Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

All threads that are locked or marked for deletion will be moved to this forum. The topics will be cleared from this archive on the 1st and 16th of each month.
RayC
BRF Oldie
Posts: 4333
Joined: 16 Jan 2004 12:31

Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby RayC » 23 Mar 2009 19:51

Viv Sreenivasan wrote:Just to juxtapose my previous post, i will ask the question what problems does an advanced state like Australia face?

They include things like

-obesity
-effects of climate change
-binge drinking
-drug use
-mental illness

Bascially social factors. Its not like India doesnt suffer from these as well, but the overwhelming economic/environmental/governance issues just cover it up.

Being a third world nation sucks big time. What did we do to deserve it? But more importantly how can we get out of this rut? Big questions.


One cannot compare India with Australia.

What is the difference in the population figures?

Population matters!

Ten Richest Countries (based on 2004 PPP GNP per capita in international$)

1. Luxembourg ... $61,610
2. United States ... $39,820
3. Norway ... $38,680
4. Switzerland ... $35,660
5. Ireland ... $32,930
6. Iceland ... $32,370
7. Austria ... $31,800
8. Denmark ... $31,770
9. Hong Kong ... $31,560
10. Belgium ... $31,530


Read more: "World's Richest Countries: Luxembourg, Norway & Switzerland Lead Top Ten GNP Nations" - http://internationaltrade.suite101.com/ ... z0AaRPpN6k

Iceland has gone down under!

ramana
Forum Moderator
Posts: 55241
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby ramana » 23 Mar 2009 19:55

I have a request. Please dont mess this thread up with inane comments. It has taken a long time to get eh people thinking. Will not allow two posters to hijack or derail it. already its getting off track after persoanl attacks on mods and now irrelevant posts are made.

You both know who you are.

Abhi_G
BRFite
Posts: 688
Joined: 13 Aug 2008 21:42

Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby Abhi_G » 23 Mar 2009 20:03

Viv Sreenivasan wrote:Being a third world nation sucks big time. What did we do to deserve it? But more importantly how can we get out of this rut? Big questions.


Vivek, whining does not help. Please do realize what led to the huge impoverishment of India and how we survived. I am not giving excuses about the wrong doings of our own people. But if there is an iota of self respect left, hit out whenever somebody uses the Third World tag. Nobody can take your self respect away. Continuing to feel miserable about ones own self will not generate any solution. Third world is a *civilized* way of saying to former colonies that you do not belong to the first world societies.

shiv
BRF Oldie
Posts: 34982
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Pindliyon ka Gooda

Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby shiv » 23 Mar 2009 20:04

Viv Sreenivasan wrote:
-Overpopulation
-Corruption
-Endemic poverty
-Environmental degradation including air, water, food pollution
-Castesim
-Highest rate of child malnutrition in the world, even worse than subsaharan africa (WTF!)
-Communalism
-Sepratist movements (Naxals, Maoists etc)
-Widening gap between have's and have nots.
-Widespread hunger in lower classes (average indian caloric intake has FALLEN GRADUALLY since 1973)
-Bad Primary education facillites for poor.
-Dowry murders
-Ragging on campus facilites
-Religious Extremists like that idiot Mutalik who wants to ban Valentines day
-'Regional extremists'- like that idiot Raj Thackray who would probably prefer Maharashthra only for Marathas.
-A dumbass media that acts sometimes against national interest
-Pakistan and the problems that arise out of that state
-Crappy Infrastructure
-Power cuts
-Communist parties esp in bengal
-Idiot politicians like Mayawati
-Justice system that doesnt really deliver justice
-Intelligence failures like mumbai
-A gutless political establisment.
-


My apologies. While I did see red with your remarks about Mayawati - I like this list.

But have you seen this thread - particularly the first post by Samuel and a list by BSR Murthy - both of whom are conspicuously missing now?

viewtopic.php?p=538976#p538976

brihaspati
BRF Oldie
Posts: 12410
Joined: 19 Nov 2008 03:25

Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby brihaspati » 23 Mar 2009 20:40

Returning to the strategic scenario of axes and geopolitics quickly, my assessment of Russia is that the upcoming generations will go for ultranationalism and rallying behind a "tsar" - the same tendency that gave rise to the original Tsars, then Lenin, Stalin and a new start in Putin. In spite of Peter or Catherine or Alexander - Russia did not want to become European. In the 70's Soviet geographers began to toy with the idea that vast fertile plains served by glacial/perennial large river networks give rise to cooperative and internally homogenized societies that tend to support centralized administration. If we accept this as plausible, we can also see why the practical manifestation of such centralizing tendencies will develop bureaucracy, autocracy, and personality cults as focus of national mobiliziation.

Although in modern periods river networks play a less vital role in homogenizing society. These are now perhaps being taken over by other types of flow networks - of information and communication, railways etc. But these networks are yet to take up the coercive nature of rivers - which forced people to collaborate for largescale irrigation and hydraulic control as a matter of survival. So if this geograohical feature is still active to a certain extent, we woul dsee its effects for some time to come.

I would be cautious before throwing away Russia completely as a dud. But at the same time I would not see it rise to a "superpower" status immediately. But then the "superness" of all the acclaimed "supers" are now getting blunted down, and the world is probably getting ready for a readjustment to reality. I judge the the axial front to hold steady for some time - with neither side gaining much in their current positions. This also means that the possibility open up for people to seek to break this stationarity in other arenas of the front. But I would see that as potential opportunity for India.

India, has many shortcomings. Its greatest problem is perhaps too much of knowledge. It has such a complexity of views and so many way outs and justifications, that every and any behaviour can be justified by some means. So that not doing something when it is needed also has its justifications. The second I guess is the result of any society that faces annihilation repeatedly over very long periods of time. In any national survival encounter, the most dedicated and the best elements of the society get more destroyed than the less dedicated ones. So over time, the concentration of "survivor of physical self" at any cost, the most biologically basic of animal instintcs predominates over more human constructs like idealism, or national identity.

But India has been without such a decimating conflict for almost 60 years now, enough time for replacement of the active generations. The ideological memes of influence of the previous "compromisers" will survive for some time, but I don't estimate the Indians to have an extraordinary genetic trait for compromise at each and every step. Randomness ensures that the same process that produced paradigm shifters before will work here too.

Compromisers will always face this dilemma. By compromising and maintaining "peace" they provide conditions in which the proportion of the "dedicated" rise again, and then it is off-with-the-compromisers. I am not at all pessimistic of Indias' strategic future. But being optimistic should not be confused with being complacent. This is why I agonize about "what is to be done".

samuel
BRFite
Posts: 818
Joined: 03 Apr 2007 08:52

Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby samuel » 23 Mar 2009 20:58

Doc, greetings. unbelievable pile of work starting this year. It has gotten me looking at the astrology pages (which has been remarkable in its accuracy for me and probably every other sucker in my state). The astrologer states "...despite your best effort you will not be successful till April 14 of this year. Afterward, successes will come your way, one after the other." So...will be back in a few weeks...with some progress on two nearly dead threads!

S

Rudradev
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3647
Joined: 06 Apr 2003 12:31

Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby Rudradev » 23 Mar 2009 21:27

Russia has three priorities in the short-to-medium term.

1) Become the gas station/fuel depot for Europe. This is a countermove against NATO expansion that is being welcomed by the economic powers of western Europe because it offers them flexibility and latitude. Thus far, they relied largely on Middle Eastern oil as the energy source to fuel their economies, and thereby on the US, which was the guarantor and broker of Middle Eastern energy supply. This meant that they felt a great deal of pressure to follow along in America's orbit as far as cooperating with Washington's foreign policy agenda was concerned.

Having an alternate line of access to Central Asian energy brokered and supplied by Russia, therefore, provides France, Germany and others a welcome alternative to throwing in their lot with the Americans.

