If India and Pakistan Come to Nuclear Blows, Blame U.S

Discussion in 'Foreign Relations' started by LETHALFORCE, Jun 4, 2011.

  1. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    If India and Pakistan Come to Nuclear Blows, Blame U.S.: Mishra - Businessweek

    June 3 (Bloomberg) -- Are India and Pakistan likely to stumble into nuclear war? This appalling possibility has long been kept alive by conflicts between the two historical enemies, but it may have been pushed closer to fulfillment by a catastrophic failure of U.S. foreign policy in South Asia.

    In recent weeks, a cover story in the Economist on the world’s "most dangerous border" described Pakistan’s rush to militarize its nuclear capacity, and former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger warned of a pre-World War I, Balkans-like scenario in South Asia that leads to a global conflict.

    Other developments, which have largely escaped the radar of Western commentators, give deeper cause for foreboding. A day after U.S. Navy seals killed Osama Bin Laden, the Indian army and air chiefs declared that the Indian military was capable of mounting similar operations in Pakistan. Pakistan’s spy chief, Lieutenant General Ahmad Shuja Pasha, responded with the claim that the Pakistani military had already rehearsed retaliatory strikes on India.

    This isn’t just playground posturing. Soon after conducting nuclear tests in 1998, India’s Hindu nationalist government threatened Pakistan with an "all-out war." The rhetoric on the other side of the border was no less temperate. In 2001, the Hindu nationalist-led government responded to a terrorist attack by Pakistan-trained militants on India’s Parliament by mobilizing hundreds of thousands of troops on the border. Both nations eventually pulled back from the brink.

    Angry Indian Politicians

    But since then, terrorist attacks, such as the one on Mumbai in November 2008, routinely provoke angry calls from Indian politicians and news commentators for surgical strikes on training camps and headquarters of extremist groups in Pakistan.

    Writing as Israel pounded Gaza a few weeks after the Mumbai attacks, the former diplomat Shashi Tharoor spoke of India’s "Israel envy." Indians know that war with Pakistan would be catastrophically counterproductive. Yet, as he wrote, "when Indians watch Israel take the fight to the enemy, killing those who launched rockets against it" some of them "cannot resist wishing that they could do something similar in Pakistan."

    One reason India hasn’t is that since 2004 it has had a prime minister, Manmohan Singh, who remains committed to improving relations with Pakistan. (That Singh is one of an aging generation of Sikhs born in undivided India may have something to do with this outlook.) Last month, he distanced himself from India’s Strangelovian military bosses and talking heads, and “a line of thinking” that he said was “mired in a mindset that is neither realistic nor productive.”

    Manmohan Singh’s Dilemma

    Singh knows that the long-unresolved issue of Kashmir lies at the heart of the tense relationship between India and Pakistan. More than 70,000 people, mostly Muslim, have died in India-administered Kashmir as troops have battled an insurgency backed by Pakistan. Any "Idiot’s Guide to South Asia" will tell you that peace in the region will remain a distant dream until India and Pakistan reach a solution acceptable to Kashmiri Muslims as well as nationalists in both countries.

    This will initially require, at the very least, India to shift it troops out of the Kashmir valley, where during the past two summers hundreds of thousands of Indian soldiers have confronted increasingly nonviolent and overwhelmingly young Muslim protesters. Unfortunately, India’s new image in Europe and America as a rising power has diminished the Indian appetite for compromise and negotiation.

    Following Russia’s Example

    Singh faces a strident domestic constituency that believes in isolating and neutering Pakistan while striking Kashmir with what a former Indian diplomat called, invoking Russia’s example in Chechnya, an "iron fist." There is in India, as in Israel, a public opinion that recoils at the prospect of talking on equal terms with neighbors viewed as terrorists.

    As is the case in the Middle East, the only country to have leverage with both parties is the U.S. And there are few obstacles to using this leverage with India. The close American relationship with India is still new, and not captive to domestic politics in the U.S.

    Seeking to make India a strategic counterweight to China, and a solid business partner, the administration of George W. Bush rewarded it with an exceptionally generous nuclear deal. Prime Minister Singh expressed the sincere gratitude to India’s pro-American political and business elites when he blurted out to Bush in late 2008, "The people of India deeply love you." Barack Obama followed up the nuclear agreement with a host of economic deals during his visit to India in November last year.

    America’s Dual Role

    There is of course an unresolvable contradiction in a foreign policy that builds up India’s military and economic capacity while pushing Pakistan to launch resource-draining campaigns against extremists. Not surprisingly, the sight of the U.S. cozying up to Pakistan’s traditional enemy has made the Islamabad establishment not only more paranoid, but also more duplicitous in its dealings with American military and intelligence.

    The diplomatic advantages of the new American intimacy with India have yet to come into clear view. Unlike Bush, President Obama is fully aware of the importance of Kashmir to his most urgent foreign policy challenge: stabilizing Afghanistan and Pakistan. He came to office claiming that “working with Pakistan and India to try to resolve the Kashmir crisis in a serious way” were among the “critical tasks for the next administration.”

