Is the American establishment really equipped to gauge the security concerns of India?

| Anhad Jakhmola

The lack of depth within the American establishment and their tactics of conviction has not deterred India from pursuing a foreign policy that is in its interest. It is time the US accepts that India won’t alter its position, no matter the constant meddling in our internal affairs and brow-beating around our diplomacy. 

The US-Indian relationship is a delicate one. It goes through the trials of time in any crisis present in the world. The relationship started on a tense note, with noteworthy events of our closeness with the erstwhile Soviet Union and their closeness to China. It is after the 90s that a more close relationship emerged after the fall of the Soviet Union. Since then, we have gotten close but therein lies a long journey of trust and cooperation. 

If anything, the talks with the US further reinforces my point that the American establishment, be it Republican or Democrat, are miles away from understanding our security concerns which puts us in a position to have warm and good relations with the Russians. Moreover, the constant narrow-minded argument over buying oil is something of a predictable mainstay in the West’s argumentation with India. They choose to ignore China, which is buying more from them. They in fact, ignore themselves, since they buy more from Russia. But India, buying some 2 percent of oil in their massive kitty is a sore point for Washington or anyone else who is supporting Ukraine or NATO. The exception of Japan and Australia remains though. 

This betrays a sense of paralysis in the American influenced understanding of the world. Their haughty approach and thinking that mere lumps of diplomatic support for the Security Council and the Nuclear Suppliers group will deter nations of the Global South to change their positions. Hilarious enough, they also think that their lobbying via some NRIs or some parties here will influence the mood of the Indian public against their government’s stance with the whole Ukrainian – Russian war. These are visible signs of decline of a power that needs to decide whether to insulate itself gradually in a dire position of a pariah, or to make amends and focus on the real problems. And so far, the Americans are not close to it.

Many praised the atmosphere of the 2+2 talks with India as a sign of diplomatic maturity. It was surely mature, given the amount of subtle messages sent by DC. But kudos to our foreign policy that we didn’t budge from our position. Our External Affairs minister made that very clear even in the presence of Blinken, who seems keen to check “human rights abuses” in our nation. Same old stupid tactic. This is not the 2000s that we will think about some ‘American Eye’ casting its glance on us. A proper maturity was perhaps observed between the President of the US and the Indian Prime Minister. It could very well be staged but so far, I am merely analysing what happened. Secret diplomacy is fun to assume but not to be biased for it.

Lastly, this was a summit where India nullified the American pressure for the time being. Their constant meddling in our internal affairs remains, their constant brow-beating around our diplomacy will continue. But it won’t alter our position anymore. And it’s time they accept that with a pinch of salt.

(Anhad is a postgraduate scholar in international relations. He has his undergraduate degree in history. He is a columnist for many portals and is a keen public speaker in debates and discussions. Views expressed are author’s own)

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