No invites :India is all alone as it seeks to become a great power

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by ajtr, Jun 13, 2010.

  1. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    For all the nice words, India is all alone as it seeks to become a great power, says N.V.Subramanian.

    Before gullible officials and the press go over the top on the India-relevant portions of the latest US National Security Strategy (NSS) document and the Indian foreign office turns immoderately self-congratulatory in respect of so-called Chinese concessions during President Pratibha Patil's visit, let us throw some cautionary dampeners all around and calmly appraise the situations on the fronts of two of the greatest powers today.


    While it is to the good that the Barack Obama administration reaffirms in the NSS document to "(build) a strategic partnership" with India, the proof of the pudding remains in the eating. Nothing so far has suggested that the (aberrant) good relations in the limited field of civil nuclear relations that obtained during the George W.Bush administration have passed undiluted to the current dispensation in Washington, leave aside generic Indo-US bilateral ties, which have plateaued out and lost their drive.

    As regards China, the foreign secretary, Nirupama Rao, has been gushing that during the meeting between Patil and Chinese president Hu Jintao, Beijing has shown understanding of and been cooperative about India's ambition to be a permanent veto power in the UN Security Council. The Chinese are quiet about this aspect in their communique. A section of the press has reported that the Chinese statement post the Patil-Hu meeting "ambiguously called on two sides to work together "to increase the representation of developing countries in international affairs", avoiding any mention of UN reforms or the UNSC".

    To regain some lost perspective, India is a status quo, non-expansionistic power like the US and unlike China, but at the same time, it does not seek any primacy in world affairs as the US does, and which it has continuously ensured for itself since it entered World War II and powered the Allied victory over Nazi Germany and Japan. India truly seeks a "peaceful rise" and this is not restricted to the Manmohan Singh regime either. It was this non-expansionistic, status quo impulse that convinced Indira Gandhi not to annex Bangladesh and make it another Indian province and a similar intent bound the A.B.Vajpayee government to fight the Kargil War entirely on the Indian side of the LoC and not to open one or two fronts against Pakistan as the military leadership was keen to.

    The consequence of this at least on the Pakistani side has been determinedly to inflict a "thousand cuts" on India through terrorist acts, and it is continuing with the stalled prosecution of the LeT terrorist leader and 26/11 mastermind and chief inspirer, Hafez Sayeed. No amount of angry exhortations would provoke the Indian government to launch retaliatory attacks for terrorism, despite the phenomenal preparation of the military to make such attacks successful, and this is reflected in action -- or limited action -- in another sphere, the Indian Ocean. For all its vaunted claim that the Indian Ocean is India's Ocean, India has both stymied the growth of the navy and choked naval ambitions. It is fair to say that on the present trajectory, India would be loath to project power anywhere, be it apropos Pakistan (despite all the war exercises), or in the Indian Ocean. The blundered Sri Lanka intervention has turned the political class cold to power projection in principle, and pushed it to consider other means to accrete national power, of which the 1998 nuclear test is one example, and possibly Manmohan Singh's tilt towards the United States is another.

    This writer is most concerned about a tilt towards a foreign power to meet national ambitions, because, almost as a given of international relations, those ambitions won't be met, while concessions have to be made, which cannot be repented in leisure.Consider, for example, the Barack Obama NSS document insofar as it concerns India. It completely glosses over deep and abiding Indo-US differences on Afghanistan and Pakistani terrorism. Obama does not cultivate any special ill-will against India. India simply does not fit the US's scheme of things, regardless of what the NSS document says.

    Certainly, Bush's secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, said much more than the Obama document personally to Manmohan Singh on a visit in 2005, pledging to make India a great power. Where's that pledge, for what it is worth? A simple test of the pledge was if the US would push for India to become a UNSC veto power, and the then president Bush flatly refused. For all Manmohan Singh's kowtowing to America since, it has not taken Indo-US relations in a "strategic" direction, in the real sense of the term. If anything, it has sharpened Indian vulnerabilities in respect of Kashmir and against Pakistani terrorism.

    Turning to China, the narrative of relationship is worse, commencing with the 1962 Chinese aggression, and building up with China's nuke and ballistic missile exports to Pakistan against India. As much as India's growth story and its near-miraculous escape from confinement in South Asia in the seventies has surprised China (and this writer), it is not by any means reconciled to either, and its strategic competitive reflex is to keep India down by any and all means. Funnily, Jairam Ramesh mentioned the Indian favour to China during the Copenhagen summit, and strangely sought for more Indian concessions, rather than ask the Chinese to reciprocate. (For the record, this writer is fully supportive of Ramesh's work as environment minister, particularly his decision to scrap BT Brinjal.) It would be nice to think that the Chinese have done an about turn during the Pratibha Patil visit, somehow favouring India as a permanent UNSC member. According to this writer's analysis, that is the last thing the Chinese will agree to, because it would be the beginning of the end of their growing Asian hegemony. It would pour cold water on all their brazen efforts to contain India for over half-a-century.