    Obama spoke of devoting serious diplomatic resources to get a special envoy in there, to figure out a plausible approach, and essentially to make the argument to the Indians: "You guys are on the brink of being an economic superpower, why do you want to keep on messing with this?"

    Arguing With Pakistan

    The argument for the Pakistanis was to be: "Look at India and what they are doing, why do you want to keep being bogged down with this, particularly at a time when the biggest threat now is coming from the Afghan border?"

    But as the WikiLeaks cables revealed, the Obama administration surrendered quickly to the Indian ultimatum that the envoy to the region, the late Richard Holbrooke, exclude Kashmir from his responsibilities. Holbrooke himself remained convinced, according to his widow, Kati Marton, that Pakistan would remain unstable and vulnerable to extremism until adequate steps to resolve Kashmir were taken; he advocated more American pressure on India in this regard.

    When Obama visited India in late 2010, however, he chose to encourage India’s naively triumphalist self-perception as a country that has "already arrived.’’ It’s unlikely that he subscribes to the anachronistic Cold War binaries of the Bush administration that counterpoised India and China. Yet he carefully avoids mentioning Kashmir in his speeches.

    Like the Balkans

    Perhaps it’s not too late for Obama to try the more evenhanded and integrated approach to India and Pakistan that he outlined as a candidate. The mood in both countries is febrile - - Kissinger’s analogy with the pre-WWI Balkans is exact in this respect.

    The Indian media are giving extensive coverage to the terrorism trial in Chicago that implicates Pakistani intelligence in the 2008 Mumbai attacks. Any new terrorist attack originating in Pakistan would vastly increase the number of Indians clamoring for a punitive assault on their malevolent neighbor; and even Prime Minister Singh may not be able to resist them.

    Pakistan of course has been readying itself for a military incursion across the border. Last month, it tested a remarkably mobile missile system designed to unleash low-yield nuclear weapons on tank formations. The bin Laden killing and successive attacks by the Pakistani Taliban and al-Qaeda have left its military and intelligence establishments humiliated and seething with anger.

    Faced with a rash Indian strike, it might well behave even more recklessly -- an increasingly plausible scenario that America’s rigidly compartmentalized policies in South Asia have done little to thwart.

    (Pankaj Mishra is a columnist for Bloomberg View. The opinions expressed are his own.)

    --Editors: Tobin Harshaw, Brenda Batten

    Click on "Send Comment" in sidebar display to send a letter to the editor.

    To contact the writer of this column: Pankaj Mishra in Mashobra, India, at [email protected]

    To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tobin Harshaw at [email protected]
     
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  3. nrj

    nrj Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    India, Pakistan have been neat close to Nuclear war twice. And if it happens again, blame India & Pakistan not US. We've never allowed them to interfere in this matter. Writer seems to be interested in honoring US with supreme position so it can take responsibility of every casualty on the planet.
     
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  4. Energon

    Energon DFI stars Stars and Ambassadors

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    I'm with nrj on this one. The US has very little to do with this since the conflict at the core of a potential war is purely an Indo-Pak matter. Truth of the matter is that India doesn't really have a solution for Pakistan. All bellicosity and jingoism aside, India simply does not have the capability to pursue America's footsteps vis a vis surgical strikes in Pakistan. For India the best offense will be a solid defense.
     
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  5. mayfair

    mayfair Elite Member Elite Member

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    It was US who winked and looked the other way when Pukis went about acquiring nuclear weapons through theft, lies and deceit.

    It was US that nudged Pakistan along when they embarked on their asymmetric warfare by fomenting terror groups in Punjab and J&K. Khalistani and Kashmiri terror groups found active shelter and support in upper echelons of Western governments especially US, UK and Canada. They were granted audience with high ranking members, found sympathetic ears, their fund raisers were hardly discouraged

    The US cold war era thinking was an attempt to establish an equal-equal between India and Pakistan at every level. A legacy spawned by the liked of Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski and carried forth by the likes of Robin Rapahel much after the Cold war was a footnote of history.

    The US overlooked Puki genocide in Bangladesh so as "not to squeeze Yayha", while India was threatened with the Seventh fleet

    Pukis may have had the bomb but a deterrence is credible only as long as you have viable delivery mechanisms. Long before China transferred M11s and Nodongs, which were gleefully painted green and named after invading Ghazis by the gloating Pukis, it was the US supplied F-16s in 1980s which gave them their first credible delivery platform. This further emboldened them to launch terror attacks in different parts of India and embark on a thousand-cuts-policy

    Even after 9-11, US was least concerned about India's strategic concerns but demanded that we acknowledge theirs vis-a-vis Af-Pak. In Kargil we are prevented from going for the jugular with the plea of saving Puki H&D. Parliament attack of 2001 with army massed on the border, US brought in immense pressure on India to back down so as not to adversely impact their war in Afghanistan, ditto for terror attacks that followed later culminating in the horrific Mumbai attacks of 2008. Each and every time they leaned on India not to react militarily, Pukis were emboldened and became more brazen in their threats to India.

