Separating the Multipolar from the R&D States-Multipolarity

Discussion in 'Foreign Relations' started by sorcerer, Feb 1, 2015.

  1. sorcerer

    sorcerer Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2013
    Messages:
    6,203
    Likes Received:
    5,119
    Location:
    India
    Separating the Multipolar from the R&D States

    After having explored India’s close ties with both Russia and the US, the two primary rivals in the ‘New Cold War’, one may be left wondering how the country can balance between them. After how, how can Modi rectify the seemingly contradictory statements of Russia being “India’s best friend” while his country works in league with the US “toward shaping the character of this century”?

    The crux of the matter lies in a major misperception that many people have about India’s international role, in that it is assumed that all BRICS countries are R&D states and not simply multipolar. Put another way, there is a widespread and inaccurate belief that the BRICS are united in completely opposing the unipolar world, but being a multipolar state (as India is) doesn’t necessarily demand such ideological rigidity, for better or for worse.

    Let’s briefly look at a more accurate description of multipolar and R&D states in order to better understand the game Modi is playing:

    Multipolar States:
    [​IMG]

    These countries can be said to comprise the majority of the world’s states and closely correspond to the Non-Aligned Movement. They believe in a fairer distribution of global power (be it economic, military, political, cultural, etc.) away from the West and towards the Rest, and they feel that the future that the unipolar world has provided them with after the Cold War didn’t meet their expectations and was to their overall disadvantage. Seeking to level the playing field, they partake in various activities (to various degrees) that attempt to construct alternative institutions and structures that can compete with the unipolarity. All of this is performed so that the multipolar state can gain a relative advantage in its respective region in order to better compete with its neighbors and similarly sized rival powers. Their key characteristic is they have no qualms about working within the unipolar system or with its associated states in order to achieve this, which puts them at odds with their R&D counterparts.

    R&D States:
    By their very description, the R&D states are dedicated to resisting and defying unipolarity in all ways, some more successful (and for the time, realistic) than others. Although they may still have some links with unipolarity (either through cultural colonization [Russia] or prior economic links that catapulted them to power [China]), their end game is to eventually shed their dependencies and attain as much individual sovereignty as possible, be it for their state, economic grouping, or civilization. They understand that there is undoubtedly a unipolar legacy existing within their power structures that cannot be immediately removed (e.g. Russia as a resource supplier to the EU, China as a factory for the West), but they will not allow this in being used as a lever for forcing their submission. When faced with unipolar pushback to their R&D policies (such as the Western sanctions against Russia), they hold steady and firm, intending to weather the storm and understanding that this ‘punishment’ is only an acknowledgement that they have been successful in advancing part of their R&D agenda. Unlike purely multipolar states, the R&D ones will never ‘sell out’ to their unipolar foes in order to promote their regional interests, since their end ambitions are to see a global transformation that posits the wholesome removal of unipolarity from the face of the earth.

    A simple set of axioms can help to simplify the difference:

    Axiom:
    All R&D states are multipolar but not all multipolar states are R&D. R&D states will never ‘sell out’ to the unipolar world, but multipolar states may do so or at least give the impression of it. Strong multipolar states run the risk of becoming Lead From Behind proxies, but no such threat exists for R&D ones. It is possible for multipolar states to become R&D, but when formerly R&D states backtrack into simple multipolarity (Libya, Cuba), it may portend a future geopolitical disaster.

    Examples And Explanations:
    It’s necessary to make a brief listing of multipolar and R&D states so that one can more fully grasp which countries they entail:

    Multipolar:
    Vietnam/India/Turkey/Egypt

    R&D:
    Russia/China/Iran/Syria/Venezuela/North Korea/Zimbabwe

    As is seen, the multipolar states have close and voluntary connections with unipolarity, although they also have made considerable forays into multipolarity and strengthening their relations with some R&D states. Vietnam is the multipolar kingpin in that it most elegantly balances between all sides, although that is not to say that it is completely impartial. Hanoi has been drifting towards the unipolar world lately as of its recent island disputes with Beijing, but it has also moved closer to Russia and India, R&D and multipolar states respectively. India has been the focus of this article and shouldn’t require further explanation about its policies, but Turkey and Egypt may be surprises for some. Both countries have been tied to unipolarity for decades, but only lately have they began their meanderings with multipolarity. Turkey was spurred on by the US using Kurdish nationalism as a tool for pressuring it to invade Syria, while Egypt’s al-Sisi understood very well that treachery that comes with being an American proxy state after having seen Washington promote the terroristic Muslim Brotherhood at his nation’s secular expense.