For the Russians, the optimal situation would be the acquisition of a China-like status over Europe... total economic integration with Western European nations, supplying their energy and providing a market for their products. If Russia had 5-600 million people that might even have been possible... however, they can't hope to provide a large enough consumer base to absorb the products of Western European economies by themselves, as things currently stand. So they must be content with supplying the energy. Meanwhile, Western European capitals will use Russian-guaranteed Central Asian energy supply lines and American-guaranteed Middle Eastern energy supply lines to hedge against each other.

2) To the south, ensure that Islamic extremism (and Anglo-American adventurism, which to Moscow are two sides of the same coin) do not compromise Russia's ability to guarantee the passage of Central Asian energy to Europe. Eventually, of course, the plan is to extend Russian influence to the warm water ports of the Indian Ocean... but Moscow is well aware that it has neither the population nor the military/economic muscle to achieve that just now.

To this end, Russia will cooperate with Iran, India and the Northern Alliance to ensure that no Pakistan-approved, Anglo-American backed dispsensation gains much traction in Afghanistan. That is the major theatre of contest. The CARs, despite America's best efforts, are likely to remain in the Russian orbit just as Central American nations (despite a Chavez or Castro here and there) remain firmly under American influence.

Recent American overtures to Iran, I believe, are not so much about seeking cooperation on Afghanistan, as about ensuring that Iran (with its new found wealth of influence in Iraq) doesn't use that influence to secure Russia a Mesopotamian gangway into the Middle East.

3) The East is interesting. During the Bush years, China and Russia cobbled together the SCO as a hedge against American adventurism in Central Asia and (though less openly alluded to) the Far East. China was hedging its position, however; its rampant financing of that very same American adventurism, both in Iraq and on Wall Street, brought many hundreds of billions into China's coffers over this period. China used that cash to pay the Russians for military technology, and to make investments in Russia that have been a cover for very large scale Chinese immigration into Russia (besides gaining Beijing economic leverage with Moscow).

With the new dispensation, however, it appears that Russia is beginning to grow a little wary of China's tightening embrace. China's wealth, invested into Russia, was in the form of dollars and US T-bills... both of which are losing traction as legal tender given the perilous state of the American economy. So the economic allure of China as a cash-paying customer for Russian goods is certainly fading. For their part, the Russians don't have a large enough population to absorb Chinese products as an export market... something that the Chinese are aggressively looking for, given the ill-health of Western consumer markets. So, the economic prospects for Sino-Russian cooperation are far from rosy at this point.

Washington, as Hillary Clinton's recent visit recently showed, is beginning to ardently court the strategic partnership of Beijing in geopolitical terms. The Americans are in financial crisis, and particularly vulnerable to Chinese dumping of American dollars and T-bills at this time... so Beijing is likely to have a disproportionately large degree of influence over the forthcoming agenda of this strategic partnership.

Beijing is keen to cash in on the new warmth that Washington is offering, to expand its own geopolitical influence. The thought must definitely have crossed Putin's mind that future Chinese expansion to the north or west is bound to come at the expense of Russia's sphere of influence.

Today, a nuclear North Korea remote-controlled (like Pakistan) from Beijing, keeps the South Koreans and the Japanese at bay. To a less openly stated extent, however, it also serves as a "back-off" warning to the Russian far east. It is the sort of wild card that could bring great pressure against Moscow should another Ussuri-type standoff occur (a possibility that isn't unthinkable, given progressive Chinese encroachment onto Russia's sparsely-populated North Asian backyard)... just as Pakistan would be a grave concern for New Delhi in the event of any future Indo-Chinese border conflict.

China, for its part, has always believed in hedging its bets and seizing the best opportunities available at any time. Hence it was quick to arrive at a pragmatic rapproachment with Kissinger in 1972; and hesitant to commit to a tripartite Russia-China-India axis, as mooted several times by Moscow, towards the end of the cold war. If the Americans offer enough GUBO to China in lieu of those rapidly-declining USD and T-Bills Beijing holds, China might be inclined to put its Bush-era SCO notions on a distant back-burner and work with Washington instead, establishing a Zaragosa that recognizes China's primacy over Asia.

The SCO, therefore, seems likely to stall for the near-to-medium term, barring unforeseen eventualities.

4) For all these reasons, I believe that Russia is more likely to seek alliances to its West and South than firm up its bonds with China in the East, at least in the near future. Further, Russia's machinations to its West will bring it into conflict with the American sphere of influence, and its moves to the South will bring it into conflict with the American as well as Chinese fronts of expansion.

I therefore disagree with the maps on the previously page that predict a uni-directional translocation of the heartland southward and eastward... the truth appears to be more like a Multiple Pendulum http://gallery.cabri.com/figures/physics/multPend.png

The heartland translocating to Central Asia/Caucasus and Afghanistan because of growing Anglo-American influence there, is matched by an equal and opposite impulse westward whereby Moscow is cultivating more influence in Paris, Bonn and Brussels than at any point over the last fifty years. I'd say that the center of gravity of Eurasian geopolitics remains in the Carpatho-Caucasian belt, and any forced translocation away from this center in one direction leads to an opposite impulse in the other direction.

brihaspati
BRF Oldie
Posts: 12410
Joined: 19 Nov 2008 03:25

Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby brihaspati » 24 Mar 2009 03:11

The continental European countries show all the features of "borderland" - sandwiched between Anglo-US front and the Russian. They balance and try to play off both sides against each other and maintain their own profiles. This makes them subject of suspicion from both sides.

The basic distrust in Europe of everything Russian however remains deep seated. This is simply balanced by energy market opportunities for EU and Russia.I am quite sceptical of any conflict here even in the next 20 years. The Caspian Caucasus sector of the axis is less active now than it was in the past. Georgia and Ukraine have reaaserted their multi-century spanning "identities" against the "imperial Russia". Russia showed its teeth recently, but both sides backed off from escalation. Neither can afford to take the risk of pushing the contest here. Any escalation here, and the whole region could actually play into the hands of Jihadi manipulation. So both sides will do everything to stop just short of war.

This leaves us Iran fiurther down and east as another typical border-syndrome. Both sides realize that trying to occupy Iran will push Shias and Sunnis together, so going in to forestall the other is problematic. So both try to win it over. This pushes the contact point further down and east to Afg and TSP. If TSP imploded, the front would literally flare up here. But my take is that, both sides are shaky about moving in here. And instead of collapsing the Talebjabis or TSP itself, they will each try to stabilize the structure. The driving factor will be the fear that any attempt at "dissolution/destruction" could lead to bolstering the Jihadis by the opposing side.

Moreover the haziness of Indian future wishes or trends regarding India's strategic role over the hinterland of the subcontinent also leads to paralysis of calculation in both sides.

Apart from the other socio-economic factors I mentioned before, these were the reasons I thought would move the conflict point further down to the lower end. But anyway, we are all speculating here!

svinayak
BRF Oldie
Posts: 14223
Joined: 09 Feb 1999 12:31

Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby svinayak » 24 Mar 2009 06:02

Image


Rudradev
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3647
Joined: 06 Apr 2003 12:31

Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby Rudradev » 24 Mar 2009 08:48

Samuel, interesting site and material... but worth noting it claims to be based in "Italy and China". One might want to weigh the material for Chinese bias... particularly the map of China showing its proclaimed sphere of influence.


Acharya, is there any reason why you are posting these maps oriented south upwards? Do elaborate.

svinayak
BRF Oldie
Posts: 14223
Joined: 09 Feb 1999 12:31

Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby svinayak » 24 Mar 2009 08:57

Rudradev wrote:
Acharya, is there any reason why you are posting these maps oriented south upwards? Do elaborate.

Yes, There are different ways of looking at the same thing.

If you look at the previous one in earlier pages it gives a orientation if you are in NA and looking at globe over the arctic.
Russia also looks at the southern rim of the Asia in a similar manner. Its flanks are exposed in East Europe, Central Asia and East Asia pivot. For Russia there is no threat on the southern arctic border.

I am waiting for others to analyse it and reply.