    US has been spouting crap about the Puki nukes since long and yet have done sod all to restrict further proliferation. The they wring their hands as if in helplessness about Pukis acquiring the fourth largest nuclear arsenal in the world. Furthermore, in the name of the war against terror the US continues to bolster the offensive capabilities of the Terrorist State of Pakistan Army, which means they have little incentive to pursue peace with India. P3Orions to fight against Taliban? Ah Piss off! Are they going to sink a few Taliban Jihadi Submarines in FATA?

    The US has continually stoked this fire in pursuit of their own strategic goals and now that there's a real possibility of the nuclear chickens coming to roost on American soil that they are bricking it. Yet old habbits die hard and still they persist in asking India to assuage Puki concerns in Afghanistan, make concessions on River waters and Kashmir so that their frigging farce on terror is secured. They destroyed two countries for the sake of 3000 killed on that fateful day in 2001, but demand that India show restraint and "understand others compulsions" despite losing over 30 times that number in never ending terror attacks for the past three decades

    To sum up, to say that US has little to do with the situation as of today is one big pile of steaming festering turd.
     
  6. prototype

    prototype Regular Member

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    If India and Pakistan are close to nuclear exchange,the only one to blame for it would be Pakistan itself,neither US or India.

    In 99 Us tried every bit to save Pakistan from an overwhelming Indian assault,Pakistan keep threatening us with their nukes,but US had full knowledge that Pakistani arsenal was not active at that time,a fact later claimed by Nawaf Shariff also.

    US will continue protecting Pakistan against India,and Pakistan will forever continue to veil its nuke threat,India will be always keep its restraint to avoid annihilation.

    All equation's will change the day Pakistan prove that it words were not hollow.
     
  7. AOE

    AOE Regular Member

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    Where is your proof of this? In the 1990s, the US suspended all military and economic assistance to Pakistan under the Presler Ammendment until Pakistan proved it contained no nuclear weapons. Indeed further sanctions and aid cutting was implemented prior to 9/11 when the democratic government in Pakistan was overthrown.

    This is a new claim I've never seen before, are you saying the US directly supported Pakistani terrorist groups in India? I'd like to see evidence of this.

    Despite the fact I'm not fond of Pakistan myself, how exactly is embarking upon an equal footing between India and Pakistan in the midst of the Cold War an immoral act?

    Nixon was not shown sufficient evidence at the time that genocide was occuring, so his thought was that it was propaganda (at the time), which we later found out was actually false (1.5 million died as a result). Hindsight is always a bitch, because you never have it when you really need it. The claim that India was threatened with the US fleet nearby is a selective interpretation of history that I've never seen strong evidence for, but I do know that the US was largely there to end the conflict and to contain Soviet influence.

    You are claiming that the US had malevolent intent to give the F-16s in the 1980s as a delivery mechanism for Pakistani nukes they developed in the 1990s, which doesn't make any sense. You would have to provide evidence to show that:

    A) The US had overwhelming knowledge of the Pakistani nuclear program before they delivered the F16s.
    B) Any documentation of US officials in the white house stating it was to contain India.

    Otherwise this is just conspiracy theories. Yet if we were to take your word on it; why is it Henry Kissinger basically told Ali Bhutto to get over it when India was developing nuclear weapons?

    While I'm not fond of Af-Pak, the US however finds itself in a bind where it would naturally abandon its current shaky alliance with Pakistan because of the war in Afghanistan. I have seen other Indians here say themselves that the US abandoning Afghanistan would be disastrous on multiple levels, the country would further destabilize and perhaps genocide would occur; Pakistan will mostly likely make a move on the region. The Americans themselves are having to make sacrifices in this regard, because not every conflict is as black and white as you are putting it.

    As I said; the WOT is not perfect, and I would agree there have been decisions made that should not have been with hindsight, but do not pretend that India is somehow being maltreated or left out of the equation, since it is the largest recipient of weapons in the world, particularly from the west. Pakistan is also having its countryside bombed and shot to pieces by the US in finding terrorists, since the Pakistanis are clearly doing a double deal under the table with us and the terrorists. Since the anti-war movement and conspiracy theorists would prevent the US going to war with Pakistan over stuff like this, they are doing this covertly. Yet again, it's not an ideal situation, but unless the Indians here are going to tell the anti-war movement and the anti-American leftist crowd in the US and abroad to STFU then this is the best possible situation.

    This is just a rant that is partially unintelligible, and I would wonder if you are privy to pacifist rhetoric.

    They are involved in the region, yes, but they are not to blame for the nuclear arsenals of either side, or whether or not Pakistan and India will nuke each other back into the stone age. It is a shame you missed nrjs point about how everyone is so keen to blame everything on the US. If your car doesn't start in the morning, it's because of the US invasion of Iraq affecting oil prices. If you trip over on the side of the road and land face first, clearly it was because a US jet flew past and scared the be-jesus out of you, and not your own actions. If Pakistan receives aid because politicians in the US or UK are either blindsighted at the blatant philandering between Pakistans military/ISI and terrorist groups, or because they have to choose between the lesser of the two evils; it must obviously mean they hate India, and want to destroy and balkanize it. Oh and the US government has satellites in space to monitor the thoughts of Indians, so you better put your tin foil hat back on; else you become another sheep under the spell of American zionism, the free masons, and colonialism.
     
