Thursday, June 18, 2009
India and Nukes
"Since World War II, US military dominance has underpinned the Asia-Pacific region's properity and relative peace. So it's cause for concern when one of America's closest allies sees that power ebbing amid unstable nuclear regimes such as Pakistan and North Korea and the expanding military power of China. In the preface to a sweeping defense review released Saturday, Australian Defense Minister Joel Fitzgibbon writes: 'The biggest changes to our outlook ... have been the rise of China, the emergence of India and the beginning of the end of the so-called unipolar moment; the almost two-decade-long period in which the pre-eminence of our principal ally, the [US], was without question.' ... But without sustained US defense spending and focus on the Asia-Pacific, it's unclear which nation will ulitmately dominate the region--and that could have profound effects on security and trade. ... In response to this outlook, Canberra is retooling its defense. It is doubling the size of its submarine fleet to 12 from six and buying about 100 Joint Strike Fighters, three destroyers and eight frigates", Editorial at the WSJ, 8 May 2009.
"Once, India was part of the problem. ... 'A stable, unitary Pakistan is in our interest,' says G. Parthasarathy, former Indian ambassador to Pakistan. And a Pakistan torn apart from the inside is an existential threat to a new India defined by an economic awakening and with a recently forged alliance with the US. ... India's election result gives President Barack Obama a pretext to drop his strange reluctance thus far to engage New Delhi, which got on famously with his predecesssor. After all, most of the worst-case scenarios in Pakistan (including nuclear war) involve South Asia's leading power. Start with Pakistan's nukes. From the Indian vantage point, Pakistani assurances, echoed by US leaders, about the security of the arsenal are worth little to nothing. Imagine the Taliban, another extremist group or rogue elements of the Pakistani military get their hands on one or more of the country's nearly 100 warheads. Then what? ... Compounding concerns are what Indian and US officials believe are ongoing Pakistani efforts to enlarge and modernize its nuclear arsenal, including by developing plutonium warheads, as well as to improve delivery systems. The Chinese, who share Islamabad's dislike of India, 'help us upgrade,' says a Pakistani official. That only serves to heighten Indian anxieties. ... But potentially more worrisome are signs of radicalization in the Punjab. Contagion in this traditionally moderate and most populous Pakistani province could encircle Islamabad and bring instability to India's borders. ... Team Obama wants India to draw down along the frontier and give Pakistan's military cover to shift forces westward against the Taliban. Back have come lectures from Indians about Pakistan's superior force strength on the border. India won't take orders from Washington lightly", my emphasis, Matthew Kaminski, at the WSJ, 22 May 2009.
Our actions are not being ignored by Iran or the Arab world either.
Does Obama think India is Israel? "Obama ... [has a] strange reluctance thus far to engage New Delhi". Hmm. Obama & Co., don't seem to like Netanyahu's Israel either. Hmm. How dare those damn Kaffirs, Hindus, not accept "Pakistani assurances" at face value. After all, Obama & Co. vouch for them. Suppose India withdrew say 100,000 troops from near the Pakistani border. Would Pakistan then redeploy its troops to fight the Taliban? I think not.