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India And The World
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[url="http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/EK22Df05.html"]India revels in new diplomatic offensive [/url]

India revels in new diplomatic offensive

By Sudha Ramachandran

BANGALORE - The significance of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's trip last week to Russia, Tajikistan and Syria lies as much in the signing of important bilateral agreements as in the message it has sent out to the international community. The visits are a signal that India might be moving closer to the United States and Israel, but it is not about to abandon its old friends.

While reports of Russia's increasing interest in improving ties with Pakistan had caused some concern in India in recent months, Delhi's growing ties with the US have troubled the Russians. The joint declaration signed at the end of Vajpayee's visit to Moscow indicates that the India-Russia relationship remains firmly grounded on common perceptions of global issues.

On terrorism - an issue of critical importance to both countries - India and Russia recorded their "complete identity of views". Moscow expressed full support to India in its fight against terrorism in Kashmir and called on Pakistan "to implement in full its assurances to prevent infiltration of terrorists across the Line of Control" and "to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure in Pakistan and Pakistan-controlled Kashmir as a prerequisite for a purposeful dialogue between the two countries". India reciprocated by expressing support for the Russian action in Chechnya.

Without mentioning the US by name, the two countries "confirmed their opposition to the unilateral use or threat of use of force in violation of the UN Charter" and expressed support for a multipolar world.

Providing substance to the warm ties are 10 agreements that will enhance cooperation in space, science and technology. Russia will assist India in its mission to the moon. Of significance to India's aerospace is a deal under which it will supply six to eight satellites for a European navigation system that the Russians are setting up. Russia will also assist in setting up joint research centers in India - a gas hydrate studies center in Chennai and an earthquake research center in Delhi.

Significant ground was covered during Vajpayee's visit with regard to India's purchase of the Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov. An agreement on the purchase - negotiations have been on since 1995 - is likely to be signed later this month, when Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov visits Delhi.

Tajikistan, India's nearest central Asian neighbor, was the second halt on Vajpayee's three-nation trip. India's steadily expanding engagement with Tajikistan must be seen in the context of Tajikistan's proximity to Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and the energy-rich Central Asian republics.

India and Tajikistan signed a bilateral extradition treaty, agreements to enhance cooperation in defense, information technology etc and an agreement on the setting up a joint working group to combat terrorism.

Reports of the "Indian military base" in Tajikistan dominated Vajpayee's sojourn in Tajikistan. In the run-up to the visit, reports in the media had drawn attention to "India's undeclared military presence" in Tajikistan. A report in the Indian Express described the Ayni air base near Dushanbe as "India's first-ever military base in a foreign country". Citing defense ministry sources, the report said that India is upgrading infrastructure at the Ayni air base and "has plans to station its troops and air platforms in the near future". While both countries denied reports of an Indian military base at Ayni, they admitted that India would be overhauling this dilapidated air base.

Incidentally, Indian and Tajik special forces are said to have held joint military exercises in February this year. India's nominal military presence in Tajikistan is nowhere near that of the Russians and the Americans and is unlikely to bother them. But it has rattled Pakistan, which believes that India is trying to encircle it. Pakistan's President General Pervez Musharraf apparently raised the issue of India's military presence in Tajikistan when he met his Tajik counterpart Emamoli Rakhmanov early this year at Almaty.

An agreement of significance to India's strategic interests in the region that was signed during the Vajpayee visit was a proposed highway project. Delhi will extend the highway that runs from Chabahar in Iran through Afghanistan into Tajikistan. Delhi's moves with regard to this transport corridor are likely to be watched closely by several countries. The highway starts at the Iranian port of Chabahar, which is close to the Pakistani port of Gwadar that China is helping Pakistan build.

India is not only helping Iran with the construction of the Chabahar port, but also the two are currently constructing the highway from Chabahar into Afghanistan. The India-Iran engagement is said to have irked the US and Israel. The highway will run through Afghanistan, snaking through strongholds of the Northern Alliance and helping India retain its influence here. Under the deal signed in Dushanbe last week, India will help extend this highway into Tajikistan.

Happymon Jacob of the Indian think tank the Observer Research Foundation points out that the proposed highway seeks to balance Chinese engagement in the Central Asian region. Beijing has been focusing its energies on deepening engagement with Kazakhstan, playing an important role in the development of Kazakh oil fields, including those at Uzen, Aktyubinst, Kursangi and Karabagli. Besides, it is expected to construct a 3,000 kilometer gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to Xinjiang. "While China tries to engage the Central Asian region and its hydrocarbon resources through Kazakhstan, India's strategy is to engage the region through Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan," points out Jacob.

The Syrian leg of Vajpayee's visit was perhaps the trickiest. Syria is not only on Washington's hit list, but also a sworn enemy of Delhi's new friend, Israel. The Indian prime minister's visit to Syria has come at a time when the latter is under fresh pressure of sanctions from the US. Washington, which has long regarded Syria as a "rogue state" and as a sponsor of terrorism, has accused Damascus of not curbing Palestinian and Lebanese guerrilla groups.

Furthermore, it has held Syria responsible for much of the problems it is facing in Iraq, maintaining that foreign militants fighting the US-led coalition in Iraq enter from Syrian territory. Vajpayee's visit to Syria comes a little over a month after Israel's missile attacks on Syria and around two months after India and Israel announced their new "special relationship" during Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's visit to India. During that visit, India and Israel agreed to jointly combat terrorism. They finalized several defense deals. India has traditionally been a friend of the Arabs and a champion of the Palestinian cause. Not surprisingly, therefore, the growing India-Israeli bonhomie triggered alarm in several Arab capitals.

In Damascus, India signaled that the new closeness with Israel and US notwithstanding, there is no change in Delhi's position on the Palestinian question. Vajpayee assured Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that India was "fully" with the Palestinian cause and that there had been no change in India's position seeking "a quick Israeli withdrawal" from Palestinian cities and other "occupied" territories, including the Golan Heights - the Syrian territory that Israel occupied in 1967.

In a joint statement issued at the end of the visit, Syria supported the Indian approach to resolution of problems between India and Pakistan, ie through the Simla Agreement of 1972 and the Lahore Declaration of 1999. India and Syria condemned all terrorism, and signed nine agreements covering science and technology, biotechnology, technical cooperation, information technology and services, agriculture and allied sectors.