  8. mayfair

    mayfair Elite Member Elite Member

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    US was well aware that Pukis were on their way to nuclear proliferation as early as 1979 and this is why US imposed sanctions against Pukis under the Symington Amendment, which as Salim Shezad so eloquently put it "prohibited aid to any non-nuclear country engaged in illegal procurement of equipment for a nuclear weapons program". In 1981 the US Congress granted the Pukis a six-year exemption from these stipulations. Read it here
    . By 1986 US was well aware about Pukis producing weapons grade plutonium and by 1987 the Congress was well aware of the nuclear smuggling ring that Pukis had established.

    Indeed very interesting that the Pressler Amendment was passed in 1985, yet it was not until 1990 (October 1989 to be precise) that US imposed sanctions against Pukis for their nuclear weapons program, by which Soviets were evicted from Afgahnistan, German unification was a impending certainty and the cold war was all but won. How convenient I must say.


    I never said that. I said that terror groups and their sympathisers advocating secession of Punjab (as Khalistan) and J&K from India found much sympathy and support in the West even at the government level.The International Sikh Youth Federation was found in UK in 1984 and was not proscribed until ..surprise surprise 2001!! They established chapters across North America and operated with impunity till 2002. Arms meant for Afghan mujahideen found their way to Khalistani and Kashmiri terrorists. Elements in the congress and senate continuously forwarded this propaganda. Google Dan Burton to see what I mean.


    Attempting to equate a rogue state ruled by a zealous bigot that instigates terror attacks in a peaceful democratic neighbour just because the rogue is key to your plans in ousting your biggest enemy is immoral enough in most viewpoints.


    Either you are selectively myopic or attempting to obfuscate documented facts. Read about the Blood Telegram sent by US consul in Dhaka Archer Blood in 1970 to the state department. And you have the gall to claim that Nixon did not have enough evidence?

    The fleet was there to end the conflict?..oh yes they were there for that very purpose to end the conflict on Pakistan's terms after Nixon's famous "That women suckered us". Of course you mail to mention that the Soviet nuclear submarine was dispatched on the tail of the Seventh fleet after it proceeded to Bay of Bengal. Selective myopia is a bliss indeed.

    You ask me for proof yet provide none that Kissinger told Bhutto to stuff it. I have demonstrated above that US was well aware of the Pakistani nuclear program and yet chose to lift sanctions. They supplied F-16s fully aware that these were capable of delivering nuclear weapons and fully aware of Puki perfidy in nuclear smuggling. You supply a platform capable of delivering nuclear weapons to a fiendish country which intends to use them against it's neighbour. For India it doesn't get more malafide than that.


    Oh yes, Americans are making sacrifices so we must understand their compulsions. Indians are cannon fodder and what does a few hundred thousand matter when there are a billion more out there.


    Bollocks. Anti-war movement did not stop US from invading Iraq and Afghanistan and you expect others to believe that somewhow they'll be a spanner in taking the war to the Pukis? You bomb FATA with impunity yet do precious little to force the Pukis to act against terror groups based in PoK and Punjab?

    India largest receipt of weapons in the world? Do even bother to read what you type? Or is this an example of your extreme arrogance/ignorance and/or your grasp on English language is so tenuous as not to understand that someone who actually pays in hard cash for what they receive are NOT recipients but buyers? Beggars belief!!

    P.S. "with us", do you mean US as in "United States" or us as in "us Americans"? Just curious since there's an Aussie flag in your avatar.


    You talk about rants and then

    you come up with this??

    I may or may not be privy to "pacifist rhetoric" (whatever that means) but perhaps I have obtained some valuable insights into your IQ levels.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2011
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  9. Virendra

    Virendra Moderator Moderator

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    Hell, no one says that. At least not in India, don't know about Pakistan. They're pretty fond of "Zionist Amreekans"
     
  10. Razor

    Razor CIDs from Tamilnadu Senior Member

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    To contain soviet influence :pound: The soviets sent their subs (to balance the situation), as the US had sent the AC to intimidate us.

    From your posts you seem to have lost your tin foil hat. :becky:
     
  11. AOE

    AOE Regular Member

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    While I'm happy to accept they had knowledge of Pakistans illegal nuclear weapons program at least since 1979, however that does not prove malevolent intent by the US. You also haven't provided any information to show that the Americans gave F16s on the basis of allowing Pakistan to gain nuclear capability against India. The F16s were given to contain Soviet influence during the Cold War, and they were also embargoed at one point by the US during Pakistans nuclear weapons development program. The point I was trying to make is that US-Pakistani relations are not contiguous, or even continuous for that matter.

    lol, so then how would you recommend the US try to maintain the denuclearization of Pakistan, while trying to fund the Afghans against Soviet aggression? It's a grey area, and it's always much easier to emotionally seat yourself in a position of protest until you are put in their shoes, without the benefit of hindsight. Had the Americans invaded Pakistan at this point in time, Afghanistan would have disappeared into the Soviet bloc and would be further tyrannized and ethnically cleansed, the Soviets would see this as a weakness of western democracies, and we would never hear the end of it from the anti-war movement. It seems you can never please everybody all the time.