    A calm and rational assessment of the two developments on the US and China fronts that the piece deals with would call upon India not to abandon its caution, and to embrace the hard and gritty way to international preeminence, because that is the only avenue available. India is as unique as the US or China, and those two powers and Russia have found their own unique ways to win world power status. For better or worse, India has chosen to be content with being a status quo, non-expansionist power. This means neither will it provoke hostilities, near or far, nor will it project power, nor will it ever ally with war-mongering powers, which unfortunately includes the United States.

    But there will be a price to pay for striving for this Mahatma status among nations, on the assumption that India survives this. India has to be internally strong to repulse external aggression. Because India will be of no use to external interests in their world-domination ambitions, it will consequently get little meaningful assistance in becoming a great stable power. So India will have to fend for itself.

    That is its fate. All is not lost, however. India's time will come, in about forty years. But it must grow in that time, and it must grow strong. To give just one example, if we won't carry Pakistan's terrorist war to its territory, then we must build foolproof systems against Pakistani terrorist infiltration. Those systems cannot be imported. It is such ideas, hardened by and emerging from experience, that will secure and power India forward. So while we should not be wanting in our welcome of the appreciative sentiments contained in the Obama NSS document, let us not be carried away. And commonsense tells not to trust the Chinese. It is best to be business-like with them, as this writer has frequently implored. India will have to make its own destiny. Nobody will make it for it.
     
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  3. AkhandBharat

    AkhandBharat Regular Member

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    I love this article. It candidly explains India's current geopolitical situation and where India as a nation is going to be and what it needs to do to get there. Recommend everyone to read it.
     
  4. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    News flash: No nation in the world was not all alone as it sought "to become a great power".

    I know of no nation, through history, that sought to make another nation a 'great power' purely for their sake. They raised them to varying positions of power and influence to use them as strategic paws in strategic goals in strategic eras of strategic strategic judgment. Then dropped them like Missy Elliott was dropped by the Swing Mob and Atlantic Records.

    Alone is good, alone is un defined, alone is independent. Alone is free from the political claws and vacillating tenterhooks of others.

    We need only ourselves to become a 'great power'. Lest we become our own greatest enemy.
     
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  5. AkhandBharat

    AkhandBharat Regular Member

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    Nations don't intentionally make other nations great powers, but nations do make strategic mistakes that cause their decline, thus bringing up a new power in the world order. Britain had its hands full colonizing when they didn't have the resources to successfully defend their colonies, They made strategic mistakes, losing their status as the world's super-power, which was filled by the US. US thought that it will project soft power throughout the world by its corporations headquartered in their country running sweat-shops around the world. But China and then India, opened up and their corporations instead started successful businesses sending the US plans of neo-colonization in a tizzy! Not only that, these two countries along with a new belligerent Russia started investing in their own military industrial complex even though its in nascent stages. So, US did have a hand in propping up China, and to counter China, it's now trying to prop up India with its military goodies. All three countries are jockeying, whether the other two agree to it or not. And, all three are trying to influence each other. Only time will tell, who comes out the strongest.
     
  6. mattster

    mattster Respected Member Senior Member

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    This guy N.V. Subramanian makes eminent sense with this piece.

    The US relationship with India is based on common values and systems and people-to-people contacts as well as the well-to-do Indian diaspora in the US. But all that cannot substitute for the economic realities of India.
    India is still not close to being a fully developed country with a decent standard of living for most of its people.

    Annual GDP growth rates numbers aside; vast portions of the Indian economy are either stymied or stunted.
    There is no significant manufacturing industrial export base in any capital intensive industry other than autos.
    The political and beaurocratic class at the local and state levels are so corrupt that it is unimaginable by any Western standards.
    Plus the politics of Indian coalition governments makes decision-making gridlock the norm, and not the exception.

    Given all these realities; the US will only accord India so much "strategic weight" with respect to its capabilities and position in the world.
    After living in the US for 25 years, I can say that Americans are a pragmatic, and a result-orientated culture. They are not particularly sentimental. The India-US relationship is not one-dimensional by any means, but many faceted.
    That said, it will only evolve further as India becomes an industrialized economy with decent standard of living, a stable political system, and a strong military with regional power base.

    If Indians dont succeed in doing that - then dont expect the US to take India too seriously.


    China-India relationship on the other hand is a fairly simple equation and any Indian politician visiting China should know what to expect.
    What the Chinese say or sign on paper, and what they do in reality are 2 completely different things.

    China's strategy with respect to India is to do anything and everything to contain and stymie India rise, without it escalating it into a full-blown conflict. They have pursued this single-minded strategy without change from the time of Mao to the current Hu Jintao regime.