    The R&D states, on the other hand, are unambiguous in their opposition to the unipolar world, and they don’t balance themselves between it and the multipolar one. Russia, China, and Iran are the strongest examples of this, and none of them can realistically be accused of ‘selling out’ their principles. Syria is experiencing first-hand the type of reprisals that the unipolar world carries out against those who resist it, yet the country’s people are so firm in their defiance that they’ve been able to hold out for four long years of externally driven terrorist warfare. It is therefore expected that all other true R&D states would also hold out in the event of equal or stronger pressure, to say nothing of lesser and relatively more mild means of reining them in (e.g. Color Revolutions, sanctions). When deciding whether to designate a state as multipolar or R&D, it is thus necessary to ask oneself whether the country in question would behave like Syria if exposed to the same type of onslaught and fight to the death to defend its sovereignty and beliefs, or if it would simply capitulate and allow itself to be overrun by the terrorist hordes.

    Concluding Thoughts

    Although one may have skeptically questioned whether India’s intimate interactions with the US and Israel make it possible to still designate it as a multipolar state at all, they likely didn’t have a full understanding of what exactly such a state is or how it typically behaves. More than likely, they had their perceptions of both India and multipolar states in general confused with R&D ones, which is actually quite a common mistake among those that support the global transition away from unipolarity.

    Nonetheless, the difference is critically important in order to grasp the complicated political processes unfolding before the world today. The contrast between a multipolar and a R&D state may appear slight at first glance, but in practice, the gulf is widened as each actor’s relationship with the unipolar world (the key variable) is taken into account. This is why India may appear to be a sell-out for some (the R&D supporters) but a pragmatic state for others (the multipolar supporters). Those that accept India’s moves towards the US and Israel as being in its own interests are actually advocates of multipolarity, favoring a more liberal stance vis-à-vis the unipolar world, while those that criticize such steps are on the side of the R&D states and take a more conservative approach in the fight against unipolarity.


    Separating the Multipolar from the R&D States | Oriental Review
     
    Dark Sorrow and Srinivas_K like this.
  2.  
  3. sorcerer

    sorcerer Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2013
    Messages:
    6,203
    Likes Received:
    5,119
    Location:
    India
    Modi’s game and the true meaning of multipolarity

    The personal chemistry on display between Obama and Modi and the strength of their symbolic statements about the other have left many scratching their heads about the political game that the Indian Prime Minister is playing. It’s all rather simple, really, since India has historically been an archetypical multipolar state that works with all players (including unipolar ones), but it has never been a Resistant & Defiant (R&D) one dedicated to upending the unipolar world order.


    Multipolarity On The Move
    To put the picture more clearly into focus, let’s take a look at some of India’s most noteworthy multipolar and unipolar interactions, before exploring the key differences between multipolar and R&D states.

    Russia:
    India was one of the founders of the Non-Aligned Movement and can accordingly be referred to as one of the modern-day founders of multipolarity as well. This Cold War-era bloc (still in existence today) preached a policy of geopolitical moderation between the East and the West, and formally (although not always in practice) sought to strike a balance between both camps and ensure ‘non-alignment’. It was in this context that India began its prized relationship with the Soviet Union that importantly continued after the Cold War and into the present day. Instead of balancing between the capitalist and communist states, India’s non-alignment nowadays seeks to balance between the unipolar and multipolar worlds, hence why it retained its privileged relationship with Russia and seeks to develop it well into the future.

    [​IMG]
    Nowhere was the Russian-Indian Strategic Partnership more fully on display than during Putin’s visit to India last December, during which $100 billion in deals were signed in under 24 hours. Although the details are certainly of significance (they dealt largely with nuclear energy, military technology, and mining), more important are their symbolism, especially when taken in the context of deteriorating West-Russia relations and the continuation of the Cold War. Modi was thumbing his nose at the unipolar world by showing that his country won’t shy away from the West’s self-designated ‘pariah’ and will happily conduct business with it should there be a mutual benefit. Going even further, he proclaimed that “Russia is India’s closest friend, and the preferred strategic partner”, echoing what he said earlier in the summer about how “Even a child in India if asked to say who is India’s best friend will reply it is Russia because Russia has been with India in times of crisis.” Rounding everything up, the proposal to create a North-South Corridor linking the Russian and Indian economies via Iran (and further afield, cutting Indian-European shipment time in half) seems to be gaining steam.