    Hmm... I understand now where you are coming from, while I would agree with you that it is deplorable that the US ignored some of Pakistans religious extremist/segregationist activities against India, however this still does not directly show any kind of malevolent intent by the US. As for the elements within the congress and senate that supported it, well there are always politicians in every society that latch onto movements like these for naive or insane reasons; I'm sure the INC has its fair share of skeletons in its closet. So this is somewhat subjective.

    Yet Nehru had no problem picking the Soviet Union over the US in the 1950s as Indias global strategic ally, a country of which killed over 60 million people between 1917-1989, arguably one of the most violent regimes in human history. Nehru also diplomatically recognized the PRC in 1949, just prior to the outbreak of the Korean war, and 13 years before that same country would have a border war with India. Why did Nehru do this? He was a socialist who believed in big, centralized, corrupt government that plagued India for decades with poverty, a disastrous foreign policy, and a NAM that included a dozen dictatorships and homicidal regimes at differing periods. He also naively believed that he could reconcile with communist dictatorships, as the war of 1962 proved this wasn't the case. All of these acts would also be seen as immoral in most viewpoints. Indeed many of them were supported for dubious reasons, and had it not have been for Nehru; India would have been a long term ally of the US, Pakistan would not exist (or be put in its place), and I can hear the end of the ad nauseum, holier than thou arguments by people here and elsewhere.

    Getting awfully personal, are we? Ad hominems are also the retreat of someone who is clearly unable to accept a differing perspective and resorts to personal attacks. I am aware of the Blood Telegram, and yes that's what I was alluding to; Nixon dismissed this information as propaganda at the time, and I realize I rushed typing that when I was trying to make this point; so apologies for the misunderstanding. It was a mistake he made, but ultimately his attempt to end the conflict was not a threat to India as you claimed earlier. Nixon was not fond of Indira Gandhi, but he also went to great lengths to restrain Pakistan; so it's not as if the Americans were solely there for the interests of the Pakistanis. If that is true, then they would have entered that war to attack India, but they did not. Indeed some of the diplomatic logs of these events show that Nixon wanted to avoid confrontation in the region.

    You say I failed to mention it, yet the Soviet force that followed the US fleet is further proof of Soviet influence in the region. The point is that the US tried to end that conflict as quickly as possible, even when the Soviet Union vetoed UN attempts to end the conflict, so as I said before; this is not as black and white as you portray it. Had it not been for that veto, the US fleet wouldn't have had to sail into the Bay of Bengal as it did, and a forceful compromise would not have to be made. So you can thank the Soviets in part for stretching out the conflict and forcing an American diplomatic intervention.

    lol, that's not exactly a watertight argument. Correlation does not equal causation, and indeed you have provided no evidence to substantiate that the US removing sanctions was intentional to threaten India. This is what I meant before about conspiracy theories. The removal of sanctions during the 1980s and the slow response to Pakistans illegal nuclear weapons program precisely had to do with what I said earlier; that the US was still engaged in the Cold War and had to choose the lesser of the two evils (Pakistan or Soviet Union). It is having to make a similar decision today with the war in Afghanistan, but if it weren't for that; US-Pakistan relations would probably cease. Indeed, what the US is doing in Pakistan right now is arguably far more confrontational than what the US did in 1971.

    While Pakistan was championed by Nixon and Kissinger, here is some reading on some of the diplomatic talks between Bhutto and Kissinger in the 70s on the nuclear weapons of India:
    Zee News India
    History Commons: Bhutto
    Time Magazine Article: PAKISTAN: Tilting with Bhutto

    Mindless rhetoric, and I don't think most Americans; even within Washington circles would hold that kind of view.

    It didn't stop the invasion, but they sure kicked up a huge dust storm about it; while supporting anti-war rhetoric that has helped to polarize many western democratic societies against the idea of interventionism, and that's before we get to the corruption and complacency of the UN. While I'm open to the idea of Pakistan being invaded and balkanized (I have had this discussion with others on this forum), however such a move would be unpopular and would create anti-war rhetoric at home. The US often has to make these moves in stages, rather than invading every dictatorship or homicidal regime at once. As I said; if you want an invasion of Pakistan on the grounds of nuclear proliferation, terrorism, lack of democracy/human rights, etc... then the people you need to convince are the kinds of people who buy into isolationism, pacifism, conspiracy theories, and the Chomskyites of this world. Sadly these people and their ideas are not a minority.

    It's called hyperbole, it was not supposed to be serious.

    I probably wasn't clear there, but I meant the west particularly, or indeed anyone that these terrorists consider to be enemies (which is just about everyone).
     
  12. Godless-Kafir

    Godless-Kafir DFI Buddha Senior Member

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    AOE, I too disagree with the author of this article, i dont think the US can monitor every bad guy,spy and terrorist on the planet, i think the blame goes on India more when it is in our interest to stop these people from attaining nuclear technology or voice the siren on people like A.Q.Khan. The US is not infallible and people are mistaking the capability of US with what Hollywood movies portray it to be, which is far from the truth, the US has more than its fare share of screw ups and bad policies.

