Tuesday, December 7, 2010



The confidential cables exchanged between the US State Department and the US diplomatic missions abroad, which have been released by WikiLeaks, expose the following five myths:

* Firstly, the myth of Islamic solidarity. One finds rulers of the Islamic world and the rulers of Pakistan willing and wanting to secretly collaborate with the US against their adversaries and rivals, even if they are Muslims. Thus, Saudi Arabia and other countries in the Gulf are willing to support US operations against Iran. The Pakistani rulers carry tales against each other to their American interlocutors and vie with one another in projecting themselves as more pro-American than others. All their public proclamations of Islamic solidarity are a sham.
* Secondly, the myth of US solidarity with India in the fight against jihadi terrorism originating from Pakistan. The US has been following double standards in the matter of action against Pakistan-sponsored terrorism. There has been no change in this even under President Barack Obama. Copious tears for the victims of Pakistan-sponsored terrorism in Indian territory and tacit understanding of the so-called Pakistani compulsions in continuing to use terrorism against India continue to be the two features of the US policy. One does not see any sense of shock or anger in the US State Department and in the US missions in Pakistan over Pakistan's use of terrorism against India. Deplorable, but understandable----that continues to be the US attitude.The WikiLeaks would have made a great contribution to our fight against terrorism, if the leaked documents make us rid ourselves of the illusions regarding the US in our mind and draw up our own strategy for dealing with Pakistan-sponsored terrorism. The US has not shown a readiness to act against Pakistan for 29 years since it started wielding the weapon of terrorism in 1981. It is not going to act in the years to come either.
* Thirdly, the myth of US victory in the war against terrorism in Iraq and of the coming victory in Afghanistan. Both Iraq and Afghanistan are going from bade to worse. The NATO policy-makers are clueless in Afghanistan. The jihadis are prepared to fight against the US and keep it bleeding for as long as necessary. The US is unable to prevail over them. If the jihadis prevail over the US-led NATO forces in Afghanistan, a new crop of Afghan returnees will descend on India. The end to our fight against jihadi terrorism is not for tomorrow.
* Fourthly, the myth of genuine Chinese friendship for India. The leaked cables make it clear that China is not prepared to accept India as an equal permanent member of the UN Security Council with the same status and veto power as China.
* Fifthly, the myth of morality and ethics being the guiding principles of the Obama administration. That they are not so is evident from the cable of the State Department to the US Permanent Mission in the UN Headquarters to collect personal details of the staff of the UN Secretariat. This is apparently for using those details to recruit the staff of the UN Secretariat for intelligence operations. ( 7-12-10)

( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate of the Chennai Centre For China Studies. E-mail: seventyone2@gmail.com )


Paresh said...

There is only one reality:

In all its battles, India is ALONE!

Everything else is a myth...

Esoteric said...

* Secondly, the myth of US solidarity with India in the fight against jihadi terrorism originating from Pakistan - This is amply demonstrated by the Headley episode.One of the unstated US objective in South Asia is to contain Indian military might so that it has minimal power projection capability.This some might argue runs contrary to sale of some of the defence equipment to India.The point is there are business benefits of selling such eqipment (vanilla versions at that) and also can be used to contain China.Sale of US defence equipment to Pakistani Defence forces must be seen in this context. Just as India is being armed to contain China, Pakistan serves as a counter to India.The Islamic project serves the US well. It gets them a beachhead on both sides of Iran, and one side of India, China and Russia.

Since, de-escalation of tensions in the region seem far away; rapid and asymetrical militarisation(Conventional) is a good counter.It will force Pakistan to raise more and more demands to the US for arms to the point where US will be unable to justify as equipment to fight an insurgency.It will push the Pakistan further into the arms of US from a financial standpoint and give India leeway to demand more action on terror from the US.Finally, India must buy more non-critical equipment(such as arms for internal security) from the US to get more negotiating power.

India has to be a maritime nation and the naval arm of the defence forces must be considered the key power projection mechanism.The other forces must play a defensive role with robust capability to deliver on multiple fronts and quickly.Finally,intelligence must play a role in ensuring key rivals are unhinged and denied stability they seek.

* Fourthly, the myth of genuine Chinese friendship for India - Funny, you have mentioned that there is a myth of a friendship. I think the myth is that China is about to go to war against India.

The narrative about US has the the Chinese question embedded in it, India must seek to enable China to deploy an assertive foreign policy.This will pay dividends in the form of denying China the plank of wanting stable relations and ensure US does not succumb to the G-2 strategy that China wants it to agree to.One Chinese expert in Xinhua recently hinted as much when he said, China wants to de-escalate tensions with India so as to deny India the chance to get closer to the US.As a matter of policy India must ask China to reduce footpirnt in Bangladesh, Myanmar and Srilanka or allow Indian footrpint in South East Asia.