    Regardless of what we Indians think of China - You have to admire their ability to execute a consistent strategy over so many decades.
    This strategy has not changed simply because India has not developed the capabilities to challenge China's hostile policy.
    The China strategy towards India will only change when India can force China to "blink".

    I am always amazed when I hear Indian politicos, even ministers gushing about the prospect of "chinese concessions" or "better relations with China". Either they are really stupid, and naive, or they are just biting their tongue and spouting the "official government line" for public consumption.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2010
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  7. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    Dawg, I get what you're sayin'. But here's my take on this:

    The U.S. knew, years ago, when they started the policy of outsourcing manufacturing to become competitive with European nations, that the process would have payoffs for the outsourcing destination. They were the baron dale of Friedmanian economics after all. They knew outsourcing created jobs, which created disposable incomes, which created consumption, wealth, engendered production and started industry as part of a logical process. They had this all figured out. So what did they do? They acquired stakes. And when they encountered loopholes they acquired stakes through companies in which they had stakes. The share profile holdings of Chinese companies will tell a 'very interesting' story.

    Not to mention the debt, which I have a very unique take on, but will save for another time.

    Now, turn two: India. Prop up, just like you said it. Which is entirely what I meant by, "rais[ing] them to varying positions of power and influence to use them as strategic paws...". The U.S. will counterbalance China against India, just as it counterbalanced India against Pakistan and Russia against China. It is the kind of Machiavellian politics U.S. strategic thinkers have become synonymous with. It is good politics. In fact, it is the only 'politics' I deem fit.

    Which is why, to minimize dependence on this very strategic partnership, to avoid becoming Pak-like in every way, it is our prerogative to be very shrewd about how we think and deal with our 'strategic partner'.

    We have the best brains in the business, heck we even export some of those to goddamn America. And the weight of 'superpower' aspirations resting on a billion shoulders. We'll work with all, but rely on none. Iran is case in point.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2010
  8. mattster

    mattster Respected Member Senior Member

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    I dont buy this conspiracy theory that even superpower like the US can use states like India to counterbalance against China or anybody else.
    This is not the 1950's or 60s anymore, folks.

    This "counterbalancing theory" is one that usually involves what I call "half-baked banana republic states".
    Places like Nicaragua, somalia, afghanistan, Pakistan, Columbia, Cuba, Angola, former South Vietnam, Philipines, Myanmar, Bangladesh, etc, may qualify for that tag.

    But major developing countries like India, Brazil, China, Iran, Mexico, Turkey, etc are not banana republics, and you are not going to strong-arm them, or even entice them into some kind of alliance that is not in their perceived national interest. They are not going to be anyone's pawn.

    Most developing countries have their own agenda and priorities that may differ from that of developed countries - that is to be expected that these agendas do not converge in many areas of policy.

    But in the case of India and the US - both countries have an inherent interest in containing the rapid Chinese military and strategic expansion in the Indian Ocean area, especially given that India is surrounded by fanatical, hostile, or unstable countries like Pakistan, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri-Lanka, Bangladesh, Afganistan, etc.

    Given this crazy neighbourhood that India finds itself in (Besides Bhutan, is there any other country that is both stable and friendly to India ??) - One can argue that both the US and India have much to lose if the Chinese develop a strategic and military relationship with India's crazy neighbours. They already have some in their pocket.

    Hence the US and India elevating their strategic relationship to contain China's ambitions in the Indian Ocean area is not so much about "counterbalancing" but about each country's own interests.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2010
  9. AkhandBharat

    AkhandBharat Regular Member

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    I agree with the rest of your post, except this:

    US was miles ahead of European companies, in Information Technology and Electronics sectors, and the biggest outsourcing was in these two sectors. Most of the electronic fabs went to taiwan and Japan in the beginning and then to China, when it opened up. US had no competition in these two sectors from anywhere in the globe, but it still outsourced. The reason is simple, to cut costs as aggressively as possible and to maintain breakneck global lead in order to give its own corporations much better capital gains, which they could invest in more research and development. This in turn would produce golden egg laying corporations that could give the US enormous amount of tax money to play with to keep the US hegemony running.

    The trojan horse in this plan was underestimation of the ability of Asians to form corporate bodies to compete with the west. Japan led with example in the auto manufacturing sector. It focussed on making reliable cars that a vast majority of the population needed while the american car manufacturers focussed on making the engines bigger guzzling more gas and cut costs by sourcing cheap parts thus reducing the overall life and reliability of cars. Eventually, the japanese made such a big foothold that South Korea followed suit, and we all know the rest. GM is now a government entity, because the public lost interest and government deemed it too big to fail. Chrysler has shrunk to a laughable niche market and sold off the rest to europeans. Ford is the only US company standing tall.

    The semiconductor industry is following the same example. US companies are outsourcing fabrication of their chips under licence production, they still lead, but China/Taiwan/Japan/South Korea are bridging the gap exponentially. Sony and Samsung are the world leaders now in display sets, RCA which was the world leader in TV manufacturing is so far behind, its laughable.

