My article on uneasy situation with China’s expansion towards Arabian Sea where their port Gwadar has already began to function recently. And 16 000 Chinese troops are already in Pak ” helping to build the road to the port Gwadar and to provide a security for it”. That makes India nervous and we, Russians, understand the reason why…
Meanwhile the USA offers military anti-China partnership to India.
Is the American partnership a reliable one or not ? Or, in another way, does India have any viable alternative today ? I think that the whole situation potentially is quite bad for the future of Indo-Russian cooperetion in defence sphere, despite the contracts already signed for S-400 ( that is of a staregic importance for India as S-400 covers targets deep inside of Pakistan), despite the contracts for 200 multy role light helicopters Ka-226t, lease of the second nuclear submarine , etc. America in exchanfe for the alleged support of India against China and its satellite Pakistan will definitly demand more purchases of American weapons which are more expensive than Russian weapons and they will have ” electronic keys” to the software of the most sofisticated weapons that is also bad as nobody knows what kind of policy America will choose 10 years later, keeping in mind the old and very long history that in military affairs America de facto always was anti Indian and Russia has always been pro Indian. The old tradition often tends to be continued that way ot another. The human history proved it so many times.
After the military hardware may come the turn for Russian projects of nuclear power plants in India as this is a big market that Amerika wants to occupy. In post socialist East European States the nuclear power plants built under the USSR were just shut down. So the military cooperation is only the beginning of a long term poilicy which I regard as already quite bad now and I expect that it may get worse in a foreseeable future. That is my personal view. It may be not correct but I see it this way….
In my view, the USA is an unreliable power in this military game. If it were worrying about the fate of Indian democracy and integrity than why to support Pak with arms for 60 years ? So many the USA Presidents have already changed for the last half of the century but the policy of military help to Pakistan always remained the same.
Yes , for a few years President Obama began to drift away from the policy of military aid to Pakistan, though he has a “soft heart” for NON NUCLEAR Islamic States and various military organizations ( like ” moderate” cut-throat rebels against Syria President Asad). President Trump may continue the trend. Why is it so ? Because today there is too much of China in Pakistan and there is a danger that Pakistan nuclear arms may become availiable to Islamic radicals in Pakistan, either illegaly or if they come to power. That is regarded as a threat to the USA, that constantly monitor the state of Pak nukes.
Japan and Vietnam and I think Phillipines, South Korea, Indonesia also are real haters of China but they are much more weak than China and, besides, Japan is a satellite of the USA without its own independent foreign policy. Russia is also dependant on China because of the USA anti-Russian compaign, waging an economic ” sanctions war” against Russia… ( That is before Trump coming to power in 2017 and what will be later – only God knows …).
China is also can not be regarded as a reliable partner for Russia as it has many own economical and geopolitical aims not coinciding with Russian interests. Yet China cannot afford American military control over Siberia as it means a great military threat to China. So Chinese and Russian interests in the mutual defence against America coincide at this crusial point….As a matter of fact it is the American policy for the last few years conducted by a Nobel Prize winner for PEACE – Barack Hussein Obama – that strongly pushes Russia and China to embrace each other, though both countries do it without any great pleasure, as I assume. But there is no other choice for Russia and for China.
And I am deeply suspicious that USA really would prefer to deal with MANY Indian “independent” States instead of “Akhand Bhaarat” but… for Chines expansion. China, paradoxically, prevents activities of the USA for gradual disintegration of India.
Yet, where from Delhi Chief Minister Kerjiwal suddenly got so much money to create a political Party, becoming a somewhat suspicious political leader in the very heart of India ? This game is not over but it is only suspended because of Chinese danger for America.
Otherwise USA loves SMALL and dependant States. But small States are useless in any struggle of America against the first economy of the world – China. So India, in American plans, will have to play a role of a major anti-China actor. India has a border dispute with China since the border war in 1962. India is troubled by China expansion to the Indian Ocean and by its military support to Pakistan with which India had 4 wars since Independance and cross-border terorism from Pakistan teritory is a constantly bleding wound of India… At the same time India is a big and also a nuclear power so it is the only candidate to contain China in Asia at least…India is supposed the play the main role against China in the sub continent but not much more powerful America itself, which, as usual, would prefer to wage wars in Eurasia with somebody’s others hands and soldiers. The situation is bad indeed and is gertting worse with each new year. That made India to spend 50 billions US Dollars on armaments in 2016, becoming the fourth spender on arms in the world, trying to have a military parity with China. That is so well known to us, Russians, as we tried to get that parity with the USA in the early 80-s….
