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"Canada can, within a positive friendly atmosphere, ask the Chinese government to resolve the Tibetan situation."

Geo-Strategic Chessboard Pushing India Towards War With China

October 26, 2009

Since 1947, India has not fully pledged itself to
any camp or global pole during the Cold War and
as a result was a founding member of the
Non-Aligned Movement (N.A.M.). Since the
post-Cold War era that position has eroded. New
Delhi has been gradually moving away from its
traditional position, relationships, and policies
in the international arena for over a decade.
Now, once again, India has been vied for as an
ally in the "Great Game" that is underway,
placing her in the pivotal position which is examined in this article.
by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya*
October 24, 2009
 From Montreal (Canada)

This round of the "Great Game" is being played
under a far broader spectrum than the one played
between Britain and Czarist Russia. In question
is the Indian power relationship with two
geo-political entities: the first is the
"Periphery" and the second is "Eurasia."

The Periphery and Eurasia: Vying for India on a Geo-Strategic Chessboard

Physical geography alone does not form or carve
or determine geographic entities. The activity of
people also is of critical importance to this
process. Geographic units, from blocs and
countries to regions, must be understood as a
product of people interacting in socio-economic
and political terms. The geographic entities that
are subject herein are social constructions. In
this conceptual context, Eurasia itself can be
defined as a geo-political player and entity.

In a physical sense, Eurasia as a geographic
landmass and spatial entity is neutral, just as
are other geographic regions or units, and
carries no meaning or value(s). Eurasia in
socio-political terms as an active player,
however, is altogether different. Herein, it is
this active and politically organized Eurasia
that is a product of the anti-hegemonic
cooperation of Russia, China, and Iran against
the status quo global order of the Periphery that
is the Eurasia being addressed.

The Periphery is a collective term for those
nations who are either geographically located on
the margins of the Eurasian landmass or
altogether geographically outside of the Eurasian
landmass. This grouping or categorization of
geo-political players when described are namely
the U.S., the E.U., and Japan. In almost organic
terms these players at the broader level strive
to penetrate and consume Eurasia. This objective
is so because of the socio-economic organization
and political mechanisms (all of which serve
elitist interests) of the Periphery. Aside from
the U.S., the E.U., and Japan, the Periphery
includes Australia, Canada, South Korea, Singapore, and Israel.

It is in this tugging match that India is
centred. It is also in this geo-strategic bout
that India has adopted a pragmatic policy of open
opportunism. Yet, New Delhi has also been
steadily moving towards a stance favouring the Periphery against Eurasia.

India’s historically warm relationship with Iran
has been tainted because of negotiations with the
U.S. and E.U. and New Delhi’s relationship with
China appears cordial on the surface, but it is
fragile and double-edged. Although Russia and
India maintain cooperation in regards to the
purchase of Russian military hardware by India,
this relationship too is in question regardless
of continued Russian weapons supplies.

State policy, in turn influenced or controlled by
local elites, is also pivotal to the formation of
the larger geographic entities being addressed.
The ruling circles and elites of India are
pragmatic opportunists and their is no question
in this. This characteristic, however, is a
trademark of almost all elitist circles and is
not unique to Indian elites alone. The position
of the Indian elites, however, is noteworthy
because they can flex their muscles and they can play both sides.

New Delhi Caught between Alliances?

As stated, New Delhi has been walking a pragmatic
path between the emerging Eurasian pole and the
more established Peripheral pole. The Eurasian
pole was originally formed out of a reluctant
necessity for survival against the thrust of the
Periphery by Moscow. As the Russian-initiated
Eurasian-based alliance gains global momentum it
is also working to cultivate an end to Eurasian rivalries. [1]

Since 2003, the lines of cooperation with the
U.S., Britain, Germany, and France have been
shifting and continuously restudied by Moscow,
Beijing, Tehran, and their other allies, such as
Kazakhstan, Belarus, and Tajikistan. The U.S.,
Britain, Germany, France and their shared
proxies, NATO and the European Union, have been
trying to obstruct the solidification of a united
Eurasian entity. This is where India is key.

A factor that has obstructed Eurasian
cooperation, with the inclusion of India, is the
mutual suspicions of the Eurasians and, in
general terms, their underlying resource
rivalries. Due to these factors, the Eurasians
appeared to be working together and alternatively
to be keeping the lines of cooperation open with
both the Periphery. A case in standing of this
schizophrenic policy is what was once called the
"Paris-Berlin-Moscow Axis" that clasped Russia on
one side and France and Germany on the other.
This Paris-Berlin-Moscow Axis flexed its muscles
in international relations and at the U.N. during
the Anglo-American march to war against Iraq in 2003.

India and the Encirclement of China

New Delhi is not a constituent of the Periphery.
Nor does India fully trust the nations of the
Periphery. India does, however, appear to favour
the Periphery. This can be attributed to the
demographic nature of global resource
competitions and long-standing Sino-Indian
cleavages and tensions. The tensions and
cleavages between China and India have also been
capitalized on by the Periphery just as the
Sino-Soviet split was by Henry Kissinger during
the Cold War to keep China and the Soviet Union divided.

Due to tensions with China, the Indian ruling
establishment still holds onto a vision about a
showdown with the Chinese. Both states are
demographic dinosaurs and are competing between
themselves and with the status quo Peripheral
powers for resources. Despite the fact that it is
the nations of the Periphery that are
disproportionately exploiting a far larger share
of global resources, in the eyes of many in New
Delhi the perception is that it is far easier to
reduce the effect of global resource competitions
by working to eliminate China rather than
competing with the Periphery. It is these two
reasons that are the basis for the formation of Indian animosity to Beijing.