    However that said, i never understand why did they allow China to grow into this Behemoth that is hard to handle, do they believe in having a strong competition that would help capitalism to grow? After all Capitalism is based on competition and it would be boring to just look at Europe for competition. Why do they support countries like Saudi Arabia and other dictators while they turn a blind eye towards Burma or Dawfur! These double standards are either based on incredible short sightedness or some sort of policy that is pro money not really pro democracy.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2011
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  13. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    The China idea was from Nixon and Kissinger it will be known as the greatest folly in US history. The idea was to prevent a Soviet Union/China/India/ communist bloc from developing and becoming a threat to the west, to prevent this USA has sold their sold to China ;and the alliance is still taking shape in a different form the Shanghai corp(SCO) and this time USA is wooing India.
     
  14. Energon

    Energon DFI stars Stars and Ambassadors

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    You're missing the point. The fire itself precludes and predates the US connection. At the same time the "solution" or lack of one also precludes the US.

    You're retroactively harping upon selective factors because you are unhappy with the fact that Pakistan nullified India's advantage. What you forget is that equilibrium is always a standard factor in longitudinal history. If it weren't from one route it would be from another. At the end of the day they were willing to sacrifice themselves in order to obtain this weapon, and they would have got it one way or another, it would only be a matter of time.

    Any potential confrontation leading to nuclear war is centered around a conflict purely between India and Pakistan.

    **mayfair, calm down, there's no need for ad hominems.**
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2011
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  15. mayfair

    mayfair Elite Member Elite Member

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    If you read my post carefully, I said that US supply of a platform capable of delivering nuclear weapons to a rogue nuclear state involved in cross border terrorism was perceived (and rightly so) as malafide in India. You are correct that Americans primary objective in handing over F-16s to Pak may have been containment of Soviet influence, but knowing Pukis you wish to tell me that they were entirely unaware that given the past experience with US supplied weapons, these arms would eventually be used against India? It does not get more malafide than that for us. Pakistani weapnons and nukes have had one primary target and that's not America. Take a guess?


    So you admit that your strategic interests overrode genuine concerns about nuclear proliferation. You were so hell bent on establishing a Vietnam experience for the Soviets that you ignored the other genie that was being uncorked. Now that I pointed out the duplicity of US establishment, you resort to rhetoric? Ok let me bite that. As you say such actions were impossible while Soviets were in Afghanistan (I will not get into how long they would have stayed there due to economic issues), but what stopped you from coming down on Pakistan AFTER invoking the Pressler Amendment? Especially when the hyperbole about the "Islamic bomb" being used to liberate Kashmir and Indian Muslims commenced as early as 1990?

    Anti-war movement? Are you being genuinely naive or duplicitous?


    I specifically spoke about groups that advocated terror against India, who found sanctuary in USA, Canada and UK. Why were they allowed to operate with impunity in the US as late as 2001? Coincidence?

    There's lot more to it than that. Nehru made mistakes and has been fiercely criticised by many including myself. As you said his belief in a centrally controlled economy led him to make overtures to the Soviets. However, you fail to mention that USA aligning itself with and arming Pakistan was a big factor if not the biggest one in firming our tilt towards to Soviets. Soviet rulers were despicable who killed millions of their own people. But did America too forfeited its claim to be a civilised mature democratic power when they interned millions of their own citizens of Japanese and German origin in prison camps during WWII, when they dropped atom bombs on a near-defeat Japan in 1945, when they incinerated Vietnamese villages and forests in support of an dictatorial regime. I'll be amazed if the irony escaped you when you accused NAM to be a conglomerate of dictators yet some of closes US allies were the likes of Saddam Hussein, Shah of Iran, Ayub Khan, Yahya Khan, Zia-ul-Haq, Augusto Pinochet, Hosnei Mubarak and many others in that illustrious list. Heard about glass houses?


    Nixon dismissed a confidential information sent by his own consul as propaganda? Now I have heard it all. "Do not squeeze Yahya"..indeed

    He restrained Pakistan? How? By deputing the likes of Chuck Yaeger to Pukiland? By refusing to impose any sanctions? By sending in the seventh fleet to restrain India. I've seen a fair few equal-equals but restraining India=retraining Pakistan surely takes the cake.

    So Soviets who followed Americans into the Bay of Bengal was an influence, yet US who had no business being there sailed in sabre rattling to intimidate a country fighting their prized ally? Did you have the UN mandate to intervene? Why did you not intervene to prevent the Bengali genocide? Why send your fleet when the war was nearing end and Pukis were about to surrender? Saving the shredded echh and dee of your frontline ally in "A serenade with Mao"?
    And since when did sending in CBGs become "diplomatic intervention"?

    More likely the presence of Soviets deterred youse from getting actively involved in the conflict and that's what had yours in a perpetual twist.


    Sigh.. read above


    Now that we know that we feel much better


    US never cared for these elements when it invaded countries before. The grounds for intervention in Pakistan are much more solid and pressing. But who's asking you to invade? Why obfuscate matters? You are already bombing FATA aren't you? Why not send the drones over to Bahawalpur, Muridke, Muzaffarabad et al. as well?


    One man's hyperbole is another's rhetoric. See what I did there?


