1971 Indo-Pak War and foreign involvement

Discussion in 'Military History' started by LETHALFORCE, Oct 10, 2009.


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    Feb 16, 2009
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    1971 War: How the US tried to corner India

    1971 War: How the US tried to corner India

    Claude Arpi
    December 26, 2006
    'India won a glorious victory against Pakistan in the 1971 war. It was the first decisive victory in a major war in centuries. And it was won singlehandedly, in the face of opposition and threats from a majority of the UN member-States, including a superpower. Every Indian patriot felt proud of this glittering chapter in the nation's history.'

    -- Dr S N Prasad in his introduction to the Indian government's 'restricted' Official History of the 1971 War.

    I am not usually a great defender of United States policies, but I have to admit that in the field of right to information, the US is far ahead of the Indian babus who obstinately block access to Indian archives under the lame pretext that this could 'endanger national security'.

    A few months ago, the Office of the Historian at the US State Department released Volume XI of the Foreign Relations of the United States devoted to the 'South Asia Crisis, 1971': in other words, the Bangladesh War.

    Flashback: 1971 War, 35 Years On

    This 929-page publication groups together documents which were already known like the minutes of Henry Kissinger's secret visit to China in July 1971 as well as scores of freshly declassified material available for the first time to the public.

    It throws light on a less known angle of the India-Pakistan conflict: The role of the nascent friendship between the United States and China. This is a welcome new piece in the puzzle of the history of the 1971 War.

    Another piece is the Hamidur Rahman Report, ordered by the government of Pakistan after the war, which analyses the Pakistani defeat. 'Due to corruption... lust for wine and women and greed for land and houses, a large number of senior army officers, particularly those occupying the highest positions, had not only lost the will to fight but also the professional competence necessary for taking the vital and critical decisions demanded of them for the successful prosecution of the war.'

    The US administration saw the unfurling events differently.

    According to Kissinger, then American President Richard M Nixon's national security adviser, 'When the Nixon administration took office, our policy objective on the subcontinent was, quite simply, to avoid adding another complication to our agenda.'

    But events in the subcontinent and the Chinese factor forced Nixon to change his stand. The new closeness between Washington, DC and Beijing [Images] and the involvement of the Pakistan president as a secret go-between greatly influenced US policy.

    According to the State Department historian, 'When the fighting developed, the Nixon administration tilted toward Pakistan. The tilt involved the dispatch of the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise to the Bay of Bengal to try to intimidate the Indian government. It also involved encouraging China to make military moves to achieve the same end, and an assurance to China that if China menaced India and the Soviet Union moved against China in support of India, the United States would protect China from the Soviet Union. China chose not to menace India, and the crisis on the subcontinent ended without a confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union.'

    The first US documents deal with the background of the conflict. Nixon's position was clear: 'We should just stay out -- like in Biafra, what the hell can we do?'

    But everybody did not agree with him. In a telegram sent on March 28, 1971, the staff at the US consulate in Dhaka complained, 'Our government has failed to denounce the suppression of democracy. Our government has failed to denounce atrocities. Our government has failed to take forceful measures to protect its citizens while at the same time bending over backwards to placate the West Pak dominated government... We, as professional public servants express our dissent with current policy and fervently hope that our true and lasting interests here can be defined and our policies redirected in order to salvage our nation's position as a moral leader of the free world.'

    When US Secretary of State Will Rogers received this 'miserable' cable, he informed President Nixon that the 'Dacca consulate is in open rebellion.' This did not change Nixon's opinion: 'The people who ***** about Vietnam ***** about it because we intervened in what they say is a civil war. Now some of the same *******s...want us to intervene here -- both civil wars.'

    From the start, the Nixon administration knew 'the prospects were "poor"... the Pakistani army would not be able to exert effective control over East Pakistan.' Washington believed India was bound to support Mujibur Rahman. The CIA had reported that 'India would foster and support Bengali insurgency and contribute to the likelihood that an independent Bangladesh would emerge from the developing conflict.'

    It is here that the Chinese saga began. In a tightly guarded secret, Nixon had started contacts with Beijing. The postman was Pakistani dictator Field Marshal Yahya Khan.

    When on April 28 1971, Kissinger sent a note defining the future policy option towards Pakistan, Nixon replied in a handwritten note: 'Don't squeeze Yahya at this time.' The Pakistan president was not to be squeezed because he was in the process of arranging Kissinger's first secret meeting to China. The events of the following months and the US position should be seen in this perspective.

    In May, Indira Gandhi [Images] wrote to Nixon about the 'carnage in East Bengal' and the flood of refugees burdening India. After L K Jha, then the Indian ambassador to US, had warned Kissinger that India might have to send back some of the refugees as guerillas, Nixon commented, 'By God we will cut off economic aid (to India).'

    A few days later when the US president said 'the goddamn Indians' were preparing for another war, Kissinger retorted 'they are the most aggressive goddamn people around.'

    During the second week of July, Kissinger went to Beijing where he was told by then Chinese prime minister Zhou Enlai: 'In our opinion, if India continues on its present course in disregard of world opinion, it will continue to go on recklessly. We, however, support the stand of Pakistan. This is known to the world. If they (the Indians) are bent on provoking such a situation, then we cannot sit idly by.' Kissinger answered that Zhou should know that the US sympathies also lay with Pakistan.

    On his return, during a meeting of the National Security Council, Nixon continued his India bashing. The Indians, he noted, are 'a slippery, treacherous people.'

    The State Department historian says, 'in the perspective of Washington, the crisis ratcheted up a dangerous notch on August 9 when India and the Soviet Union signed a treaty of peace, friendship and cooperation.' It was a shock for Washington as they saw a deliberate collusion between Delhi and Moscow [Images].

    During the following months, the situation deteriorated and many more refugees came to India. The Indian prime minister decided to tour Western capitals to explain the Indian stand. On November 4 and 5, she met Nixon in Washington, who told her that a new war in the subcontinent was out of the question.

    The next day, Nixon and Kissinger assessed the situation. Kissinger told Nixon: 'The Indians are *******s anyway. They are plotting a war.'

    To divert the pressure applied by the Mukti Bahini on the eastern front, the Pakistan air force launched an attack on six Indian airfields in Kashmir and Punjab on December 3. It was the beginning of the war.

