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Strategic embrace with US

Strategic embrace with US
Highlights

Notwithstanding the official clarifications, many apprehensions still remain on the Indo-US Logistics Agreement. This deal symbolises India’s great power ambitions in the post-Cold War era. But, this strategic embrace of a sweeping nature is not without security concerns. The deal would facilitate massive Americanisation of India’s military industry. 

Notwithstanding the official clarifications, many apprehensions still remain on the Indo-US Logistics Agreement. This deal symbolises India’s great power ambitions in the post-Cold War era. But, this strategic embrace of a sweeping nature is not without security concerns. The deal would facilitate massive Americanisation of India’s military industry.

This may increase defence costs for India. The United States already has a long and reliable military understanding with our hostile neighbour, Pakistan. Notwithstanding the US-Pak nexus, India opting for a strategic partnership with US at a level almost on par with the super power’s military allies may serve the Washington‘s policy of dual containment rather than addressing the genuine security challenges of New Delhi.

The impact of US military supplies flooding Indian market on the indigenous defence industry may be of grave proportions. This would tantamount to compromising our defence self-reliance assiduously built over decades.

The latest deal with US is a marked departure from the time-tested foreign policy of India. The apologists of the deal may call it an acknowledgment of post-Cold War reality. But in any context, India needs to zealously guard its security interests, especially in a world characterised by military hegemony and the regional security theatre hogged by the presence of hawkish powers.

China is unlikely to take this new-found military alliance between India and US in a favourable note. Thus, the deal with the US can lead to fresh irritants in the region. The US cannot be a trusted ally in the eventuality of India-China standoff.

This is precisely because the US cannot antagonise China for the sake of India. This is evident from the fact that Washington does not intend to discipline its puppet Pakistan despite India’s submission many times.

This is not to advocate abrogation of military ties with US. The point of contention is the limits of such an understanding. A strategic embrace with US does not guarantee a great power status for India. Instead, New Delhi can enhance its prestige and stature by continuing its non-aligned policies.

Inter-operability with the US military can significantly increase Indian military dependence on US supplies, choking the choice and diversity in our defence procurement. The emerging multipolarity in the international arena calls for independent foreign policy and self-reliant defence capabilities.

Pakistan was sucked into US-led military apparatus since its independence. This has only created a militarised society and state in that country. India should not tread this disastrous path. Even during the Cold War, despite its proximity with the then Soviet Union, India never became part of Moscow-led military pivot.

The strategic convergence with military powers in the foreign policy is contrary to the hyper nationalism pursued by the NDA regime in the domestic policy. India should keep its options open over military cooperation and partnership. This would enable the country to author its own course of strategic maneuvering demanded by the security situation at a given point of time.

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