    Cheers mate
     
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  16. AOE

    AOE Regular Member

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    A good post, and I would agree with you up to a point; Nixon/Kissinger took advantage of the Sino-Soviet split that was occuring for its own reasons, and indeed this is a similar form of realpolitik the US made during WWII to side with the Soviets against the Germans and Japanese fascist regimes. As you said yourself; US is certainly not infallible, it's had to make some dubious and tough decisions in the past on foreign policy, often with limited information/moral reasons to do so.

    The US support of the Soviet Union in WWII, and opening of diplomatic relations with China in the 70s are arguably two of the worst foreign policy blunders the US has ever committed. Worse than Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Chile, Afghan Mujahideen, the Contras, Iran, Iraq, etc... Ideally in everyones case, it would have been preferable to never have supported any of these regimes, but when faced with Soviet-backed dictatorships/puppets/communist guerillas or equivalent, and no knowledge of what the future holds; I would submit it's easier to be an idealist than it is to be a politician. The worlds a grey place, but I still see value in US interventionism both past and present; even if sometimes it isn't perfect, and even if it is a topic that is shrouded in an infinite amount of partisan rhetoric.

    As for Darfur and Burma; well the US has raised both issues at times to the UN, and it gets sidetracked somehow (sometimes it gets changed to Israel-bashing, I think I mentioned this before); sometimes the US also has to focus on larger evils before it diverges its attention to smaller ones (AKA China and North Korea, instead of Burma). If only the US had an infinite supply of money, armed forces, and public support; I'm sure they would liberate every country in a heartbeat, but unfortunately that is not the case.
     
  17. AOE

    AOE Regular Member

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    Well mayfair, I think it would be best if we both cooled down the responses here to something a bit more digestible. I know topics like these are subjective, filled with rhetoric, and passions will often get the better of people when they may not even realize they agree with one another on some level, so I might respond a bit from a different angle.

    I understand your point well, and I was trying to point out myself that the transfer of F-16s was not a black and white issue, but rather making a counter-argument about containing Soviet influence to show that it is a subjective point. I can very much see that what has happened historically with the US-Pakistani relationship has angered a lot of Indians, and in many ways that anger is justified; however this diplomatic relationship is in no way contiguous or continuous as I said earlier. It has had its fair share of sanctions, embargos (particularly of F-16s when the US found out they had a nuclear weapons program), and even Nixon/Kissinger who were friendly towards Pakistan telling Yahya Khan to restrain his armed forces, and that Indias development of nuclear weapons is of little concern to them, in short.

    Why do I make this point? Well to highlight that at no point were US actions in this period aimed to intentionally threaten India, or to favor Pakistan in any particular way. Indeed the first US president to visit India (Eisenhower) in 1959 said nothing but positive things about the country, and would pledge to help India against Chinese communist aggression. These sentiments were echoed by Kennedy in 1962-1963 when he heard news of the Sino-Indian War, in which he lept to his feet and proclaimed he would come to the defense of India and attack China if it re-opened another border conflict, he may even escalate the conflict to the nuclear level (or at least it was recommended by Robert McNamara at the time). So the evidence is actually more in favor of the notion that the US did not want to threaten or attack India, but rather develop stronger relations at the early onset of the Cold War.

    I might also recommend you read the old diplomatic transcripts and logs of Nixon/Kissinger in this period and they make it clear that they ultimately did not want a conflict with India.

    I only admit that the Americans were put in a tough situation where they had to choose between the lesser of two evils, and I mentioned this above in my response to GKs post; sometimes it's easier to be an idealist than it is to be a politician. I do not like the fact the US overlooked what Pakistan was doing with some of their financial and military aid with India, but it doesn't take away from the fact that the US intervention in the region had moral reasons behind it. The Soviets and their communist puppet (PDPA) were practically ravaging the countryside in a Scorched Earth policy, killing nearly 2 million Afghans, and displacing millions more. At the end of the day, I would say it's a grey area conflict.

    I could also mention another criticism that the US did abandon Afghanistan after the Soviets withdrew, leaving it to the hands of the Pakistanis to kill off the anti-communist resistance and turn the country into a tribalist theocracy, so in a sense I would agree with you that US foreign policy in the region after the fall of the Berlin Wall became very short sighted, but you also need to take many factors into consideration of what was happening in the 1990s. The Gulf War happened soon after, and this was also a decade plagued with the Yugoslav Wars, the War in Kosovo, and Bill Clintons bizarre escapades into Somalia and Sudan (he was partially incompetent on foreign policy issues). There was also the Third Taiwan Strait Crisis in 1996 (which the same US Seventh Fleet participated in), so potential confrontation with the PRC was a likelihood; although they backed down seeing that they were a provoking a conflict they couldn't win. The Americans were tied down in this period to a considerable extent.

    The first time the US intervened into a country on WMD charges (as well as regime change) was Iraq in 2003. Prior to that, the US adopted stances of sanctions instead of direct confrontation (indeed they did the same with Iraq in this period), and Pakistan in the 1990s was practically left to wallow in its own misery, until 9/11. I've always been more favorable to the idea of going to war than putting sanctions on a country, because I can't for the life of me see a good reason to implement them. Toppling dictatorships is my cup of tea, not economically punishing the regime and its people at the same time.

