- Apr 1, 2009
Some lessons from history
that we can discuss!
that we can discuss!
An interesting post, that describes the games of previous and present super-powers very effectively. Let us discuss where this game is headed. Let us estimate how India is coping in this great game of geopolitics.1. Britain, a tiny island ruled India - the richest and most advanced of the ancient civilizations, and reduced it to beggary. India's and Indians' faults in allowing this sorry episode to occur cannot be excused or overlooked. The Brits though, had every reason to believe their proxy in the region - Pakistan - could just as well and just as smoothly dominate free India post 1947. India in any case was a wounded civilization and it wasn't then clear it could rise again.
2. The Brits learnt well that a potential power whose energies were not diverted into unwinnable feuds would soon learn to weild and project power. So a feud/feuds had to be fanned if extant, excerbated if dormant and created if nonexistant. The example carries over to how the Brits handled the defeated Ottomans and carved up the caliphate. The seeds of that SNAFU proved propitious down the line post WWII. The Arab-Jewish feud provided lasting fuel decade after decade for the West in general and the Brits in particular to egg on two regional rival sides against each other (so beautifully worded in the post above as 'exhaust power potential fighting against itself'). Of course, one side (typically, the bigger one) winning the feud would do the great-gamers no good. So The balance was sought to mainted decade after decade through changing times, climes and governments by supporting the weaker side just enough to counter balance the other.
3. Is PRC a power rising uncomfortably rapidly and at peace? Perhaps. But what exists to dissipate PRC energies inwards preferably or within Asia? Tibet? India? The recognition that the balance of power in Asia is wellon its way to being lost may have prompted, perhaps, a belated desire to support India for 'feuding/feudal balance' to be restored? Possibly. Too bad India refused to bite the plain bait - preferring not to be counted upon to balance PRC, officially. Did the game change then? Possibly, again.
4. Of course, really large, continental sized powers need extra divertions to be kept preoccuppied. So one Pakistan against an India can't possibly be sufficient. Faultlines inside India can and will be exploited where extant, created where not. Rumor mongering? Consipratorial? Maybe, maybe not. But the weight of great gaming history, the will to power, the amorality of and the incentive of powerplay all point to one inference only. India's faultlines too are nothing to brush away. The issue of 'dailts'/indigenous peoples/tribals etc, the influence of the church in NE insurgencies, the aiding and abetting of Maoist insurgencies (Yup, the Purulia arms drop among countless others was carried out by UK spooks), the influence peddling vis-a-vis media and work-permits/greencards, univ education abroad etcare cogs in the wheel. Every other violent insurgency, organised criminality, and outright fugitives from our justice system ahve been given asylum in UK - from Isaac Muiviah to musician Nadeem. Brazenly and openly. And yet, the Brits manage to claim a desire for friendship with India with a straight face. For now.
5. The US, UK's inheritor of the global empire didn't quite inherit the great game tendencies to the same extent. After the SU's demise, it was but a matter of time before the inevitable would be attempted, regardless of official spin. Niall Ferguson's lessons in Empire were warmly received by the neocon project. Where it stands now remains unclear. But the creation of Kosovo as an independent state, trouble sown in Burma, Iran, Nepal, Ceylon - all point to the same old strategy in play.
5. The law of unintended consequences and the weight of accumulated bad karma cannot be underestimated. The gamble that saw the west back the wahabi horse has metastasized into the radical islam genie and come back to haunt the world and their home countries also. The truth getting out and the elites in these countries recognising the same are serious risks for the USUK tagteam. Similarly, if a PRC and India were indeed to normalize relations, if a TSP were to collapse despite the best efforts of its sponsors, what reason or chance does UK/US have to continue to smile and claim friendship with these civilzations?