JwalaMukhi
BRFite
Posts: 1635
Joined: 28 Mar 2007 18:27

Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby JwalaMukhi » 24 Mar 2009 20:15

Rudradev wrote:Acharya, is there any reason why you are posting these maps oriented south upwards? Do elaborate.


Rudradevji, this is a very fascinating representation. Although the letterings should have been oriented not upside down. This basically unshackles the burden to look at map in a mold as preferred by north/western powers. The first time I came across this kind of representation was in a book "upside down" by a leftist Eduardo Galeno. http://archive.salon.com/books/review/2 ... index.html
This makes quite a lot of subtle changes to way one looks at the world. The conditioning that "when something goes south" generally referred to as worsening situation is not all that innocent and simple.
As such the mercator projections of the maps also basically put lot of spin on the actuality of the situation. For example, the nation of brazil is rendered less than on equal to Greenland in size. The author being from south america; has special reason to depict the maps in different fashion.
The way one represents things, also influences how one sees the world. If not, anything this type of representation, allows and forces one to reconstruct and challenges ones assumptions.
The Indian subcontinent, when represented in various other orientations on maps, will also help in allowing focus on the much forgotten north-east flank and Indian Ocean region.

vadivelu
BRFite -Trainee
Posts: 24
Joined: 17 Mar 2009 07:38

Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby vadivelu » 24 Mar 2009 21:27

brihaspati wrote:
India, has many shortcomings. Its greatest problem is perhaps too much of knowledge. It has such a complexity of views and so many way outs and justifications, that every and any behaviour can be justified by some means. So that not doing something when it is needed also has its justifications. The second I guess is the result of any society that faces annihilation repeatedly over very long periods of time. In any national survival encounter, the most dedicated and the best elements of the society get more destroyed than the less dedicated ones. So over time, the concentration of "survivor of physical self" at any cost, the most biologically basic of animal instintcs predominates over more human constructs like idealism, or national identity.

But India has been without such a decimating conflict for almost 60 years now, enough time for replacement of the active generations. The ideological memes of influence of the previous "compromisers" will survive for some time, but I don't estimate the Indians to have an extraordinary genetic trait for compromise at each and every step. Randomness ensures that the same process that produced paradigm shifters before will work here too.



brihaspathi - I wish I had your eloquence. What you have said above succinctly captures India's past and hints at its future potential.

India is changing - and radically. Nandan Nilakeni put it wonderfully as a demographic dividend that is kicking in. The vitality, enthusiasm and gung ho of India today is such a breath of fresh air.

I apologize for being critical of BRF - but I do sincerely feel it is jaded and stuck in a yesteryear rut. No flame baiting here - please believe me.

The attitude of India's power brokers is maturing and becoming very, very savvy. BRF is too obsessed with Pakistan, its threat to India.

The Puki bogeyman does not exist. No need to chuckle and gloat that it is a failed state. It really does not matter - until Indians let it get to them.

The response to the Mumbai attacks - harshly denigrated in BRF - was a stroke of diplomatic genius. The goodwill India has earned from its sedate and calculated reaction is monumental.

The move towards signing the CTBT (as reported in several news) is such a leviathan departure from the mindset of the past. The real centers of power will have very little to bitch and moan about India.

Has the global waves over the introduction of the Nano car been noticed here in the BRF? Another Indian power play in the engineering sector that will leave an indelible imprint.

Younger blood in the political scene is the next move towards an emerging India. I really do not care if it is Rahul G, Stalin and Marans. Ideologies will influence them but the opportunities that Indians are recognizing as theirs to be had will overcome fetters that greed and power hunger brings. Let the SOB's get 20 % - if 80% is ploughed back to the welfare of India it is adequate. After all that is how the successful West is run!

Drop the Puki phobia, quit the perennial whining of US and western perfidy, allow a bit of greed to dominate, unleash the desi propensity for scaling Everestian heights.

samuel
BRFite
Posts: 818
Joined: 03 Apr 2007 08:52

Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby samuel » 24 Mar 2009 22:06

Rudradev wrote:Samuel, interesting site and material... but worth noting it claims to be based in "Italy and China". One might want to weigh the material for Chinese bias... particularly the map of China showing its proclaimed sphere of influence.


Yeah, evident in the interview material on first link, too. I am surprised it does have interesting contributors, including B. Raman, for example in the "Pakistani Boomerang." The map (http://www.heartland.it/map_china.html) says it all from a Chinese perspective.

******
On another note, Mackinder's Heartland theory is now very old and there have been many changes, e.g. precision weapons and global connectivity to name two. It may be that these advances only change the manner in which the game is played, but not the game itself. Which leads to the question: can we get everyone to play a different game (that offers even better rewards to the winner and one we know how to play best)?

I wonder if it makes sense to, instead of controlling state, control the boundary conditions. That is, don't go for the heartland and axes and pivots. Go, instead for a totally different game, which is to find the boundaries where things go in and out in the heartland and find a way to control that. Then, if these dynamics are fluid in some sense, the interior will produce a solution that is consistent with the conditions we impose on boundaries. By exerting "benign" influence over the boundary and facilitating the interior to be full of "democracy and freedom," we may ensure better outcomes, especially for our (current) Indic worldview in contrast to the approach of hegemony. Obviously, one problem is that the boundary is, without loss of generality, much larger than the center, so it would take more work to regulate it. This is where we can eject the old "there can be only one" with it takes many little gods.

Along these lines, in the intermediate term, I wonder if it makes sense to open up "many little" shops at sparse locations along the geostrategic boundaries; an airbase here, an LNG terminal there, a university somewhere else. Nearly "self-sustaining," blended with the "locals," for "prolonged periods," before the graph that controls the boundaries becomes evident. In some way, is this already happening?

S

surinder
BRFite
Posts: 1421
Joined: 08 Apr 2005 06:57
Location: Badal Ki Chaaon Mein

Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby surinder » 24 Mar 2009 23:41

Samuel,

Interesting reads. You spoiled my morning with these enticing pdf's. I read the interview with the PLAF Chief in its entirety. A few things stand out: one is that this guy speaks with amazing command over the english language (I am assuming the interview was in english). He talks like a scholar, less like a soldier. Thirdly, it is amazing to see the chinese absorb all the war lessons like a sponge. They seem to be preparing for any showdown with Unlce (while we prepare for showdown with TSP only). Forthly, what stands out is how deeply enmeshed the thinking on war is in the Chinese leadership---The chinese leaders, CPC leaders & of course the great Mao & Deng are all thinkers on war. Corrospondongly, one can note how divorced from our leadership is. He says something that is so correct: "corrupt nations do not win foreign wars."

It is worth reading; I would encourage all to read it, if you haven't already.

(by the way, he mentions the 1962 war & calls it a military means to settle a political problem.)

ramana
Forum Moderator
Posts: 55241
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby ramana » 25 Mar 2009 00:42

Samuel, Think of frontiers instead of boundaries and that the next one is about knowldege and power over minds. We truly are at the begininig of a new millienium which will be different from the past with all its baggage- demography, resources, ideologies etc.

There is a reason to first concentrate on TSP. We on BRF first recognised the advantage of the Indian non-response.

brihaspati
BRF Oldie
Posts: 12410
Joined: 19 Nov 2008 03:25

Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby brihaspati » 25 Mar 2009 03:57

Surinder wrote
Forthly, what stands out is how deeply enmeshed the thinking on war is in the Chinese leadership---The chinese leaders, CPC leaders & of course the great Mao & Deng are all thinkers on war. Corrospondongly, one can note how divorced from our leadership is. He says something that is so correct: "corrupt nations do not win foreign wars."


In the case of Mao and Deng (he was a junior commander under Mao in the latter phase of the Long March), we have to see that these leaders developed far away from contact with the British or Americans. Mao's military thinking was long in gestation - from his admiration for legendary "Robinhood style groups" that operated from the fastnesses of remote or inaccessible mountains. The military thinking and enmeshing with politics was the result of the close cooperation between Mao and Chu Teh at a crucial phase of communist politics in China. Chu Teh had formally trained as a commander under the "nationalists" but increasingly leaned over to the communists. Mao had no formal military training. He was also not known as a military genius before the pair had escaped to the Chingkangshan mountains.