    In Information technology, Indian organizations performed so well in IT Enabled Services that corporations all over the world come to India defacto. Indian IT organizations haven't sizzled on the world stage yet with innovation. The Indian auto industry has performed better by strategic acquisitions and profit margins. IT companies on the other hand, need to invest in strategic R&D just like Japan did after first acquiring a foothold by making cheap cars. So India is still in the nascent stage.

    Companies from China/Japan/Taiwan/South Korea/India are competing way better than the anticipation of Americans. Japan was never a threat to the US, because US was miles ahead in defence, and had Japan in check by its base in Okinawa and in South Korea. But, China was different. China was big. China played the US game by selling them goods priced competitively but at the same time building up its industrial base, and creating a middle class to sustain its industrial growth. The plan to rule the world through corporations have failed. The people of the United States and Europe have contributed to the problem, by having great expectations from their government. Everybody's plan to 'live large' and have free medicare/medicaid, is ballooning the deficits to record amount in these countries, threatening their credit rating and also threatening to increase the interest rates on their bonds. This will surely jeopardize their plans to combat recession and the markets are showing it. Bear market proponents have come out in the open declaring that the worst is still yet to come, and any sane economist can see it. There is a good chance that the entire west goes into a deep recession. Globalization in the form of neo-colonization has failed. America has lost its way.

    So, to conclude, in a way, America did contribute to its decline and the rise of other global powers that exist today although due to miscalculation. And that is the reason, why 'to go it alone' doesn't make sense, because that is a core reason on why India is behind other Asian giants. Nobody will help India, but to help itself, India has to work around the globe with nations around the globe to secure its interests. Going it alone is what caused the devaluation of Indian currency in 1991. We need not do it anymore, lest we want to be left behind again.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2010
  10. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    There is only one way to "contain" China, and that may be economics. As long as the United States continues to outsource to China as a major manufacturing destination, and then purchases such a large quantity of products as its single largest buyer, China will continue to have the funds to modernize its military, rapidly and scarily.

    Providing Indian the military and technological means to counter this threat is exactly what is meant by "counterbalancing". The United States finds itself between the proverbial pot and the shithole, unable to withdraw or politically embargo China for its corporates for want of being competitive on the one hand, and unable to stomach its rise on the other.

    Which is why, it seeks to sub-optimize and exploit already existing mistrust to contain an emergent military threat. Weapons are sold to Pakistan of a particular calibre, and then weapons of a sufficiently higher calibre are sold to India to counteract that threat. Likewise, technology is let out and made available to China to exploit lucrative commercial opportunities, arising, ironically, because modern China, as we know it, was given birth to by the United States. And then countervailing technologies, perhaps better technologies: with application in both the military and the industrial, are sold to India to become [rapidly] competitive in both. There is a logic to doing both: the opportunity cost of not doing so would mean relinquishing the benefits and the opportunities to other countries. The calculus of doing both is to create opportunities and environments in which one nation feels compelled to act in certain scripts against another. This is exactly what is meant by "counterbalancing". It is no less nor no more. The notion of 'balancing' may be abstract, but it is a universal truth, one that resounds through time and space. Man is a political animal, and 'sizing up' is just a natural inclination.
     
  11. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    Your making a fundamental mistake by equating an economic sector: called 'manufacturing' with electronics and semiconductors. The biggest sectors, by far, in both value and quantity terms, in manufacturing are Chemicals and Allied industries and Apparel, with electronics and electrical equipment following a distant third, followed closely by processed foods, fabricated metals, furniture and industrial & commercial machinery.

    I very, very really doubt that the United States could not foresee the organization of Chinese industry in the late 1970's. Japanese cartels, called kereitsus, were already in abundance. If I am able to do so, I will dig up some documents about 'Supply-Side' economists during the 1970's, policy economists in fact, warning about this very phenomenon. I say this only because of the work I've done in economics.

    I'm also skeptical about 'bear market proponents' warning about the 'worst yet to come'. Market data bears out something entirely different. Housing prices have shown improvement in every region. In Canada, one-fourth of the jobs lost during the recession have already been recovered in the first three months since 'officially' coming out of recession. Manufacturing, auto loan payment and bankruptcy rates have also recorded significant improvement. And I see no long-run variables that could jeopardize European stock markets or threaten an 'imminent recession'.

    But all of this is relevant only from the margins. The narrative I'm attempting to make is something any sane policy maker would do, and is, in fact, borne out by what has actually happened. Share profile holdings are my single largest measure of rule. As you will find out for many of those technology companies you listed, barring the biggest, direct or indirect state-owned ones.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2010
  12. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    Alrite, I'm out. That's all for tonite.

    Take care folks. 'till next time.
     