Washington, which is already peeved with India's refusal to send troops to Iraq, would not have viewed favorably Vajpayee's three-nation tour. For decades, American analysts have grumbled about India's reluctance to support the US when it mattered. Indeed, India's voting record in the UN indicates that rarely has Delhi voted with the Americans, especially on controversial global issues. Without naming the US, Vajpayee made it clear in Moscow, Dushanbe and Damascus that India is not with Washington on Iraq and that it is uncomfortable with unilateral use of force in violation of the UN charter. Vajpayee's overtures to the Syrians and the expression of support to the Palestinian cause would have added salt to the wound.

A section of Indian analysts have criticized the Indian government's compulsive need to irritate the Americans just when things between the two countries are looking up. Others, however, see Vajpayee's trip as a welcome correction of the tilt, albeit small, in India's foreign policy towards the US and Israel. An editorial in the Deccan Herald said that India's foreign policy "must be principled and guided by its own interests rather than shaped by fears of upsetting the Americans. The interaction with the Russians and Syrians was a step in this direction."

Sources in India's Ministry of External Affairs point out that it is necessary for India to clarify to the US as well as to the Arabs that they would need to stand firmly by India on issues of concern to Delhi. India has stood by the Arabs for decades. Yet the Arabs have equivocated on India-Pakistan issues. Similar is the case with the Americans, who have either backed the Pakistanis, or at best done a balancing act between the two countries.

Vajpayee's three-nation visit signals that India is not going to put all its eggs in one basket. Its relations with the US and Israel cannot rule out ties with their enemies or vice versa.

An alternative union in Europe?

By Vaiju Naravane

While the noises about a possible Franco-German union are essentially early warning shots aimed principally at Poland and Spain, they are also a pragmatic setting-out of scenarios for possible future action if the E.U. Constitution fails to win acceptance in its present form.

FRENCH AND German officials have gone public with the idea that their two countries could contemplate a union if the European Constitution fails to win approval. Officials in Paris and Berlin have said that if negotiations over the European Constitution, now under way, were to run into a stalemate, the Franco-German duo, constituting Europe's two largest economies that have long been the locomotive pushing European integration, would move towards a union in the spheres of foreign policy, defence, education and economic and social reform.

Such a scenario however is being evoked with a caveat — that France and Germany would seek fusion only if Europe's prospective 25 members failed to reach any agreement on the constitution. The tone was set recently by the French Prime Minister, Jean-Pierre Raffarin, who said: "If a Europe of 25 fails, what will be left for France? The initiative of Franco-German rapprochement."

Political observers say these statements are essentially intended to put pressure on countries like Poland and Spain, regarded as the major stumbling blocks to an early agreement on a Constitution for the European Union. Both countries won significant advantages in terms of voting rights during the Nice treaty negotiations three years ago which they are now loath to give up.

Under the draft Constitution, which aims at streamlining structures and systems in order to avoid institutional paralysis, the E.U.'s decision-making process would call for a majority vote representing at least 60 per cent of the Union's population. That would effectively enable larger states such as France or Germany to block legislation coming from a group of smaller states. For while smaller states might be in a majority in terms of the number of votes, they would fail to carry the motion if large member states decided to withhold support. Spain and Poland which have substantially smaller populations compared to France, Germany or Britain, are bargaining hard to keep special voting rights they won in parleys three years ago.

The E.U. nations failed to reach agreement on the issue in Rome last October and there is every likelihood of their failing to compromise at the Inter-Governmental Conference next month.

The draft Constitution drawn up by a specially appointed Convention headed by the former French President, Valery Giscard 'Estaing, has also drawn criticism from several countries for its markedly secularist tone. The fact that Europe's "Christian roots" find no mention therein has drawn forth howls of protest from countries like Poland and Italy, where Silvio Berlusconi, who currently heads the E.U.'s rotating presidency has pledged to have a "religion clause" inserted in the final document.

Respected commentators like economist Jean-Paul Fitoussi also deplore the failure of the document to address the question of what basic economic principles should underlie and govern a future European federation. In order to reach a consensus, Europe has gone from one bad compromise solution to another, shoving the real problems under the carpet of obfuscation from year to year. This desire for compromise is likely to make Europe less, not more governable, Mr. Fitoussi argues. In the circumstances, he says it is perhaps right that Europeans recognise the many issues that separate them, rather than go down the path of an illusory unity. It is better not to venture beyond the idea of a common market if there is no real homogeneity of views within Europe.

The French and the Germans are fully aware of the divisive nature of the debate within Europe today. And while the noises about a possible Franco-German union are essentially early warning shots aimed principally at Poland and Spain, they are also a pragmatic setting-out of scenarios for possible future action if the E.U. Constitution fails to win acceptance in its present form.

The Franco-German relationship has never been this close. Last month, the German Chancellor, Gerhard Schroeder, asked not his own deputy but French President Jacques Chirac to represent him at a speech before the European Council in Brussels. And the French Foreign Minister, Dominique de Villepin, described the strengthening of the Franco-German relationship as "the one historical challenge we cannot afford to lose."

Such declarations would not have been possible without the spectacular impetus given to ties between the two countries by the 2002 election of Chancellor Schroeder in Germany and the re-election of President Chirac in France. Another factor that played a crucial role in bringing the two countries even closer was the Iraq crisis in which France and Germany found themselves on the same side of the fence. France has had a long history of "principled" opposition to the United States. For Germany, however, which has been a political dwarf under the U.S. thumb for over half a century, speaking out publicly against the U.S. was groundbreaking. Another unifying factor is the realisation that both countries face similar economic and social problems.

Almost 10 years after the Germans first proposed a mini-federation within Europe — a strong inner core — comprising France, Germany and the Benelux countries, the French have begun to see the wisdom of the proposal. At the time, in 1994, when Christian democrats Karl Lammers and Wolfgang Schauble made the proposal under Chancellor Kohl, the French rejected it as an imposition of the German federative model on the more centralist France. The angry French also saw it as an attempt to cut their ties with Latin southern Europe.

Today the idea of a Franco-German Union is being seriously considered by experts and politicians, although it is still too soon to launch a proper public debate on the subject. Pascal Lamy, the brilliant French Commissioner to the E.U., says a Franco-German "Bund" or federation should concentrate on spheres not adequately dealt with by the European Union or by the German Landers. Which would, in substance, mean defence, foreign policy, economic and social policy and research for which a special federal budget should be constituted. For Mr. Lamy, this would also mean common armies, diplomatic corps and a sharing of France's United Nations Security Council seat.

