Kerry in India: Setting the Tone on Security Issues By Lisa Curtis

Discussion in 'Foreign Relations' started by desicanuk, Jun 26, 2013.

  1. desicanuk

    desicanuk Regular Member

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    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s current visit to India will set the tone for cooperation between the two countries over the next few years, especially in key areas of shared interest, such as managing the security risks associated with China’s rise and the stabilization of Afghanistan.
    Focusing on the long-term potential of a strong U.S. relationship with India, Secretary Kerry should seek to forge common ground with Indian leaders on pressing regional security issues and signal U.S. support for India’s growing role in Asia.

    China

    Kerry’s visit to India marks the first high-level U.S. visit since the Chinese border incursion in Ladakh in mid-April. Chinese forces had crossed six miles into Indian territory in the eastern Ladakh region and set up tents there for nearly three weeks. The incident angered the Indian public, and New Delhi signaled Beijing that it was prepared to call off a visit by its foreign minister to China in the absence of a resolution to the standoff.
    Beijing eventually agreed to pull back its troops, and both sides pledged to restore the status quo ante along the disputed border shortly before Chinese Premier Li Kequiang landed in India for his first overseas visit on May 19.
    It is unclear why the Chinese chose to ratchet up tensions along the border weeks before the premier’s planned visit to New Delhi. The incident may have been aimed at pressuring India to pull back on patrolling in the area. Some media reports claimed that the agreement to defuse the border flare-up involved India agreeing to remove temporary bunkers that had been used to shelter patrolling troops. Regardless of specific Chinese motives, the assertive behavior reinforces Indian suspicions of China’s strategic intentions and dredges up memories of Beijing’s surprise invasion across the Indian border in 1962 that led to a brief war between the two Asian powers.
    India and China have engaged in border talks for the past 15 years, but there is little hope of resolution in the near term. China claims about 35,000 square miles of India’s northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, while India says China is occupying 15,000 square miles of its territory in the Aksai Chin plateau of Jammu and Kashmir.
    India has recently put some breaks on developing defense and security ties with the U.S. in part to avoid the appearance that it is working with America to contain China. Indian officials were also initially cautious in their response to the U.S. policy of rebalancing toward the Asia–Pacific for similar reasons. The Ladakh incursion may bring greater Indian openness to the idea of a robust U.S. role in the region and could even prompt India to expedite purchases of U.S. defense items.
    Earlier this year, the Indian ambassador to the U.S., Nirupama Rao, acknowledged that China’s military modernization had brought a new security calculus to the region. This week’s U.S.–India strategic dialogue talks provide an opportunity to discuss this new calculus and how it should impact U.S.–India defense and security cooperation and policy coordination.

    Afghanistan

    Another major issue that Secretary Kerry will need to address in his talks in India is the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan in light of the drawdown of U.S. and coalition troops.
    India has significant stakes in Afghanistan and is watching with wariness U.S. attempts to negotiate with the Taliban. Indian officials worry that the U.S., desperate to strike a peace deal before its troops depart, will allow Pakistan to play a driving role in the talks. Pakistan has long relied on the Taliban to serve as its proxy for maintaining influence in the country. If the Taliban regains influence in Afghanistan without agreeing to participate in a normal political process or relinquishing violence, Afghanistan will again become a haven for international terrorists, and support for Islamist extremist ideologies will flourish throughout the region.
    The Indian foreign ministry spokesperson on Friday indirectly criticized the U.S. approach to engaging with the Taliban when he said the reconciliation process should not confer legitimacy to insurgent groups or create equivalence between the government and the insurgents. Earlier in the week, the Taliban raised an Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan flag on its new office in Doha, Qatar, and the U.S. proposed to send a team to negotiate with the Taliban directly without the participation of Afghan officials. Both moves irritated Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who responded by cutting off crucial talks on reaching a bilateral security agreement with the U.S. Secretary Kerry has his work cut out for him in explaining to the Indians what the U.S. had hoped to gain by handling the Taliban talks in this manner.
    India and Afghanistan have developed close ties in recent years and signed a Strategic Partnership Agreement in 2011 that called for Indian training of Afghan forces. Karzai expanded on this agreement during his most recent trip to New Delhi last month when he brought a wish list of military equipment for India’s consideration.