An encircling military ring that involves India
has been created around China. New Delhi has been
involved in the framework of military cooperation
with the Periphery aimed at China. Under this
framework, India has joined Japan, the U.S., and
Australia in forming a de facto "Quadrilateral
Coalition" to neutralize China through the
establishment of a ring of containment that could
see a naval blockade form in the event of a war
around the borders of China. [2]

In a war between China and an outside power,
cutting off Chinese energy supplies would be
central to defeating Beijing. Without any fuel
the military hardware of the People’s Liberation
Army would be rendered useless. It is from this
standpoint that India is building its naval
strength and cooperating militarily in the Indian
Ocean and the Pacific with the Periphery. It is
also with Chinese energy supplies, Indian naval
expansion, and the encirclement of China in mind
that the Indian military has prepared to
introduce, by 2014, what it calls "Indigenous
Aircraft Carriers" (IACs), each with two takeoff
runways and one landing strip for up to 30 military aircraft. [3]

China, as well as Iran, also has a direct border
with NATO-garrisoned Afghanistan, which can be
used as a military hub against the more
vulnerable western flank of China. In this
regard, the massive American-led NATO military
build-up in Afghanistan is monitored with the
utmost suspicion by Beijing and Tehran. In many
senses, the Periphery is moving or pushing
inwards towards the heart of Eurasia. The
encirclement of China also parallels the rings of
military alliances and bases created around
Russia and around Iran. China also faces the
threat of a missile shield project in East Asia
just as the European core of Russia faces one in
Eastern Europe and Iran faces one via such
countries as the Arab states of the Persian Gulf,
Israel, and Turkey in the Middle East.

Playing all sides to get New Delhi its Place in the Sun?

The 2006 meetings between George W. Bush Jr. and
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, including the
Indo-U.S. nuclear cooperation agreement, are
examples of the “divide and conquer” game the
White House and its allies are playing. India is
not passive in this game and is an active player
too. The trilateral summits held between Russia,
China, and India represent the opposite push to
bring India fully into the Eurasian coalition of
Moscow and Beijing. The U.S. has also been trying
to obstruct the creation of a trans-Asian energy
grid in Asia or a trans-Eurasian energy grid that
would involve both sections of Europe and Asia
within a single framework. One of these projects
is the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline and
another is the building of pipelines from the former Soviet Union to China.

Moreover, India has nurtured military ties with
Russia, China, and Iran on one hand and the U.S.,
NATO, Australia, Israel, and Japan on the other
hand. This is evident from the joint naval
exercises held in April, 2007 between India and
China off Qingdao and the joint Indian, U.S., and
Japanese trilateral military exercise in the
Pacific Ocean. [4] Yet, India has not been
neutral. India has also upgraded its missile
arsenal so that it can target deeper into Chinese territory.

All in all, New Delhi has tilted in favour of the
Periphery. At first glance, this is reflected by
the fact that India is the only Shanghai
Cooperation Organization (SCO) observer member
that has not applied for full membership within
the Eurasian bloc and through New Delhi’s growing
ties with NATO. India’s course also became
clearer after an important trilateral conference
between Russia, China, and India in 2007 that saw
India diplomatically refuse Chinese and Russian
demands to rebut America and reject full
cooperation. In this regard, Indian officials
have said that they do not want to compromise
their strategic flexibility. Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh of India has also degenerated the
situation further and expanded the rift between
India on one side and Russia, Iran, and China on the other.

An Expanded Missile Arsenal for India

New Delhi has also been working to upgrade its
military capabilities to match those of the U.S.,
Russia, and China. The process involves the
possession of inter-continental ballistic missile
(ICBM), submarine-launched ballistic missile
(SLBM), and ballistic missile defence (BMD)
capabilities. The Times of India reported on May
13, 2008 that Indian military scientists
predicted that India would posses all three
capabilities by 2010 or 2011: By 2010-2011, India
hopes to gatecrash into a very exclusive club of
countries, which have both ICBMs
(intercontinental ballistic missiles) and SLBMs
(submarine-launched ballistic missiles) as well
as BMD (ballistic missile defence) capabilities.

Only the US and Russia strictly qualify for this
club as of now, if all the three capabilities --
ICBM, SLBM and BMD -- are taken together, with
countries like China not too far behind.

Top defence scientists, on the sidelines of the
annual DRDO awards on Monday, told TOI [Times of
India] they were quite confident India would have
ICBMs and SLBMs, even though their strike ranges
would be much lesser than American, Russian or
Chinese missiles, as also a functional BMD system
soon after the turn of this decade. [5]

The nature of such a military build-up must be
questioned. Who is it aimed at and what are its
primary objectives? Are these capabilities meant
to act as a deterrence or are they part of
something more? These are important questions.

The United States Directly Threatens China

The answer to the Indian military build-up is
embodied in two parts. One element to this answer
is the military dogma of the U.S. towards China.
The U.S. attitude is clarified in a May 2008
interview given to the Voice of America by
Admiral Timothy J. Keating after a new Chinese
submarine base was discovered, which was called a
threat to U.S. interests in Asia. Admiral Keating
is the American flag officer commanding U.S.
forces in East Asia and the Pacific under United
States Pacific Command (USPACOM), one of the
highest military posts in the U.S. military.

Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported on May 12, 2008:

China’s new underground nuclear submarine base
close to vital sea lanes in Southeast Asia has
raised US concerns, with experts calling for a
shoring up of alliances in the region to check
Beijing’s growing military clout.

The base’s existence on the southern tip of
Hainan Island was confirmed for the first time by
high resolution satellite images, according to
Jane’s Intelligence Review, a respected defence periodical, this month.

It could hold up to 20 submarines, including a
new type of nuclear ballistic missile submarine,
and future Chinese aircraft carrier battle
groups, posing a challenge to longstanding US military dominance in Asia.

China should not pursue such "high-end military
options," warned Admiral Timothy Keating, the top
commander of US forces in Asia, in an interview
with the Voice of America last week.

He underlined America’s "firm intention" not to
abandon its dominating military role in the
Pacific and told Beijing it would face "sure
defeat” if it took on the United States militarily.