So how could a public and democratic debate be launched? Despite their convergence of views, France and Germany are founded on two very different societal models, one centrist, the other federative. Gunter Verheugen, Germany's chief negotiator at European enlargement parleys, has suggested a confederation at the inter-governmental level that would include the populations of the two countries but which would not lead to the creation of new institutions.

Commissioner Lamy has proposed a congress with an equal number of French and German representatives, a Franco-German Commission to administer the Bund. While Green Euro MP Daniel Cohn-Bendit feels a union would only work if it is the fruit of joint parliamentary elections.

There are, of course, many opponents to the idea on both sides of the Rhine. Despite the adoption of the Euro, an integration of social and fiscal policy still raises eyebrows. The teaching of French or German as a second language in schools in both the countries has seen a decline in recent years with a marked preference for English. French or German music, television shows, books and cinema find little favour across the Rhine. Cultural reticence with eyes on both sides fixed firmly on the Anglo-Saxon world could be one of the biggest hurdles to Franco-German fusion.

Several leading Germans while favouring joint defence forces say they should be firmly anchored within NATO. The French on the other hand dream of creating a purely European defence alliance completely independent of, and as a counterweight to, NATO. Germany has backed the plan for a separate European defence initiative but recently, bowing to pressure from Washington, said it would not press for a separate E.U. defence headquarters — yet.

Washington thoroughly disapproves of any possible Franco-German union. Richard Perle, senior U.S. defence adviser, earlier this month urged Germany to stop following France on the international political stage saying the Franco-German relationship was harming ties with the U.S. He said the depth of the Franco-German partnership was further damaging the E.U.'s already strained ties with the U.S.

The idea of a Franco-German union has also sent alarm bells ringing across Europe. Several countries, especially Italy, Spain, Poland and Britain see this as a dangerous evolution that could break the E.U. To which the French and Germans smartly reply: We are all for European unity. But not on your terms.
Center for the Advanced Study of India

CASI Sixth Annual Fellow’s Lecture 2002

April 23, 2003

The Measure of India:

What Makes Greatness?

George Perkovich

Vice President for Studies

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Paper also available on-line at: [url="http://www.sas.upenn.edu/casi/papersonline.html"]http://www.sas.upenn.edu/casi/papersonline.html[/url]

Center for the Advanced Study of India

Dr Francine R.Frankel, Director

University of Pennsylvania

3833 Chestnut Street, Suite 130

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104-3106


URL: [url="http://www.sas.upenn.edu/casi/"]http://www.sas.upenn.edu/casi/[/url]

E-mail: casi@sas.upenn.edu

© 2003 by the Center for the Advanced Study of India

All rights reserved. Published 2003


In 1999, months after India had tested five nuclear devices in the

Rajasthan desert, I was interviewing Inder Gujral, who had been India’s prime

minister in 1997. Gujral was known as a peacemaker -- a soft-spoken, thoughtful

veteran of the Indian independence movement. With his white hair combed back

and his neatly trimmed moustache and goatee, he sat in the library of his

spacious home on Janpath Road and repeated the question I had just asked: “What

did testing nuclear weapons accomplish for India?” The answer, Gujral

explained, was basic and profound. “The world gives respect to countries with

nuclear weapons. Do you think it is an accident that the five permanent members

of the Security Council have nuclear weapons?” Gujral insisted that India would

never use nuclear weapons offensively, or in a first-strike. He did not really

think of them as weapons. Rather, nuclear weapon capability manifested India’s

world-class greatness. Nuclear weapons marked India’s arrival as a major power.

Leaving the former prime minister’s house, I admired the manicured

lawn adjacent to the driveway. I exited through a security-guarded gate, past

the wall protecting the house, and walked toward the taxi I had asked to wait

for me. The taxi sat under a shady tree, on the dirt buffer between the wall

and the wide capital boulevard. As I approached, the driver bolted upright from

the passenger seat. He had been napping and the sound of footsteps awakened him

and sent him scrambling out of the car and around to the hood. He held in his

hand a dark tool that resembled a tire iron. He raised the hood and pushed the

tool into the engine block and began cranking. He cranked and he cranked,

trying to get the engine to turn over. When finally the motor sputtered to

life, the driver looked up at me gleefully and bid me into the car. As the taxi

trundled along the boulevard leading away from Gujral’s house, I sat in the back

and chuckled. I thought of what the former prime minister had said. The driver

heard me and turned his head slightly back, shrugging his shoulders in humility.

“Old car,” he said, endearingly. “Yes,” I said, as much to myself as to him,

“and it works.”


I join you tonight to consider India on the scales of greatness. In

other words, to ask: by what standards do people regard a state as great? And

how does India conform to those standards?

I must say at the outset, that these are not questions on which I

personally would fixate. Greatness in terms of power is not a standard that

moves me as a human being. My impulse when looking at countries is to say,

“what’s so great about being great?” I think a country’s taxi drivers tell us

more about it than the number of nuclear bombs it might possess. The number of

Ph.D. holders, engineers, and writers driving taxicabs in a country, and where

they came from, tells me a lot about the country we’re in and the country from

whence they came. The taxi driver in Iran who complains bitterly about the

ayatollahs and wants to talk about pop music and freedom, tells me something

about Iran. The engineer who fled Nigeria for the opportunity possible in

America, even if it’s driving a cab, tells me something about Nigeria and the

U.S. Great power has little to do with it.

Nevertheless, greatness is on people’s minds now when they think

about India. Not only Indian elites, but also American politicians, diplomats,

and scholars talk about India’s looming greatness on the international stage.

Businesspeople who haven’t done business in India talk about the greatness of

its market. So, it is not unnatural to delve further into the matter and ask,

what makes a great power, and is India emerging as one? As we begin this

consideration, I must warn you that at the end I will return to question this


What Makes a Great Power?

Social scientists, in their quest to emulate natural scientists, have devoted

considerable effort to identify indices of great power. Unfortunately, while

laws of nature may exist for natural scientists to discover, human societies act

contingently. Freedom, irrationality, perception and misperception – these and

other human traits defeat the effort to discover objective and useful measures

of power. Power within and between states derives from intangible as well as

tangible attributes.