    The next day, then US ambassador to the United Nations George H W Bush -- later 41st president of the United States and father of the current American president -- introduced a resolution in the UN Security Council calling for a cease-fire and the withdrawal of armed forces by India and Pakistan. It was vetoed by the Soviet Union. The following days witnessed a great pressure on the Soviets from the Nixon-Kissinger duo to get India to withdraw, but to no avail.

    The CIA reported to the President: 'She (Indira Gandhi) hopes the Chinese (will) not intervene physically in the North; however, the Soviets have warned her that the Chinese are still able to "rattle the sword" in Ladakh and Chumbi areas.'

    For Kissinger it was clear that Indira Gandhi wanted the dismemberment of Pakistan.

    On December 9, when the CIA director warned Nixon that 'East Pakistan was crumbling', Nixon decided to send the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise into the Bay of Bengal to threaten India.

    Let me recount an anecdote related to me by Major General K K Tewari (retd), Chief Signal Officer, Eastern Command, during the 1971 War.

    General Tewari was present at a briefing the three defence services held for Indira Gandhi. She was seated at a large table. On one side was General S H F J Manekshaw, the army chief, and on the other Admiral S M Nanda, the navy chief.

    During the course of the presentation, the admiral intervened and said: 'Madam, the US 8th Fleet is sailing into the Bay of Bengal.' Nothing happened; the briefing continued. After sometime, the admiral repeated, 'Madam, I have to inform you that the 8th Fleet is sailing into the Bay of Bengal.' She cut him off immediately: 'Admiral, I heard you the first time, let us go on with the briefing.'

    All the officers present were stunned. Ultimately, their morale was tremendously boosted by the prime minister's attitude. She had demonstrated her utter contempt for the American bluff.

    On November 10, Nixon instructed Kissinger to ask the Chinese to move some troops toward the Indian frontier. 'Threaten to move forces or move them, Henry, that's what they must do now.'

    This was conveyed to Huang Hua, China's envoy to the United Nations. Kissinger told Huang the US would be prepared for a military confrontation with the Soviet Union if the Soviet Union attacked China.

    On December 12, the White House received an urgent message. The Chinese wanted to meet in New York. General Alexander Haig, then Kissinger's deputy, rushed to the venue, but was disappointed. Huang just wanted to convey his government's stand in the UN, no words of an attack in Sikkim or in the then North East Frontier Agency (now, the northeastern states).

    The myth of the Chinese intervention is also visible in the secret Pakistani dispatches. Lieutenant General A A K Niazi, the Pakistani army commander in Dhaka, was informed: 'NEFA front has been activated by Chinese although the Indians for obvious reasons have not announced it.'

    Until the last day of the war, Pakistan expected its Chinese saviour to strike, but Beijing never did.

    In Washington, Nixon analysed the situation thus: 'If the Russians get away with facing down the Chinese and the Indians get away with licking the Pakistanis...we may be looking down the gun barrel.' Nixon was not sure about China. Did they really intend to start a military action against India?

    Finally, on December 16, Niazi surrendered to Lieutenant General Jagjit Singh Aurora. Nixon and Kissinger congratulated themselves for achieving their fundamental goal -- the preservation of West Pakistan. They were also happy for having 'scared the pants off the Russians.'

    Kissinger's South Asia policy upset many in the US, not only the American public, the press but also the State Department, and more particularly, Secretary of State Rogers who was kept in the dark most of the time.

    It is worth mentioning an episode which, of course, does not appear in the American archives -- The Tibetan participation in the conflict. After the debacle of 1962, the Government of India had recruited some Tibetans youth in the eventuality of another conflict with China. The Special Frontier Force was trained in Chakrata in Uttar Pradesh under the command of an Indian general.

    In 1971, nine years after its creation, the SFF was sent to East Pakistan to prepare for the arrival of regular Indian troops. Their saga is one of the least known parts of the Bangladesh war.

    Late October 1971, an AN-12 airlifted nearly 3,000 Tibetans who later assembled at Demagiri close to the India-East Pakistan border. On the other side of the border were the Chittagong Hill Tracts. Armed with Bulgarian-made assault rifles, the SFF was given the task of organising guerrilla raids across the Chittagong Hill Tracts. Opposite the SSF, in thick jungles and leech-infested marshes, was stationed a Pakistan brigade, including a battalion of its elite Special Services Group.

    The Indian army knew this brigade was a threat to one of its corps preparing to advance on Dhaka.

    During the second week of November, Operation Eagle began. Leaving Demagiri in canoes, the Tibetans commandos entered East Pakistan. The SFF then started overrunning one Pakistani post after another.

    By the time the war was officially declared, the Tibetans had already been inside East Pakistan for more than three weeks. Using both their Bulgarian rifles and native knives, they advanced swiftly. Their Indian commandaner, Major General S S Uban later said, 'They were unstoppable.'

    On December 16, the SSF was 40 kilometers away from Chittagong port, having successfully managed to neutralise the Pakistani brigade.

    After Pakistan's surrender, they paraded through Chittagong. Unfortunately, 49 Tibetans lost their lives for a nation which was not theirs.

    The release of the State Department volume on the 1971 conflict is a posthumous homage to the courage of the Indian Army which despite heavy odds and the might of the United States freed Bangladesh from Pakistani clutches.

    Some aspects are still missing to make the puzzle complete.

    First, the Indian history from the Ministry of Defence does not detail the political compulsions of Indira Gandhi's government. Second, the secret operation involving the Tibetan Special Frontier Forces in the Chittagong Hill Tracts is virtually unknown. Lastly, the Chinese involvement from the Chinese point of view remains unexamined.

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

    Feb 16, 2009
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    The Tilt: The U.S. and the South Asian Crisis of 1971

    The Tilt: The U.S. and the South Asian Crisis of 1971

    National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 79

    Edited by Sajit Gandhi

    December 16, 2002

    Print this page Jump to documents

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, on the 31st anniversary of the creation of Bangladesh, the National Security Archive published on the World Wide Web 46 declassified U.S. government documents and audio clips concerned with United States policy towards India and Pakistan during the South Asian Crisis of 1971.

    The documents, declassified and available at the U.S. National Archives and the Presidential Library system detail how United States policy, directed by Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger, followed a course that became infamously known as "The Tilt."