The fact is that, the vast portions of the interior were complete free from British or American penetration. Most of the Maoists had grown up relatively free of British political control and penetration of Chinese institutions. Thus we see, that communists like Mao show a remarkable sense of independence from external "leadership" - with Mao frequently ignoring (helped by circumstances) Comintern orders. One such order during the 1927-28 phase asked the CCP to o for city-based "proletarian" uprisings. The result was the Shanghai massacre. Mao and Chu pretended not to have come across the "order" and led their unit to the Chingkangshan mountains. Here Mao apparently won over the local bandits who also used this remote and harsh area as refuge, and even managed to enlist them into his "peasants army" (but this also included a portion of railroad workers and miners who survived the Chinag-kai-shek onslaught).

It is here that Mao formed the basis of his "base area" theory. The whole concept was based on the presence of fluid battle lines, with enemy lured deep inside territory, and finsihed off piecemeal -but guerrila units operate basically to protect and increase the core area where "politics" and the communist state develops. It was this particular circumstance, and the peculiar ideological history of Mao and Chu that shaped the CCP military-politico thinking.

In India such a thought process was impossible to develop, because of the deep penetration by the British and the pre-existing social fractures. Only one person had thought along similar lines as far as I know - look for the autobiography of Pulin Das, founder of the Dhaka Anushilan Samity. In particular his thoughts uncannily resemble Maoist thinking in his comments about what he apparently had suggested to Surya Sen ("go to the remote hilly areas in the frontiers, dominated by tribals, win them over, establish base areas and carry out flexible mobile warfare"). This circumstantial difference is also indicated in that all who had thought of "war-enmeshed-politics" had to attempt it from outside of India - the Gadar party, Rashbehari Bose and SCB.

Maoist thinking had one great failure that is usually not discussed by the CCP or its admirers. This politics failed when Chiang began encircling campaigns that slowly tightened the noose instead of going deep within in hot pursuit. This was I think the 5th campaign, that finally forced the CCP to abandon their southern base and cover it up as March to the North to fight the Japanese - the famous Long March. Although the reversal is represented as due to abandonment of Maoist mobile warfare, a realistic appraisal reveals that base areas could only operate if the area was sufficiently "remote".

Population density, and modern accessibility - even militarily, make Maoist strategy invalid now, especially for India. The CCP leadership is also making the same mistake - enmeshing war with political thinking will no longer work. Military solutions to political problems can boomerang. Chinese military solution to solve the Tibetan "problem" could actually unravel into a disastrous political solution to the military problem of the existence of the PLA on Tibetan soil.

yogi
BRFite -Trainee
Posts: 86
Joined: 18 Jun 2008 02:25

Seychelles

Postby yogi » 26 Mar 2009 05:36

Paradise goes bankrupt

Seychelles now has the unenviable stature of being perhaps the most indebted country in the world. Public and private debt totals $800 million - roughly the size of the country's entire economy.


Seychelles occupies a pretty important strategic location in the Indian Ocean. Why shouldn't India just go and buy that country? Or maybe, give some aid, in return for a naval base, and some level of assured tourist traffic. If India does not do this, then its very much possible, that China might take the place. See these:

Bigger role at IMF for China
China sets up $30M Africa Food Fund

I think a similar approach should be followed with Maldives as well. Maybe India can give a guarantee of some land for its citizens, when their islands are flooded due to global warming.

ramana
Forum Moderator
Posts: 55241
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby ramana » 26 Mar 2009 07:40

Foreign Policy Association has a lesson plan on Central Asia at their Great Decisions site

http://www.fpa.org/usr_doc/GDLP_2007_CentralAsia.pdf

ramana
Forum Moderator
Posts: 55241
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby ramana » 26 Mar 2009 07:49

If you look at the totality of the links posted above it looks like the future trajectory of the Indian Sub-continent was set during the British Foreign Policy of Sir Edward Grey.

Here is a google book to understand the dynamics.

British FP under Sir Edward Grey


Can someone download it using the complicated process?

svinayak
BRF Oldie
Posts: 14223
Joined: 09 Feb 1999 12:31

Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby svinayak » 26 Mar 2009 08:19

http://www.alibris.com/booksearch.detai ... aisbn-_-na


Power and Stability, British Foreign Policy, 1865-1965

by Erik Goldstein Brian McKercher

This work assesses British policy in those 100 years when Britain's international position diminished from the only global power to a regional European state. The chapters in the book look at how and why particular British foreign policies were constructed in four periods: before World War I, when British pre-eminence was unquestioned; in the interwar period, when British leaders looked to restructure and preserve the new international order imposed by the Paris Peace Conference; during World War II, when the British government looked to translate military success into diplomatic capital; and in the 1960s, when a weakened Britain made the final move to define its European role.


Publisher: Taylor & Francis(Routledge)

Date Published: 2003

ISBN-13: 9780714684420

ISBN: 0714684422

Description: BRAND NEW PAPERBACK. British power and stability-the historical record, zara steiner, power, sovereignty, and the great republic-anglo-american diplomatic relations in the era of the civil war, brian holden reid, almost a law of nature? -sir edward grey, the foreign office, and the balance of power in europe, 1905-1912, t.g. otte, apres la guerre finit, soldat anglais partit-anglo-french relations 1918-1925, alan sharp and keith jeffrey, far too dangerous a gamble? british intelligence and policy during the chanak crisis, september-october 1922, john r. ferris, the british official mind and the negotiation of the lausanne treaty, 1922-1923, erik goldstein, austen chamberlain and the continental balance of power-strategy, stability, and the league of nations, 1924-1929, b.j.c. mckercher, the british government, and the sale of arms, glyn stone, invading europe-the british army and its preparations for the normandy campaign, 1942-1944, david french, killing the mlf? the wilson government and nuclear sharing in europe, 1964-1966, john young. this work assesses british policy in those 100 years when britain's international position diminished from the only global power to a regional european state. the pursuit of stability drove british foreign policy even before 1865. these papers assess the implications of such a policy during the following 100 years when britain slid from being the only global power to a regional european state. (Paperback)

Languages: English

brihaspati
BRF Oldie
Posts: 12410
Joined: 19 Nov 2008 03:25

Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby brihaspati » 27 Mar 2009 03:31

When UK so quickly joined the US bandwagon for the expedition into AFG, I had tried to evaluate the concrete purpose behind British eagerness. Was it mere an attempted foreign policy image brush up? Were there assets in the region UK needed to protect for future use?

A simple possibility is that UK had wanted to mount such a campaign, but did not want to foot the bill - literally as well as figuratively. But why was it important at all for the UK to go in there? Their Afghan expeditions have had disastrous historical memories and consequences. US concerns are understandable, they did not want the negative foreign policy image burden of being alone among the "Euros" in this venture.

Does UK hope to gain a lot from the energy resources further afield in CAR? The logistics of hauling it from their origin to the UK domestic market is a very very long shot. And in the short run, such resources are almost surely going to be passed through grids (for purely economic reasons) that are firmly under non-UK control, even if UK manages to buy into a stake of the sources. By simple geo-strategic considerations, UK's position in CAR is always going to be weak, and its presence there is likely to be that of a scrawny chicken - forever trembling of the eyeing snow leopards or foxes who can snap its neck at any moment.

I do not have exact proportionate and comparative casualty figures among the NATO components in AFG. But my hunch is that UK suffers the least in proprtionate terms among the combatant groups. Wherever, UK snoops, one of the Abrahamic religions get promoted. The ordering in decreasing preference appears to be EJ, Judaism, Islam. Thus it surreptitiously handed over positions to the Jewish forces in Palestine even after giving the impression of being favouring the Arab cause (a betrayal similar to lines of post WWI) - here Judaism is favoured over Islam. But when it is a question of Islam versus other non-Abrahamic? If it can, the Anglo will favour the Muslim.