Thus, the United States was a great power in the 1960s and 70s yet lost a major

war to Vietnam, a developing country. Similarly, the Soviet Union foundered on

the rocks of Afghanistan and never recovered. Is France a major power today?

It possesses two seemingly vital attributes of major powerdom – nuclear weapons

and a veto in the UN Security Council – yet neither enabled France to deflect

the U.S. and the U.K. from resorting to war in Iraq. Many other examples can be

adduced to show the difficulties of measuring effective international power.

That said, Kenneth Waltz – perhaps the most famous contemporary

Western theorist of international relations -- provides a useful colloquial

definition of power as the “extent that [one] effects others more than they

affect [one].” A state’s power is a combination of its capacity to resist the

unwelcome influence of others, and, conversely, to influence others to behave as

it wants them to.[i]

Of course, social scientists do not leave the definitional exercise

there. Searching for greater precision, empiricism, and testability, they have

sought to distinguish the most important, quantifiable determinants of state

power.[ii] Given the role of warfare in world history, analysts posit that

military power is perhaps most important.[iii] Military power in turn depends

at least to some degree on a state’s (or alliance’s) human and material

resources. Hence, most evaluations of state power include measurements of

population, economic output, and technological/industrial capacity. [iv] These

indices add depth and quality to the assessment of a state’s military power.

Still, in war as in other international contests for influence, the

state with the most military strength often does not prevail.[v] Military

hardware and troops, population, economic output, and technological

sophistication offer potential power, just as height offers potential basketball

talent. But not all tall people are great basketball players, and not all teams

with the tallest players win championships. Other attributes transform physical

potential into success at given challenges, including in international affairs.

The quality of governance helps determine the efficiency with which natural and

human resources can be converted into wealth and economic strength. A

government capable of providing health, education, and other public goods and

services can make the difference between a sick, hungry, ignorant population and

a healthy, educated, and productive workforce. The former is more likely to be

powerful than the latter.[vi] Governmental efficacy in turn depends at least in

part on social factors such as national cohesion and cultural unity.[vii]

In international affairs, a state’s diplomatic, strategic, and intelligence

acumen can determine whether raw physical capacity translates into effective

power.[viii] Scholars and authorities recently have given greater due to such

non-material sources of international power – “soft power” in Joe Nye’s words.

States can gain influence through diplomacy, moral standing, market

attractiveness, intelligence-gathering capabilities, and the charisma of

individual leaders whether or not they have great military power.

Thus, power in the international system derives from material capabilities and

the wherewithal to translate those capabilities into the effective pursuit of

foreign policy objectives. Power cannot be measured satisfactorily through

quantitative indices alone. Measures of raw capability must be balanced with

subjective evaluations of a state’s effectiveness.

Is India Emerging As A Major Power?

So, how does India fare on these scales?[ix] Allow me briefly to

survey India’s performance in four key domains: socio-economic; political;

military-security; and diplomatic.

Socio-Economic Indicators

Overall GDP says something about a state’s collective power potential. Yet, the

size of the population that both produces and lives off GDP tells us more (but

not all) about the society’s productivity and about its citizens’ quality of

life. Thus, GDP measured on a basis of per capita purchasing power parity gives

a finer picture of a state’s position. Here, for example, India’s (and China’s)

great populations bring down their rankings. India’s estimated 2002 per capita

GDP at purchasing power parity was $2,540. China’s was $4,600. (Brazil’s in

2000, was $7,400).

Relatively low per capita GDP probably indicates that citizens have many

unfulfilled longings and aspirations for basic social-economic goods. This in

turn establishes major challenges and priorities for government. Simply put,

states with low per capita GDP struggle to translate their aggregate

productivity into effective power. For example, India, China and Brazil, rank

near the bottom of per capita, PPP GDP comparisons of regional and global

powers. These states’ leaders have much work to do to mobilize their societies

to be able to achieve first-order domestic objectives, let alone undertake

ambitious international projects.

Other measures help evaluate states’ socio-economic health and

prospects. The United Nations Human Development Index, for example, provides a

rough assessment of how states meet their citizens’ basic needs, which in turn

affect current and potential productivity. The HDI is comprised of four

variables: life expectancy at birth, adult literacy rate, school enrollment, and

GDP per capita (PPP $US). While the value of this indicator is debatable, it

shows that India ranks 115th out of 162 countries for which data was available.

China is ranked 87th. India’s National Security Council Secretariat uses a

variant of this index, which it calls the Population Index. This takes a

country’s population and multiplies it by its Human Development Index

coefficient. The aim is to adjust the “value” of a state’s population to take

into account the development of that population. Of the twenty-nine countries

ranked, India places 27th, ahead only of Pakistan and Nigeria, according to

India’s National Security Council Secretariat.[x]

Education strongly affects a society’s prospects for increasing

economic productivity, obtaining greater value for each “exertion.” Here India

seems bifurcated. India has absolutely world-class scientific and technological

education institutions. The Indian Institutes of Technology admit and Graduate

a large number of the world’s best young technologists, not only in information

technology but also other branches of engineering. The Indian Institute of

Sciences and other higher education institutions produce large numbers of

top-class scientists. Thus, India is recognized as a world-class player in at

least three vitally important sectors of the 21st century global economy:

information technology, biotechnology and space.

At the same time, however, India performs miserably in providing primary

education to its large population. Much of India’s workforce lacks the basic

knowledge and skills required for effectiveness in a modern industrial and

service economy.[xi] With sixty percent of the population living rural lives

tied to agriculture, the lack of adequate rural schooling, especially for girls,

imposes a major handicap on India’s prospects.

A state’s share in world trade can indicate many things. On one

hand, a large share of world trade can give a state international power insofar

as others may depend on that state as a buyer of their goods and services or as

a seller of key goods and services to them. Power may be wielded either by the

promise of providing or withholding more or less of what others want. At the

same time, though, an internationally engaged state can be subjected to

influences by its trading partners. On balance, economic theory and history

suggest that trade heightens efficiency and the production of wealth. This

suggests a correlation between share of world trade and power potential. While

these statistics are difficult to aggregate, India accounts only for roughly 1

percent of world trade in goods and services.