    The documents published today show:
    The brutal details of the genocide conducted in East Pakistan in March and April of 1971
    One of the first "dissent cables" questioning U.S. policy and morality at a time when, as the Consulate General in Dhaka Archer Blood writes, "unfortunately, the overworked term genocide is applicable."
    The role that Nixon's friendship with Yahya Khan and the China iniative played in U.S. policymaking leading to the tilt towards Pakistan
    George Bush Senior's view of Henry Kissinger
    Illegal American military assistance approved by Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger to Pakistan following a formal aid cutoff by the United States
    Henry Kissinger's duplicity to the press and towards the Indians vis-à-vis the Chinese


    Pakistan's December 1970 elections, the first free democratic elections for the National Assembly in Pakistan's history, saw Sheikh Mujibur (Mujib) Rahman's East Pakistan-based Awami League party (AL) win 167 out of 169 seats contested in Pakistan's Eastern flank, giving the AL a majority and control of the 313-seat National Assembly. This was the first time that political power in Pakistan would be concentrated in its Eastern half.(1)

    West Pakistan's loss of political power over East Pakistan was devastating. Threatened by this development, on March 1, 1971, with the Assembly set to open in two days, the military dictator General Agha Muhammad Yahya Khan (Yahya), postponed the opening indefinitely. Outraged by the West's disregard for their political rights, the ethnically Bengali East Pakistanis took to the streets demanding that Yahya and West Pakistan respect the election results.

    On March 25, 1971, West Pakistani forces, commanded by General Yahya and the Martial Law Administrator, Lt. General Tikka Khan began a self-destructive course of repressive actions against their fellow Pakistanis in the East. The Martial Law Administrators did not discriminate, targeting anyone from Awami Leaguers to students. Large numbers of Bengalis -- Muslims and Hindus, businessmen and academics -- were killed during this period of martial law. The final tally of the dead, as reported by Mujib was approximately three million.(2)

    As a result of the violence and instability caused in East Pakistan by the genocide, an estimated ten million Bengalis had fled across the border to India by May 1971.(3) The refugees were problematic for two main reasons: first, they created a strain on the Indian economy, an economy just coming to terms with development. Secondly, a group of refugees known as the Mukti Bahini, referred to by the Indians as "Bengali Freedom Fighters" were using India as a base from which to launch guerrilla attacks in efforts to fight against West Pakistani oppression.

    The refugees became too much for India to handle. Eventually tensions between India and Pakistan grew uncontrollable, and among other things, the lack of a political solution in East Pakistan and Indian support for the guerrilla fighters led to war between the two neighbors. The end result of the conflict was the splitting of Pakistan into two separate states: Pakistan in its present form and an independent Bangladesh.

    The U.S. Tilt Towards Pakistan

    Discussing the martial law situation in East Pakistan during March of 1971, President Richard Nixon, in his February 9, 1972 State of the World report to Congress indicated that the "United States did not support or condone this military action." Nevertheless, the U.S. did nothing to help curtail the genocide and never made any public statements in opposition to the West Pakistani repression.(4)

    Instead, by using what Nixon and Kissinger called quiet diplomacy, the Administration gave a green light of sorts to the Pakistanis. In one instance, Nixon declared to a Pakistani delegation that, "Yahya is a good friend." Rather than express concern over the ongoing brutal military repression, Nixon explained that he "understands the anguish of the decisions which [Yahya] had to make." As a result of Yahya's importance to the China initiative and his friendship with Nixon and Kissinger, Nixon declares that the U.S. "would not do anything to complicate the situation for President Yahya or to embarrass him. (Document 9)." Much like the present situation post 9/11, Washington was hesitant to criticize Pakistan publicly out of fear that such a tactic might weaken the dictator's support for American interests

    As the conflict in the Sub-continent began to grow, so did criticism of American policy leanings toward Pakistan. The administration denied that any specific anti-India policy was being followed. Declassified documents show that in addition to tilting towards Pakistan in its public statements, the U.S. also followed a pro-Pakistan line in the UN, in discussions with China, and on the battlefield as well.

    Not only did the United States publicly pronounce India as the aggressor in the war, but the U.S. sent the nuclear submarine, U.S.S. Enterprise, to the Bay of Bengal, and authorized the transfer of U.S. military supplies to Pakistan, despite the apparent illegality of doing so.(5) American Military assistance was formally cutoff to both India and Pakistan. A combination of Nixon's emotional attachment to General Yahya and his dislike for Indira Gandhi, West Pakistan's integral involvement with the China initiative and Kissinger's predilection for power politics greatly influenced American policy decision-making during this conflict.

    New Documentation

    The fact that the conflict occurred over 30 years ago makes it possible now to look at United States actions and policy through documents released at the National Archives under the U.S. government's historical declassification program. The record is far from complete: numerous materials remain classified both by the State Department, CIA and other agencies as well as the Nixon Presidential Materials Project. Nevertheless, the available documents offer many useful insights into how and why Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger made important decisions during the 1971 South Asian Crisis.

    Highlights from this briefing book include:
    Cable traffic from the United States Consulate in Dacca revealing the brutal details of the genocide conducted in East Pakistan by the West Pakistani Martial Law Administration. In the infamous Blood telegram (Document 8), the Consulate in Dacca condemns the United States for failing "to denounce the suppression of democracy," for failing "to denounce atrocities," and for "bending over backwards to placate the West Pak[istan] dominated government and to lessen any deservedly negative international public relations impact against them." [Documents 1-8, 10-11, 26](6)
    Details of the role that the China initiative and Nixon's friendship with Yahya (and dislike of Indira Gandhi) played in U.S. policymaking, leading to the tilting of U.S. policy towards Pakistan. This includes a Memorandum of Conversation (Document 13) in which Kissinger indicates to Ambassador Keating, "the President has a special feeling for President Yahya. One cannot make policy on that basis, but it is a fact of life." [Documents 9, 13, 17-21, 24-25]
    Greater insight into the role played by the United States in South Asia. While the United States tried to ease the humanitarian crisis in East Pakistan, it did not strongly endorse to Yahya the need for a political solution, which would have allowed the peaceful and safe return of refugees. While some historians believe the roots of the 1971 war were sown following the 1965 India-Pakistan war, the declassified documents show that the 1971 war had its own specific causes: a tremendous refugee flow (approximately 10 million people), Indian support to the Mukti Bahini, and continued military repression in East Pakistan. All these causes were exacerbated by the lack of public White House criticism for the root cause of the South Asian crisis, the abrogation of the December 1970 election results, and the refugee crisis that ensued following genocide. [Documents 12, 16, 22, 27, 46]
    Henry Kissinger's duplicity to the press and toward the Indians vis-à-vis the Chinese. In July of 1971, while Kissinger was in India, he told Indian officials that "under any conceivable circumstance the U.S. would back India against any Chinese pressures." In that same July meeting Kissinger said, "In any dialogue with China, we would of course not encourage her against India." However, near the end of the India-Pakistan war, in a highly secret 12/10/1971 meeting with the Chinese Ambassador to the UN Huang Ha, Kissinger did exactly this encouraging the PRC to engage in the equivalent of military action against the Indians. [Documents 14-15, 30-32]
    Details of U.S. support for military assistance to Pakistan from China, the Middle East, and even from the United States itself. Henry Kissinger's otherwise thorough account of the India-Pakistan crisis of 1971 in his memoir White House Years, omits the role the United States played in Pakistan's procurement of American fighter planes, perhaps because of the apparent illegality of shipping American military supplies to either India or Pakistan after the announced cutoff.(7) Of particular importance in this selection of documents is a series of transcripts of telephone conversations from December 4 and 16, 1971(Document 28) in which Kissinger and Nixon discuss, among other things, third-party transfers of fighter planes to Pakistan. Also of note is a cable from the Embassy in Iran dated December 29, 1971 (Document 44) which suggests that F-5 fighter aircraft, originally slated for Libya but which were being held in California, were flown to Pakistan via Iran. [23, 26, 28, 29, 33-45]
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    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