In consistency with long term British policy behaviour, what if another more sinister aspect of the Anglo were working here? Is it possible that UK went in to ensure that its Islamic assets in AFG and TSP were protected from collateral damage due to NATO action? The networks developed by the British secret services would serve as a two way conduit of information regarding relative troop and logistic flows. The intermediaries and the network will ensure that the British suffer the least casualties, and both sides will ensure that the main US effort gets isolated, frustrated and bogged down. The steady success rate of the Talebjabis on supply flows cannot only be attributed to TSP forwarding of info. It is also possible that UK was pressurized by the Saudis (whose Wahabi hate preachers apparently function with impugnity under Yard nose) to do this on pain of financial penalties.

The US action in AFG was perhaps not going entirely in favour of the Jihadis and hence the concerted campaign for a change of regime in the US, with covert or overt British participation. To accelerate the change and give a reminder a financial penalty was imposed on UK and US financial world. Both the obnoxious heads were scheduled to be removed anyway. The next stage was to bog down the US initiative and finally make it retreat. UK is able to trim US dominance in forien affairs, but more importantly in an area where it had so far been overshadowed by the US since 1947.

Preservation of the Jihadi bases is crucial for UK's long term ambition for the subcontinent. It needs to show that the independent subcontinental entities are "failed states" without UK overlordship. Longterm trends in the dynamic of economics into knowledge and information bases also makes UK see its old colonial golden goose with renewed interest. UK probably lready has tried its hand in this direction in the periphery - in Nepal, SL, BD, and perhaps more obviously in TSP. One way or the other all these have been very nearly shown to be "failed states". India alone remains somewhat intransigent.

Increasing vulnerability to Saudi and Chinese financial pressures can imply greater manipulations by the Brits that turn out in favour of the Jihadis. With such a friend, does the US need an enemy?

surinder
BRFite
Posts: 1421
Joined: 08 Apr 2005 06:57
Location: Badal Ki Chaaon Mein

Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby surinder » 27 Mar 2009 04:19

Brihaspati,

A simpler explanation might be that UK's intentions are somewhat reflexive. It is no longer a power to be, but it wants to project out power, or appearances to of it, on the US back. That might explain the UK's urging and goading to US to go to Iraq & A'stan. (Maggie urged Bush sr. with words more typical of goading school boys). Whatever oil UK needs is already safeguarded by Uncle.

But your explanations are juicy as well. Especially, the desire of UK to continue to cultivate the jihadees, especially the TSP'ians.

Prem
BRF Oldie
Posts: 21191
Joined: 01 Jul 1999 11:31
Location: Weighing and Waiting 8T Yconomy

Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby Prem » 27 Mar 2009 05:03

Talking about the root of fasad , United Queendom , it was Maggie Thatcher who goaded Senior Bush to Gulf war 1 which led to US stationing Army in Saudia and the birth of new OBL and 911, GW2 and GOAT. Look like US relied on Brirish expertise in Middle East and Indian Ocean in orchestring the battle plans and the result is obviously a mixture and not absolute success in achieving US objectives after investing Trillions in the war.
( Just noticed Surinder has already mentioned the old fag ,Thatcher)

samuel
BRFite
Posts: 818
Joined: 03 Apr 2007 08:52

Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby samuel » 27 Mar 2009 05:17

What scores is the UK trying to settle?

Prem
BRF Oldie
Posts: 21191
Joined: 01 Jul 1999 11:31
Location: Weighing and Waiting 8T Yconomy

Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby Prem » 27 Mar 2009 05:57

samuel wrote:What scores is the UK trying to settle?

It was Indian muscle which ran the Empire on the ground and it was Indian Indpendence which finished the empire . It did not take long for other colonies after 47.

svinayak
BRF Oldie
Posts: 14223
Joined: 09 Feb 1999 12:31

Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby svinayak » 27 Mar 2009 06:42

brihaspati wrote:When UK so quickly joined the US bandwagon for the expedition into AFG, I had tried to evaluate the concrete purpose behind British eagerness.
Does UK hope to gain a lot from the energy resources further afield in CAR?


X post

ramana wrote:One has to look at the rise of the West to get the complete picture. There is a story there. I now understand Balagangadhra's off chance remark about the struggle between Rome and C'pole.

Anglo-Saxon mollycoddling Arabist Islam is seen in India as a arrow against Ottomons. However it had a secondary goal against Tsarist Russia too. So it was one arrow two targets. Where it went wrong was in Clinton Bahadur (Quigley and Oxford trained) misguided attempt to use the Taliban for Central Asia.


Fall of Constantinople 1453

Spanish expansion and Rise of Spanish Empire 1400-1700 - (1521–1643)

Russian expansion from European region to the Heartland/Pacific region 1500-1700
At the beginning of the 19th century, Russia was the largest country in the world,
extending from the Arctic Ocean to the north to the Black Sea on the south, from the
Baltic Sea on the west to the Pacific Ocean on the east.

By the end of the 19th century the size of the empire was about 22,400,000 square kilometres
(8,600,000 sq mi) or almost 1/6 of the Earth's landmass; its only rival in size at the
time was the British Empire.

To counter this expansion the British started their expansion from 1600 towards the southern
rim of the Asian continent.

They came to India by 1650 and were expanding in North America by 1750s.

After British defeated French they were ousted from Americas and British consolidated India Rule.

After every expansion of Tzarist Russia into central Asia the British expanded in the subcontinent -


At the heart of the Great Game lay the willingness of Britain and Russia to subdue,
subvert, or subjugate the small independent states that lay between Russia and British India.
The British became the major power in the Indian sub-continent after the Treaty of Paris (1763)
and began to show interest in Afghanistan as early as their 1809 treaty with Shuja Shah Durrani.


1795 Defeat of Tipu Sultan

1805- Defeat of Marattas

First Anglo–Afghan War lasted from 1839 to 1842

1848 - Anglo Sikh War

Second Anglo-Afghan War, 1878–1880

1919- Third Anglo-Afghan War and Independence


At the start of the 19th century there were some 2000 miles separating British India
and the outlying regions of Tsarist Russia. Much of the land in between was unmapped.
The cities of Bukhara, Khiva, Merv, Kokand and Tashkent were virtually unknown to westerners.

As Imperial Russian expansion threatened to collide with the increasing British dominance
of the occupied lands of the Indian sub-continent, the two great empires played out a subtle
game of exploration, espionage and imperialistic diplomacy throughout Central Asia.
The conflict always threatened, but never quite developed into direct warfare between
the two sides. The centre of activity was in Afghanistan.

After the first WWI Persia was freed from Tzarist Russian Influence.



With the end of the Second World War and the beginning of the Cold War, the United States
displaced Britain as the global power, asserting its influence in the Middle East in pursuit
of oil, containment of the Soviet Union, and access to other resources. This period is sometimes
referred to as "The New Great Game" by commentators [5], and there are references in the military,
security, and diplomatic communities to "The Great Game" as an analogy or framework for events
involving India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and, more recently, the post-Soviet republics of Central Asia.

Iran was forced into a Revolution in 1979 cutting off Iran from Soviet Russia.
Soviet invasion of Afghaistan in 1980 brought the Anglo Americans into the Subcontinent again and their support
for Islamic fundamentalism changed the world after 100 years.

This Anglo American support to Islamic radicals in the modern globalized world changed the old Great Game.
Clinton administration support to the TALIBAN in the 1990s was the biggest input to the Central Asia which will have the longest impact in the history of the world.



In 1997, Zbigniew Brzezinski published "The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic
Imperatives" which advocated a 21st century version of the Great Game. Popular media have referred to
the current conflict between international forces and Taliban forces in Afghanistan as a New Great Game.

However interesting the possibility of intrigues as they appear it is doubtful that the Great Game
unfolded in such dramatic fashion. In fact, the entire concept of the Great Game may have greater root
in the British imagination than in the rugged passes of the Hindu Kush. Indian historian J.A. Naik cites
several British historians who claim that the Tsarist government never took military operations against
India seriously.