Recently, analysts have developed indices of corruption. Corruption

would seem to indicate the quality of governance, rule of law, and general

levels of development. These attributes no doubt affect a state’s capacity to

turn its resources into desired goods, to mobilize its potential. Corruption

levels also reflect the attractiveness of a state to investors, which again

speaks to power potential. India ranks low in international comparisons of

corruption, among the most corrupt 30% of those countries surveyed.[xii]

Corruption may help explain the fact that India’s recently sound rate of growth

has not produced a commensurate reduction in poverty. Whereas GDP has grown by

six percent from 1992-93, the rate of poverty alleviation has been only a bit

over one percent per year. Accounting for population growth of 1.8 percent, the

rate of poverty alleviation still lags significantly behind the rate of growth.

In other words, economic growth does not automatically or magically reduce


The World Bank economist, Martin Ravillon explains that the bulk of India’s poor

live in rural villages dependent on agriculture and that India’s agricultural

sector lags behind the overall level of economic growth which is driven largely

by services.[xiii] Also, India’s economic growth has occurred chiefly in

regions that are already better off. The poorest regions of the country have

experienced the least growth and development. Thirdly, even within the rural

sector, some regions exploit economic growth to lower poverty while others


Analyses such as Ravillon’s highlight the role of governance in augmenting

economic growth and development. The state -- or states -- carries

responsibility for providing the infrastructure, educational, and health

resources necessary to improve the capacities of the twenty-five percent of

Indians who remain impoverished. As Ravillon reports, the Indian states with

effective programs to promote literacy and health care, especially for women,

grow better. The states with better rural roads, irrigation, and other

infrastructure also do better. Unfortunately, he concludes, no state in India

has developed good rural infrastructure and human resource programs.

India is caught in a vicious circle here. The central government’s fiscal

deficit has run at a debilitating ten percent of GDP since 1998. Interest

payments on this debt comprise the largest single government expense. Fiscal

debt servicing combines with defense spending and subsidies to total sixty

percent of the budget. Insufficient funds remain for necessary investments in

health, education and infrastructure. Economists identify several methods for

reducing the fiscal deficit, but in a democracy, interest groups mobilize to

block each of these pathways to fiscal solvency.[xiv] India’s emergence as a

major global power will depend significantly on whether it can simultaneously

mobilize investment to improve the capacities of its poor and reduce its fiscal


One last word about economics: commentators in India and around the world

compare India’s economic performance to China’s. This is natural: India and

China are neighbors, the only two countries with more than one billion citizens.

They both strive for global power. In such economic comparisons, India tends

to fall behind China. However, economic comparisons overlook the vital

qualitative distinction of India’s democracy. Political evolution may (or may

not) bring unforeseeable destabilizing changes to China. India’s economic

progress may be more sustainable for having been democratically produced. Most

important, though, the political freedom and justice available in India are

profoundly valuable in their own right. The ultimate measure of a state and

society is the quality of life its members enjoy. This transcends calories

consumed, television hours watched, and automobile rides enjoyed.[xv]

State Capacity and Political Cohesion

This discussion of economics points directly toward a second category of state

power, namely governmental capacity and political cohesion.[xvi]

To produce and sustain significant power a state must have a political system

that citizens support. A state with a disgruntled or dissident citizenry will

divert precious resources to impose order and will not be able to mobilize the

full creativity and energy of its people.

Politics also serve broader human needs than efficiency. People participate in

politics to pursue justice, liberty, glory, community and other virtues and

vices. To the degree that a government does not help its citizens to achieve

these values and aspirations, that state’s long-term power probably will wane.

A society’s morale depends heavily on the qualities of its governors – leaders.

Political leaders who do not embody justice, communal toleration, fraternity,

and altruism will not foster government that pursues these attributes.

Factiousness is an important but often ambiguous variable of state health. As

proponents of checks and balances note, government that allows factiousness can

protect the rights and interests of minorities by preventing a large majority

from coalescing and dominating a polity. One measure of liberal democracy’s

genius is its tendency to enable factions to cancel each other out. On the

other hand, a state constantly embroiled in factional disputes will find it

difficult to make and execute major strategic decisions or to satisfy the

aspirations and values even of a majority.

In each of the terms discussed above – legitimacy, order,

efficiency, moral-political values, factiousness, and initiative – India has

performed to mixed effect. This is no small achievement. No state in history

has been as populous, diverse, stratified, poor and democratic as India. The

attempt to resolve all of its internal conflicts through democratically

representative government leads to muddling, almost by definition.[xvii]

Francine Frankel has described the multi-faceted political transformations India

is now undergoing: “the electoral upsurge of historically disadvantaged groups,

the political organization of lower castes and dalits in competition with each

other and in opposition to upper castes, fragmentation of national political

parties, violence between Hindus and Muslims…, and the emergence of Hindutva…as

the most important ideological challenge to the constitutional vision of the

liberal state.”[xviii]

Each of these phenomena involves competition to acquire the power and patronage

that come with government office at the state and union levels. Meanwhile,

imperatives of economic liberalization and globalization require diminishing the

role of government in overall national activity. Representative democracy gives

long-disadvantaged groups opportunities to mobilize and compete for control of

government and, therefore, patronage. At the same time, the “rules” of private

markets do not provide such clear avenues for the disadvantaged to advance. So,

will the shrinking of government intensify political conflict? Will, or should,

political actors concentrate primarily on how the pie is divided – patronage --

or on making a bigger pie -reform?

Here the current central government of India reveals conflicting tendencies. On

one hand, economic reformers seek to bake a larger pie. On the other hand, the

BJP, whipped onward by its highly mobilized and more extreme

sister-organizations the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamesevak Sangh) and VHP (Vishwa

Hindu Parishad) concentrates on the flavor of the pie and who is entitled to

partake of it and under what terms.

The carnage in Gujarat last year dramatizes the stakes in this conflict over the

very essence of the Indian nation’s and state’s identity. Yet India’s manifold

diversity precludes easy conclusions about the likely outcome. The BJP aspires

for sustained national leadership. This has required it to temper its social

agenda in order to attract diverse political partners into the coalition it

needs to rule the Union government. Among the current government’s 22 coalition

partners are many that do not subscribe to Hindutva. Geographically, the

Hindutva movement draws its strength primarily in northern Indian states.