    Feb 16, 2009
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    1971 Indo - Pak War - A Third World War? - Rohan Nigam

    1971 Indo - Pak War - A Third World War?

    While all through out my history class during schooling I learned that Nazi's were bad, It was only after I passed my schooling I realized that US sees or at least used to consider USSR as an equal threat to them and to the whole world as Nazi's were. Apparently, my history teacher was very good at teaching the history of India than the History of the other parts of the world. It was natural he did not mention much about the cold war. To be fair to him, I never could relate to the history of the other parts of the world at that age. So sadly, the only thing I carried back about world's history was that Nazi's were bad.

    Indo-Pak War-1971:
    Many people know about the famous India-Pakistan 1971 war which was called "Bangladesh War". Not many might have heard that it could have almost turned out to be the perfect catalyst needed to start a third world war and for some strange reason I wanted to blog something about it. Actually I wanted to blog about this since neither Wikipedia nor any other link mentions this war as a potential start that would've gone on to become a Third World War.

    The United States under the leadership of Nixon supported Pakistan both politically and materially. This was not because he wanted to do business with Pakistan but it was because of two main reasons:
    Firstly, they feared Soviet Union's expansion to south and south east asia.
    Secondly, Pakistan was a close ally of the People's Republic of China, with whom Nixon had been negotiating a rapprochement and where he intended to visit in February the year following the war in 1972.

    India and the USSR:
    With US and China giving open support to the Pakistan, India was left to turn to USSR. While relations between India and USSR were always good and India always kept USSR in mind whenever they had any defence expansion plans. It was in 1971, that the relations got to a new level with the signing of "Indo–Soviet Treaty of Peace, Friendship and Cooperation ". Many believe that this treaty was a direct result of having common enemies in China and USA, but some also believe that this treaty was possible because of Soviet Union's earnest foreign policy towards India: Though the Soviet Prestige in India rose to new heights, but the Soviet influence on Indian Policy did not increase. No wonder India had lost a lot when USSR was dissolved.

    China was pissed off with India fresh after the 1962 Sino-Indian war, which by the way was never officially declared as war by both the countries. They still maintained the diplomatic relations but there was never that level of comfort. Pakistani's on other hand, had made very good settlements on the border issues they had with Republic of China and now (in 1971) viewed China as their strongest ally in Asia.

    The War:
    So while the war was going on, and the Pakistan army was all set to face defeat US intervened and Nixon sent a USS Enterprise to the Bay of Bengal which undoubtedly was carrying Nuclear arms. In reply to this, USSR sent two groups of ships carrying Nuclear missiles and a Nuclear Submarine to keep out USS Enterprise. The tension between the two sides was very high and a third world war couldn't have been ruled out. But, US decided that it was not ready for an all-out nuclear warfare with USSR and called the USS Enterprise back.

    Hence, we survived one of many world war III scares. The thing different about this scare was that it was never considered to have the potential to trigger a WWIII.
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  5. johnee

    johnee Elite Member Elite Member

    Apr 1, 2009
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    The article posted by LF, gives us a fair idea of how important Pakistan is in the larger gameplan of US for Asia. Without Pakistan, US would be ousted from this region pretty quickly because China, Russia and India would control it. So, US props up Pakistan even though it is rogue. That article also gives insight into another very important thing, US and China jointly sympathise with Pakistan because both use it to counter India. This is a very important point in our foreign relations.

    So, when our manlymohan singh runs to nobel-obama for help after 26/11, he should be aware that US will never allow Pakistan to be cornered. Pakistan is kept alive to meet the interests of US, KSA, and PRC in this region. These powerful friends of Pak will try to save it, no matter how grievious the crime. If Pakistan has to be dealt, it has to be India that dealts the deathblow.

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

    Feb 16, 2009
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    very true johnee and even more so today. In 1971 USA had good relations with Iran and the Shah of Iran was in power with a pro-USA policy,today that is not the case with Iran. So if Pakistan was important then imagine how important it is today in US policy.
  7. Martian

    Martian Respected Member Senior Member

    Sep 25, 2009
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    Asia is a messy place. There are simply too many countries. In South Asia alone, you have Pakistan, India, KSA, China, Russia, and US pursuing their individual interests. You need a scorecard just to keep track of the different goals and interests. Sometimes, it gets too complicated trying to figure out who is trying to do what.

    To make things even more confusing, sometimes the nations change the goals as time passes. For example, Bush invaded Iraq to destroy Iraqi WMDs. Next, the goal was changed to establish democracy in Iraq. Now, the goal is just trying to ensure stability and to prevent Sunni-Shiite-Kurd violence.

