New Triangle Of Power

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by ajtr, May 3, 2010.

  1. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

    Oct 2, 2009
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    New Triangle Of Power

    In an emerging tripolar world,stewardship of Indias foreign policy needs firmer hands

    Minhaz Merchant

    A Fulbright scholar,external affairs minister S M Krishna has doubtless read Niccolo Machiavellis Art of War and Chanakyas Arthashastra.Together,the two treatises define the dark science of diplomacy.In todays fraught geostrategic environment,they also teach useful lessons in the conduct of foreign policy.
    Indias two defining international relationships are with the US and China.The US sees India as a natural counterweight to China.But Americas realpolitik is Machiavellian.It wants India to play the role of a permanent junior partner much as Britain has done from the 1950s to the present while it pursues its own global objectives.
    However,if it leverages its economic and demographic strengths with Chanakyas finesse,India can rapidly emerge as Americas most important global partner instead of a perennially anxious supplicant.US GDP is $14.70 trillion.Indias GDP (by purchasing power parity) is nearly $4 trillion.Assuming an average annual growth rate of 7.25 per cent between 2010 and 2040 (a reasonable trendline-based extrapolation),Indias GDP will increase eightfold to $32 trillion within 30 years.Assuming,further,an average annual growth rate of 2.40 per cent (an equally reasonable trendline extrapolation given a low American savings rate of 4 per cent and a high budget deficit of over $1 trillion),US GDP will double to $29 trillion during the same period.Thus in 30 years,Indias economy using a mathematical model that factors in several economic and demographic variables will be larger than Americas.
    This is not fiction but cold,hard fact.US think tanks have come to the same broad conclusion.So has the Obama administration.Few in South Block though recognise its far-reaching implications on the rapidly changing balance of global power.Chinese strategists,in contrast,fully recognise these implications.Similar extrapolations,assuming average annual Chinese GDP growth at a slower average annual trendline rate of 6 per cent,place Chinas GDP at $48 trillion in 2040 50 per cent larger than both the US and India.China is clearly the elephant in the room and already behaves like one.
    Chinas principal global objective is to regain its 16-century Middle Kingdom status as the worlds pre-eminent world power an era in which the US did not even exist.From this broad aim flow several others.One,military parity with the US.Two,economic superiority over the US.Three,reintegration with Taiwan.Four,settlement of Tibet.And five,proving to the world that its alternative non-Anglo-Saxon political model can bring sustained economic prosperity to one-and-a-half billion people.
    As the third angle in the isosceles triangle of Great Powers in 2040,Indias foreign policy must be at once more sublime and more muscular.India,like China,represents the future,America the present,Europe the past.
    Americas history provides many clues to its current behaviour.It was founded by working class families escaping religious persecution from newly-Protestant England 425 years ago.These English settlers (Britain as a nation had not yet been formed) liquidated indigenous Indians,appropriated their land and shipped slave labour from Africa to work the fields.
    As the US won independence and grew more powerful,it invaded Mexico and by 1848 had annexed what are today California,Texas,Arizona,Colorado,Nevada,Utah,Wyoming and New Mexico.By the 1890s,it had colonised the Philippines and built a silent empire arching from the Pacific to the Atlantic.After World War II it invaded Korea,Vietnam and Grenada and propped up dictators and puppet-monarchs in Latin America and the Middle East (including the early Saddam Hussein and the sybaritic Shah of Iran).It made a pact with the Sheikhs of the post-Ottoman Middle East to deny Arab citizens voting rights in return for US military protection ostensibly against Israel but in reality against popular democratic movements in their own countries.
    With such a colourful past,it is hardly surprising that the US continues to follow a ruthlessly self-interested foreign policy in South Asia to secure its geopolitical goals.But both the US and China have an Achilles heel.The US is a declining power.By 2040,it will not only be relegated to the status of the worlds third largest economy (after China and India) but it will also for the first time in its history become a blackmajority country.African-Americans,Latinos and Asians comprise 34 per cent of Americas population today.By 2040,that figure will rise to 51 per cent.The implications of this demographic shift will resonate across social,ethnic,economic and cultural boundaries.
    As Indias own demographic dividend kicks in,New Delhis bargaining power with a declining US and a communist China sitting on a tinderbox of suppressed peoples freedoms will grow if South Block gets its strategy right.That strategy involves deepening Indias economic and diplomatic engagement with Africa and (Brazil-led ) Latin America,influencing the course of the Arab-Israeli dialogue over Palestine and using old military and economic ties with Russia to our advantage in tackling the post-US Af-Pak world with its scattered terrorist threats.
    All of this requires a ministry of external affairs with intellectual depth and strategic vision and the ability to project both globally.Sadly,the current MEA falls short.In an emerging tripolar world,the stewardship of Indias foreign policy needs firmer hands and clearer minds.
    RAM and AkhandBharat like this.
  3. thakur_ritesh

