26-Sep-2005

Hard-nosed Realism

The first of the appreciative articles appears on TOI in which we learn that the vote
presages a drastic reorientation of India’s foreign policy at the risk of being seen an American camp follower.

Hard-nosed realism with regard to future strategic goals and not a reflexive clinging to past positions marked the Indian decision, officials say.

As for Pakistan which abstained from voting, it had a pretty underhand and mean motive for doing so:
...Pakistan, a US lackey ... is trying to build bridges with both Russia and Iran even as India moves closer to the United States.
So now that Pakistan has left the US for Russia and Iran, India can be the undisputed lackey in this region, apparently.

And what were the reasons for the volte face? One is as follows:
For years, Washington has bristled at New Delhi’s stance at international fora, particularly at the UN, where critics say India has recorded more votes against the US than even its traditional bugaboos such as Cuba. In fact, this was cited as one reason why Washington would not back India’s candidature for the UN Security Council seat.
As for the question: what changed? Even that is answered:
So what changed between last week, when India expressed itself against the US resolution ... and Saturday’s vote?

Officials say the PMO and the MEA undertook a detailed assessment of India’s long-term strategic and economic before arriving at the decision.

(I think they meant strategic and economic interests). So did the vote have anything at all to do with the nuclear deal? No way:
"Any suggestion that our decision is under pressure from the US on account of the nuclear agreement we signed with them is totally wrong," a top Indian official said. "This decision is anchored in our larger national interest."
Will it help at all, in some peripheral, indirect, remote way?
Still, New Delhi’s unambiguous decision to go with the US is expected to pay dividends in the immediate context of the U.S-India nuclear deal which is expected to come up before Congress shortly. It deprives Washington’s non-proliferation lobby and partisan lawmakers of their primary ammunition to attack India.
Someone else seems to think that another screw will be tightened now that we are on the US wagon:
India’s vote for the European move at the International Atomic Energy Agency yesterday is likely to shift the focus of the American debate on nuclear cooperation with India from Iranian proliferation to the size and shape of New Delhi’s own nuclear arsenal, leading experts here say.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Strobe Talbott, Deputy Secretary of State in the Clinton Administration, said the Iran issue might have ‘‘created a static’’ in Indo-US relations, but will not undermine the nuclear pact.

‘‘There is no way on god’s green earth, that there will be significant opposition to the nuclear deal with India,’’ Talbott said. He, however, pointed to the discomfort within American arms control community that the Bush Administration has not got India to accept any restraints on its nuclear arsenal.

(emphasis mine). It is very difficult being a developing country nowadays.

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