In addition, the meaning of “The Great Game” that is popular now does not reflect the real concerns of
the British in relation to India in the 19th century. The primary concern of British
authorities in India was control of the indigenous population, not preventing a Russian invasion.

But however spurious the assumptions regarding the Anglo-Russian rivalry of the 19th and early 20th centuries,
they are no less compelling. According to Yapp, “reading the history of the British Empire in India and
the Middle East one is struck by both the prominence and the unreality of strategic debates.” And the
prominence of the debates serves to obscure the real challenge the British faced in India which was their
internal control, not the external threats from the far side of the Himalayas. Nonetheless, the power of
the expanding Russian autocracy was a reality in Asia.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_largest_empires

Rudradev
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3647
Joined: 06 Apr 2003 12:31

Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby Rudradev » 27 Mar 2009 09:08

JwalaMukhi wrote:
Rudradev wrote:Acharya, is there any reason why you are posting these maps oriented south upwards? Do elaborate.


Rudradevji, this is a very fascinating representation. Although the letterings should have been oriented not upside down. This basically unshackles the burden to look at map in a mold as preferred by north/western powers. The first time I came across this kind of representation was in a book "upside down" by a leftist Eduardo Galeno. http://archive.salon.com/books/review/2 ... index.html
This makes quite a lot of subtle changes to way one looks at the world. The conditioning that "when something goes south" generally referred to as worsening situation is not all that innocent and simple.
As such the mercator projections of the maps also basically put lot of spin on the actuality of the situation. For example, the nation of brazil is rendered less than on equal to Greenland in size. The author being from south america; has special reason to depict the maps in different fashion.
The way one represents things, also influences how one sees the world. If not, anything this type of representation, allows and forces one to reconstruct and challenges ones assumptions.
The Indian subcontinent, when represented in various other orientations on maps, will also help in allowing focus on the much forgotten north-east flank and Indian Ocean region.


Jwalamukhiji, interesting: I will look up the Galeno book if I have a chance.

The influence of cartographic conventions on geopolitical perception is a long-standing debate. As you said, the Mercator projection has been criticized for distorting the shapes of nations to favor those of the industrialized north. Arno Peters came up with the "equal-area" Gall-Peters projection which more accurately depicts the relative area of nations across the world but is accused of distorting the shapes of coastlines more than the "conformal" Mercator. Here's a link with some more discussion of the topic:

http://www.odtmaps.com/behind_the_maps/ ... -guide.asp

Acharya, look at the color map towards the bottom of the above page, and the associated legend... it is related to what you are trying to convey.

surinder
BRFite
Posts: 1421
Joined: 08 Apr 2005 06:57
Location: Badal Ki Chaaon Mein

Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby surinder » 27 Mar 2009 10:38

Brihaspati, the more I think of the UK's involvement, the more interesting it seems. If we try to see it not as an isolated event, but look from UK's behaviour patterns, it would seem that UK might be playing both sides of the game. UK's history shows a very cunning knack of doing things subtly and playing both sides of the game. They often encourage others to fight and exhaust themselves, which ensures that UK is the sole remaining power.

Claiming to be friends of US and also friends of the Islamists, they have encouraged the US for war, while the public sentiment is shown to be bitterly opposed. In doing so, it might seek to hurt both the US and also castrate the Islamists (at least the more vocal segments of it). The two Iraq wars (or more accurately one Iraq war which has lasted 17 years) and the Afghan war have debilitated US financially. This ensures that US is cut to size. The US-Islamist fight weakens the US. This cutting of US to size fits with the UK past. While it is fatal to be UK's enemy, it is debilitating to be its friend.

Interesting thought process, Brihaspati.

svinayak
BRF Oldie
Posts: 14223
Joined: 09 Feb 1999 12:31

Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby svinayak » 27 Mar 2009 10:57

Rudradev wrote:
http://www.odtmaps.com/behind_the_maps/ ... -guide.asp

Acharya, look at the color map towards the bottom of the above page, and the associated legend... it is related to what you are trying to convey.

I am trying to convey something different.
But this is good start,

Look at the previous post on what is driving the western powers for 300 years.

Image

Emphasizing the size of Africa, demonstrating the countries that fit within the African continent. Black & white. Land areas (at equal area scale) shown inside Africa include USA, India, Argentina, New Zealand, China and all of Europe. A real eye-opener.

Check the polar map. All these maps are supposed to help in ciritcal thinking
Image
Last edited by svinayak on 27 Mar 2009 14:03, edited 1 time in total.

Rudradev
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3647
Joined: 06 Apr 2003 12:31

Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby Rudradev » 27 Mar 2009 12:52

As far as the British interest in Afghanistan is concerned:

British political machinations in the Middle East and Central Asia have little to do with advancing the ideological interests of Abrahamic religions except as a fortuitous by-product IMHO.

1) The Arabs used by T.E. Lawrence to bring down Ottoman Turkey were motivated by a sort of Militant Ethnocentrism that was encouraged and supported by the British. However, when Arab leaders began to show signs of developing true nationalism in later decades... a capacity to think beyond settling tribal scores and in terms of building modern, viable nation-states... the British were swift to demonize them. Thus the Nasserites and Ba'athists became targets to be swiftly undermined by all necessary means.

It appears that the Arabs were supported by the British only insofar as they were usefully-disruptive proxies, whose endless political churning would prevent the ascension of any strong native empire to control Middle Eastern egress into the Heartland. Should any Arab nation threaten to achieve ideological, economic, political and military dominance over the rest of the ME, it would have to be taken down. This is the reason why Saddam had to go, and why the British goaded the Americans to remove him.

2) It was to prevent the ascension of a new Turkish or Persian empire that the British began the process of parceling most of the old Ottoman possessions into Arab states at the end of WW1. Equally, it was to prevent the emergence of any single Arab power capable of uniting the Arab realms, that the Sykes-Picot cartographers drew the maps of these new Arab territories in the manner they did. Jordan was eventually given to Hashemite Bedouin rulers with a substantial Palestinian population. Lebanon was given to Christian Arabs but with Christians only barely above 50% of the population. Eretz Yisrael was set on the path to Zionist statehood by the Balfour declaration.

Saudi Arabia was accommodated and propped up, precisely because it did *not* have the capacity for imperial expansion, or was not seen to in the immediate postcolonial era. It was a very sparsely populated land with almost nothing of any value except the Muslim holy cities and its oil reserves. The oil reserves, for a large part, sat on land that was occupied by Shi'a Arab tribes (a fact that ensured the House of Saud's good faith in colluding with its Western sponsors to retain control of them). The relationship established by the Roosevelt-Ibn Saud understanding of 1935 continued to ensure the relative stability of this Western gas-station for another fifty years. Wahhabism had existed for two centuries, and Saudi Arabia had its share of Syed Qutb/Muslim Brotherhood adherents, but these passed under the Western radar and were dismissed for decades as a local aberration of little international consequence. Only towards the end of the twentieth century, during the Soviet-Afghan war, did the sympathy of enormously wealthy Saudi sheikhs fuel the emergence of Wahhabi Islamism as an international political force.

3) This entire process of using the Arabs as agents of disruption against Soviet-occupied Afghanistan, was undoubtedly inspired by the British exploits which brought down the Ottoman empire early in the century. There were two differences this time, however; first, the Arabs volunteering for anti-Soviet jihad were driven by a far more pan-Islamist outlook than T.E. Lawrence's proxy warriors...and second, they were being deployed beyond the traditional theatre of the Middle East, into Central Asia.

Despite these differences, the enlistment of Arab Islamists fulfilled the purpose of raising the costs of war to unacceptable levels for the Soviet Union, and ended in an apparent triumph for the West when the USSR retreated from Afghanistan and then collapsed.