He said Washington should "tighten" its alliances
in Asia to check China’s growing military might
and develop "interoperability" capabilities among
allies such as Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, the
Philippines and Singapore, as well as Indonesia and Malaysia.

James Lyons, an ex-commander of the US Pacific
Fleet, said the United States needed to
reestablish high-level military ties with the
Philippines as part of efforts to enhance US
deterrence in the wake of China’s naval expansion.

He said "operational tactics" used against the
former Soviet Union during the Cold War should be applied against China.

He suggested US leasing a squadron of F-16
fighter jets and navy vessels to the Philippines,
where Washington once had naval and air bases, as
part of the deterrence strategy.

"We don’t need a permanent base but we need
access," Lyons said, suggesting also that Japan
play a more "meaningful" role in protecting critical sea lanes in the region.

"Again the Soviets, we raised that deterrence
equation and we won the war without firing a shot
basically ... there is no cheap way out and we
have to improve our posture in the Western
Pacific along with our allies,” he said.

Richard Fisher, an expert of China military
affairs at the International Assessment and
Strategy Center, a US think tank, expected US
confrontation with China as Beijing modernized
its nuclear ballistic missile submarines,
referred to in military jargon as SSBNs. [6]

What James Lyon suggests as an ex-military
officier about the U.S. using Japan as a
counter-balance against China is clearly being
applied with other nations in Asia. In addition,
without India using Japan or a whole coalition of
other Asian states carries far less weight
against China, especially one supported by
Russia. India is clearly key in the U.S.
geo-strategy for dealing with China and in general for Eurasia.

The Hindustani Wild Card: India as a Eurasian Wedge against China?

To obstruct the unification of Russia, Iran, and
China the Bush Jr. Administration in 2004
intensified the venture of using India as a
Eurasian wedge or counter-weight to China. The
U.S. aim is to eventually undermine the coalition
between Russia, China, and Iran by using India or
alternatively to use India as a spearhead against
the Chinese. This latter tactic would be similar
to the strategy used by the U.S. government in
relation to Iraq and Iran, which resulted in the Iraq-Iran War in 1980.

In this Iraq-Iran War model both Baghdad and
Tehran were seen as enemies by U.S. strategists
and the aim was to get both Middle Eastern
republics to neutralize one another. Henry
Kissinger summed this U.S. policy by saying the
point was for both the Iraqi and Iranian sides to
destroy one another. The same scenario could
happen and be applied to India and China. The
realization of this confrontational project has
already been announced by the Indian military.
What has long been thought has become public and
that is that the Indian military has been
preparing for war against Beijing. This is the
second element to the question about the Indian military build-up.

The Hindustan Times reported on March 26, 2009:

The Indian military fears a [sic.] ‘Chinese
aggression’ in less than a decade. A secret
exercise, called ‘Divine Matrix’, by the army’s
military operations directorate has visualised a
war scenario with the nuclear-armed neighbour before 2017.

"A misadventure by China is very much within the
realm of possibility with Beijing trying to
position itself as the only power in the region.
There will be no nuclear warfare but a short,
swift war that could have menacing consequences
for India,” said an army officer, who was part of
the three-day war games that ended on Wednesday.

In the military’s assessment, based on a
six-month study of various scenarios before the
war games, China would rely on information
warfare (IW) to bring India down on its knees before launching an offensive.

The war games saw generals raising concerns about
the IW battalions of the People’s Liberation Army
carrying out hacker attacks for military
espionage, intelligence collection, paralysing
communication systems, compromising airport
security, inflicting damage on the banking system
and disabling power grids. “We need to spend more
on developing information warfare capability,” he said.

The war games dispelled the notion that China
would take at least one season (one year) for a
substantial military build-up across India’s
northeastern frontiers. “The Tibetan
infrastructure has been improved considerably.
The PLA can now launch an assault very quickly,
without any warning, the officer said.

The military believes that China would have
swamped Tibet with sweeping demographic changes
in the medium term. For the purposes of Divine
Matrix, China would call Dalai Lama for
rapprochement and neutralise him. The top brass
also brainstormed over India’s options in case
Pakistan joined the war to [sic.; too]. Another
apprehension was that Myanmar and Bangladesh
would align with China in the future geostrategic environment. [7]

Although the materialization of a war against
China is not a guaranteed event, war preparations
are being made against the Chinese. The
disturbances within the borders of China in
Xinjiang and Tibet and in Myanmar (Burma), which
is important to Chinese energy security, that are
so widely advertised in the name of democracy and
self-determination in the U.S. and E.U. are part
of an effort to destabilize and weaken China. It
is also in this context that India is involved
with operations, such as supporting the Tibetan
government-in-exile of the Dahali Lama, that have been destabilizing China.

The Australian military has also announced it is
expanding its military in preparation for a
forecast major war in the Asia-Pacific region.
[8] Japan has also been expanding its military,
while Tokyo has been preparing itself to join a
NATO-like sister-alliance in the Asia-Pacific
that would include Australia, the U.S., and South
Korea and be directed against China, Russia, and
North Korea. [9] Myanmar and Laos can be targeted
too by this military build-up and NATO-like
alliance, as can the other Southeast Asian states
of Indo-China, specifically Vietnam and Cambodia,
if they change their policies.

The Strategic Ties of New Delhi and Tel Aviv:
Indo-Israeli Military and Space Cooperation

On January 21, 2008 a new chapter in Indo-Israeli
strategic cooperation was unveiled; India
launched a Israeli spy satellite, known as TecSAR
(TechSAR) or Polaris, into space via an Indian
space rocket at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in
Sriharikota, Andhra Padesh. [10] The Israeli
satellite was bragged to be mainly aimed against
Iran by Israeli sources. [11] Israel’s spy
satellite launched by India has greatly enhanced
Israel’s intelligence-gathering capabilities against Iran, Syria, and Lebanon.