  13. AkhandBharat

    AkhandBharat Regular Member

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    Rage, I was giving an example of electronics and IT. That doesn't conclude that those are the only sectors that saw outsourcing. Apparel manufacturing has been outsourced too. Just look at the history of new york's economics. Once a leading manufacturer of apparels, new york is now struggling after losing it to China. Electronics manufacturing is still a big industrial sector, like you pointed out, even if it is a distant third. And that will not be the case soon. With the vast majority of India and China rising out of poverty, electronics will be one of the most important industrial sector of this century. And Asia controls it.

    The US was over confident on its ability to innovate, which has declined with outsourcing production. With jobs running out, and innovation not keeping up pace to create new jobs, US trade deficit started rising. The government debt is now at 100% of its GDP. The speculators are punishing the markets for this. The people of the united states, who fueled the ecoonomy by record consumption are cutting back, which is more bad news for corporations who are forecasting limited growth which in turn is not helping R&D efforts.

    ???
     
  14. mattster

    mattster Respected Member Senior Member

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    A lot has been said about "outsourcing to China and the decline of US competitiveness" on both this forum and this thread.

    Let me make a few comments: The US government does not tell US companies how they should run their business or where they should build their plants.
    I know that there are all kinds of conspiracy theories out there. Unless there is a blanket US embargo on a country like Cuba, etc. - A US company can build a plant in the Antarctica if it wants to, as far as the US govt is concerned.

    The migration of US manufacturing jobs to China and Taiwan was based solely on what private US companies wanted to do to maximize profits. The fact that most of it went to China is because the Chinese created a fantastic ecosystem for low-cost manufacturing.

    There is another more subtle point that a lot of people miss. Most US companies like Apple, HP, Dell, Cisco, etc that have huge manufacturing operations in China pay a pittance to the Chinese OEMs that manufacture these products. For every product that the OEM ships, he is lucky if me makes 10% of what the American Cisco or Apple makes. In other words, major portion of the profit of these products goes back to the US. And Uncle Sam only get tax revenues if these companies make a profit. The bigger the profit, the bigger Uncle Sam's tax revenue.

    So its definitely not a one-way street. China has certainly benefitted from the employment it creates for its vast young workforce and some taxes and additional local business these huge plants create. But as for technology transfer, its hasnt been all that great for China either. Its not like US and European companies are going to give away the "secret sauce" that makes them successful on a platter.

    Example: China has been investing billions of its own money in semiconductor fabs all over China - most of these fabs are losing hundreds of miliions of dollars every year, and they are 1 or 2 generations behind in process technology compared to US, Taiwan or Japan. China is definitely not going to become a high tech exporter on the backs of US and Euro companies. they will have to create and innovate on their own. So far their track record is not that great. Other than Huawei with its world-famous reputation for copying - there are few standout Chinese names that create any excitement anywhere.

    And meanwhile a lot of other countries are catching up too.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2010
  15. AkhandBharat

    AkhandBharat Regular Member

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    The US government makes policies. Policies are what define, how corporations setup shops to maximize profit. The US government opened up to Taiwan to counter China. The US government opened up trade with China to counter Russia and to an extent India. The US government is more powerful than you think. Here's a quote from an article in time today:

    China did do a fantastic job, and initially it looked like a win-win situation and not a zero-sum game and all those goodies. Everyone was happy. But when the US realized that the trade deficit was killing it, the same US government started criticizing Shanghai and Bangalore for 'taking away their jobs' and started formulating policies to punish firms that outsource their operations overseas.

    I agree that US companies give pittances to Semiconductor fabs, which is why China is now focussing on brand creation. The fact that they are belligerent is not helping them overseas, but those brands are doing great in China and the far east. Considering, the western markets will only shrink with time and a resurgent asian market will replace it, overtime, the asian brands will do well. whether the west likes it or not.

    Read more: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1995884,00.html
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2010
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  16. Phenom

    Phenom Regular Member

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    No nation in the history of humanity has become a super power by someone else's help. From Romans to Americans, they all did it on their own. If India wants to become a super power then it has to do it on its own, if not then forget about that idea.
    In India people want to have their cake and eat it too, there is a desire to become super power but there is no willingness to take risks. If India wants to become a super power, it has to stand up to the current powers and protect its interest, so far India is shying away from doing that.
     
  17. nandu

    nandu Senior Member Senior Member

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    All Roads Lead to New Delhi: strategic advantage India

    By Bharat Verma


    Two trends are discernible in the emerging geopolitical scenario post 9/11. First, by and large, the alienation caused by war on terrorism will increase the political distances between the Western countries (particularly America) and the Islamic Bloc. Islamic countries constitute a huge segment of the international community. In the great power rivalry, China which mostly offered lip sympathy (and little else) as a sequel to the Twin Towers blast, will continue to bharat-vermafish in the troubled Islamic waters and gain support through proliferation of sensitive technologies and other methods. The Red Dragon thus will attempt to erode the Western countries’ power to mould and influence the world in the coming decade. The present international order is under stress. Many of the Islamic countries (particularly those considered rogue states) will tend to align with China of their own volition. With China and a fair chunk of the Islamic Bloc in sympathy with each other, a powerful alternative sphere of influence in the global affairs is likely to emerge.