    Iran:
    [​IMG]
    This brings the course of conversation over to India’s other prized partner, Iran. In this instance, the relationship is more recent than the one with Russia, but it shouldn’t be underestimated. India has been working with Iran over the years to create a pragmatic partnership centered on oil and natural gas, even going against UN-imposed sanctions against Tehran (which the US largely exempted it from anyhow) in order to continue buying these much-needed resources that drive its economy. Although it has steadily been decreasing its import of Iranian oil, it appears to be compensating this through the formation of actual economic ties outside the energy sector, as seen by the fact that $2.4 billion worth of non-oil Iranian goods were exported to India last year. Iran wants to reinforce this trend by inviting mapmore Indian companies to do business in the country, and if the proposed Oman-Iran-India undersea gas pipeline goes forward, then Iran can even serve as a nexus bringing Azeri and Turkmen gas (and their respective non-energy exports) to the Indian subcontinent.

    India’s close relations with Iran are also of a strategic importance outside of the energy sphere. Relations between Pakistan and Iran have been growing increasingly strained (and hostile) owing to simmering militant tension in transnational Baluchistan, and it is thus in India’s self-interest to cultivate and expand relations with all countries at odds with its historic rival. However, the Baluch issue has only recently come to the forefront of bilateral Iranian-Pakistani ties, but it is still an important factor in India’s regional calculations. Similarly important but less contentious is India’s economic interest in using Iranian port and rail infrastructure to penetrate the Central Asian marketplace and energy deposits, which would also serve the dual goal of further ‘encircling’ Pakistan. Therefore, just as Russia can serve as a bridge between Europe and East Asia, so too can Iran serve as a bridge for India to Central Asia and further afield, hence its strategic importance in Indian strategic planning. Through this understanding, India’s relations with Russia and Iran are complementary and help to expand its reach deeper into Eurasia.


    Unraveling India’s Unipolar Interactions

    US:
    On the flip side of things, India has been making strong overtures to the unipolar world in a bid to diversify its partnerships and deepen its influence in the competitive South Asian region. The most visible demonstration of this was Obama’s recent trip to India to attend the Republic Day celebrations, the first time an American President has ever been invited to the event. Although the bilateral deals signed between the two in no way rivaled the enormity of the ones between Putin and Modi, Obama was able to break through the nuclear energy deadlock that had stifled strategic relations with New Delhi since 2008. Despite there being different interpretations over the details and the tangible effect of the understanding reached, its primary importance rests in its symbolism, which is indicative of a new era of American-Indian relations. Obama remarked that “India and the United States could build a defining partnership for the 21st century”, while Modi said that “It tells us that our two nations are prepared to step forward firmly to accept the responsibility of this global partnership for our two countries and toward shaping the character of this century. The promise and potential of this relationship had never been in doubt. This is a natural global partnership.”

    India sees its relations with the US as being both a counterweight to China and a strategic alternative to Russia. As begets the former, India is anxious about recent Chinese moves in the Indian Ocean (the String of Pearls and Maritime Silk Road), to say nothing of the mutual border disputes in Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh (which the Chinese term as ‘South Tibet’). These insecurities mean that India could very well be tempted to expand its partnership with the US and de-facto sign on to the anti-China containment coalition (ACCC) that the Pentagon wants to construct all across Asia. As for Russia, India is keenly aware of the Russian-Chinese Strategic Partnership and understands that Moscow is in no place to support New Delhi against any perceived Chinese aggression. Such a concern certainly doesn’t exist when it comes to the US, which incidentally surpassed Russia as the largest supplier of Indian weaponry in 2013. This trend may even accelerate, as the 70% of India’s remaining Soviet/Russian-supplied equipment will inevitably become obsolete and need to be replaced. Just as the USSR/Russia used arms shipments to India as an anchor for stronger bilateral relations, so too may the US follow this approach, seeking to ‘kill two birds with one stone’ by signing India up for the ACCC and distancing it from Russia (which, seeing the writing on the wall, has sold more arms to Pakistan).