The satellite launch by New Delhi has revealed
that the Indian government has little
reservations in assisting in any Israeli or
Anglo-American military ventures in the Middle
East against Iran and its allies. Tehran
immediately voiced its strong and official
disapproval to India for aiding Israeli military
objectives against Iran’s national security. The
Israeli satellite launch was delayed several
times. The Jerusalem Post and one of its noted
reporters, Yaakov Katz, published an article that
claimed that the delayed space launch of the
Israeli satellite was a result of strong Iranian
pressure on the Indian government. [12]

Politicians in India opposed to Indo-Israeli
military and space cooperation denounced the
Indian government’s attempts to present the
launch as merely “business as usual” by hiding
the military implications and objectives behind
an act with underlying hostile intentions against
Iran. The Indian government officially argued to
the Indian people that the satellite launch was
just a commercial transaction between Tel Aviv
and New Delhi, but the military implications of
the deal reveal that India is no longer neutral
in regards to Tehran. The fact that the Israel
spy satellite has been described by Tel Aviv as a
means to confront Tehran and Damascus (officially
described as “enemy states”) is an omission in
itself that New Delhi is knowingly an accomplice
to hostile acts against Iran and Syria.

The satellite launch was shrouded in complete
secrecy by the Indian government. The Indian
Space Research Organization (ISRO) which had
always announced all its space launches as a
symbol of national pride kept silent for the
Israeli satellite launch. Large numbers of
different Indian groups and people across India
condemned the secrecy behind the mission and
cited it as a sign of guilty by the Indian
government. People’s Democracy, the official
mouth piece of the Communist Party of
India-Marxist (CP-M), complained that the
citizens of India had to learn about the details
of the launch from Israeli news sources. [13]

The Israeli spy satellite was built by Israel
Aerospace Industries, which has major business
interests in regards to India. On February 18,
2008 Israel Aerospace Industries, and the Tata
Group signed a corporate agreement with Israel
Aerospace to cooperate and jointly develop
military hardware and products through a
memorandum of understanding. [14] Like a
tell-tale sign this agreement was announced less
than a month after the launch of the Israeli spy
satellite built by Israel Aerospace Industries.
The Tata Group and its companies also have
corporate agreements with Boeing, Sikorsky
Aircraft, and the European Aeronautic Defence and
Space Company (EADS), which are all competing
against Russian arms manufacturers.

Indian cooperation with Israel extends all the
way into the realm of nuclear politics and
policy. On September 17, 2008 at the headquarters
of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
in Vienna a vote was almost unanimously cast for
a IAEA resolution urging all Middle Eastern
states to abandon making nuclear bombs. In a case
of irony, the only state that voted against the
IAEA resolution was Israel, which accuses Iran
and Syria of pursuing nuclear weapons. Tel Aviv
voted against the IAEA resolution, while Tehran
and Damascus voted for the it and the U.S.,
Canada, Georgia, and India all in support of Israel abstained.

New Delhi Deepens ties with the U.S., NATO, and Israel

In military terms, there is a real strategic
"American-Indian-Israeli Axis." New Delhi’s
strategic ties with the U.S., NATO, and Israel
have been deepening. The strategic axis formed by
the U.S., India, and Israel has also been
denounced by various political parties and
figures across the political landscape of India.

Firstly, the geo-strategic rationale for an
alliance between the U.S. and India is the
encirclement or containment of the People’s
Republic of China. The other rationale or
intentions of such cooperation are the
neutralization of Russia as a player in Central
Asia and the securing of energy resources for
both the U.S. and India. In this project, the
U.S. sees India as a natural counter-weight to
China. The U.S. also has used India in its objective of trying to isolate Iran.

In regards to Tel Aviv, Israel sees India as part
of a broader periphery. This broader or so-called
"new periphery" was imagined and utilized as a
basis of geo-strategy by Tel Aviv after 1979 when
the “old periphery” that included Iran, which was
one of Israel’s closest allies, buckled and
collapsed with the 1979 Iranian Revolution. [15]
In this context, Israel’s “new periphery” has
been conceptualized against both the Arab World
and Iran (or compounded as the Arabo-Iranian
World). This is why the Israeli relationships
with India, Georgia, the Republic of Azerbaijan,
and Turkey are important, and in some cases full fledged alliances. [16]

Likewise NATO and India also have shared
interests in Afghanistan and Central Asia, which
India sees as part of its own periphery or “near
abroad.” These shared interests and the mutual
animosity to Chinese energy interests in Central
Asia has brought India and NATO, led by the U.S.,
into the same camp. NATO also sees India as a
military partner in its strategy to become a
global military alliance. In addition, dealing
with Pakistan is also another shared commonality between NATO and India.

The Project for "Greater South Asia" and Indian Ambitions in its "Near Abroad"

As Hindu means everything beyond the Indus and
Hindustan the "land beyond the Indus" in ancient
Iranian, the word "Industan" can be used to talk
about the land and basin around the Indus River.
Hereon, this term will be used to refer to the
geographic area adjacent the Indus to India’s
western flank. [17] This area includes Pakistan
and can be extended to include Afghanistan and
the former Soviet republics of Central Asia.
Although Industan may not be exactly an accurate
definition for the area beyond Pakistan, Industan
still fits well, especially in light of Indian
geo-political thinking. That is why the term will be used.

Industan, is part of India’s "near abroad" or
periphery, and in a sense even a part of an
expanded periphery that emerged with the
dissolution of the Soviet Union. It is with this
in mind that India established its first military
base, at Ayni, on foreign soil in Tajikistan.
[18] The converging interests of the U.S. and
India are clear in the U.S. State Department’s
re-definition of Central Asia as a part of
“Greater South Asia.” Greater South Asia is the
conceptualization of Central Asia as a region
within South Asia, which is synonymous with the
Indian sub-continent. The concept of Greater
South Asia is part of the project to bring the
former Soviet republics of Central Asia into the
orbits of the U.S. through cooperation with India, as a regional gendarme.

