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Jedburgh 04-19-2006 10:34 PM

War and Escalation in South Asia
...another RAND pub: War and Escalation in South Asia

The advent of two nuclear powers in South Asia, discoveries of nuclear trafficking, and insurgencies and terrorism that threaten important U.S. interests and objectives directly have transformed the region from a strategic backwater into a primary theater of concern for the United States. The United States, to a great extent free of the restrictions of earlier sanction regimes and attentive to the region’s central role in the global war on terrorism (GWOT), has engaged the states of South Asia aggressively with a wide variety of policy initiatives. Despite the diversity of policy instruments, few are very powerful; indeed, only the U.S. military seems to offer many options for Washington to intensify further its security cooperation and influence in the region. This monograph highlights key factors in the region that imperil U.S. interests, and suggests how and where the U.S. military might play an expanded, influential role. The report notes that the current U.S. military force posture, disposition, and lines of command may not be optimal, given South Asia’s new status in the U.S. strategic calculus, and suggests seven key steps the military might take to improve its ability to advance and defend U.S. interests, not only in South Asia, but beyond it, including the Middle East and Asia at large. Beyond the specifics, however, the broader message arising from this analysis is straightforward: the region’s salience for U.S. policy interests has increased dramatically. It is therefore prudent to intensify Washington’s involvement in the region and to devote the resources necessary to become more influential with the governments within the region. Given the area’s potential for violence, it is also prudent to shape a part of the U.S. military to meet the potential crises emanating from South Asia, just as the United States once shaped its military presence in Western Europe for the contingencies of the Cold War.

Ray 11-23-2011 08:01 PM

U.S.-India Engagement: Laying the Foundations for a New Asian Security Architecture
U.S.-India Engagement: Laying the Foundations for a New Asian Security Architecture

Ray 06-14-2012 04:57 AM

Why India is crucial to the USA in the Asia-Pacific region


By Leon E. Panetta*
IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint
NEW DELHI (IDN) - America is at a turning point. After a decade of war, we are developing a new defence strategy – a central feature of which is a "rebalancing" toward the Asia-Pacific region. In particular, we will expand our military partnerships and our presence in the arc extending from the Western Pacific and East Asia into the Indian Ocean region and South Asia.
Defence cooperation with India is a linchpin in this strategy. India is one of the largest and most dynamic countries in the region and the world, with one of the most capable militaries. India also shares with the United States a strong commitment to a set of principles that help maintain international security and prosperity......

Ray 06-14-2012 08:36 AM


Growing Indo-US partnership
Need to look at domestic, regional realities

he writer is associated with the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), New Delhi.

Finally, it may be noted that despite having shared values and shared interests because of the different state of domestic and regional environments, India and the US sometimes may appear to be taking different positions and postures on certain issues which should not be interpreted that they are working against each other.

Fuchs 06-14-2012 10:53 AM


... a new defence strategy – a central feature of which is a "rebalancing" toward the Asia-Pacific region. In particular, we will expand our military partnerships and our presence in ...
This is quite some nonsense.

increased entanglement = increased probability of war = no defence strategy

increased presence in distant places = greater incentives for first strike, greater entanglement = no defence strategy

Panetta and others don't actually do or talk about defence, they do and talk about great power games. It's a small club's favourite leisure and of little use but great cost to the rest of their nation.

Ray 06-14-2012 07:49 PM

Politics is all about power and games!

Dayuhan 06-15-2012 12:22 AM


Originally Posted by Fuchs (Post 137146)
Panetta and others don't actually do or talk about defence, they do and talk about great power games. It's a small club's favourite leisure and of little use but great cost to the rest of their nation.

The US government habitually classifies all military affairs under "defence"... witness, for example, Panetta's job title. It's a fairly transparent artifice, but the tradition is so well implanted that the incongruity is seldom noticed.

davidbfpo 07-23-2012 09:50 PM

Forging an Indian Partnership
I picked up a hard copy of the USAF quarterly 'Strategic Studies Quarterly' at a London conference a week ago, having spotted an article 'Forging an Indian Partnership' and forwarded it to Ray, who responded:

It was fascinating and spot on!

Ray 07-24-2012 06:26 AM

The article articulates the strategic necessity for the Partnership and the problem areas.

It indicates rather well how it has to be balanced to ensure that the core issues are in play.

Ray 07-24-2012 06:29 AM

This article from SAAG should also be read so that the perspective to the Strategic Relationship can be well understood.


davidbfpo 10-04-2012 10:39 AM

India as a security provider
A commentary by a previously unheard of US think tank on Asian matters, 'India’s Military Modernization: Plans and Strategic Underpinnings':

It certainly has some intriguing points, notably on out of area operations.