    U.S. Policy Recommendations

    In this week’s strategic dialogue talks, the U.S. should:
    Offer support for India’s position on its territorial disputes with China. Washington should take a more proactive stance in backing India in its territorial disputes with China in order to discourage Beijing from seeking to change the territorial status quo and to encourage eventual overall settlement. The goal with such a U.S. policy shift is to help deter China from further aggressive actions along the border but without contributing to a hardening of India’s position.
    Upgrade U.S.–India–Japan trilateral talks. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh made a historic four-day visit to Tokyo last month in which the two sides signed a joint statement pledging nuclear cooperation and expanded joint naval exercises. The time is ripe to upgrade and deepen the trilateral talks among Washington, Tokyo, and New Delhi that were started in late 2011. Washington should also explore the idea of trilateral engagement with India and Australia, which could lay the groundwork for a potential quadrilateral dialogue in the event that circumstances in the region call for a cohesive response among the major democratic powers in Asia.
    Encourage India to play a larger role in the Afghan transition process. India and the U.S. share similar objectives with regard to stabilizing Afghanistan and ensuring that it never again serves as a safe haven for terrorism. Thus they should closely coordinate political and security strategies as well as plans for encouraging free and fair elections in 2014. Kerry will have to reassure the Indians that the U.S. is engaging with the Taliban with eyes wide open and that it will not compromise in its demands that the Taliban participate in a normal political process and break ties to international terrorism.

    On Solid Footing

    How the U.S. manages its ties to India over the next couple of years will have a direct impact on the overall success of its policy of rebalancing toward Asia. Secretary Kerry has an opportunity this week to put Indo–U.S. relations on a solid footing that will serve U.S. security interests over the longer term.

    Issue Brief #3973 on Asia and the Pacific
    June 24, 2013


    —Lisa Curtis is Senior Research Fellow for South Asia in the Asian Studies Center at The Heritage Foundation.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2013
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  3. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    What a farce. Chinese troops were a platoon-size formation. India should have countered with a troop of Boy Scouts.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    Oh no, India should not get hard.
     
  5. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    Taliban breaking ties with terrorism would be like Vatican breaking ties with catholicism.
     
  6. bose

    bose Senior Member Senior Member

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    The only way to counter China is to take the bull by its horn... India needs to change the defensive / inward looking strategy... India & USA have to come together and work closely… If India needs to fight Fascist China, It have to work closely with the western democracies… On other side US need to treat India as partner on equal terms…

    India need to grow economically and militarily and USA & other western democracies co operation is very much needed… It is to be remembered if China is to be contained it will be only India that can do the job…

    USA’s age old obligatory requirements on selling weapons to countries worry me… USA need to be flexible here for India… India wants to be treated as an partner and not as a mere buyer of the military equipment…
     
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  7. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    @bose

    That is a common theme on DFI. Does India need to improve its negotiating skills to overcome US inflexibility, and how would that skill be developed? Or is US need for India involvement in Afghanistan good for leverage on weapons sales?
     
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  8. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    India & US : Towards Convergence in Afghanistan
     
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  9. bose

    bose Senior Member Senior Member

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    Frankly, I am not sure what is need to be done to overcome this obstacle, may it will take some more time to understand each other’s concerns and work closely to narrow them, India need to understand and respect USA’s concerns on sensitive military technology and USA need to understand India’s hunger to be treated as an partner and not as a mere buyer of a equipment. Although I am being a commoner and was fortunate to travel few countries round the world including USA, I was fortunate to make friends with many nationalities including Americans, I have a feeling that the day is not very far when both the great nation will respect each other’s concern and work out a way beyond the road blocks… I am a fan of former President Mr G.W. Bush Jr the effort he put in to bring the two counties close was un believable and un parallel in recent history. I believe India is very very serious [inspite of domestic political issues] to have a very strong friendship with USA that is based on mutual respect and interests in mind…

    Both the nation has to come together for the better of mankind and posterity for huge count of peoples…
     
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  10. bose

    bose Senior Member Senior Member

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    India will play a major role post 2014 for stability of Afghanistan. Some of the major initiatives and co operations from India towards the brothers in Afghanistan are training of more and more ANA officers in India military academy, Afghans forms the biggest numbers in terms of foreign officers trained in Indian military academies, India will also support with more military hardware for ANA. A strong professional and competent ANA is basic requirement to the stability in Afghanistan… Disintegration of ANA will spell doom to any effort to stabilize the region.