Turning to Pakistan, India has a shared interests
with the U.S. and NATO in the subjection of
Pakistan. Pakistan would cease to be a client
state of the U.S. or a manageable state, because
of a likely revolution that would occur in the
scenario of a broader war in the Middle East
against Iran or a far larger Eurasian war
involving China and Russia. Nuclear weapons in
the hands of such a revolutionary government in
Islamabad would be a threat to Indian national
security, NATO operations in Afghanistan, and
Israel. It is in the shared interests of the
U.S., NATO, Israel, and India to neutralize such
a strategic and tactical threat from emerging in
Pakistan. This is why NATO has underpinned the
objective of balkanizing Pakistan and why the
U.S. has talked about taking over Pakistani
nuclear facilities via the U.S. military. The
subjection of Pakistan is also territorially and
militarily to the advantage of New Delhi, because
it would eliminate a rival and allow India to
gain territory that in the view of many Indians
was lost with the partition of India in 1947.

The Naval build-up in the Indian Ocean and the
Geo-Politics of the Sri Lankan Civil War

To the southern borders of Eurasia is the Indian
Ocean. The Indian Ocean is the scene of major
international rivalries and competition(s). Sri
Lanka is also a front in these rivalries. It is
in this context that India is part of a major
naval build-up running from the coastline of East
Africa and the Arabian Sea to the waves of
Oceania. Aside from the fleets of the U.S. and
its NATO allies that have large presences in the
Indian Ocean, the naval fleets of Iran, India,
China, Japan, and Australia are also all being
expanded in league with this trend of
militarization. Also, India and China are working
to release large nuclear submarine fleets into
the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. The naval
encirclement of Eurasia and the naval expansion
of China are also reasons why U.S. Navy ships
have been repeatedly caught violating Chinese
waters and illegally surveying Chinese territory. [19]

The water around the Arabian Peninsula all the
way around from the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of
Oman, and the Gulf of Aden to the Red Sea
(Arabian Gulf) carries large fleets of ships
either belonging to the U.S., NATO, or their
allies. At any point the U.S. and its allies can
stop international shipping in these waters. The
problem of piracy in these waters is very closely
linked to their militarization and is a
justification for militarization. This is one of
the reasons that the Gulf of Aden and the waters
off the Horn of Africa, where Somalia is located,
have seen the deployment of the naval forces of
Russia, China, and Iran as a strategically symmetric move. [20]

It should be noted that relations between Sri
Lanka and India started to unravel in 2009. The
Sri Lankan government has accused the Indian
government of supporting the Tamil Tigers drive
to create a Tamil state by dividing Sri Lanka.
Much of this has to do with the geo-strategic
struggle between the Periphery and Eurasia in the Indian Ocean.

In this regard, India is not only working against
Chinese interests in the Indian Ocean, but it is
also actively cooperating with the U.S. and its
allies. In the scenario of a conflict between
Eurasia and the Periphery or between China and
India the maritime route that passes by Sri Lanka
would be vital to the Chinese military and
Chinese energy security. For this reason Sri
Lanka has joined the SCO as a “dialogue partner”
under the protective umbrella of Russia, China,
and their allies. Not only has Sri Lanka joined
the SCO, but it also hosts a Chinese port in a
pivotal point in the Indian Ocean and near the
borders of India that has put Colombo at odds with New Delhi.

Arms Manufacturer and Nuclear Rivalry in India

Since the end of the Cold War there has been a
drive to push out Russian arms manufacturers out
of the Indian market by Anglo-American,
Franco-German, and Israeli military contractors.
France and Israel have also been traditionally
the second and third largest weapon sources for
India after Russia. Russian manufacturers have
been competing fiercely against military
manufactures based in France, Germany, Israel,
Britain, and the U.S. to remain as New Delhi’s top arms suppliers.

In addition, the elites in New Delhi have been
putting their weight behind Russia’s rivals in
India. India has become one of the most
significant markets for Israeli military hardware
and has replaced the void left to Israeli weapons
exporters by the loss of the South African arms
market that was caused by the collapse of
Apartheid in 1993. Additionally, Israel has moved
on to replace France as the second largest
provider of military hardware to India. [21] This
is while France in 2006 and 2008 has made headway
in nuclear cooperation agreements with India,
following the 2005 Indo-U.S. nuclear deal. [22]

India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA): "Superalignment" or "Counter-Alignment?"

In addition, the U.S. is trying to use the
India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) Dialogue Forum,
a loose trilateral alliance of go-between states,
against China, Venezuela (and its Latin American
bloc that can be called the Bolivarian Bloc),
Russia, and Iran. In reality and simplistic terms
the IBSA powers are rising, second tier global
players. They originally appeared to be engaging
in a policy of “superalignment,” the cultivation
of strategic relations with all major powers and
blocs, as opposed to “counter-alignment.” A
global web of alliances, counter-alliances,
cross-cutting, and intersecting alliances are
beginning to come into view, just like the
environment in Europe and the Middle East on the eve of the First World War.

Despite the fact that Italy was a member of the
Triple Alliance, along with Germany and the
Austro-Hungarians, it decided to side with the
Triple Entente after secret negotiations and
promises that were never honoured by Britain and
France. There are circles in Moscow, Beijing, and
Tehran that believe that India could act
treacherously just as Italy did by not honouring
its obligations to its allies, Vienna and Berlin.
These suspicions also see this as a possibility
even if India entered the SCO as a full member
and joined the Chinese-Russian-Iranian coalition in Eurasia.