It ends with:

India’s military modernization, however slow it might be, will lead to a qualitative increase in defense cooperation with the United States and other strategic partners by enhancing the capabilities of the Indian armed forces for joint coalition operations, if they are in India’s national interest. Overall, India will gradually acquire the capability to act as a net provider of security in South Asia and the Indian Ocean region. This positive development will allow strategic partners like the United States to reduce their military commitments to the region to a limited extent. Hence, India’s modernization efforts will enhance and further cement U.S.-India relations.

Ray 10-05-2012 05:55 PM

Brig Gurmeet Kanwal is an interesting chap.

With the Pakistanis he is keen on selling out Siachen whereby China will have one link between the Shaksgam Valley (ceded by Pakistan to China), Karakorum and Aksai Chin and here, on the other hand, he sings a different tune.

Ray 10-05-2012 06:03 PM

It's time to melt frost in Siachen
GURMEET KANWAL Apr 22, 2012, 01.26AM IST


However, India should insist on building a clause into the demilitarisation agreement that in case of the agreement is violated, both sides reserve the right to take whatever action they deem fit, including offensive military measures. Simultaneously with the withdrawal of its troops from the glacial heights, India should create and maintain suitably structured reserves for counter-action across the LoC at a point of its choosing. These reserves would also be handy for intervention on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China should it ever become necessary.

Poor chap, he does not remember how with all safeguards in place and all the peace parleys and bus ride diplomacy, Pakistan surprised India with a Kargil!


India should create and maintain suitably structured reserves for counter-action across the LoC at a point of its choosing.
This is exactly what a person who has no idea of High Altitude Warfare sitting in an armchair would advocate.

Fancy English does not change ground realities!

Bill Moore 10-21-2012 03:11 AM

1962′s Other Crisis: India and China go to War


Fifty years ago, on the morning of October 20, 1962, China’s People’s Liberation Army assaulted Indian military positions along their disputed frontier. The Chinese attack, justified domestically and abroad as self-defense, resulted in the only major armed conflict in modern times between the world’s two most populous countries. The Indian military, poorly prepared and naively led, was routed. A second major Chinese assault the following month forced India’s Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to write to President John F. Kennedy in desperation to request air support from the United States. Having brought India to its knees, Beijing declared a unilateral ceasefire on November 21, and the PLA withdrew to its pre-war positions.

Ray 10-21-2012 07:31 AM

That was 50 years ago.


By muscling up to India, what is China seeking to achieve? The present situation, ominously, is no different in several key aspects from the one that prevailed in the run-up to the 1962 war.

● The aim of “Mao’s India war” in 1962, as Harvard scholar Roderick MacFarquhar has called it, was largely political: to cut India to size by demolishing what it represented—a democratic alternative to China’s autocracy. The swiftness and force with which Mao Zedong defeated India helped discredit the Indian model, boost China’s international image, and consolidate Mao’s internal power. The return of the China-India pairing decades later riles Beijing.

● Just as the Dalai Lama’s flight to India in 1959 set the stage for the Chinese military attack, the exiled Tibetan leader today has become a bigger challenge for China than ever. The continuing security clampdown across the Tibetan plateau since the March 2008 Tibetan uprising parallels the harsh Chinese crackdown in Tibet during 1959-62.

● The prevailing pattern of cross-frontier incursions and other border incidents is no different than the situation that led up to the 1962 war. Yet, India is repeating the same mistake by playing down the Chinese intrusions. Gratuitously stretching the truth, Indian officials say the incursions are the result of differing perceptions about the line of control. But which side has refused to define the line of control? It speaks for itself that China hasn’t offered this excuse. The fact is that Chinese forces are intruding even into Utttarakhand—the only sector where the line of control has been clarified by an exchange of maps—and into Sikkim, whose 206-km border with Tibet is recognised by Beijing.

● The 1962 war occurred against the backdrop of China instigating and arming insurgents in India’s northeast. Although such Chinese activities ceased after Mao’s death, China has come full circle today, with Chinese-made arms increasingly flowing into guerrilla ranks in northeast India via Burmese front organisations. In fact, Pakistan-based terrorists targeting India also rely on Chinese arms.

● China’s pre-1962 psychological war is returning. In recent years, Beijing has employed its state-run media and nationalistic websites to warn of another armed conflict. It is a throwback to the coarse rhetoric China had used in its build-up to the 1962 war. Its People’s Daily, for example, has warned India to weigh “the consequences of a potential confrontation with China.” China merrily builds strategic projects in an internationally disputed area like PoK but responds with crude threats when others explore just for oil in the South China Sea.