    It's hard to keep up.
  8. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

    Oct 8, 2009
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    Hyderabad and Sydney
    Well its not surprising if you know that the very creation of Pakistan was for protecting their strategic interests. This included protecting the oil fields of the fledgling gulf states and act as a bulwark against USSR. The book by Narendra S. Sarila "The Shadow of the Great Game" is a must in this regard where he used recently declassified documents from the US and British govt. to explain how adamant Churchill and Co. were to have a separate state in NW India. close to the USSR border and the Persian Gulf that would provide them "Strategic depth"

    Infact, ISI was created by a British officer in 1948 who controlled and nurtured it till the 1950s. Even the NE insurgencies and particularly the Khalistani movement had tacit US support (Check this out). Not to forget the Afghan insurgency against the Soviets and the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan later.

    Now there is definitely no doubt that Indo-US relations have changed a lot for the better. This proves that there is no permanent friends only permanent interests and applies to the Russians, Chinese, ME as it does to the US.
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    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

    Feb 16, 2009
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    Ejazr all these movements that you mentioned are more or less over, but do you think USA is not involved in other ways today? Especially with India reaching higher heights economically and could pose a threat to US possibly in the future. USA is probably more active than ever today then even in the past, just look at their trying to get a strategic foothold in Afghanistan, all the aid given to Pakistan. USA also has a small foothold in the Indian ocean with their Diego Garcia base, to think this era is over and the US policy has changed is being naieve.

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

    Feb 16, 2009
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    Indira Gandhi in Paris, 1971 Independent Indian: Work & Life of Dr Subroto Roy

    Indira Gandhi in Paris, 1971
    October 18, 2008


    This is a photograph of Indira Gandhi emerging with Andre Malraux for a press-conference at the Embassy of India in Paris in the Autumn of 1971. (My father, pictured in the centre, had been posted to the Embassy just a few weeks earlier in anticipation of the visit.) Indira was making the serious diplomatic effort that she did in world capitals to avert war with West Pakistan over its atrocities in East Pakistan. War could not be averted and within a few weeks, in December 1971, Bangladesh was born.

    “Indira Gandhi’s one and paramount good deed as India’s leader and indeed as a world leader of her time was to have fought a war that was so rare in international law for having been unambiguously just. And she fought it flawlessly. The cause had been thrust upon her by an evil enemy’s behaviour against his own people, an enemy supported by the world’s strongest military power with pretensions to global leadership. Victims of the enemy’s wickedness were scores of millions of utterly defenceless, penniless human beings. Indira Gandhi did everything right. She practised patient but firm diplomacy on the world’s stage to avert war if it was at all possible to do. She chose her military generals well and took their professional judgement seriously as to when to go to war and how to win it. Finally, in victory she was magnanimous to the enemy that had been defeated. Children’s history-books in India should remember her as the stateswoman who freed a fraternal nation from tyranny, at great expense to our own people. As a war-leader, Indira Gandhi displayed extraordinary bravery, courage and good sense.” (From my review article of Inder Malhotra’s Indira Gandhi, first published in The Statesman May 7 2006 and republished elsewhere here under “Revisionist Flattery”.)

    “She had indeed fought that rarest of things in international law: the just war. Supported by the world’s strongest military, an evil enemy had made victims of his own people. Indira tried patiently on the international stage to avert war, but also chose her military generals well and took their professional judgement seriously as to when to fight if it was inevitable and how to win. Finally she was magnanimous (to a fault) towards the enemy ~ who was not some stranger to us but our own estranged brother and cousin. It seemed to be her and independent India’s finest hour. A fevered nation was thus ready to forgive and forget her catastrophic misdeeds until that time….” (From “Unhealthy Delhi” first published in The Statesman June 11 2007, republished elsewhere here).

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

    Feb 16, 2009
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    Nixon (ex-us President) 1971 War Conversation, Indians are *******s

    Foreign Relations, 1969-1976, Volume E-7, Documents on South Asia, 1969-1972
    Document 150

    Released by the Office of the Historian
    Document 150

    150. Conversation Among President Nixon, the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), and the President's Chief of Staff (Haldeman), Washington, November 5, 1971, 8:15-9:00 a.m.

    Nixon: This is just the point when she is a *****.

    Kissinger: Well, the Indians are *******s anyway. They are starting a war there. It's—to them East Pakistan is no longer the issue. Now, I found it very interesting how she carried on to you yesterday about West Pakistan.

    Nixon: I think I'll make the meeting today a rather brief—cool. [unclear] I don't mean by that cool in terms of not trying to bring up [unclear] I'll talk to her a little about Vietnam, and-

    Kissinger: I'd let her talk a little more, maybe today—

    Nixon: Yeah?

    Kissinger: —to be a little less forthcoming. But basically, Mr. President—

    Nixon: So I was trying to give her no excuses. Now I've talked to her, told her everything we're going to do. Now it's up to her.

    Kissinger: While she was a *****, we got what we wanted too. You very subtly—I mean, she will not be able to go home and say that the United States didn't give her a warm reception and therefore, in despair, she's got to go to war.

    Nixon: Yeah.

    Kissinger: So her objective—she has a right to be a little sore because you thwarted her objective. She would rather have had you give her a cool reception—

    Nixon: That's right.

    Kissinger: —so that she could say that she was really put upon.

    Nixon: Oh, we really—

    Kissinger: And—

    Nixon: We really slobbered over the old witch.

    Kissinger: How you slobbered over her in things that did not matter, but in the things that did matter—

    Nixon: Yeah.

    Kissinger: —you didn't give her an inch. So that she's—

    Nixon: She knows.

    Kissinger: She knows she isn't coming out of here with any—she can't go home and say, "The president promised to do the following for me," and then when you don't do it—

    Nixon: Did you get across with that clown yesterday afternoon at 5:00? You went on the, that as far as the, as she was concerned that she would consider letting him—

    Kissinger: Yep.

    Nixon: —consult with regard to the designation. We want to be sure he understood that was the situation.

    Kissinger: Right, and I fixed it in the memorandum of conversation which I'm giving him in such a way that it—just a little. I've made it a little more explicit.

    Nixon: Now you've covered Rogers for long enough—

    Kissinger: Oh yeah, Rogers is in good shape.

    Nixon: He's prepared to be told this?

    Kissinger: Oh yes. They've apparently treated him personally in a way that he doesn't like, so he's very—

    Nixon: Ha!

    Kissinger: No, no. He'll be very tough with them.

    Nixon: Yeah, he's likely to be sharper with them than I was, you know. He can do that [unclear].