In the frankest words, India, Brazil, and the
Republic of South Africa are benefiting from the
compounded friction between the U.S., France,
Britain, Germany, China, Iran, Venezuela, and
Russia. To clarify, the reason that this friction
is best described as compounded is because the
Anglo-American alliance and the Franco-German
entente work as two separate sub-units and
sometimes align with the interests of opposing
powers. This is also true about cooperation
between Iran, Venezuela, Russia, and China. In
Eurasia, Russia and Iran sometimes work as a
pair, while Russia and China or China and Iran do
so at other times. This trend in regards to the
Eurasians, however, is changing as the cohesion
between Russia, China, and Iran increases.

This behaviour is observable in the positions of
both India and Brazil on Kosovar Independence.
Both the foreign ministers of India and Brazil,
Celso Amorim and Pranab Mukherjee, made a joint
statement in Brasilia about the declaration of
independence by Kosovo by announcing that India
and Brazil were studying its legal ramifications
under a wait-and-see policy of the “evolving
situation” as Pranab Mukherjee called it. [23]

The Case of Elitism: Where the Indian Elites Stand

On April 2, 2009 the Group of Twenty (G-20) met
in London in regards to the global economy and
declared that New Delhi would have a bigger role
in the global economy. The question about
“India’s place in the sun” that is often
mentioned in international studies about its
emerging status as a global power is not really
about India as a nation-state or even the
interests of its general population, but is
really a question about the position of its
ruling and economic classes or its elites (a
small minority that make decisions on behalf of
the majority) and their place within the global
power structure and the international elitist
compact that is forming through neo-liberal globalization.

Part and parcel of this enterprise is what
appears to be India’s demands for a greater role,
or share, for its elites in the global economy
through some form or another of expanded
interlocking directorships. Interlocking
directorships is a term used to describe when the
members of the board of directors or managing
body of one corporation also serve as members of
the board of directors or managing body of other
corporations. This is very frequent amongst
elitist circles and a way for them to maintain a
monopoly on their power. It is these interlocking
directorships that are uniting global elites and
the impetus for global amalgamation.

India has always had indigenous elites, who in
numerous cases worked hand in glove with the
British during the period of the British Raj.
Starting from the colonial period, borrowing from
a term used by the Canadian political economist
Wallace Clement, most the Indian indigenous
elites became “comprador elites.” Comprador
elites are any elite groups that represent or
manage the interests of “parasite elites” or
foreign elites, which in the case of the British
Raj would have been the British elites. A modern
example of a comprador elite would be the Indian
chief executive officers (CEOs) of Indian
subsidiaries of foreign-controlled corporations,
such as PepsiCo India and Monsanto India.

Moving on, the British could not rule most of
India without these elites and therefore
cooperated with them. London made sure that the
Indian elites would be fully integrated into the
British Empire by involving them in the
administration of India, sending them to British
schools, and making them Anglophiles or lovers of
all things British. Britain would also grant the
Indian elites their own economic fiefdoms in
return for their cooperation. The relationship
was very much symbiotic and in reality the Indian
elites were the biggest supporters of the British
Empire and opposed Indian independence. It is
only when the Indian elites were offended by
London, because of the denial of their requests
to have a status within the British Empire like
the Dominions, such as Canada and Australia, that
the Indian Independence Movement gained momentum.

With Indian independence many of the comprador
elites became indigenous elites, in the sense
that they were serving their own interests and no
longer serving British interests in India. Yet,
some comprador elites remained who served British
economic interests. For a period of time after
Indian independence there were tensions between
the Indian indigenous elites and both the
comprador elites and their parasite elite backers
in London as the indigenous elites moved into the
former niches of the British. This does not mean
that there were not those within the indigenous
elites that made agreements or compromises with
the British for the post-independence period.

As time passed and the Cold War supposedly ended,
the Soviet Union fell apart, neighbouring China
accepted capitalism, and a push for unipolarity
accelerated, the different types of elites in
India started cooperating even more. More
specifically, the indigenous elites of India and
foreign elites in the U.S. and E.U. started
collaborating, with the comprador elites helping
interlock the indigenous and foreign sides even
more. The state of elitist modus vivandi, living
together in uneasy post-independence armistice,
was gradually evolving into broader cooperation.
For example, in the financial sector the
comprador elites, indigenous elites, and parasite
elites have worked together to erode state
control of the banking system that has resulted
in the mushrooming and growth of private and
foreign banks in India starting in the 1990s.

Enter Dr. Manmohan Singh: The Economic Origins for New Delhi’s Strategic Shift?

The Indian shift away from non-alignment and its
strategic partnerships is deeply connected to the
unseen regime change in New Delhi that was
initiated with the restructuring of Indian
economic policy. 1991 was a year of change for
India. It was also the year that President George
Bush Sr. declared that the “New World Order” was
beginning to emerge and also the same year as the
Gulf War and the collapse of the Soviet Union.

A common denominator between 1991 and India in
the late-2000s is Dr. Manmohan Singh, the current
head of the Indian government. Dr. Singh received
his doctorate (PhD.) as an economist from Oxford
University and also attended Cambridge
University. He is a former ranking officer of the
International Monetary Fund (IMF) in India. His
positions included Deputy for India on the IMF
Committee of Twenty on International Monetary
Reform (1972-1974), IMF Associate (1976-1980,
1982-1985), Alternative Governor for India on the
IMF Board of Governors (1982-1985), and Governor
for India on the Board of Governors of the IMF
(1991-1995). Several of these positions coincided
with appointments within the government and
national cabinet of India. This also includes the
position of Dr. Singh as the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (1982-1985).

Dr. Singh was one of the faces behind the
restructuring of the Indian economy in 1991, in
league with the IMF. He was appointed as the
Indian Finance Minister in 1991 by Prime Minister
P.V. Narasimha Rao, a man accused with
corruption, during a financial crisis that was
brought about by IMF policies. India was nearly
bankrupted during this period of reforms and
state assets surrendered to domestic and foreign
private investors. The economic policies of
establishing a truly self-sufficiently Indian
economy were abandoned and privatization became
wide spread. Economic liberalization pushed aside
the long-term goals of eliminating poverty in
India and providing high standards of living. The
Indian agricultural sector was also infected by
foreign multi-national corporations through the so-called “Green Revolution.”