The Hindutva movement’s campaign to define India’s national identity in one

uniform way heightens tensions not only among Hindus and Muslims, but along

geographic and other lines as well. This campaign for cultural nationalism

contravenes the essence of India’s “democratic nationalism,” in Achin Vanaik’s

words. Democratic nationalism seeks to “try and build a sense of Indianness

which recognizes and respects the fact that there are different ways of being

and feeling Indian, and that it is precisely these plural and diverse sources of

a potential nationalism that constitute its strength.” [xix]

Thus, at the same time India is generating the material economic and military

resources to become a major global power, the Indian political system struggles

to clarify the nation’s essential identity. The outcome of this struggle cannot

be predicted. Yet, the character and conduct of the struggle will profoundly

affect India’s cohesion and stability. It also will affect the way the rest of

the world regards India.

Will India gain greater global respect as a decidedly Hindu nation in a 21st

century world defined in civilizational terms?[xx] Or, as the writer Raja Mohan

has suggested, will India win global power and respect as an exemplar of the

Enlightenment project into Asia? Arguments can be made in behalf of either

course. Yet, if analysts of international power are correct, then the most

empowering course will be the one that provides the greatest mass of the Indian

populous with the education, infrastructure, and political-economic liberty and

security necessary to lead productive lives. The most successful course will be

the one that strengthens the cohesion and allegiance of the greatest number of

India’s diverse citizens and groups. In an inherently pluralistic society,

pluralism, not cultural nationalism, offers the only viable model to release the

creative energies of a vast population. Or so it seems at least to this


Military-Security Indicators

Now I turn to the most classic indicator of great power: military

strength. Measuring military power is more complicated than it might seem.

First, for the measurement to be meaningful, there must be a requirement against

which the state’s military power is being measured. What are the threats the

military is to deter and/or defeat? Second, measuring effectiveness itself is

difficult. (War provides a real empirical test, but states would like to know

the effectiveness of their military before they enter war.) Expenditures can be

measured easily, but do not necessarily indicate military effectiveness. So,

too, numbers of men under arms, and numbers of tanks, aircraft and ships do not

necessarily connote fighting effectiveness.

All states might naturally desire absolute security – confidence that no

adversary or combination of adversaries could do one any harm. Yet, in the real

world states settle for relative security. And the degree of security a state

practically seeks depends in large part on its basic capabilities at a given

time. In other words, a state’s security ambitions can grow as its power

potential grows. This has happened in India.

India’s military security challenges begin at home, with internal security

against insurgents and terrorists. The next and most dramatic ring of the

threat circle encompasses Pakistan. India seeks to deter or defeat Pakistani

support of subversion within India, including most prominently, in the state of

Jammu and Kashmir. India also must deter or defeat Pakistani attempts to

escalate the conflict between the two countries. India strives to retain a free

hand to punish Pakistani violence by imposing greater losses on Pakistan than

Pakistan imposes on India. This amounts to dominance of the potential

escalatory process. Beyond the need to dominate a potential escalatory process

with Pakistan, India also requires the capacity to deter or physically deny

China from imposing on India an unacceptable resolution of their border dispute.

India also wishes to deny China the prospect of coercive blackmail – of having

enough military power to compel India to heed China’s demands for fear of

military action that India could not counter. Next, India seeks to protect its

sea lines of communication to the east, toward Indo-China and to the west

through the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean.

India recently has increased significantly its expenditure on and

accumulation of military instruments. The budget for fiscal year 2003-04 raises

defense spending by 17 percent. This is the fourth consecutive year of annual

defense budget increases greater than 12 percent. India has signed at least $4

billion worth of contracts with Russia in the last couple of years to purchase

advanced military equipment.

When Indian leaders tested nuclear weapons in May 1998 many in the

nation felt that India finally had entered the ranks of major power. Indian

scientists and engineers have continued to increase the state’s stockpile of

nuclear materials and weapons. In 2003 India is estimated to possess 40 or more

nuclear weapons. The technical composition of India’s nuclear arsenal remains

publicly unclear – we do not know how many, if any, of these weapons are

thermonuclear, boosted-fission, or fission. India’s capacity to deliver nuclear

weapons also continues to expand. Fighter-bomber aircraft remain the principal

means of delivery. At least three models of mobile ballistic missiles are also

being developed and deployed – the short-range Prithvi, and the Agni I and Agni

II – with longer-range Agni IIIs and Ivs on the drawing board.

Yet, nuclear weapons are not sufficient to make a major power.

Otherwise, Pakistan, too, would be a major power. Pakistan possesses rough

nuclear parity with India. So, too, Israel and perhaps North Korea would

qualify as major powers if nuclear weapons were sufficient for this rank.

Neither nuclear weapons nor a recent dramatic increase in

conventional military procurement, largely from Russia, has freed India from

Pakistani security threats. India’s growing military and economic strength

heightens the frustrated desire to “teach Pakistan a lesson once and for all.”

But Indian statesmen also recognize that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons make

decisive military intervention to punish Pakistan enormously risky. So India is

stuck with relatively manageable insecurity viz a viz Pakistan.

Regarding China, India finds itself on a more positive trajectory. India’s

growing economic, military and diplomatic strength, combined with China’s desire

to concentrate on internal political-economic development, induces Beijing to

improve relations with New Delhi. India’s rather astute cultivation of better

ties with both the U.S. and China, has encouraged Beijing to seek better

relations with India. Beijing wants India not to align closely with the U.S.

against China. New Delhi and Beijing thus augment their military capabilities

while simultaneously engaging in mutual diplomatic reassurance. On balance,

India steadily has improved its security relationship with China.

In closing this section, let me anticipate a protest I have heard from many

Indian friends recently. India passionately seeks to decouple or de-hyphenate

Pakistan from India. Treating the two states like twins diminishes India.

India is greater than Pakistan in every regard except one: nuclear weapons.