● Just as India in the early 1960s retreated to a defensive position in the border negotiations after having undermined its leverage through a formal acceptance of the “Tibet region of China,” the spotlight now is on China’s revived Tibet-linked claim to Arunachal rather than on the core issue, Tibet itself. India, with its focus on process than results, has remained locked in continuous border negotiations with China since 1981—the longest and the most-fruitless process between any two nations post-Second World War. This process has only aided China’s containment-with-engagement strategy.

● In the same way that India under Nehru unwittingly created the context to embolden Beijing to wage aggression, New Delhi is again staring at the consequences of a mismanagement of relations. The more China’s trade surplus with India has swelled—jumping from $2 billion in 2002 to more than $30 billion now—the greater has been its condescension toward India. To make matters worse, the insidious, V.K. Krishna Menon-style shadow has returned to haunt Indian defence management and policy. India has never had more clueless defence and foreign ministers or a weaker Prime Minister with a credibility problem than it does today.

Ray 10-21-2012 07:37 AM

The Himalayan Stalemate
Retracing the India-China Dispute


Ray 10-21-2012 07:44 AM

The issue of China mentioned in the above posts are aide memoirs for understanding U.S.-India Engagement: Laying the Foundations for a New Asian Security Architecture.

Bill Moore 10-21-2012 06:33 PM


Extracted from the document you provided a link to, overall does India's leadership concur with the US view depicted below?


It is perhaps fair to surmise that US policy is not inclined in pursuing a zero-sum contest with China in South Asia and the rationale in opening a dialogue with Beijing on the subcontinent is to reassure China about US intentions and seek collaboration for US objectives in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Simultaneously, Washington is seeking to reassure India that a Cold War-type condominial relationship with China will not reappear in South Asia. Robert Blake, US diplomat for South Asia, remarked after his bilateral interactions with his Chinese interlocutors, “We understand that the Chinese understand that India can be a very important force for good and for stability in this part of the region. So it is important for all of us to work with India.”58 The US and India too, held their first strategic dialogue at the level of Foreign Ministers in June 2010.

Ray 10-21-2012 07:36 PM

I wonder if anyone believes that US line.

It merely sounds too ambivalent with loopholes.

It is the Bush dictum - either you are with us or against us - it is the reverse throwback to the US.

But then, I presume India has to make the best of a bad bargain!

I wonder if anyone trusts the Red Chinese.


“We understand that the Chinese understand that India can be a very important force for good and for stability in this part of the region. So it is important for all of us to work with India.”
This is a real gas!

The Chinese understand anything beyond their own expansionist interests? One has to check the Chinese history of imperialist expansionism to include Mao and his Red Chinese successors!

The concept of Han culture began with the Shang dynasty, 1750 -1040 BC, whose political centre was located north of the Yellow River. The Shang provided China’s first written history as well as the assertion of central cultural superiority over the surrounding people by designating as barbarians everyone who did not yet acknowledge the central government supremacy. The Chinese distinguished between ‘raw barbarians’ (shengfan) or the unassimilated people and the ‘cooked barbarians’ (shufan) or assimilated taxpayers who enjoyed the fruits of Chinese culture. For example, Han Chinese officials separated the ‘cooked’ Li of the coast of Hainan, who enjoyed the benefits of Chinese civilisation, from the wild ‘uncooked’ Li of the central forests, far from the influences of Han culture.

Barbarians were given generic names in the Chinese classics and histories: the Yi barbarians to the east, the Man to the South, the Rong to the west and Di to the north (when westerners arrived by sea, they were officially designated until the late 19th century as Yi). Until the 1930s, the names of outgroups (wai ren) were commonly written with an animal radical: the Di, the northern tribe, were linked to the Dog; the Man and the Min of the south were characterised with reptiles; the Qiang was written with a sheep radical. This reflected the Han Chinese conviction that civilisation and culture were linked with humanity; alien groups living outside the pale of Chinese society were regarded as inhuman savages. To be labelled a barbarian was a cultural rather than racial distinction.

That the custom of sharply distinguishing went along with calling China the Middle Kingdom (zhong guo), , which began by ruling the Central Plain (zhongyang) in North China. Rather than using outright military conquest of outsiders, the theory of ‘using the Chinese ways to transform the barbarians’ (yongxiabianyi) was promulgated. By Chinese cultural absorption or racial integration through intermarriage, a barbarian could become Han Chinese (hanhua). To be counted within China, groups accepted the rituals and cosmology that gave the Han dynastic state the Mandate of Heaven to rule over mankind. Non acceptance of this politicised culture left one outside of Zhongguo or China.

This is paraphrasing from James Olsen's An Ethnohistorical Dictionary of China

omarali50 12-17-2013 11:56 PM

Maid gate: Indo-US diplomatic spat 2013
Any thoughts on maid-gate or whatever they are calling the brouhaha about the Indian diplomat strip-searched in NYC?

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