Before being appointed to the post of Indian
Finance Minister, Dr. Singh was decisive in
creating the financial crisis in India through
coordination with the IMF. The policies of Dr.
Singh by design also left India without enough
reserves to meet its financial commitments. India
was also deprived of the means to improve its
economy by IMF policies The origins of these
policies became obvious when Indian civil
servants started complaining of sloppy,
American-style, and non-British spelling,
writing, and grammar in Indian government finance
documents and papers. As a result Indian national
assets and wealth were siphoned off and foreign
control, including that of the Bank of England,
of Indian finances began. 1996 spelled the death
of the Rao Administration in India because of the
backlash of economic liberalization and the unpopularity of the government.

With the economic shifts of 1991 began the road
down the path to political shift. On May 22, 2004
the IMF’s man in New Delhi, Dr. Singh, returned
to office to became the Prime Minister of India.
This time political reforms including turning
India’s back on the Non-Alignment Movement
(N.A.M.), Iran at the IAEA, and Russia’s aim to
realize the Primakov Doctrine were on the table.

"Clash of Civilizations" in Eurasia

In many Indian circles the colonial bonds with
London are still strong and there are views that
New Delhi, or at least the Indian elites, are
natural members of the Anglo-American
establishment. There is also a taint of racial
theory attached to these views with links to the
caste system and the Indian elite’s Aryan
self-concepts. Huntington’s “Clash of
Civilizations” notion and Mackinder’s
geo-strategic population model are factors behind
these views too. Resource competition,
demographics, and economic competition are seen
as fuel that will inevitably draw India and China
into a clash for supremacy in Asia.

     "Emerging alignments" of civilizations, per
Samuel Huntington’s theory in Clash of Civilizations, 1996.

Is it primarily because of geography, amongst
other factors, that Indian Civilization (labeled
as Hindu Civilization in regards to Huntington’s
model) is said to have a conflicting relationship
or affiliation with Chinese Civilization (labeled
as Sinic Civilization by Huntington’s model) and
Islamic Civilization? This theory is
short-sighted; if true where are the centuries of
fighting between Chinese and Indian civilization?
For the most part both lived in peace. The same
applied to Islamic Civilization.

A clash is not the natural ends of interaction
between different civilizations or societies.
Interaction is always based initially on trade
and it is the form of economic trade and the aims
of either party that can result in a clash.
Foreign powers that utilize a “Clash of
Civilizations” scheme do so because of the
economy of control. A mere reading of
Anglo-American strategic doctrine and
observations of Anglo-American practices brings this to light.

A historical look will prove the "Clash of
Civilizations" as a theory to be wrong and
actually illustrates that Indian Civilization
really overlaps with both Islamic Civilization
and Chinese Civilization. Moreover, it is wrong
to categorize the conflict between Pakistan and
India as a conflict between all Muslims and the
nation-state of India or even any of the internal
fighting amongst Muslims and non-Muslims in
India. Vedicists (one of the proper names for
Hindus) and Muslims, as well as several other
religions lived together in relative peace until
the the start of British involvement in India.
[24] The animosity between Pakistan and India is
a synthetic construct where local elites and
foreign powers worked together, not only to
divide territory, but to control local groups
that have lived together for hundreds of years by
alienating them from one another.

Why a "Clash of Civilizations" in Eurasia?

By extension of the utilization of the "Clash of
Civilizations" notion, which predates Samuel P.
Huntington, India and Vedicism are depicted as
enemies by the Pakistani elites as a means of
domestic distraction and to direct internal
tensions about social inequality and injustice
towards an outside source. The outside enemy, the
“other,” has always been used domestically to
distract subject populations by local leaders. In
the case of the Indian sub-continent certain
native circles have jointly invested in
continuing the British policy of localized conflict as a means of monopoly.

In an over simplistic understanding, even if one
were to use Huntingon’s model to explain who
benefits from civilizational conflict because of
global civilizational rivalry, it would have to
be the civilization with the most relationships
due to the fact that it has the most rivals to
put down. In relation to trade a civilization
with the most relationships would also be in a
position to initiate the most clashes because it
can afford to burn some of its bridges (or cut
ties) and is in a position to initiate clashes between other civilizations.

Under a system of cooperation and fair-trade
conflict of a grand scale would not happen, but
under a competitive international system pushing
for monopoly this is a direction being taken by
the status quo. This is where critics of global
capitalism lament about the unnatural nature of
capitalism. This system, however, is not a system
of capitalism. It is fitting to apply a new term
at this point: ubercapitalism. Ubercapitalism is
a system where the framework of regulation,
taxation, and law are controlled and directed by
elites for their own benefits. In
Marxist-Leninist terms the state is an agent of
elite interests. Even the capitalist concept of
laissez-fair commerce is violated and disregarded
because the state and the business environment are controlled by these elites.

If there was fair-trade between these so-called
civilizational entities there would be no need
for clashes, but this by itself does not mean
that there would altogether be no conflict.
Ideology, faith, and hubris are also factors, but
in most cases ideology and faith have been
manipulated or constructed to support the
economic structure and to justify conflict and
hierarchy. A lack of fair-trade or control over
finite resources necessitates manufactured
conflict; this is the only way the players
controlling wealth can retain their positions.

Despite the talk about a "Clash of Civilizations"
the most natural path of social evolution is one
of relative peace and cooperation. The
conceptualization of Latin America, India,
Israel, the so-called West, China, the Muslim
countries, the Orthodox Christian countries, and
the Buddhist nations as different or distinct
civilizations is also a fallacy in itself and
very abstract. Distinctions do exist, but they
are far less than the similarities and not enough
to support Huntington’s civilizational model.

New Delhi’s Trajectory: A Reversion to the British Raj?