    Not a co-incidense at all, and prior to 9/11, which for many was a big wake up call; there were many naive people (usually religous themselves) who thought that Muslim extremists had legitimate causes wherever they may be, and people were stupid enough to believe them. Like I said; this doesn't show unanimous governmental support (including financial/military) for these groups by the US/UK, and personally I wouldn't mind seeing these people eventually get the same fate as Kalidh Sheikh Mohammad, Osama Bin Laden, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, and Ali Hassan al-Majid; execution.

    The US didn't 'align' with the Pakistanis, they tried to get them on board as well as India in the 1950s against the threat of communism. Nehru and others at the time perhaps misinterpreted this as the US being pro-Pakistani, which if you are familiar with Eiseinhowers visit to India in 1959, Kennedys vow to protect India from Chinese aggression in 1963 (unfortunately he was assassinated), and even Nixon/Kissengers diplomatic logs; they all show evidence to the contrary, either of wanting to build friendly relations with India, or to try and end tensions in the region. Both India and Pakistan have had on and off support from the west in differing periods, it has only been a few select incidents where Pakistan has been treated in any better light (such as the Soviets in Afghanistan, which was short lived).

    If you wish to talk about Vietnam, WWII, or any other conflict that is not related to the topic; send me a PM and I can talk to you more about it there, but I will only point out in this regard that you said 'bollocks' earlier to my argument that the anti-war movement would try to stop a US invasion of certain countries, well the biggest reason the Americans lost in Vietnam was precisely because of that same movement, and an irresponsible media that helped to fan it. You may think that me being a westerner who supports removing dictatorships is evidence to the contrary, but in reality I'm a minority in a sea of pacifism, isolationism, and other forms of rhetoric by people who don't understand foreign policy or geostrategic issues. lol if anything I'd be one of the few people outside of the anti-Islamists who would like to see a full scale invasion of Pakistan.

    The feelings mutual. Indeed I made the point of the NAM and Nehru to counter some of the rhetoric you were making. In all honesty, I'd prefer to not have to deal with it or use it myself since it tends to get nowhere. All that happens is we will get engaged in an eternal and fruitless Tu Quoque engagement, or until one of us gets bored of the discussion.

    I'm surprised you are unaware of the fact Nixon told Yahya Khan to restrain his military forces.

    Read the book Richard M. Nixon: A Life in Full by the historian Conrad Black, it's mentioned around page 751.

    It wasn't the only influence, indeed the Soviets vetoed an attempt by the US to create a ceasefire through the UN, which I stated in my previous post. The Soviets by this actions forced the violence to continue, where as the US wanted it to end.

    You should have read those articles, because they contained exactly what you asked me earlier; Kissingers indifference to Indias nuclear weapons program, even when Bhutto complained about it.

    Well whether the US should continue the course it is doing now (sort of a more 'covert' approach, compared to an invasion) is up in the air. The US is in a bit of a bind because it requires Pakistan to support its engagement in Afghanistan, but at the same time it will not allow it to house or do double-dealings under the table with terrorists. Just out of curiosity, but what particular reason would you like to see the US conduct air raids/send agents into those particular areas?

    Neither. I know full well the tactics of such a movement, and the logical fallacies/irrational behavior it exhibits over past and present conflicts.

    You're welcome, and I do hope we can come to a more civilized agreement.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2011
  18. Energon

    Energon DFI stars Stars and Ambassadors

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    I think the scope of this argument is getting out of hand but vis a vis Pakistan, I think it's blatantly clear that it was one of US's biggest mistake, however making judgment calls based on hindsight is nothing more than a fools errand. The cold war was serious business for the US and yes, every country does what it can for its own interests. But none of these poor decisions were made specifically with India in mind as a de facto target. And as I said before, the conflict between India and Pakistan has always been indigenous.
     
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  19. Immanuel

    Immanuel Senior Member Senior Member

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    Our country is extremly corrupt, it always was, our often soft/defensive approach on Pak is always hailed but deep within the west fears the fact that any crook in the country can rise to high positions in the government and thus the government is for sale at the right price. Our politicians never inspired trust, not now, not ever. The world watched while babri happened, lets be honest, the politicians involved aren't really the ideal image of democracy. The entire country was in an uproar, now we blame the US for having a suspicious view of us. c'mon, i love my country but i am completely suspicious of every single politician its only normal the west will have concerns. Just like an unstable pak isn't reliable, the same way an extremly corrupt india isn't reliable either.
     
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  20. nrj

    nrj Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Leave aside the past; in future if India/Pak come to Nuclear war, it shouldnt be US's fault. One needs to be responsible for its state. If there are external factors manipulating nation's security structure then its national chore to formulate strategic actions.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2011
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  21. Godless-Kafir

    Godless-Kafir DFI Buddha Senior Member

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    Well although i agree with certain points, i would say India was not always corrupt, there where times in its history when majority in India where content with their life and did not strive too hard as to step on other peoples shoulders. Other wise i agree Indian politicans are not really the roll models one can expect but India is a far less threat to the world than say Pakistan, US,Russia or China.
     

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