Tuesday, August 30, 2016

India-US Partying Again; Military Logistics Pact and Geo Politics in South Asia and Asia Pacific Region

India and US have signed a Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) which was first mooted by USA almost 20 years back. In early this year, US designated India as major defense partner. India and USA have also been working on advance technology trade initiative. 

LEMOA is a substantial enabling pact which will take call on major logistics support needs of both the country on case to case basis. US and India are also discussing on signing of Communication and Information Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA) and the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA). Unless these two pending agreements are signed it looks, US will still not able to comply with domestic laws to transfer key technology to India in spite of India being designated as major defense partner. 

Indian insistence to create a structure of neutrality in the agreement has been a major reason of delay in signing of these pacts. India at no step, wants to give an impression of this agreement pitching her against any country like Russia or China. India also wants to retain freedom to sign similar agreements with any other power. 

Geo political dynamic in region are very complex. Is India making a right choice? 

The signing of agreement is surely a drift in Indian defense policy. India till 62 war with China, was an undeclared US ally.  62 war ended with Nehru breaking his party with US in a very mysterious way and asked US Generals to vacate south block.  Nehru took assistance of Russia and reached unsigned agreement with China wherein China unilaterally declared ceasefire and withdrew her forces back. Dalai Lama who had escaped to India from Tibet, on assurance of India and USA liberating Tibet, was deserted in between. Nehru betrayed Tibetan cause and since then Dalai Lama is stuck in India as refugee. 

Nehru took India closer to Soviet Union which annoyed USA. USA did try taking revenge, when their war gamed attack plans were used by Pakistan to attack India in 1965 war. USA provided much superior weapon system to Pakistan.  In war, Pakistan did caught India on wrong footing. Indian army was then inferior in technology and weapons system than Pakistan.  Thanks to valour of Indian military leadership and soldiers who fought much superior enemy stalling their attacks. Pakistan military leadership failed to press attacks. India after holding the Pakistani attacks launched counter attacks. Pakistan was low on ammunition holding ( a fact which India was not aware) and superpowers intervened  forcing both parties to end war in a draw with some military advantages to India. In talks Shashrti threw away partial victory and signed Tashkand agreement.

Indra realizing a gap in Indian protective shield and at cross roads, signed a Friendship Treaty with Soviet Union having a security cooperation clause in it.  The treaty provided India a much required defensive protection which was used by India in 71 war against Pakistan to prevent USA and her allies to influence outcome of war. The brilliant military leadership under FM Sam Manekshaw gave a historic unprecedented military victory over Pakistan  giving birth to Bangladesh.  The military victory was thrown away by Indra when she signed Shimla Agreement. India lost best opportunity to settle dispute over Kahmir forever. Indra helped Bhutto to let him win elections in Pakistan on promise that he will return the favour when Indra goes for elections back in India. 

Till actually 90s, Pakistan had influence over minority votes in India due to common relationship and cross border marriages and Congress could never annoy this huge vote bank. This peculiar situation was one of the reason of Shastri and Indra throwing away military gains in dustbins. Muslim minority votes were key to place Congress in power than promoting national interests. It was only after 1990s that young Indian Muslims started  dissociating themselves from Pakistan and connecting more with their Indian identity. Indian Muslim girls started refusing marrying Pakistanis. This shift in minority stand followed by dalits deserting Congress has been the real reason of down fall of congress in Indian politics.  

In all these years, USA helped Pakistan keeping Kashmir dispute alive and pot boiling with violence basically to use it to pressure India. USA ignored Pakistan arming Afghans and Punjabi jehadis with US arms and sending them to Kashmir to create violence. USA also ignored or indirectly assisted Pakistan arming herself with nuclear weapons and missiles much before India. US military presence in Pakistani bases provided her collateral security and prevented Indian army attacking her during "OP PARAKRAM" and Kargil war. Possibility of US assistance and protections umbrella being used by Pakistan during Kargil war can not be ruled out.  

Rise of China and tremendous increase in her capabilities to project military power globally has changed Geo political dynamics in Asia Pacific region. Return of Russia as a much more modern military power armed with modern sophisticated weapon systems has made Geo political situation for US global military power  more complex. USA lacks military capabilities to win three regional theater wars and is in urgent need of regional partners and allies and India provides her the best choice in Indian Ocean and far east. 

Pakistan; legally an ally of USA, having sensed  US desperation is keeping her options open and has shown more inclination towards China to prevent USA coming closer to India and also using this opportunity as hard bargain tool. USA has been trying to create a balancing act and helping both countries to resolve Kashmir through dialogue. Pakistan also finds it as an ideal opportunity to play her aggressive military actions supported diplomacy to force India to come to her terms. No wonder Kashmir is boiling.  deteriorating situation in Kashmir also gives an opportunity to USA to ask India to sign proposed agreements to pull out India into her block against rising China and Russia. 