What are the Russian interests in this situation with India, China, America and a satellite of China now – Pakistan ? I personally think that the only big ( at least militarily big ) power that really would prefer a BIGGER INDIA ( without any Pakistan on the geographical map ) is Russia. Pak has to pay its war debts for anti-Russian war in 1979-1989. The graves of Russian prisoners of war in Pakistan, the tears of mothers of Russian soldiers killed in Afghanistan are not forgotten. Pak waged undeclared war against Russia in Afghanistan and got away with it. I wish Pak were to pay a heavy price for that. Yet Pakistan is a satellite of China today and we cannot be enemies of Pakistan as we were at that time when Pakistan was a satellite of the USA. Russia is in a very awkword situation between India and China. In my view, Russia will try to make everything possible to exclude the possibility of a military conflict between China and India – both countries being strategic partners of Russia. As to Pakistan it will be treated by Russia as a satellite of a China, which at least theoretically gives Russia the possibility to influence Pakistan through China and afterwards may be more direcly. At present I do not see the other alternative to such a policy.
Besides, keeping in mind Indian uneasyness at more contacts of Russia with Pakistan I want to remind my Indian friends that we, Russians, also feel much more uneasy with more military partnership of India with our “potential” enemy – the USA, though from Indian side this partnership is not directed against us. And still… In a way it is a “mirror” situation. At the same time I want also to remind my Indian friends that in a way, all this nuclear and other military-technical assistance to India from Russia is not just an arms selling business though Russia tries to show that it is just business, just money and nothing else. Russia shares military secrets with India as with no other country in the world, including China. Though it may be suspended for indefinite time because of the closer military partnership of India with America. This problem was not there before. For instance, during joint military air force drills with America, on its territory, Indian pilots did not use all the codes and other radar abilities of Russian aircrafts SU-30MKI because these could be intercepted, decodeded by Americans and … be given to Pakistan Army. That trust was before but the situation with military partnerships changes quite fast.
To claim that Russia is afraid to loose Indian arms market is a bull shit. Of course, the Indian arms market is important for us but it is not as vitally important as in early 90-s when Russian military Industry had no Russian military orders. Today the situation is quite different – we need arms for our own Army, Air Force and Navy. And we need it FAST. All ship building sites are filled 100% and many of the orders, to put it mildly, are navy ships. The situation in the world is such that rearmament of the armed forces must be done as soon as possible. That is why export of arms is good but national security is more important. In a way I understand Shri Modi who buys arms everywhere as he is not ready to wait 2-3 years for their delivery except the arms that cannot be bought in any other country as is the case of S-400. In 2016 Russia earned 16.5 billion US Dollars from export of grain whereas from export of arms Russia earned 14 billion US Dollars.
What we are afraid of is to loose a strategic partner that did not let us down in 70 years even under Shri Morarji Desai …I remember voting in UN on Afghanistan war. The world (controlled ) media, the satellites and dependant countries – “the world public” was tuned to be anti USSR. But India did not vote against the USSR even in this case. Though Indira Gandhi was not in power and there was “anti conmmunist” government.
We understand India’s position . In a conflict with China Russia will have to stay neutral unlike in 1971. But we also understand that in a conflict of Russia with America, India, no doubt, will always stay neutral. Therefore with very tense relations between America and Russia the latter has no other choice but to have also, probably, unreliable partner – China- on its side. I presume that China is also not happy about constant military-technical cooperation between Russia and India. In China’s eyes Russia is also, probably, an unreliable partner as it does not help China to establish its absolute domination in Asia, at least… And, as I understand, Russia is not interested in this expansionist policy of China but it has to keep silence on this issue. Russia – the former superpower, today is between two giants – America and China and has to take the side which is not openly anti Russian.
We do hope that it is not for a very long time. We also had to be dependant on the military cooperation with the USA against Hitler but that was over soon after the end of WW II along with our war hopes for a mutually beneficial economic cooperation with the USA when President Franklin Roosevelt was still alive and he was for Russian-American economic cooperation after the war. ( On American conditions but stll… Stalin was prepared to accept these conditions and the Soviet Union signed the Bretton Woods Final Act in 1944 ). Roosevelt intended to do away with the British Empire as the number one global actor before the WW II. Yet after his sudden demise the next President Harry Truman discontinued the policy of Roosevelt and began anti-Russian “Cold War” as early as in 1946.