Is India reverting to the status quo of the
British Raj? India has moved beyond a policy of
superalignment. India’s elites believe that to
achieve their place in the sun they must buy into
the socio-economic and political agenda of the
so-called, “Core countries” — the global
financial power holders of the Periphery. India’s
commitment to the Non-Alignment Movement (N.A.M.)
is also dead all but in name. The foreign policy
course that Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru had charted for India has been abandoned.

Internally, for the last two decades India has
been colonizing itself. Communities and ethnic
groups have been played agains one another. These
are both cases where local and foreign elites are
working hand-in-hand. The ruling elites, with the
aid of the Indian government, are appropriating
all forms of resourses, rights, and property from
countless people to fuel the so-called economic
liberalization process with no regard for their
fellow citizens. Water and national assets are
being privatized and virtual slave labour is,
once again, being institutionalized — everything
that Mahatma Gandhi and his follower worked hard
to eliminate. The free trade deals being struck
by the U.S. and E.U. with India are a part of
this process and have been integrating India into the global economic order.

Hand-in-hand with India being part of a global
economic order goes the domination of Eurasia.
India is on a serious path of militarization that
will lead New Delhi towards conflict with China.
In such a war both Asian giants would be losers
and the U.S. and its allies the real winners.

Due to their flexibility the Indian elite may
still change course, but there is a clear motion
to exploit and mobilize India in Eurasia against
its neighbours and the major powers of Eurasia.
This is the true meaning, intent, nature, and
agenda behind the so-called “Clash of
Civilizations” in Eurasia. The threat of a
nuclear war between China and India is real in
the words of the Indian military, but what is
important to realize is that such a confrontation
is part of a much larger series of wars or a
wider struggle between the powers of Eurasia and
the nations of the Periphery, led by the United States.

* Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, Research Associate of
the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)
specializing in geopolitics and strategic issues.


[1] Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, The Anglo-US Drive
into Eurasia and the Demonization of Russia, Voltaire Network; 2 October 2009.

[2] Indrani Bagchi, India-Japan strategic talks
begin, The Times of India, 23 March 2007.

[3] India to lay keel of new aircraft carrier on
Saturday, Russian News and Information Agency (RIA Novosti); 26 February 2009.

[4] Pallavi Aiyar, India to conduct naval
exercises with China, The Hindu; 12 April 2007.

[5] Rajat Pandit, Going ballistic: India looks to
joing elite missile club, The Times of India; 13 May 2008.

[6] China’s new naval base triggers US concerns,
Agence France-Presse (AFP); 12 May 2008.

[7] Rahul Singh, Indian Army fears China attack
by 2017, The Hindustan Times; 26 March 2009.

[8] Commonwealth of Australia, Defending
Australia in the Asia Pacific Century: Force 2030, 2009.

[9] Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, Global Military
Alliance: Encircling Russia and China, Centre for
Research on Globalization (CRG); 10 May 2007.

[10] India launches Israeli satellite in boost to
space business, Agence France-Presse, January 20, 2008.

[11] Yossi Melman, Satellite launch bolsters
ability to spy on Tehran, Haaretz; 21 January 2008.

[12] Yaakov Katz, Iran delayed satellite launch,
The Jerusalem Post, 22 January 2008.

[13] Israeli Satellite Launch: Harmful Course,
People’s Democracy, vol. 32, no. 6, February 10, 2008.

[14] Sandeep Dikshit, Tata-Israel Aerospace
Industries ink memorandum of understanding, The Hindu, 18 February 2008.

[15] Johan Nylander, Israel drops Indian venture
under ‘US pressure’, Agence France-Presse (AFP), 6 July 2009.

[16] Aaron S. Klieman, Israel and the World After
40 Years (Washington: Pergamon-Brassey’s
International Defense Publishers, 1990), p.92, pp.168–9, p.236.

[17] Infra. n.23.

[18] Sudha Ramachandran, India makes a soft
landing in Tajikistan, Asia Times; 3 March 2007.

[19] Jane Macartney, China accuses US naval ship
of illegal surveying, The Times (U.K.); 10 March
2009; Chris Buckley, China says U.S. naval ship
broke the law, Reuters; 10 March 2009.

[20] Atul Aneja, Iran, China will begin
counter-piracy patrols, The Hindu; 22 December
2008; Russia, China conduct anti-piracy exercises
in the Gulf of Aden, Russian News and Information
Agency (RIA Novosti), 18 September 2009.

[21] Klieman, Israel and the World, Op. cit.

[22] Amelia Gentleman, France and India agree on
atom deal, The New York Times; 20 February 2006;
India-France nuclear accord provides opening for
Areva, The New York Times; 30 September 2008

[23] Kosovo legal issues being studied: Brazil,
India, Agence France-Presse (AFP); 19 February
2008; World split on Kosovo issue, Agence
France-Presse (AFP), 19 February 2008.

[24] Sanatana Dharma or Vedic Dharma (Vedicism)
is the proper name for Hinduism. The terms Hindu
and Hinduism are misnomers, just as Mohammedan
and Mohammedanism are misnomers for Muslims and
Islam. The term Hindu is originally a geographic
definition used by the ancient Iranians to label
all the peoples living in the lands of the Indus
Valley or east of the Indus River regardless of
religious affinity or faith. The term Hindu was
later adopted by the Arabs who conquered Sassanid
Iran and then expanded towards the the Indian
sub-continent. As the Altaic peoples, such as
Mongolian and Turkic-speaking tribes, migrated
westward in Eurasia they also adopted the term
through interaction with both the Iranians and
the Arabs. At this time in history and up to the
rule of the Mugal Dynasty in India the term Hindu
started gaining popular and recurrent usage, but
was still used as an ethnographic term and not a
religious identification label. The Muslims,
Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, and Vidicists of
India were all called Hindus. It was during the
colonial era that the British, who ruled India,
coined the English-language term/word Hinduism
and assigned the already existing and ancient
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