    Second, America will attempt to knit together all democracies as the new mantra to prolong its status as the lone super power while attempting to degrade military capabilities of the so called rogue states. Mostly the American wish list contains Islamic names and that is not a coincidence. If they succeed in breaking up the pan-Islamic ambitions currently in vogue their aims to retain world dominance will largely be met. Simultaneously, it will craft a policy to counter balance China — the strategic competitor. These are the initial visible contours of the new American unilateralist approach through multilateralism of democracies.

    Evolving outlines confer on India distinct geopolitical advantages. First unlike America, India is not at war with Islamic Jehad worldwide or for that matter with Islam. At worst and one way or the other we need to resolve the problem created by Pakistan. That it happens to be an Islamic state is a secondary issue. Particularly in view of the fact that our citizenry consists of the second largest Muslim population in the world. We must learn to leverage it. Fashionable rhetoric that we are in the same international coalition against terrorism as Pakistan (a net exporter of terrorism) is illogical and simply not true. Neither is the picture being promoted by Washington scholars that since India has a larger role to play in the context of Asian Security, it must stop wasting its energy on the smaller neighbor in the West.

    The fact is that if Pakistan continues to stoke fire in our house, the first strategic requirement is to resolve this menace instead of getting carried away by a vague notion of the Asian Security! Second, we can access superior weapon technologies or weapon systems from the West, Israel, and Russia. In future China or the Islamic countries are not likely to benefit in this respect from the Western countries. This can lend a cutting edge in building our military sinews. Third, skilled Indian population is the most sought after in the West. Politically this demographic flow ensures enhanced diplomatic relationships as well as boosts the foreign exchange reserves. In particular, with an indefinite wait listed status clamped on passport holders of Islamic nations by America, larger migration by Indians is a certainty that bestows political clout if the MEA can so network it. Last but not the least, in Asia we are the second largest happening market — geoeconomic card favours New Delhi.

    In spite of the problems and poor governance, India is well on its way to national integration. The Indian chaos and confusion in policymaking has withstood the test of time (I dare say that India’s chaos confused Pakistani terrorists no end!) due to the individual genius of its people. Pakistan (which has always been backed by the Western nations) and China have failed in their objective of witnessing India disintegrate. In fact, the truth is that Pakistan today is a failed state living on doles from others, its wings clipped by the donors to safeguard their territory from further terrorist attacks. American intentions to expand their sojourn in Pakistan are based on three factors. First, Pakistan can be twisted around mercilessly to further their operations in Central Asian oil game. In this, support of the professional Pakistani Army is a better bet than the rag tag free wheeling military of Afghanistan. Second, the heavy Chinese investment in Pakistan and efforts to increase its influence in Central Asia, can be brought to naught. Third, shifting its bases from Pakistan will spell fresh growth of terror targeted at America. Fourth, Collin Powell’s theory is anchored on a single pillar that Pakistan must continue to act as a counter weight to India. Otherwise, our influences may seep into Central Asia effortlessly.

    Frankly, today Pakistan does not require posting its own ambassador in Washington as it has an excellent one in Mr. Powell. We cannot overlook two ambitions inherent in Powell theory. First, balance India’s growing clout through Pakistan and second, use India as counter weight against China. However, the truth is that Americans cannot afford existence of pockets of terrorism any where (including PoK) for their own safety. This catch-22 option out weighs all other advantages. India acts as a major bulwark in the face of terrorism that ultimately lends strength to America’s current war. This is where Collin Powell theory falls flat. America cannot win this extended manpower intensive war on terrorism without India’s support in the long run. In my considered opinion, Americans in a variety of ways need us slightly more, than we need them.

    First we have been chugging along without American help for the last fifty-four years. Second, we are a nuclear power on our own steam. Third, despite sanction regimes, Indian missile programme is in good shape and on course. Fourth, space applications are improving by the day. Fifth, huge middle class is bulging at the seams. Sixth, we lead in the IT or the knowledge industry, which is where the future is. Seventh, foreign exchange reserves are on the mend. India’s strategic location in the Indian Ocean and many other factors, despite paucity in quality leadership continue to propel India towards a great power status. Despite every mischief generated by others and our more-than-generous internal fault lines, we have managed to retain our strategic autonomy. Such are the skills and genius of its people! The unfolding decade will witness that majority of the signposts point to India. Therefore, to derive maximum benefit as a nation will depend on the finesse with which New Delhi learns to play poker.