4) Following the Soviet retreat, the Taliban were brought in to establish control over Afghanistan as a proxy government run by Pakistan's ISI. Now this was a major departure from erstwhile British-authored policy.

Firstly, the British had tended to use Arab and Islamist proxies only for the purpose of disrupting enemy states-- NEVER for building nations that could eventually develop their independent foreign policy options. In fact, the British had taken every measure to ensure that Arab militant ethnocentrism could never develop into modern Arab nationalism capable of building nation states. Yet in this case, the Taliban's American godfathers were colluding with the ISI to use Wahhab-inspired Pashtun Islamists in a very different type of role... establishing strategic control over a territory and governing it by proxy.

Secondly, there was no strong nation-state or empire that these Taliban were being deployed against. If anything they were under the control of what was arguably the most influential state player in the Afghan theatre following the Soviet retreat... Pakistan. So the purpose itself was not the disruption of an enemy strategic control over a particular theatre, but the creation of a new, friendly establishment in a target territory. This was very different from any purpose for which the West had used Arab or Islamist proxies at any time in the past.

It should be noted that Pakistan itself tried hard to follow the T.E. Lawrence example by drafting various Islamist veterans of the Soviet-Afghan war into its jihad against India in Kashmir... this was closer to the classic British strategy since the jihadis were being used as agents of disruption rather than conquest and proxy-governance. The strategy failed because of the far stronger resilience of the Indian Union as compared to the already-denuded Ottoman Empire of 1917; and also because the jihadis being sent against India were not Kashmiri, whereas the Arabs instigated by the British against Ottoman Turkey were natives of the lands where they operated.

But that's a different story. Let's get back to the American plan of using the Taliban, controlled by Pakistan, to establish a government-by-proxy in Afghanistan.

There was no precedent for such a strategy working. What was worse, the plan was stymied by another factor; growing anti-Americanism among the Wahhabi ideological and financial sponsors of the Taliban, in the aftermath of the post-Gulf-War deployment of American troops in Saudi Arabia. The confluence of ideology between Osama Bin Laden's International Islamic Front and the Taliban, led to a convergence of interests that resulted in 9-11; and we all know the rest of that story.

5) Today the picture has changed once again. The United States rushed in after 9-11 to establish a new Afghan regime; and yet, over the rest of the present decade, America has sought by various acts of commission and omission to ensure that the new Afghan regime remained a non-starter.

It has created an Afghan National Army, but neglected to equip it well enough to ensure a decisive military edge over its political rivals. It has pledged to help reconstruct Afghanistan into a modern nation, but then not only underfunded the effort but leaned on other nations like India to curtail their sincere nation-building efforts under Pakistani pressure. It has placed Hamid Karzai in Kabul but denied him the means to assert his authority, requiring him to cut all sorts of deals with local drug-dealing warlords for his government's survival... and on top of this, it has turned around and accused him of "corruption" for doing so.

This apparent self-sabotage is reflective, I believe, of a contradiction in the evolution of US strategy in Central Asia. On the one hand, the US was concerned about Afghanistan functioning as a base of operations for an International Islamic Front that could threaten Western interests internationally. That had to be stopped, and the Taliban (1996 model) had to be removed.

On the other hand, the US (influenced by British "Great Game" geopolitical doctrine) did not want to see the emergence of a strong state IN Afghanistan. This is because such a state, if it emerged, would control the Central Asian egress to the Heartland. If such a state came into being, it would probably be disposed against the Western proxy Pakistan (as it had been since the days of Daoud Khan)... and fall under the influence of other neighbourhood powers like Iran, Russia and India.

The emergence of a strong, independent Afghanistan forming a bloc with Iran, Russia and India to control Central Asian access to the Heartland, would have been a major geopolitical defeat for the West. It was as undesirable an outcome as the continuing existence in Afghanistan of a Taliban-run base for the International Islamic Front.

6) The priority of the US thus became the retention of a weak government in Kabul that relied on Western sponsorship for its very survival (and hence had no option of allying itself with the Iranians, Russians or Indians).

The US could NOT achieve this by contributing to nation-building in Afghanistan; nation-building would have created a strong Afghan nation that would then have the freedom to exercise independent options. On the other hand, the US could NOT allow the Kabul regime to grow so weak that it was overrun by the Taliban and the International Islamic Front once again.

This meant that the only option available to the US, and to NATO by extension, was to maintain a troop presence in Afghanistan and become enmeshed in a protracted military conflict against the insurrectionists. The US and NATO have to keep their troops there because they must ensure that the Taliban do not reassert themselves over the whole of Afghanistan; yet, they cannot strengthen Karzai enough to fight the Taliban by himself because that would also make him powerful enough to seek foreign policy options independent of the Western agenda. As a result of having let themselves into such a monkey trap, the US and NATO find themselves at the mercy of the Pakistanis... they rely on Islamabad to keep supply lines open to Afghanistan, and so they must indulge Islamabad's sponsorship of Taliban insurrectionists against the Karzai government in Kabul.

The primary aim of the UK today is to find a way out of this untenable dilemma. It wants to find some way to pull American and NATO forces out of Afghanistan; yet, it does want to see Kabul become powerful enough to resist Pakistani dominance or evolve independent alliances with Iran, Russia or India. It is in this context, I believe, that the British (through Saudi intermediaries) are pushing for a greater accommodation of the Taliban in any future dispensation in Kabul.

Stemming from their experience since the days of T.E. Lawrence, the British have mastered the art of creating dispensations that can disrupt the integrity or emergence of rival political blocs, but which are themselves too fragile to succeed without depending on Western help.

It appears that the British today want the Taliban to be included as part of an Afghan coalition, precisely because they know that such a coalition would never succeed in establishing a strong state. As part of the coalition, Taliban will prove a disruptive force against the emergence of a Moscow-Teheran-Kabul-Delhi bloc, just as Lawrence's Arabs proved against Ottoman Turkey. Yet, because the Taliban would no longer be fighting against Kabul in a military insurrection, the need to maintain a Western military presence in Afghanistan would be obviated and NATO could go home.

7) There is only one pitfall in the above scenario... what if the Taliban, backed by Pakistan, made a grab for sole dominance of Afghanistan once again? What if the International Islamic Front were able to reclaim their base in a Taliban-run Afghanistan?

Insuring against this eventuality is where I believe the Saudis come in. As guarantors of the new Taliban-accommodating establishment in Kabul, they would control the purse strings and ensure that the Taliban never had the necessary finances to attempt a military conquest of Afghanistan on their own. The Pakistanis would be kept happy, and deterred from adventurism, by a number of concessions: billions of dollars in Kerry-Lugar aid, military assistance against India, pressure against New Delhi to "resolve Kashmir", and most of all the assurance that the new Taliban-inclusive dispensation in Kabul would not be "pro-India".

Iran would be stymied by an unstable, pro-Wahhabi dispensation in Kabul in addition to the Western proxy in Islamabad... balancing out the advantages they accrued as a result of the Western invasion of Iraq.

India would have to contend once again with the spectre of "strategic depth" and a second-strike capacity for Pakistani nukes, afforded by a tightly knit Sunni axis of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Such an axis, brokered and financed by the West, would also curb the increase of Chinese influence in Pakistan.

Finally, Russia would see its peripheral security menaced by a Taliban-inclusive dispensation in Kabul... and its efforts to guarantee the supply of Central Asian energy to Western Europe would suffer a setback.

In all of these ways, Britain seeks to reverse the "West-vs-Islam" course that the "clash of civilizations" has taken over the past decade, and bring southern Central Asia back into the Western orbit at the least possible military cost to NATO. This is what they aim to achieve by pushing for the Saudi-brokered accommodation of the Taliban into the new Afghan government. Their success will benefit Pakistan enormously. It will come at the expense of Iran, Russia and most of all India.

