources devoted to building the bilateral relationship with New Delhi.
    As C. Raja Mohan observes, the weakest link in strategic and diplomatic cooperation
    between India, the United States, and other Asian states is the weak relationship between
    New Delhi and Canberra.68 Discussions about what top-down, overarching security
    architecture we should build (rather than the diplomatic and security relationships we
    A fully
    engaged India
    will improve
    the region’s
    leverage over
    a potentially
    disruptive
    China in the
    future.
    Foreign Policy Analysis 17
    first need to renew and reaffirm) are putting the strategic cart before the horse and are
    a mistake and distraction. Bear in mind that a poorly developed relationship between
    Canberra and New Delhi is not a regional deal-breaker when it comes to New Delhi’s
    growing strategic weight—India will simply become too big and important. But a poor
    or undeveloped relationship will do more future harm to Australia than it will to India.
    The India factor in Asia’s future will rise in importance despite our neglect, but it will
    reduce Australia’s future regional strategic relevance.
    More generally, Canberra should reduce its focus on top-down architecture building
    for the moment and instead direct our limited resources and attention toward improving
    bilateral relationships, such as with Asia’s other giant—India. This also makes sense since
    Canberra’s influence will be enhanced in any future regional institution if Australia’s
    bilateral relationship with key players such as India is first strengthened.
    The paper is not denying that some efforts have been made. The annual talks
    between the Australian Chief of Defence and Indian counterparts is a good initiative,
    but Australia’s poor overall diplomatic engagement with and strategic appreciation of
    India is nevertheless worrying. For example, while Australia holds an annual Defence
    Strategic Dialogue with China involving the Secretary of Defence in addition to the
    Chief of Defence Force, there is no equivalent annual Secretary-level bi-lateral dialogue
    with India.69 Even though the Rudd government in 2008 pulled out of the ‘Strategic
    Dialogue plus India’ involving the ill-fated Quadrilateral Initiative partners, there is
    no reason why Canberra should not work towards instituting an annual Secretarylevel
    bi-lateral security dialogue with New Delhi to discuss bottom-up cooperation,
    but prudently leaving aside top-down strategic matters until New Delhi is ready.
    Meanwhile, Australia has its own nuclear-related stumbling block with India that
    is holding back the prospect of better relations. It is time to revisit the arguments for
    and against selling uranium to India—a non-signatory to the Non Proliferation Treaty
    (NPT)—that are becoming less relevant. The Rudd government’s refusal to honour
    the previous Howard government’s deal to sell uranium to India—despite Rudd
    subsequently supporting the 2008 ‘India waiver’ as a member of the 45-nation Nuclear
    Suppliers Group (NSG) which allowed the sale of uranium to India in 200870—remains
    an inconsistent, anachronistic and dogmatic stance, and an unnecessary slight against
    India.71 Despite the Rudd government’s continual reassurance that Australia’s refusal
    to sell uranium to non-signatories of the NPT is not aimed at India,72 the fact remains
    that the only other nuclear powers that are non-signatories to the NPT are North Korea
    and Pakistan.73 New Delhi therefore sees Canberra’s position as tantamount to treating
    ‘responsible India’ as an ‘irresponsible rogue state’ or as a ‘nuclear proliferator,’ although
    India (unlike Pakistan) has never been one. This stumbling block in our relations with
    New Delhi should be removed.
    Furthermore, the ‘Asia-Pacific’ has always been understood as a strategic rather
    than geographical construction. Given its growing economic interests as a result of
    the Look East policy, Canberra should devote proper resources to seriously push the
    argument that India be incorporated and encouraged to play an active role into the full
    array of existing regional institutions, especially a reorganised Asia-Pacific Economic
    Cooperation (APEC) organisation. Indeed, even though bilateral relationships remain
    the main game, China is cleverly using existing institutions to extend its influence.74
    Given India’s rising role as a ‘structural constraint’ and counter against Chinese power
    and influence, Canberra should relentlessly seek to push for New Delhi’s inclusion in as
    many existing regional multilateral forums as possible.
    The enormous importance of India should no longer be our strategic blind spot.
    If Australia and the Rudd government can help smooth the path of a rising India into
    Asia, then we will undoubtedly enhance our future relevance and play our part in
    reinforcing existing foundations for a stable peace and prosperity in the region that may
    yet survive for decades.
     