Some experts are talking of a possibility of emergence of China Pak Axis. Seeing Pakistan's too overconfident behavior brandishing nukes on every opportunity, the same can not be ruled out.  Pakistan is now directly connected with China through Karakoram Highway. Pakistan moving to Chinese block with India drifting to US will create a serious military situation for India. Indian military power in present shape is not capable to fight and win two front wars with China and Pakistan together. Emergence of doctrine of hybrid wars have provided space for military conflicts below threshold levels of nuke wars. It provides a space for these two countries together to attack India. Such military conflicts if fueled can attack Indian heartlands directly creating a crisis for Indian existence. 

Pakistan also carries a risk of her own disintegration with more visible internal faultiness becoming which could be turned violent easily.  If Pak presents Baluchistan to China surely enough first strong reaction will come from USA. India and USA together can work to thwart Chinese inroad in South Asia. Will Pakistan risk that?

India lacks strong defense industrial base, her defense R&D is weak. Economy is exposed to crony capitalist interferences and business interests are more aligned with USA. Coup phobia among corrupt and greedy politicians makes them see Indian military as threat which they want to keep weak. Bureaucracy is also corrupt and self serving and least bothered about services to people. Judiciary is not only corrupt but takes decades to dispose off cases. GDP growth projected as impressive if adjusted against inflation and population growth is actually in negative. Certain caste lobbies in minority, control political power and more then 90% of national cash flows. These minorities controlling governance, since Independence have been talking about India emerging as soft power. Much required militarization is seen as a threat by this soft power promoting ruling lobby as bulk of fighting soldiers in Indian military come from rural areas from certain opposite castes combinations. 

India like after 1962 and 65 wars, when Indra had to sign friendship treaty with Soviet Russia, is again at the cross roads. Military capabilities can not be built overnight and take at least 2o to 25 years. Lobbies controlling power and money doesn't want  militarization which will make certain isolated opposing castes more powerful. China is posing threat with a much strong power and modern technology and not willing to adjust on border dispute unless certain tracts like Tawang are given back to her. No Indian politician has vision or guts to make adjustments on borders to settle much needed dispute. Naturally they are now running towards USA for a protective shield. 

Clouds of WW III in hybrid form are looming. All major powers are desperate to create favorable power balance. Indian promise of neutrality as being harped now, will not stand to pressure as Indian economy is exposed and more aligned to USA and if US becomes major technology partner  in defense naturally it leaves no space except aligning with USA. In any case Indian global positioning in geographical terms connects it more to the Geo Politics in Indian ocean region which is dominated by US navies. In present situation when there is no hope of resolving disputes with China,  it makes more sense for India to align with USA.  

But is it so easy? Geo Political dynamics as explained above, makes Pakistan more influential than India. Pakistan is in better position to tilt power balance either in favour of China or USA in the region. Naturally she is bargaining hard and dictating terms. Politics in middle east specially stand of Saudi Arabia and Turkey has more influence on Pakistan than USA. China and Russia have been trying hard to convince them to opt for strategy shift. Situation in Syria has made things more complex. Though at one point of time it appeared that Saudi and Turkey may think of moving out of US influence but their geographical locations and distance from China makes them more dependent on Europe and USA and that possibility is ruled out. With Saudi and Turkey not able to break cords with USA will it be possible for Pakistan to drift away from USA? Looks NO? 

However, if Russia pitches to provide energy security to Pakistan, it surely gives her an option to associate with China. But Pakistani integration with Middle East and USA is so strong that it will surely be not an easy option for her. With US military influence in Afghanistan and Pakistan having visible and strong internal fault lines, it becomes more difficult for her to do so. 

Pakistan in present situation will surely try to bargain hard on Kashmir and that what they are doing right now.   

Indian choices are limited and it appears no political leader will be able to make decisions on these for next 25 years. Kashmir will be kept alive by her stake holders. China will not settle lesser than taking Tawang. Status quo will remain.   

How the Geo political situations unfold, only time will tell but one thing is sure. Minority ruling lobby of this country will keep India militarily weak and in time of crisis will opt for a super power providing her security. In 71 war it was Soviet Russia and now it is USA. A country having hundreds of years of history of slavery is still deep in coma. Corruption and greed for political power among minority ruling lobby playing dirty power politics of division, hate, fear and ignorance have made them weak, cowards and infested with coup phobia and they will surely try to outsource national security to a third party. Will Indian trillion dollar economy be able to survive impending clouds of WW III is the moot question? 

Why is India not considering best option of becoming active member of British Commonwealth is also surprising? In fact umbrella of British Commonwealth is the right choice in present situation. It provides India more options and will absorb US aggression in better way.

India has no choice except to build her defense R&D , defense industrial base and her military. Nukes gives fall sense of security and with weak military exposes the nation to global pressures. A trillion dollar economy can surly not survive without a strong military power.  Soft power under umbrella of a third party security will keep India weak and vulnerable for ever. India can not be compared with Japan under the protection umbrella of USA and she has a very strong economy and retains the capacities to build her forces in a short time. Japan maintains a strong defense R&D and industrial base. The strategy of developing India as soft power and as promoted by minority caste based lobby which controls political power in India, will fall flat in hours of crisis risking disintegration of the country.

India has no choice but to build a strong military power. let good sense prevail.