It is imperative that the Britain, a primary civilizational enemy of Bharat and her people, must fail in this venture. No doubt a significant cross-section of the American establishment, including the CIA and the former-CIA Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, seem entirely sold on the idea of Taliban accommodation and Pakistan appeasement as the best means of preserving Anglo-American geopolitical interests in Afghanistan. However, there appear to be others in Washington who aren't quite as convinced about the plausibility of such a gambit as the British propose. Let's hope they prevail-- we may find out more when Obama makes his official statement tomorrow.

Dilbu
BRF Oldie
Posts: 6617
Joined: 07 Nov 2007 22:53
Location: Deep in the badlands of BRFATA

Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby Dilbu » 27 Mar 2009 13:55

Rudradevji very clear and precise analysis indeed. Thanks.

brihaspati
BRF Oldie
Posts: 12410
Joined: 19 Nov 2008 03:25

Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby brihaspati » 27 Mar 2009 18:29

Rudradevji,
Second almost all your details. There is one thing which I think however should not be reduced in importance to explain future Brit behaviour. Their position in between ideologically over racial viewpoint from one extreme of the Saxonic/Germanic on mainland Europe to the other extreme (extremes possible within the basic European mindset, whose most "liberal" could still be quite extreme racist from our viewpoints) on American soil. It is this inherent racist shortsightedness in strategic thinking that forced them ultimately to relinquish direct control over the colonies where they had failed to change the demographic picture in favour of the "white British". Just imagine, if only they had allowed the Indian elite like Motilal to aspire and get coopted into the real power stratucture at the topmost levels - they might still be happily ruling in India.

As you yourself recognize - they are the civilizational enemy of India, which implies an ideological mindset at least in the driving engines of British state, about the ideological dissonance between the two worldviews. When I said preference ordering of the Abrahamic, I explained further but did not explicitly spell out the condition, "given all else equal" the preference ordering will act in the British mind. This is an important ideological point that must be kept in mind while analyzing hidden motivations in forces such as the Brits represent. Economic and other material motivations are very very important no doubt, but ideological perceptions - perceptions that help to "feel good/superior" are strong motivating factors especially in people who are perhaps very much aware of their "lowliness" and who really perhaps dont see much good in themsleves anyway. The longstanding exposure to "guilt-cults" like that of the Abrahamics are no help either.

Britain will be quite happy to let Jihadis overrun most parts of India. They know that by leading the US into the minefield of Islamic Jihad and letting the Jihadis operate from within British support networks (NGO's, Saudi religious establishments etc in UK proper) they have eliminated one previous paramour of the Islamic, USA from competition for Islamic caresses. Russia has been suitably branded to lose Islamic Ishq already. So only two suitors now remain for the hand of this insanely devious and violent lady - UK and China. And they have now joined hands in what almost looks like a hot menage-a-trois. For both, a Jihadi mauling of India is not only not objectionable, but also immensely desirable.

UK can have the satisfaction of seeing a potential field ally of the US neutralized, revenge for 1947, and a potential contender for dominance of the Indian Ocean. It also thinks it can understand and handle Islam far better than "Hinduism" - after all the Islamic in India and the Middle East proved the staunchest of allies during WWII (in spite of the large number of "Hindus" and Sikhs who fought for them - which is another angle to their ideological biases) as rewarded by them politically in India.

As Rudradev correctly points out, the calculation here is that the Saudis and PRC will keep the Talebs in line financially. It is here that the British mind fails - in thinking that everyone else can be bought. They forget that the very ideological orthodoxy that colours their own, could also be available in others, and especially in the proselytizing Abrahamic branches - where power motivations play important roles besides mere material desires. Once Talebs can ensure India's fall, nothing will stop the dog from turning against its master. By destroying India, UK will seal its fate - for the Caliphate will be unchallenged in the Indian Ocean and will turn its fangs towards the West.

We have to think of a purge of the "Anglo" from the Indian state. Emotions, feelings of servility and courtiership as expressed by MMS in his Oxford speech indicate the level of ideological subservience our elite has towards the British. Its a pity though that I have to write this in English - for we hate each others Indic languages much more than the alien colonizer's language. :(

samuel
BRFite
Posts: 818
Joined: 03 Apr 2007 08:52

Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby samuel » 27 Mar 2009 19:06

Has there been a purge or even attempted purge of 'imperialism' and 'empire' in British power centers?
Is American representation of British continuation convenience, coincidence or planned?
S

Keshav
BRFite
Posts: 633
Joined: 20 Sep 2007 08:53
Location: USA
Contact:

Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby Keshav » 27 Mar 2009 19:18

Rudradev -
The geopolitical analysis you offered was great, but your odd hatred for the British ridiculously skews their efforts in light of 19th century/early 20th century values and tactics. This whole idea that Britain is the enemy of India makes you sound as old as Advani.

As an Indian, you should be aware of what can change in 50 years. So too have the British changed - they are a spent force.

The only entity who has the drive, the ambition, and the cunning is America. The British are bored and old while America is young, idealistic, with a religious fervor of hope that even atheists share. America is the linchpin in Central Asian dominance, not Britain. America will replace the shopkeepers as a main player of the Great Game using British tactics but I have a feeling Britain will have little to offer. There are other players to be worried, but Europe is a collaborater, not a leader - Britain might gun for talking with the Taliban but unless America pulls the trigger, nothing will happen.

At the most, it will give financial and moral support but I honestly doubt that any full scale military engagement are in order, at least not for a long time. They've pulled out of Iraq, which is why I say that.

Abhi_G
BRFite
Posts: 688
Joined: 13 Aug 2008 21:42

Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby Abhi_G » 27 Mar 2009 19:54

Looking at the geopolitics of the Brits, it hardly seems that they are a spent force. Just to give two examples. Right across the English channel, A.Q.Khan could *steal* nuclear secrets from a NATO ally. Wonder if it was merely stealing or the objective of destabilizing India was at work. Looks like a potential destabilization of India works fine for the entire former colonial establishment - each tried a stake in India until only one emerged supreme. Secondly, in the days after the "former enemy" Gaddaffi came out so called "clean", the British arm makers were making a beeline for Libya in 2004.

surinder
BRFite
Posts: 1421
Joined: 08 Apr 2005 06:57
Location: Badal Ki Chaaon Mein

Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby surinder » 27 Mar 2009 21:26

Rudradev wrote:
In all of these ways, Britain seeks to reverse the "West-vs-Islam" course that the "clash of civilizations" has taken over the past decade, and bring southern Central Asia back into the Western orbit at the least possible military cost to NATO

Rudradev,

While I agree with most of what you say, there is one thing I think is important. I do not think UK is fighting for "Western" interests, it is fighting for UK's interests. UK would like to see other European and US slightly neutralized and subdued. It would not mind a low-intensity confict to sap European and US energies and keep them down, but would like to see themselves rise above. This is, if we look carefully, same as the old "Balance of Power" game. It wants to India balanced by TSP+PRC; US+Europe balanced by Islaemessts/Jeahadis, US balanced by PRC. Just like in the 18 & 19th century UK encouraged European conflict to maximize its power and remove competetors.

surinder
BRFite
Posts: 1421
Joined: 08 Apr 2005 06:57
Location: Badal Ki Chaaon Mein

Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby surinder » 27 Mar 2009 21:27

brihaspati wrote:Its a pity though that I have to write this in English - for we hate each others Indic languages much more than the alien colonizer's language. :(


My sentiments exactly!!!

ramana
Forum Moderator
Posts: 55241
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: Future strategic scenario for the Indian Subcontinent

Postby ramana » 27 Mar 2009 21:48

surinder wrote:
brihaspati wrote:Its a pity though that I have to write this in English - for we hate each others Indic languages much more than the alien colonizer's language. :(


My sentiments exactly!!!


I dont. In another 20 years the number of Indians who speak and understand English will be the largets in the world and English will become another Indian language just as Urdu is. If you combine tis with the fact that India will also have the largest number of people with IQ > 120 this is an unbeatable combination to leverage in the new Knowledge millienium. What we need are Indian thoughts communicated with Indian minds and then to others.


Return to “Trash Can Archive”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 69 guests