But, unfortunately for India and the world, nuclear weapons are great

equalizers. The world, including of course the U.S. government, fears the

humanitarian horror that nuclear weapons could unleash in South Asia, but also

the dangerous disordering effects on the international system. So, when

Pakistan, or terrorist groups affiliated with it, instigates a crisis in

Kashmir, and India responds by threatening military retaliation, the world

worries that the escalatory process could lead to nuclear war. We know that

this fearful reaction might play into Pakistan’s interest. But the fact that

India naturally threatens military escalation makes it impossible to discount

the possibility of warfare that could lead to nuclear use. Nuclear weapons gave

Pakistan this capacity to stay in the game, to continue to pop up and grab India

by the dhoti. Neither the U.S. nor India has the power to compel Pakistan to do

otherwise. Neither one of us can take over Pakistan; and neither would benefit

from the results of economically strangulating Pakistan. Thus, neither India

nor the U.S. can escape from the reality that we have to deal with Pakistan.

Finally, on Pakistan, let me offer a highly debatable point that I have not seen

made elsewhere. I believe that the prominence and power of the Pakistani Army,

intelligence services and jihadis will not diminish as long as the prominence

and power of the Hindutva agenda are rising in India. These two internal

dynamics are related; they feed on each other. Pakistanis cite the RSS and VHP

as proof that Hindus are out to destroy Muslims and, of course, Pakistan. The

RSS and VHP, of course, use the prominence of Islamist parties and terrorist

organizations in Pakistan as proof that Muslims are evil. My point is simply

that pursuit of the Hindutva agenda will only tighten the handcuffs, the hyphen,

that connects Pakistan to India. The only way for India to liberate itself from

Pakistan is through pluralist liberalism, not cultural nationalism.

Statecraft Indicators

Statecraft can increase or decrease a country’s influence relative

to its material capabilities. The combination of leadership, strategic vision

and tactics, moral example and suasion, and diplomatic acumen can earn a state

great international influence.

The potency of India’s statecraft has ebbed and flowed in decades-long tides.

The currently rising tide follows decades of trough after the Nehru years.

The overt demonstration of India’s nuclear weapon capabilities seems

to have heightened Indian leaders’ confidence in developing and prosecuting an

international diplomatic strategy. Since 1998, under the leadership of Prime

Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh, India

displayed new vigor and imagination in its interactions with the United States,

China, Pakistan, Russia, the European Union and other counterparts.[xxi]

In early 2003, Indian leaders showed how far their strategic and

diplomatic acumen has evolved since the days of knee-jerk moralistic

denunciations of U.S. power. India did not support the Bush Administration’s

decision to intervene militarily in Iraq. At the same time, Indians have felt

that the U.S. displays disingenuousness or hypocrisy in waging war against

Saddam Hussein as a terrorist, while supporting Pakistan’s President Pervez

Musharraf. In Indian eyes, Pakistan is a greater source of terrorism than Iraq.

Whereas Indian leaders in decades past would have blasted the U.S. in morally

laden denunciations, New Delhi in 2003 displayed diplomatic savoir faire.

“India has not been happy with the US because of its inability to pressure

Pakistan on cross-border terrorism and lifting of sanctions,” an Indian official

declared, “but the government did not go beyond saying that it was

‘disappointed’ over the move. The government was not going by the sentiment;

national interest weighed supreme in the minds of decision-makers.”[xxii] Prime

Minister Vajpayee summed up the new statesmanship tellingly: “We have to take

the totality of the situation into consideration and craft an approach which is

consistent with both our principles and our long-term national interest. Our

words, actions and diplomatic efforts should be aimed at trying to achieve

pragmatic goals, rather than creating rhetorical effect. Quiet diplomacy is far

more effective than public posturing.”[xxiii] This insight, if applied

regularly, which is very difficult to do in a democracy, could greatly increase

India’s influence in the halls of global power.

However, in terms of international institutions and regimes, as distinct from

bilateral relations, India’s recent record is more mixed. India’s Commerce

Minister Murasoli Maran, played a leading role in the November 2001 World Trade

Organization negotiations. To a large extent, Maran represented many weaker

developing countries, in addition to India. In this role, Maran contested the

U.S. and other major economic powers. Fairly or not, the richer countries,

particularly the U.S., felt that Maran typified an old, unwelcome and

counter-productive Indian style of moralism and doggedness. Indians from more

internationally competitive industries shared this evaluation, while others

favoring trade protectionism viewed him as a champion. Looking ahead, to the

degree that India’s economic future and, therefore, its international standing

depend on a growing role in global trade, Indian diplomacy may need further


The international nonproliferation regime also comprises an arena for Indian

diplomacy. The global nonproliferation regime faces grave problems. India has

conflicting interests. It opposes the further spread of nuclear weapons and

other weapons of mass destruction. It also wants to be recognized as a

nuclear-weapon state and to be freed of export denials and other limitations

relating to India’s non-membership in the NPT. Indian leaders exhort the U.S.

and others to remove bars to nuclear and other technology transfer to India.

The U.S., Japan and others resist, arguing that removing limitations on India

would reward proliferation and undermine the interests of the 180-plus states

that have foresworn nuclear weapons through adherence to the NPT. Current

evidence does not allow a sound prediction of how India and the world will fare

on this matter.

Finally, India, as other states, regards a permanent seat on the UN Security

Council as a measure of major power. But India would be unlikely to win a vote

to award it such a seat, either from the current Security Council members or the

General Assembly. One measure of Indian diplomacy in the future will be how it

either lowers the value of a Security Council seat and therefore makes India’s

power ranking independent of such a position, or alternatively how India attains

a seat.


Where does this survey leave us? What can we say about measuring

India for greatness? India’s National Security Council Secretariat has produced

a National Security Index that ranks countries’ with a composite measurement of

military, demographic and economic indices. India ranks 10th in the world, just

behind Israel. (The ranking: U.S., Japan, China, South Korea, Germany, France,

Russia, UK, Israel, India.)[xxiv] Does being number ten make one a major power?

Is the cut-off at number five? Number twelve?

Subjectivity is inescapable here, so I suggest that the bottom-line

question is whether India gets what it wants from other states and the

international system. No state gets all of what it wants all of the time, but

does India get much of what it wants much of the time?

The answer appears mixed. India does not get what it wants in all

these domains; it can’t make others say “yes” to Indian demands. But India is

powerful enough to say “no” to most if not all demands of others. One way to

mark India’s progress will be to see how often it exerts its power to say “no”

to others’ preferences, versus the frequency with which India persuades others

to say “yes” to its preferences. As the Indian “nos” decrease and the rest of

the world’s “yeses” increase, India’s power will rise.

I close with a thought experiment that may help American observers to appreciate

the magnitude of the Indian challenge and what it may tell us about power.