    Foreign policy of a nation is a means to further its national interest. However, foreign policy is not an end in itself. To be effective it primarily depends on two instruments of the state — the economic power and the military muscle. Within the two, ultimately it is the military power that lends foreign policy the cutting edge. In the ultimate analysis ability to defend the freedom of a nation and the prosperity of its society, rests on the shoulders of the military machine. In spite of our belief in peace, we are witness to the fact that in 1970s a team from Georgia University conducted study to snatch away the North East; during the 1971 War Washington egged Beijing to attack India; American Air Force carried out sand model exercises to take out the Indian nukes; and, China continues to aid Pakistan militarily while professing Principles of Panchsheel to its originators. The underlying lesson in all these games that nations play to weaken another is the fact that due to our military capabilities no harm came India’s way. Assumptions in the South Block that foreign policy is an end itself instead of being merely means to attain national objectives has resulted in the military power becoming a footnote in Independent India’s history. A dangerous trend that should be corrected immediately.

    Skilled employment of military power along with the instrument of intelligence by the state has two distinct roles. First, it acts as a vital tool of coercive diplomacy. Attack on Parliament forced us to deploy forces in forward war positions as a coercive measure. Second, use of the military instrument is to wage and win wars. In either case, whenever the push comes to a shove, it is the military wherewithal that enables foreign policy aims to be fulfilled.

    Let’s face the stark truth — foreign offices worldwide do not win wars, military does. Therefore to further hone the military prowess, New Delhi should display political will broadly in two areas. First, ageing profile of the military should be firmly reversed. Young military is an operational requirement. It’s folly of the first order if India persists in granting the rank of a Brigadier to an Officer at the age of 49-50 and expects him to command a brigade in Siachen or Kargil. At that age he should be a three star general to be really effective. Similarly a Jawan’s Colour service should be reduced to ten years (earlier it used to be seven years) from the present seventeen years. Shortages of thirty per cent Officers (Captains and Majors) at the cutting edge of the Army is alarming. They are the ones who physically move and win wars. The answer as suggested by many does not lie in compulsory military service. That is neither feasible nor desirable. However lateral induction into Central and State Government Services, Para-Military Forces or Police services of military personnel with service seniority intact will attract more youth, keep the military young, spread discipline, and add luster to the doddering administrative machinery. After all, military runs the best training academies. Hence there is no logic in wasting this dynamic manpower by not giving adequate incentives to the young.

    Moreover, spread of military culture will add to the strength of the nation anyway. Second, at least in the aftermath of Kargil we should have equipped the Defence Services quickly with the requisite arsenal. We did not. This paralysis in decision-making is unpardonable as it jeopardises the nation’s security. Unwittingly we have been undermining India’s military capabilities out of sheer ignorance, thereby reducing the effectiveness of our foreign policy too. Scandals like Tehelka while being investigated cannot be allowed to disable induction of weapon systems and ammunition.

    To optimise geopolitical leeway post Nine Eleven, India’s foreign policy should be anchored on pursuit of strategic autonomy while rapidly forming close alliances through geoeconomics and pragmatic interaction with friendly nations. First, Indo-US relationships must be given a flip where possible without losing independent moorings of the foreign policy or by allowing subordination of the military power. Similarity exists on conduct of relentless war on terrorism, retention of societal freedom, enhancement of trade and commerce, counter balancing China and securing the sea-lanes through military cooperation.

    However our interests differ on many counts. Unlike America, India is located in the toughest neighourhood. Our citizenry boasts of the second largest Muslim population in the world with equal rights and opportunities. They enjoy unprecedented freedom in comparision with any Islamic state. We continue to enjoy friendly relations with countries like Iran and Iraq and see no reason for change in our outlook. In a nutshell, we can support each other wherever commonality of purpose exists. Second, as the second largest market in Asia, India should intelligently play its geoeconomic card to improve its influence. For example, statement-a-day is being issued that FDI flow into India will be affected incase the five letter word Enron does not witness a positive settlement. However FDI does not stop flowing on individual whims. Money goes where it begets money! If our financial systems are fair, India will automatically attract enhanced Foreign Direct Investment. We require privatisation more than globalisation — GoI is moving in the correct direction. If we look closer home, Kuwait alone is willing to invest five billion dollars in the Indian infrastructure over a period of five years.

    There is another geopolitical spin off. With historical ties, Kuwait can act as a gateway to the Gulf countries where large Indian population works. In fact New Delhi should increase its geoeconomic activities in its “Look East” policy, Central and West Asia besides the Western countries. Shrewdly dealt, India’s geoeconomic card will fetch large dividends in geopolitical support. Third, China poses a long-term threat. As long as India’s military posture remains in high gear, China stands checkmated. Bottom line: On one hand, increase military capabilities that out gun China, should such dangers be posed. On the other, increase trade and investments in each other. Historically Indian and Chinese influences have always existed side by side in Asia without clash. This is not true in the present context. Especially since both Asian giants are rising at the same time and vying for strategic space, maintaining military superiority is of paramount importance.