    Kissinger: Well, he will be personally sharper but he doesn't like her. In substance he won't be as tough as you—

    Nixon: He's likely [unclear].

    Kissinger: —because he doesn't know the subject so well. I mean the skill—

    Nixon: You should have heard, Bob, the way we worked her around. I dropped stilettos all over her. It's like, you know—

    Kissinger: She didn't know [unclear exchange] about the guerrillas in East Pakistan. [unclear]. One thing that really struck me, the blown up [unclear] and that takes a lot of technical training. I wonder where they got that.

    Nixon: She [unclear] so fast.

    Kissinger: She said the East Bengal rifles [unclear-used to?]. That's where it came from.

    Nixon: That's right. We also stuck it to her on that book—Henry's book about India-Pakistan.

    Kissinger: She said she studied a lot about the problems—how these conflicts started. Read a book by Maxwell, called India-China War, which is a book that in effect proves that India started the '62 War. It was done with an enormous politeness and courtesy and warmth.

    Nixon: Well I acted as if I didn't know what the hell had happened—

    Haldeman: Yeah.

    Nixon: —so she couldn't say anything. But she knew goddamn well that I knew what happened, don't you think?

    Kissinger: Oh, yeah. You stuck it to her about the press.

    Nixon: On that I hit it hard.

    Kissinger: And I told—

    Nixon: I raised my voice a little.

    Kissinger: And I told her assistant—I told my opposite number that the thing that is really striking to us is that last year Mrs. Gandhi, during her election campaign, made official protests that we were intervening when we weren't. And she never produced any proof. And yet every opposition candidate gets a royal reception, tremendous publicity, personal meetings. And then after you do all of this you come over here and ask us to solve all your problems.

    Nixon: You told him that?

    Kissinger: Oh, yeah.

    Nixon: Good for you.

    Kissinger: I said look at the record the last 3 months. You've had a press campaign against us. You put out the word that our relations are the worst ever. You get Kennedy over. You get that Congressman Gallagher over. You make a treaty with the Russians. And then you come here and say we have to solve your problems for you.

    Nixon: Well if it was any—

    Kissinger: But, Mr. President, even though she was a *****, we shouldn't overlook the fact that we got what we wanted, which was we kept her from going out of here saying that the United States kicked her in the teeth. We've got the film clip of this; you've got the toast. You've got the general warmth that you generated in the personal meeting.

    Nixon: I do think at dinner tonight [unclear].

    Kissinger: You didn't give her a goddamn thing.

    Nixon: [unclear]

    Kissinger: If you would have put on a Johnson performance, it would have been emotionally more satisfying but it would have hurt us. Because—I mean if you had been rough with her—

    Nixon: Yeah.

    Kissinger: —then she'd be crying, going back crying to India. So I think even though she is a *****, I'd be a shade cooler today, but—

    Nixon: No, no. I mean, "cool" in terms of, like yesterday, as you noted, I tried to carry the conversation.

    Kissinger: No, I'd let her carry it.

    Nixon: And was sort of saying, "look, we're being as good as we can in dealing with Pakistan. What else can we do?" Today, I'm just going to say [unclear].

    Kissinger: That's what I would do. Except for Vietnam, I'd give her 5 minutes of the Tito talk because it will go right back to the Russians as well as to the Vietnamese.

    Nixon: Will it?

    Kissinger: Oh, yeah. They have the closest diplomatic ties now with Russia. They leak everything right back to them.
  12. amitkriit

    amitkriit Senior Member Senior Member

    Jul 17, 2009
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    La La Land
    USA will never allow India to prosper to an extent that USA looses it's control over Indian Ocean and South Asia to her. A feudal, autocratic and weak pakistan is in USA's interest, so Pakistan will remain like they are today, in deep mess. USA is the new "Great Britain of 18h century".

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

    Feb 16, 2009
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    Did a CIA mole compromise India?s 1971 war plans? | NewsX

    January 03, 2009 10:12
    Did a CIA mole compromise India’s 1971 war plans?

    Every time I have a conversation with friends and colleagues about India-Pakistan, most of them complain about what they think as India’s failure to teach Pakistan a lasting lesson during the 1971 war.

    I often wondered as to why did Indira Gandhi’s government let Pakistan off despite being in a dominant position during the war, which resulted in the creation of Bangladesh. Available archival material suggest international pressure on India was one of the reason why Prime Minister Gandhi could not take any decisive action against West Pakistan (today’s Pakistan).

    A recent blog post by Anuj Dhar revealed damning details of India’s war objectives during the 1971 war. Anuj’s new book, CIA’s eye on South Asia , has a detailed account of what happened in 1971 and why India did not (or could not) take decisive action against West Pakistan. The book compiles declassified CIA records regarding South Asia and also reveals the reason behind the abrupt end of the Bangladesh war. I had downloaded these declassified documents last year but never read them entirely. But after reading Anuj’s blog, I decided to dig into the old records.

    The declassification of vital CIA and US State Department documents relating to South Asia reveals that the American spy agency (CIA) had a vital source in Mrs Gandhi’s cabinet. CIA’s ‘reliable source’ leaked India’s war objectives to the US, thereby compromising India’s plan to teach Pakistan a lasting lesson.

    The details of Mrs Gandhi’s Cabinet briefings were also known to the CIA within hours. The minutes of the National Security Council meeting in Washington on December 6, 1971 (See page 672 of the document) sheds some light on this. The CIA director Richard Helms informed the meeting that: “We have a report which covers Madam Gandhi’s strategy as delivered to her Cabinet at 11 pm on December 3, 1971……The objectives in the west (Pakistan) are to destroy Pakistan’s armour and in the east to totally liberate the area.”

    An information cable of the CIA dated December 7, 1971 (See page 686 of the document) reveals details of Mrs Gandhi’s briefing to her Cabinet on the India-Pakistan war. The information, attributed to a reliable source, includes India’s war objectives as reiterated by Mrs Gandhi. They were:

    1. The quick liberation of Bangladesh

    2. The incorporation into India of the southern part of Azad Kashmir for strategic rather than territorial reasons (because India has no desire to occupy any West Pakistan territory)

    3. To destroy Pakistani military striking power so that it never attempts to challenge India in the future
    The CIA report also added that the Indian Prime Minister had informed her Cabinet that India would not accept any ceasefire till Bangladesh was liberated.