That was is no surprise at all as Tuman said during the very first days of war in Russia against Hitler in 1941 : ” If we see that Germany is winning we ought to help Russia and if Russia is winning we ought to help Germany, and that way let them kill as many as possible, although I don’t want to see Hitler victorious under any circumstances.” ( “New York Times”, 24.06.1941 ) In fact that is the core of traditional Americam foreign policy – “let them kill each other as many as possible, although we prefer one of them to stay alive but too weak to be independant of the USA. ”
The next president ( 1952-1960), the WW II Commander-in-Chief in Europe and 5 star General Dwight Eisenhower was an anticommunist around the globe, he supported the most reactionary military dictatorial regimes in Latin America, he was active in overthrowing progresive regimes in Iran and Iraq but at the same time he was not prepared to drop atomic bombs on Soviet cities and did not help French in Vietnam war that resulted in French defeat in Northern Vietnam in 1954, he was also against its ” internalization” and during his presodency the Korean war was ended. He was the first American president that recognized limited possibilities of the USA to be a global policeman and he tried to ensure the leading role of the USA in anti Russian military blocs while main military-economic expenses had to be born by the other participants of these military blocks. ( President-elect Trump seems to continue this line ). Under Eisenhower presidency several anti-Russian blocks were established from the Middle East to the Pasific. Germany was admitted into NATo at his pressure so French wanted very small presence of Germany in Nato – no more than 12 divisions. Yet very few people remember now that during Suez Channel crysis of 1956 the Soviet Union and the USA were both against Anglo-French aggression in the Channel zone. Why so ? The Roosevelt policy to finisf off the British and French Empires was returned again under President Eisenhower and continued under President John Kennedi ( 1961-1963). What was behind of non-support of his allies – British and French – in Suyz crysis ? When the crysis was over, President Eisenhower declared that now “there is a vacuum of power in the Middle East and The USA have to fill the vacuum… to contain communism there”. A good pretext for American domination in a new region… That was under French and Angrezi before 1950-1956… That is the example of America being a reliable partner.
The Soviet propaganda depicted the process of falling apart of the colonial system in Africa as a struggle of African peoples for Independance. Yes, the wish for Independance was there but semi- naked and not well armed negroes could not acheive that independance in a military way. There was a moral and political help from the USSR and undirect help from the USA who after the final collapse of the British and French Empires became the only economic superpower in the world. Yet 10 years earlier President Truman helped the French Empire to fight Vietnamese troops in 1950. The French in 1954 finally suffered a crashing military defeat. Two American Presidents – two somewhat different American policies….And nobody knows what policy will be the next…. In general it may be more or less the same but not for some “chosen countries”.Marrshal Tito was a bigger friend to Americans than to Russians but 19 years after his death – in 1999 – there was Fverican “humanitarian bonbardment” of the European capital and former residence of Tito – Belgrade to ensure “human rights of Albanian terrorists” . The right to blow up millenium old Grbian chirches and to kull? rape or evict Chrstian Serbs from the land where Muslin Albanians just 100 years ago constituted 2% of the population of Kosovo province. Clinton-husband was also on radical Islamic side as a tool to dismemeber quite prosperous Yugoslavian Federation. Now instead of united Yugoslavia there are several small States dependant on the USA.
By writing on this historical events I wanted to show that though American foreign policy is one – ” America-centrism”, American domination in the world, still it is oversimplification to assert that presidents of the USA only implement the will of the ruling class of America. There are some divisions in that ruling class and the President has some political space for personal decisions how to solve the problems. Any President of the USA is not a nominal head of the State… Even a moron like Bush-son…
Our hope is that President-elect Donald Trump will drastically cut Chinese income from export money and then China will have to be more preoccupied with solving its domestic problems instead of continuing its expansion to the South. Though the USA under Trump will probably press on Shia Iran which is not in the interests of both – Russia and India. Hopefully the pressure may be less if the contract to buy 80 American passenger planes for Iran will not be cancelled by anti Trump forces inside America because despite anti Iranian plans of Trump this deal will create a lot of new jobs, promisied by Trump earlier.
In any case, I think that Russia will have to support Iran whereas India will stay formally neutral though Sunni political Islam is of more danger for India than for Russia in the near future. In my view, whatever partnership with America, India should develop ALL KINDS of cooperation with Iran that is a geografically very close to India as a sourse of oil and natural gas. The absense of a land corridor between India and Iran is still a serious barrier for the more efficient gas and oil pipelines fron Iran to Gujarat. Hopefully the present pressure of Shri Modi government on genocide in Balochistan may bring about some international suppurt and the pipelines and a land road could be possible even without destruction of Pakistan as a State by offering China some economic benefits from this. China has proved that it may wage war for 30 years and be victirious in the end but in my view China is still not a Nazi Germany and prefers economic benifits.
Iran is also important for India as it is a Shia Muslim country and it is Aryan, not Arabic Sunni Muslim country, which makes it a potential ally in a competition with Sunni Arab countries. Good relations with Iran will also help to strengthen the relations with “counter-ballance” to Pakistan that is non Arabic Muslim Afghanistan – the way to the Central Asia wheras Iran can be the shorter way to Russia and Western Europe. Even without the land corridor the sea way from Mumbai to Iran is not to long.
If the new port Chabahar in Iran will be supplemented by a railroad to the North that will be beneficial to Iran, India and Russia. The two ports are situated nearby but the roads lead in different directions. The road through Iran is more short and more safe.
In general the situation is not hopeless but it is a very uneasy situation. Much more complicated even in comparison with the times of the Cold War 30-40 years ago.
Serg V. Stroev / Строев Сергей Всеволодович
15 December 2016