    With New Delhi as a popular diplomatic destination, if we learn to assess and contain a developing trend inimical to us well in time (for example Pakistan’s proxy war), compete fiercely to expand our strategic space and develop adequate political will to wield the military machine with a telling effect in defence of national interests, India will emerge as a great power within this decade.

    http://www.indiandefencereview.com/...elhi-strategic-advantage-india.html#more-2434
     
  18. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    situation is much reversed now since this article was written 10 years back now most of the roads if not all lead to islamabad with GHQ rawalpindi having the strategic upper hand over super power usa.current situation is as expressed below....

    Can Obama speed up the battlefield clock or slow down the domestic politics clock?


     
  19. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    That is exactly what I'm saying. The sector 'manufacturing' is composed of all of these various sub-components: of which electronics is but one. For most of the others: chemicals, apparel, processed foods, metals, etc. the pace of technological change is not synonymous with that of electronics: it is much slower. The prime mover is costs: primarily wages, and associated personnel-specific costs such as materials compliance and workplace-industry standards. For these reasons, China is the preferred destination. As it is, when the costs from a first-world, yet technologically-competent pay scale supersede those from a less technologically-efficient, subsistence wage process. The logic is purely economic. And so are the incentives, which the United States stood to loose if it did not continually maintain the cost-advantage over its global counterparts (including, those of its Japanese rivals that were already outsourcing en masse to China) by offshoring production there.

    All of this was known to the United States. All of these are foreseeable consequences. China's rise was as much 'occasioned' by the United States' offshoring as that offshoring was a necessary consequence of U.S. global economic dominance. If it were not, the political consequences of China's future aggrandizement would've caused the United States to impose an embargo upon capital investment in a weakened, politically fractious, socially-exsanguinous China- for that was what China of the post-Mao, post-Cultural Revolution 1970's era was. The combination of markets, corporate lobbying and competition, and to some extent a commitment to democratic, anti-communist ideals of free-trade and laissez faire, particularly because they were embodied in the GATT, prevented that from happening. Yet, the U.S. understood that the dragon could not be let out of its kennel without a leash. Wherefore my theories on the 'liquidity trap', profile holdings and bonds-issues. But that is a subject for another time 'n another place.



    Let me correct you on that. As of June 1, 2010, the Total Public Debt Outstanding was approximately 88.9% of GDP. The U.S. national debt has been at unsustainable levels since 2002. And it has been substantial ever since its inception. Yet, they do not necessarily view that as a problem. The U.S. Treasury Department now conducts more than 200 sales of debt by auction every year, the vast majority of that goes to China, and closely Japan. Exposure to potential financial or political risk should foreign banks stop buying Treasury securities or start selling them heavily was addressed in a recent report issued by the Bank of International Settlements. The report summed it up in saying,"[While] foreign investors in U.S. dollar assets have seen big losses measured in dollars, they have seen still bigger ones measured in their own currency". In short, dollar-deposit dumping is unlikely to happen in the foreseeable future.

    Nor has the debt crisis had a particular effect upon R&D. Total corporate spending on R&D was up in November by about 7% year-on-year. I don't know of the most recent indicators but you may find something here:

    http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/seind10/c4/c4h.htm#s6

    The bearish growth outlook by corporate concerns was primarily because of a wild bear market rally fuelled by a near-unlimited source of free money for Wall Street firms that have the privilege of tapping Fed resources. Speculative investors were willing to pay a substantially higher premium for calls while shunning put options of similar levels of moneyness only by looking at the Dow Jones which had reached a crucial Fibonacci level of 0.618. But the Dow Jones is not the economy. And that has now ended. Gresham's Law, that "bad money drives out good" always applies in relative terms. That is exactly what is borne out now. The US Dollar, despite all its bruises and warts, is still considered stronger than the Euro.



    I don't know if I can explain this any easier. All of these: 'bear market proponents', stock dives, housing price indices, auto loan repayments, etc. are as much a part of the business cycle as they are of any long-term movements in capital. The degree to which they ameliorate or exacerbated the recession is itself a subject of much debate among economists. Infact, those at MiT, including among others Thomas Sowell, believe that the outsourcing to China has actually cushioned the U.S. debt crisis. Which is why, they are "relevant only from the margins". Our long-term concern is, and should be, not particular features of the economy, but the politico-economic consequences of outsourcing in general, and outsourcing to China in particular. That, I believe, is an exhaustive subject. But one whose consequences were foreseen a long time ago; and to which, I believe, the necessary restrictive measures to have been taken.
     
  20. bhramos

    bhramos Elite Member Elite Member

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    world sees India as rising global and regional super power



    Good Video, Related to your article.
     
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  21. bhramos

    bhramos Elite Member Elite Member

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    Where, How and Why India is a super power



     
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