    israel:
    Creeping under the radar and unknown to most observers has been the intimate relationship flowering between India and Israel. The author has already addressed this topic in-depth in a previous publication, but it is worth revisiting for a moment in order to more clearly understand India’s interactions with the unipolar world. On the surface, tiny Israel and enormous India don’t appear to have much in common, but upon a closer examination, they share similar security and strategic interests, both being victims of terrorism and anxious about the Muslim minorities within their borders. These fears come to a head for Israel and India with Iran and Pakistan, respectively. Israel wants to exploit India’s developing ties with Iran in order to indirectly use the country as a future proxy against the Islamic Republic, hoping that Iran could one day become dependent enough on its growing ties with India that it would fall susceptible to its (Israeli-influenced) dictates. On the other hand, India wants to have access to Israel’s valued intelligence apparatus and high-quality weaponry in order to more adequately confront Pakistan.
    [​IMG]

    India also has grander hopes that extend well past South Asia, in that it may want Israel to use its behind-the-scenes influence in lobbying for an Indian seat on the UN Security Council. The country has been wanting as much for many years already, but given the recent talk of reforming the organization (and Obama’s latest statement in support of the move), now may be the window of opportunity to actualize its desire.
    :yawn:
    Of course, should such a change occur, it would have to happen as part of a global Great Power compromise and in conjunction with other countries such as Japan, Brazil, or South Africa receiving seats as well, but still, India is intent on having its seat and will likely capitalize off of the informal networking/lobbying advantages that being a close Israeli partner entail in order to see it happen. If Israel throws its full weight into such an endeavor (either formally or informally), it could provide the heavy tilt needed to make India’s candidacy a serious issue among the European elite, thus creating a US-EU-Israel voting bloc in its favor. This may allow for a ‘tradeoff’ between them and a Russian-Chinese (and related-affiliate) bloc to allow India’s ascension in exchange for their candidate state’s (for example, Brazil or South Africa) at the same time.


    Modi’s game and the true meaning of multipolarity�|�Oriental Review
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2015
  4. sorcerer

    sorcerer Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2013
    Messages:
    6,203
    Likes Received:
    5,119
    Location:
    India
    Dulpicate post
     
  5. prohumanity

    prohumanity Regular Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    Messages:
    889
    Likes Received:
    548
    Location:
    USA
    The facts presented by you are fine but their interpretation by you is totally distorted. Firstly, India has a fundamental belief that World is a family and relationship with all is the cornerstone of India's foreign policy. That's why there is no contradiction when India has good ties with US, Russia, China, Iran and Israel. Its in accordance with India's basic value of "friendship with all and development of all") Western mind thinks in dichotomies....like George W Bush said "If you are not with us ..you are against us" Indian civilization thinks "everyone should be happy and everyone should be healthy" Its very unitarian or in simple words "WE "civilization in contrast to western "I, ME and MySELF" civilization (pathologically Narcissistic mindset) Western thinking that they are "EXCEPTIONAL people" exemplifies this pathological Narcissistic mindset. For West, If any nation does not accept the hegemony, there is this feverish and fierce attempt to demonize that nation and attempt to "Systematically degrade and destroy" that nation. Therefore, Russia has be be depicted as demonic nation and President Putin needs to be painted as "bloody dictator" because he dares to stand in the way of western designs of hegemony and control of the World. India's view is that there are various cultures and various civilizations and we all need to find a way to be have a peaceful, mutually respectful coexistence. "Mutual Respect" is not in western dictionary because they have already declared themselves as "exceptional" and therefore "the best" ..there is no room left for respect for others. Now that , the non western civilizations are rising...it is creating a fear in western mind as the "sense of being the best and superior" is being threatened first time in last 100 years or more.
    As for Israel, the reality that it's a tiny nation who has enjoyed extreme power..riding on the back of lone superpower ...this fear is extreme. On its own merits, this tiny nation who succeeded in making billions of people as enemies...can not maintain even 10% of that power in a rapidly changing world.
    This is a conflict between "old, imperialistic, hegemony of the west" and "multi-cultural, multi-polar , new democratic world order" The old symbols like G-7 (a.k.a .white power) and undemocratic U.N. is under huge threat of becoming irrelevant due to more representative groupings like G-20.
    West is anxious about its declining influence and power and is in warlike mode to perpetuate its hegemony...which .unfortunately..can not be continued for much longer.
     

Share This Page