  12. A.V.

    A.V. New Member

    Joined:
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    Endnotes
    1 Henry Kissinger, Diplomacy (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994).
    2 Defending Australia in the Asia Pacific Century: Force 2030 (Canberra: Department of
    Defence, 2009), 34.
    3 As above, 43.
    4 BRICs and Beyond (New York: Goldman Sachs Economics Department, November 2007).
    5 As above.
    6 Rubina Verma, ‘India’s Service Sector Growth—A “New” Revolution,’ DEGIT Conference
    Papers (June 2006); Rivi Kiran and Manpreet Kaur, ‘Global Competitiveness and Total
    Factor Productivity in Indian Manufacturing,’ International Journal of Indian Culture and
    Business Management 1:4 (2008); and Shankar Archarya, ‘India’s Growth: Past and Future,’
    Paper for Presentation at the Eighth Global Development Conference of the Global
    Development Network (14–16 January 2007).
    7 See Lan Xinzhen, ‘The Aging Problem of China,’ Beijing Review (14 March 2007).
    8 Arjun Adlakha, ‘Population Trends: India,’ US Department of Commerce International Brief
    (April 2009).
    9 See John Lee, Will China Fail? 2nd edition (Sydney: The Centre for Independent Studies,
    2009).
    10 See ‘India can make N-powered aircraft carrier: Kakodkar,’ The Times of India (5 August
    2009).
    11 ‘India’s 2008–2009 Military Budget,’ Defence Industry Daily (9 March 2008).
    12 Quoted in Hamish McDonald, ‘India: Beyond the Sea Wall,’ Asia Link Essays (June 2009), 4.
    13 As above, 6.
    14 Arun Kumar, ‘Manmohan Singh to make first state visit of Obama presidency,’ Thaindian
    News (3 October 2009).
    15 Lord Curzon, The Place of India in the Empire (New Delhi: Philosophical Institute of India,
    1909).
    16 C. Raja Mohan, Crossing the Rubicon: The Shaping of India’s Foreign Policy (New Delhi:
    Viking, 2003), 260–263.
    17 Robyn Meredith, ‘From Spinning Wheel to Fiber Optics,’ Forbes (20 July 2007).
    18 See Arun Shourie, ‘Navigating Reforms: Lessons from India,’ Economic Affairs 29:3
    (September 2009).
    19 See Sumit Ganguly and Manjeet S. Pardesi, ‘Explaining Sixty Years of India’s Foreign
    Policy,’ India Review 8:1 (2009).
    20 For example, see Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, ‘Keynote Address at Special Leaders
    Dialogue of ASEAN Business Advisory Council,’ Shared Integration: Promoting a Greater
    Asia (Singapore: The Asian Dialogue Society, 2006).
    21 Suvrokamal Dutta, ‘ASEAN and East Asia could be India’s new gold mine,’
    www.merinews.com (8 December 2007).
    22 See New Priorities in South Asia: US Policy Towards India, Pakistan and Afghanistan (New
    York: Council on Foreign Relations, 2003).
    23 See Jayshree Bajoria, ‘India-Afghanistan Relations,’ Council on Foreign Relations
    Backgrounder (22 July 2009).
    24 See Ashley Tellis, ‘De facto, not de jure—India is world’s sixth nuclear power,’ The Wall
    Street Journal (28 September 2008).
    25 ‘India pitches for full membership of SCO,’ SiliconIndia (27 October 2005).
    26 For example, see ‘US to help India become major world power,’ SiliconIndia (1 April 2005).
    27 Quoted in Thomas Donnelly, ‘Going Out for India,’ AEI Articles & Commentary
    (31 March 2005).
    28 ‘India, US, Japan foster relationships during MALABAR,’ Soldier of Fortune (5 May 2009).
    29 See Sanu Kainikara, Australian Security in the Asian Century (Canberra: Air Power
    Development Centre, 2008), 66–67.
    30 See Sanjaya Baru, ‘India-United States Relations under the Obama Administration,’ ISAS
    Insights 38 (10 November 2008).
    31 Robert D. Blackwill, ‘A Friend Indeed,’ The National Interest (May/June 2007).
    32 See John Lee, ‘China’s Insecurity and Search for Power,’ CIS Issue Analysis No. 101
    (Sydney, The Centre for Independent Studies, November 2008).
    33 Min Zeng, ‘China Adds to Treasury Piles, With Bias to Short End,’ The Wall Street Journal
    (17 July 2009).

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