    Shuja Nawaz, a Pakistani political and strategic analyst, in his book Crossed Swords: Pakistan, Its Army, and the Wars Within, says: “Mrs Gandhi asked her defence chiefs to be ready to drive into Sialkot and then proceed as deep as possible even upto Rawalpindi with the aim of destroying Pakistan. The CIA managed to get actual minutes of the meeting and passed them to Washington urgently.”

    The author, however, does not mention the source of the information he has revealed in his book.

    In another disclosure, the CIA director informed the Washington Special Actions Group in a meeting on December 8, 1971 (See page 694 of the document) that Mrs Gandhi had told her Cabinet that “she had expected a more balanced view from the Chinese. She expressed the hope that the Chinese would not intervene physically in the north, but said that the Soviets had said the Chinese would be able to ‘rattle the sword.’ She also said that the Soviets have promised to counterbalance any such action.”

    The disclosure of India’s war objectives by the mole resulted in an aggressive policy by the US to save West Pakistan from the Indian assault.

    In a meeting with the Chinese Permanent Representative to the UN (Ambassador Huang Hua) on December 10, 1971 (See page 757 of the document), Henry Kissinger (President Nixons’s NSA) said, “we have an intelligence report according to which Mrs Gandhi told her cabinet that she wants to destroy the Pakistani army and air force and to annex this part of Kashmir, Azad Kashmir, and then to offer a ceasefire. This is what we believe must be prevented and this is why I have taken the liberty to ask for this meeting with the Ambassador.”

    A memorandum (dated December 11, 1971) for President Nixon by Henry Kissinger (See page 765 of the document) states: “According to a reliable source Mrs Gandhi’s staff as of Thursday was still saying that, as soon as the situation in the East is settled, India will launch a major offensive against West Pakistan and hope that all major fighting will be over by the end of the month.”

    It also goes on to say that D P Dhar (See page 765-766 of the document), a close confidante of Indira Gandhi and former Ambassador to then USSR, was in Moscow to sound out the Soviets on India’s intentions towards West Pakistan.

    The United States administration was absolutely convinced - thanks to the reliable source they had in Prime Minister Gandhi’s Cabinet - that India had offensive plans for West Pakistan. President Nixon, in a telephonic conversation with his National Security Assistant Henry Kissinger on December 8, 1971, said that China could be a decisive factor in restraining the Indian advance.

    “The Chinese thing I still think is a card in the hole there. I tell you a movement of even some Chinese toward that border could scare those goddamn Indians to death,” he told Kissinger (See page 706 of the document).

    The US even threatened the Soviet Union with a major confrontation if they did not convince India to stop the offensive. In a back channel message to then US Ambassador in Pakistan on December 10, 1971 (See page 749-750 of the document), Kissinger asks him to tell Pak President Yahya Khan that the US has issued a strong demarche to the Soviets and warned them that the US will not permit any aggression against West Pakistan.

    “President added that should Indian offensive be launched in the West, with Soviet acquiescence, a US/Soviet confrontation would ensue,” Kissinger’s message further adds.

    There are numerous such details in the declassified documents which clearly point towards the US concern regarding the future of West Pakistan. It would not be too far fetched to say that had the crucial details of India’s war plans remained a secret, the history of South Asia would have been totally different. The US did everything (even supplied arms to Pakistan via Iran, Jordan) to save West Pakistan and they succeeded in the end.

    This brings us to the most important question. Who leaked India’s war plans?

    Interestingly, India was aware of the presence of a CIA mole who leaked the war plans. This was revealed in a meeting between then Foreign Minister Swaran Singh and top US officials in 1972. In the meeting, which took place on October 5, 1972, Singh told the US officials (See page 2, point 4 of the document) that Government of India (GOI) had its own sources and knew that CIA has been in contact with people in India in “abnormal ways”.

    “GOI had information that proceedings of the Congress Working Committee were known to the US officials within two hours of meetings,” Singh told the US Secretary of State William Rogers.

    Various accounts in the media have speculated about different names in the former PM’s Cabinet who might have worked for the CIA.

    Jack Anderson, an American investigative journalist, reported about the existence of a CIA mole in the Indira Gandhi cabinet. Anderson got the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting in 1972 for his reports on US’ tilt away from India towards Pakistan during Bangladesh’s war for independence. Details regarding the mole and the information he passed on to the CIA can also be found in The Anderson Papers and The Man who kept the secrets (based on the life of CIA Director Richard Helms – Written by Thomas Powers).

    Noted Indian lawyer A G Noorani, in his essay titled The CIA papers, published in the August 11-24, 2007 issue of fortnightly Frontline, states, “the mole in Mrs Gandhi's Cabinet performed freely for the CIA all through 1971 till he was compromised. She did not sack him, however, ever forgiving of ‘human’ weakness. He survived.”

    While referring to the declassified material and the above mentioned books, Noorani further says that the CIA had penetrated the Indian Government at every level. The agency received reports on “troops movements, logistics, strategy, and even some of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s secret conversations.”

    “Was it not a matter of concern that her anxious queries to the Soviet Ambassador and his replies reached Henry Kissinger’s table while the war was on,” Noorani inquires.

    While all the available information points towards a possible mole in Mrs Gandhi’s Cabinet during the 1971 war, we still don’t know his identity. I won’t speculate on the names here but the Indian Government should learn from the US and declassify old records.

    Anuj, meanwhile, had filed an RTI application with the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of External Affairs to seek information about the alleged mole in Mrs Gandhi’s Cabinet. But as always, the request has been turned down.

    Withholding all the information since independence by giving lame excuses that declassifying it might affect India’s foreign relations with other countries is not acceptable. The nation has a right to know the information surrounding such an important episode.
  14. Vladimir79

    Vladimir79 Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

    Jul 1, 2009
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    USS Enterprise is a nuclear carrier, not a submarine.
    Mad Indian likes this.

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

    Feb 16, 2009
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    yes I know Vladimir but there are reports that a US nuclear submarine was also with USS Enterprise there are also reports of a soviet nuclear sub in the Bay of Bengal at the time to counter; if you know anything about this can you shed some light on this matter?
  16. Vladimir79

    Vladimir79 Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

    Jul 1, 2009
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    There were always Soviet subs shadowing US carrier groups. It was routine.
  17. Arun

    Arun Regular Member

    Oct 7, 2009
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    Didn't get your point , so were you saying that its just because of "routine" that the soviet subs appeared in Indian ocean during 1971 war,and not because of the military aid from USSR.
    Just confused by your last statement bro.
  18. S.A.T.A

    S.A.T.A Senior Member Senior Member

    Mar 28, 2009
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    The first name that pops up in my mind is R K Dhawan.Dhawan was a very close aide to Indira Gandhi through the 60's to the 80's.While he was not a member of the cabinet in 1971,Dhawan was definitely a senior member of Mrs Gandhi's personal staff during the time.

