Wednesday, September 21, 2005

"Neither Ethical nor Pragmatic... Just Muddled"

Vikash Yadav of Foreign Exchange wrote an excellent analysis on the current dilemma of India when it comes to Iran. Please go there and read the whole thing.

In the most recent test of India's foreign policy skill, India seems to be resisting pressure from America and Europe about referring Iran to the UN Security Council for violating its agreements with the international community.

If India does not cooperate with the US, it could scuttle a proposed deal on nuclear cooperation between the US and India. Moreover, India risks once again alienating a natural democratic ally and major economic partner.

Vikash's conclusion is that India action is neither idealist or pragmatist, just muddled
Of course, one could argue that at least India is finally adopting a realistic approach to its foreign policy by placing its energy needs over morality and international law. However, such a claim would ignore the fact that the United States is still India's largest export market. And as a nuclear power, India can certainly shift toward greater reliance on its own nuclear energy if it is denied access to Iranian oil and gas. India's economic (and security) interests are ultimately with the US, Japan, and Europe, not emerging pariah states in the Middle East. If America becomes estranged with India, the US will once again strengthen ties with Pakistan. India cannot afford a repeat of the Cold War where the US-Pakistani entente resulted in India's strategic isolation.
Thus it would appear that India's latest foreign policy is neither ethical nor pragmatic.... just muddled.
I am in complete agreement with Vikash. India policy regarding Iran appears unwise and counter to India self-interest, as well as potentially ruinous to India's long held reputation as a moral and progressive state. But it is also the responsible of the Democratic countries, in particular the US, to help India out of its contradictatory foreign policy. It now rests upon the US, particularly Secretary Rice to unmuddle India Foreign Policy. It is important that we persuade India to our side. I believe there are great incentives we can offer India to reassure that its energy need is safe. Perhap another trip by Secretary Rice to New Delhi is in order.


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I fear Indians still are allowing their old hostility towards the uSA to cloud their best interest judgements.

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