    The real battle will be on winning the Afghans politically and there the main challenge will come how Pakistan, India and USA’s interests are taken care and each of their interest are not threatened. I believe the war on terror need to continue for seeable future until the region finds some stability
     
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  11. Srinivas_K

    Srinivas_K Senior Member Senior Member

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    USA has no business in Indo-China disputes , Instead USA should concentrate on Afghanistan where the mess created in 1980's by CIA is still haunting Millions of people, Afghanistan,Pakistan and C.Asia.

    Now the fires are spreading to Xinjiang China.
     
  12. TrueSpirit

    TrueSpirit Senior Member Senior Member

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    The perfect analogy.
     
  13. TrueSpirit

    TrueSpirit Senior Member Senior Member

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    All of the above mentioned goals related to Af-stan are completely achievable. But there are pre-conditions.

    1) US needs to eliminate it's dependence on Middle-East Oil (particularity, Saudi oil).
    2) Second, CIA & its henchmen need themselves to be completely extracted out of the "enormously profitable" Opium-Trade.
    3) & finally, Pentagon's absolute reliance on Pak Army & ISI, for furthering US objectives in the region, should be forsaken.

    First one is not impossible in view of Shale oil boom, the enormous Arctic potential & the incumbent technology breakthrough's on horizon. The second & third ones are going to be very tough, though.

    Anyway, even if the first condition is met somehow, & US puts an end to its patronage of House of Saud, leave the rest on ANA.

    ANA, with its supporters (US-NATO & India) & Iran (surprise ??) would ensure that all objectives are met. Taliban would not survive for long against ANA's onslaught; particularly, in absence of Saudi-fuelled & funded Wahabi-ism, opium-dollars & Paki's benefaction.

    As for the Paki's, India would make sure that they are completely pinned-down within their own territory to be able to even contemplate about/beyond their Western borders.

    But, even after all this is done, there remains one eternal question of Durand line, who holds limited to zilch validity in all stakeholders' eyes. So, once Saudi-ISI-Taliban relevance is taken out of picture, we need to facilitate the resolution of this border problem in a considerate & pragmatic but determined & decisive manner.

    Having achieved the above mentioned objectives, rest assured, Af-stan would become a normal nation-state like other CIS nations. But don't expect it to become a modern nation-state like Western or India democracies. Fissures between the multiple ethnicities, tribes & nationalities run too deep to be assuaged within a few decades.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2013
  14. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    Good, throughout your passage there's no mention of Russia, China , Iran Tajikistan or other neighbouring CAR countries as if they were merely bystanders.

    So, white knight India will gallop ahead with ANA to save AFG left behind while India even doesn't border AFG? Then what's the point of ‘Peace Mission 2012’ joint anti-terrorism military exercise of SCO member countries start ??

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    What's mission of Welcome to SCO Website.... ?
     
  15. rock127

    rock127 Maulana Rockullah Senior Member

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    There might be a attack in Kashmir or elsewhere before Kerry visits.

    Coward Pakis do these activities to get attention specially when some foreign visits comes up here specially US.
     
  16. bose

    bose Senior Member Senior Member

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    Sir, please understand the context of my reply, it was not meant for ignoring China, Russia or any other state, all of us be it China or Russia or India or Pakistan in this region, all are facing the evils of terrorism, in fact there was attack in your Xinjiang province few days back... I am sure China, India Russia & USA will work closely to bring stability in Afghanistan. Unstable Afghanistan will breed terrorists that will put the whole region in danger…

    I have serious doubt about Pakistan as their Army considers those very terrorist as assets to be used against India and Afghanistan government.
     

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