Sunday, December 19, 2004
There is a straightforward explanation for India's enthusiasm for the Bush administration. New Delhi has transacted more political business with Washington in the past four years than in the previous four decades. After nearly half a century of estrangement, India and the U.S. rapidly drew closer during the first Bush term. Whether it is the commitment to the war against terrorism or the exploration of missile defense, Mr. Bush has found a partner in Delhi.
Professor Mohan believes that the United States and India have a great deal more in common than the war against Islamist jihad.
There is a deeper philosophy that has united India and the U.S. in the last four years: They both are revisionist powers. Well before Sept. 11, 2001, and more clearly after, the Bush administration saw the need for a new set of rules for managing the emerging threats to international security. The tools and doctrines of the Yalta system had outlived their utility and had to be recast, the Bush administration concluded. India could not agree more.
Despite its significant contributions (under the aegis of the British Empire) to two World Wars, India was left out in the cold by the Yalta arrangements--especially the United Nations. To be accorded its rightful place in the global order, India needs a drastic revision of existing international rules--from those relating to nonproliferation to the management of international peace and security. The Bush administration, pursuing its objectives in the global war on terror, is determined to engineer changes in the spheres that are of greatest import to India. Having missed the boat at Yalta, India can only wish President Bush all success in his endeavor to transform the international order.
Very few countries in the world share the Bush administration's contempt for the U.N. when it comes to maintenance of international security. India is one of them. India went to the Security Council in 1948, to find a way out of its impasse with Pakistan over Jammu and Kashmir after the messy Partition of the Subcontinent in 1947. Although India has never stopped regretting its decision, its experience at the U.N. has cured New Delhi of all illusions about collective security in the international system.
Do not believe the Democrats or The New York Times when they tell you that we don't have allies in our struggles. It is just that we have learned that Germany and France are not among them. No matter. The future is in India, and it would be wise for future American administrations and our leftist elites to recognize that.
UPDATE: Rob A. has written an extensive following post connecting our new relationship with India to our strategic map, at least as conceived by Thomas P.M. Barnett. Interesting stuff.
This is totally Thomas Barnett-type stuff. India's emergence as a close US ally and as a global "power" was rising anyway, but after 9/11 the security issues vis Pakistan brought it closer to the US. Or alternately, brought the Bush administration out of its pre-9/11 semi-isolationist default position.
The talk of "new rules" (rule resets in Barnett's parlance) and tying economic issues to security issues is textbook Barnett. (I suppose that textbook would be his Pentagon's New Map.) I'm sure you're somewhat familiar with his stuff, but if everytime I need tech help for my computer I'm speaking to someone in India, then it's obvious that India has a lot to lose if it doesn't continue it's integration into the global economy. Not that India was a rogue nation by any means before they went high-tech but the model extends beyond just that country.
As Barnett sees it, with his Core/Gap divide, the better we are at bringing political and economic basketcases into the fold, the safer we'll be. Even though he backed Kerry, he's been consistent in praising Bush & Co. when they operate to close the gap by introducing new rulesets.
Your point about the Dems and NYT holds. The world is changing and they're in danger of being left behind. The anti-globalisation crowd is a little to close to the fore in the DNC. (The paleo-cons have been mostly marginalized in the GOP.)
If you can get past his ego--which can be a little much-- Barnett's blog his always worth checking out. Tying to classify him is a little tricky, he's more Hamiltonian than Wilsonian. He's a believer that the economic engine may have to precedence over the politcal reforms we desire (see China). He feels once the money starts to flow, the middle class will do the work it needs to reform the internal politics and democracy will be the eventual outcome.
Barnett is someone I try to read daily. He usually has some good stuff on his blog, and I find it a must read.
As for Indian-American relations, I think that it is about time. The United States has more to offer India than Russia did, and does, and India in turn can help the US. An Indian-American alliance could only be good for both countries.
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