India Cannot Be US ‘True Friend’, Even Less ‘Friend Forever’Posted: June 27, 2017
There was a quite interesting article on Foreign Policy titled “Can Modi Turn India From a ‘True Friend’ to the U.S. to a Friend Forever?” stating, “Modi’s goal is to convince U.S. President Donald Trump that India is important not just for a photo opportunity or business transaction, but for a long-term, strategic partnership — or, to quote the president’s official Twitter account, ‘Important strategic issues to discuss with a true friend!’”
Modi is wise. In a conflicting world allying with remote states to attack nearby states is the strategy that enabled the State of Qin to conquer other six states and reunify China more than 2,000 years ago.
Sandwiched between two strong enemies China and Pakistan, India needs the US as an ally to help it.
In the past, India allied with the Soviet Union, which is Russia later, to counter China and Pakistan when China is their common enemy, but now Russia has become China’s close ally so that India cannot get Russia’s real help in fighting its two enemies, especially China.
However, in modern world military conflict is too costly, we had better avoid it. That is why India and Pakistan have both jointed the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
When India and Pakistan have buried hatchets and India and China have solved their border disputes, India will no longer need US alliance. Then trade with China will be even more important. After all relations with one’s prosperous neighbors are more beneficial. US market is far less attractive than China’s.
Moreover, China now upholds globalization that facilitates Indian exports to Chinese market while the US upholds protectionism that will set barriers for India’s export to the US.
Modi only wants to get advanced weapons from the US for national defense in the face of the alliance of two strong neighbors. He certainly does not seek long-term partnership with the US.
The US wants to have India’s help in containing China, but in the near term to sell its expensive weapons to India to make a windfall. The US could not afford subsidizing its weapon sales to India. As US weapons are too expensive, there is doubt the US can compete with Russia in Indian weapon market.
As others’ investment in weapon development grows and US investment shrinks, the US will not even be able to maintain its leadership in producing the best weapons, it is certainly a wise strategy to sell its advanced weapons and use the proceeds for development of better ones to compete with Russia and China. That will be a much better strategy.
Russia is now willing to sell China its most advanced weapons.
China is exporting its most advanced drones for recovery of research and development costs in order to develop even better drones.
The pursuit of world hegemony is stupid for a declining US as it simply cannot afford that.
India’s pursuit of hegemony in Indian Ocean (according to media reports) is even more stupid. Oil-rich Iran and the rising China through Pakistan can frustrate India’s attempt to seek hegemony.
In fact, hegemony is very expensive why not use the resources for economic growth and people’s welfare?
If India, China and Pakistan are wise enough to overcome their disputes, which is possible indeed, how can India be true friend or even friend forever for the US, who believe there must be a rider and a horse in an alliance of two and the US shall always be the rider.
Will India be America’s horse forever?
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Foreign Policy’s report, full text of which can be viewed at http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/06/26/can-modi-turn-india-from-a-true-friend-to-the-u-s-to-a-friend-forever-trump/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=New%20Campaign&utm_term=%2AEditors%20Picks