    In the aftermath Indira Gandhi's assassination there were talks within the congress and without about R K Dhawans involvement in an alleged conspiracy plot(With the exception of the two Sikh guards, Dhawan was probably the only immediate witness to the Assassination)

    The alleged 'mole in the cabinet' might even be an attempt to distract a possible trail.

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

    Feb 16, 2009
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    Nixon plotted war against India in 1971

    Nixon plotted war against India in 1971

    Press Trust of India | May 7, 2005

    Washington - Fearing that Soviets might get involved in the 1971 Indo-Pak war, then US President Richard Nixon had wanted China to make coordinated military moves in support of Pakistan, according to documents released by the State Department.

    The Nixon administration was not prepared to involve itself in a war on the Indian sub-continent. Nor did it pay much attention to Indian concerns about "the carnage in East Pakistan" and the problems of refugees in West Bengal, said a State Department press release giving the gist of the papers on the Bangladesh War of Liberation, released yesterday.

    But, the signing of the India-Soviet Union Treaty of Peace, Friendship and Cooperation in August 1971, while not a mutual security treaty, was viewed in Washington as a blank check to India in its confrontation with Pakistan, it said.

    The US policy included support of Pakistan in UN and pressure on Soviets to discourage India, with hints that US-Soviet detente would be in jeopardy if Moscow did not comply.

    At Nixon’s instruction, his assistance for National Security Affairs Henry Kissinger met China's ambassador to the UN Huang Hua to suggest that Beijing make coordinated military moves in support of Pakistan. The implication conveyed by Kissinger was that if the soviets responded militarily, the US would support China in any confrontation with Soviet Union.

    When the Chinese asked to meet Kissinger in New York two days later, the White House assumed the worst and concluded that China had already decided to take military action against India, the release said.

    There was serious contemplation in the White House that the crisis might lead to nuclear war, but the general conclusion was that a regional conventional war in South Asia pitting India and the Soviet Union against China, the US and Pakistan was more likely.

    When the meeting took place, the Nixon White House learned that China's message had nothing to do with military moves in support of Pakistan. For his part, President Nixon realised that "Russia and China aren’t going to war."

    In mid-December, Pakistani military forces surrendered in East Pakistan.

    With US encouragement, Pakistan accepted an Indian cease-fire offer that would dramatically alter the Indian subcontinent, the release noted.

    Tracing the history of the war, the volume released by the State Department described political crisis triggered by the electoral success of Bengali nationalists in East Pakistan, led by Sheik Mujibur Rahman and his Awami League and the announcement by Pakistan President Yahya Khan on March 1,

    1971, that the scheduled meetings of the newly elected National Assembly would be postponed indefinitely.

    The announcement was met initially by popular demonstrations by the Awami League and the dispatch of additional troops to Dhaka by Pakistan's martial-law government. On March 15, Rahman announced that he was taking over the administration of East Pakistan and 10 days later the Army arrested him and moved to suppress what it viewed as a "secessionist" movement, the release said.

    The United States was loath to intervene in Pakistan's internal affairs, especially since Islamabad was Nixon’s secret conduit for a diplomatic opening to China, according to the release.

    The Pakistani Army's campaign against Bengali dissidents eventually led the US consulate in Dhaka to send a "dissent channel" message to Washington, which called for the United States to condemn the "indiscriminate killings."

    When Indian officials such as Foreign Minister Swaran Singh and Prime Minister Indira Gandhi came to Washington, the Nixon administration counselled non-intervention, but assumed that India planned to go to war, the release said.

    President Nixon had also warned Soviet officials not to encourage India and informed New Delhi that if it started a war with Pakistan, the United States would cut off aid, it said.

    On November 22, when the war began, the Nixon administration cut off economic aid to India, and Nixon himself decided to "tilt" toward Pakistan.

    When Nixon learned that Indian war plans were designed to liberate "Bangladesh" and to destroy Pakistan's military armoured and air strength, he ordered the US carrier enterprise and its escorts into the Bay of Bengal, the release said.
  20. icecoolben

    icecoolben Regular Member

    Aug 14, 2009
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    Its that very incident that tilted india heavily toward ussr. Of all the democracy and humanity the US spoke of it didn't lift a finger when the need arose in east bengal. But tried to prevent it. Had it not been for admiral goskov moving fast attack subs from pacific fleet to the indian ocean. The outcome could have been a stale-mate on the eastern front.

    the indian navy supposedly would on a doctrine of sea denial capability to prevent another US interference. The lease of charlie class nuclear class was both the beginning and the end of that.

    anyway nixon got what he deserved. The water gate scandal got him kicked out. He would be remembered by the proverb "only nixon goes to china".
  21. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

    Oct 8, 2009
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    Hyderabad and Sydney
    Hi LethalForce,
    US will look after its national/strategic interests. During the cold war, anti-soviet concerns dominated over everything else. Infact, one of the main reasons for Pakistan’s creation was because the Congress party had many communist sympathisers and was allied to the CPI. Congress leaders at that time naively though that they can pursue an independent foreign policy (which was admirable but not practical) This led the UK and US to align with MA Jinnah who promised full military co-operation and defence co-operation if Pakistan was created. And that is what happened. Pakistan from the 1950s has always been a US ally against Communism in the region. If the Congress leaders in the 1940s had allayed UK/US apprehensions that India would go against US interests and ally with the Soviet things could have been different but I’m not sure how they could have done that.

    Now what we have to realise today is that unless we realise and cater for US interests in the region now, no matter what we say, the US will be the sole superpower for decades to come. Now the US is shifting from supporting a pliant military dictatorship in Pakistan with religious nationalist tilt to a more civil/democratic society where the military is secondary. They won’t do that in a hurry but the Kerry-Lugar bill is a step in that direction. So again, we have to have a foreign policy that caters and converges as much as possible with the US to avoid a 1971 like situation so that they see India as a threat. We can learn from the Chinese in this regard, and we have an edge over China here

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