    thakur_ritesh Administrator Administrator

    Feb 19, 2009
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    Land of the GODS - "Dev Bhomi".
    Minhas Merchant, does a fair job with the assessment presented.

    A strong US, which has the ability and interest to flirt with all is certainly not in india’s long term interest, because this will invariably mean they will feed countries/institutions/individuals who might harbor anti-India sentiments and such an act is already happening with in our vicinity though for India to turn the tide completely to its side will take time. Let us not forget, prior to 1990-91, there was no way the US would have had an engagement with us the way we are having now, so a lot of good work has gone in and we should appreciate the good that has gone in and the achievements made. Could we have ever imagined indo-israel relations the way they are without the blessings of the US?

    I am a strong proponent of obama getting a second term because it is this man who has all that it needs to make sure that the decline of the US from the status of a supreme power happens much faster than it would otherwise happen. He is a man who is too accommodative, and ready to listen to others concerns no matter how ill founded such concerns may be which means he will be ready to give space to others something that was never happening in the past, now the thing to be looked forward to is, in the process will he further liquidate his country’s stake in various international bodies further to accommodate the developing world or not, if yes he is the man one would like to have for another 6 years.

    Once you have a declining US, the insecurity associated with the venerability of such a decline combined with the emergence of a communist china holding the potential to take over the space created post such a decline will create a bigger need on part of the US to find a suitable ally and it is here where India with its common interests to those of the US fits the bill perfectly, with higher level of compatibility, and for this reason one needs to commend george w bush who could see it coming much earlier. What this will do is make the policy makers along with the forth coming administrations in the US more open and accommodative to India’s global aspirations and it is here I feel the US will be more inclined to have India join the UNSC as a veto power, which will be a litmus test of our relationship, to let India have a bigger stake in the running of the affairs of world bodies such as WB, IMF, ADB, G20 and numerous other such important international foras and it is through these measures that India will scale the heights of a global player that we all aspire.

    For now I think we are not doing that bad a job but yes we need to be more assertive and so I maintain we need a 360* turn in the way we approach the US. It should not come across that we can be taken for granted, a perception that seems to have been developed in the past year or so, and in case the US comes across as being stubborn on certain issues then I don’t see why we in turn cant be stubborn on certain other issues in return. The real change in our tone needs to come somewhere around 2025-30, by when a huge transformation in the world order would have taken place, and then would be the time we should take the lead and make sure the west would look at India as their natural partner and some to most corners as their leader at the world stage, till then make sure we cultivate our relations in such a way that our global aspirations get fed, and we have a strong economic growth, with Indians overseas becoming much bigger stake holders in the progress and in the running of affairs of their adopted countries.
    AkhandBharat likes this.
  4. badguy2000

    badguy2000 Respected Member Senior Member

    May 20, 2009
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    the caculation model is completely wrong. and his conclusion is based on a completely wrong modle.
    1.PPP is only not useful to measue nation's economy power and influence, but to measure people's real lfe qualify .

    nominal GDP is the most useful indication to measure nations' economy power and influence ,for time being.

    India's nomonal GDP is only about 1 trillion USD,1/13 of USA's and 1/5 of China's

    2. the growth of nominal GDP is influenced not only by real growth, but also by inflation and exchange rate.
    aditya10r likes this.

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