Imagine the United States admitting Mexico as the 51st state in the union. The

very proposition elicits visions of politicians in Washington decrying the drain

of resources to bring Mexico’s millions of poor up to U.S. standards of health

care, income, and education. What of language? Will the new Mexican citizens

be obligated to learn English? How would education standards be set and

achieved? The burden of adopting Mexico is beyond the comprehension of most in

the U.S.

Continuing the thought experiment, let’s add not only Mexico but also Canada,

Central America and South America. Yes, let’s add to the United States of the

Americas Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador…Chile, Uruguay….Venezuela with it’s

turmoil…Columbia with its civil conflict, drug cartels…Brazil with its teeming

cities of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paolo…Argentina with its fiscal crisis. If the

United States of America became the United States of the Americas, the

population would be 824 million. It’s gross domestic product would be $12.46

trillion (compared to $10 trillion for the U.S. alone). Per capita GDP of the

new entity would be roughly $15,000 (compared to roughly $35,000 in the U.S.

alone). Imagine the conduct of elections in this population and the resultant

mélange of interests, accents, and histories that would animate the

deliberations of the new congress in Washington. Imagine the burdens the

president would feel – the attorney general, the FBI director, the Chairman of

the Joint Chiefs. In fact, the prospect defies imagination. It is


And yet, the United States of the Americas would still contain 200 million

people fewer than India. It would still be less diverse ethnically,

linguistically, religiously and historically than India. And it would be

twenty-five times richer than India.

The United States of the Americas would be much more troubled and difficult to

govern than the U.S. today. It would be poorer, less stable, more corrupt, and

less secure in many ways. Yet the size of the United States of the Americas

alone would make its leaders and people feel that it must of course be treated

as a great power. Citizens and, especially leaders, would feel that if we kept

our massive and diverse polity together and on a course of economic advancement

without either imploding or threatening our neighbors the United States of the

Americas would deserve world historical commendation. The idea that other

powers – outsiders with fewer challenges and many more resources per capita –

would impose their standards in determining whether to grant the United States

of the Americas a prime place in the international community would prompt

outrage. Politicians, pundits and barroom patrons would declaim: does the rest

of the world have any idea how hard it is just to maintain order, rule of law,

economic growth and democracy in this country?

This simple thought experiment may suggest that the relativity of great power in

the international system is misleading when thinking of a state and society as

enormous and complicated as India. Perhaps the notion and language of “great

power” is irrelevant when it comes to India. Maybe we should keep score a

different way. India, as an ancient and at once diverse and somehow unified

civilization of more than one billion people, deserves recognition for making

steady progress under democratic governance without trampling on its neighbors.

India achieves greatness by maintaining a democratic rule-of-law government and

living in relative peace. India achieves greatness by improving the quality of

life of its free citizens.

[i] Kenneth Waltz, Theory of International Politics. (Reading: Addison-Wesley,

1979) 191-192.

[ii] RAND Corporation analysts led by Ashley Tellis recently developed one of

the most comprehensive and dynamic power-measuring models. The RAND group

concludes that “national power is ultimately the product of the interaction of

two components: a country’s ability to dominate the cycles of economic

innovation at a given point in time and, thereafter, to utilize the fruits of

this domination to produce effective military capabilities that, in turn,

reinforce existing economic advantages while producing a stable political order,

which is maintained primarily for the country’s own strategic advantage but also

provides benefits for the international system as a whole.” Tellis, et al,

Measuring National Power in the Postindustrial Age: Analysts Handbook (Santa

Monica: RAND, 2000), p. 4. The RAND analysts then detail five building blocks

of power under the category of “National resources”: technology, enterprise,

human resources, financial/capital resources, physical resources. Three factors

under the category of “National performance” augment or detract from the

utilization of national resources: external constraints, infrastructural

capacity, ideational resources. “Military capability” is the product of an

interaction between national resources and national performance. While

interesting and realistically detailed, this model is explicitly geared toward

assessing the capacity of a state to achieve and sustain global hegemony.

Assessing the emergence of potential major powers does not seem to require a

model as detailed as that proffered by the RAND group.

[iii] For a summary of the historical methods of determining great power status,

see Jack Levy, War in the Modern Great Power System, 1945-1975. (Lexington:

University Press of Kentucky, 1983) pp. 10-19.

[iv] The most notable of these is the Correlates of War military capabilities

index. Singer, Bremer, and Stuckey, “Capability Distribution, Uncertainty, and

Major Power War, 1820-1965,” in Bruce M Russet, Peace War and Numbers (Beverly

Hills: Sage Publications, 1972). pp. 19-48.

[v] John Mearsheimer cites this failure of the stronger state to always prevail

in conflicts as a reason for measuring power in terms of material capabilities,

rather than the ability to prevail in conflict. He focuses his measure of

material capacity on military power because military force remains “the ultima

ratio of international politics.” John Mearsheimer, The Tragedy of Great Power

Politics. (New York: W. W. Norton and Co. 2001) pp. 55-57. In 1977, Joseph Nye

gave four reasons why military force had become more costly to use, and

therefore was less singularly relevant to state power: risks of nuclear

escalation; resistance by people in poor, weak countries; uncertain and possibly

negative effects on the achievement of economic goals; and domestic opinion

opposed to the human costs of the use of force. Robert O. Keohane, Joseph S.

Nye, Power and Interdependence. (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1977) pg.


[vi] For a further discussion of this point, see Bruce Russett and Harvey Starr,

World Politics: The Menu for Choice. (New York: W. H. Freeman and Company, 1989)

pg. 142-143.

[vii] National cohesion and universalistic culture are examined along with

international institutions as “intangible” sources of power by Joseph Nye in

Bound to Lead. (New York: Basic Books inc. 1990)

[viii] David Singer, one of the primary architects of the COW index, writes that

these type of factors are “contributory to national power and the efficiency

with which material capabilities are used, but not a component of that power.”

His decision not to include them in the index is based, then, not on a refusal

to acknowledge their importance, but on a decision to make a semantic exclusion

of such vague, difficult-to-measure variables. David Singer and Paul F. Diehl,

Measuring the Correlates of War. (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1990)

pg. 55.

Kenneth Waltz includes the variable of “competence” in his list of the

components of power, along with size of population and territory; resource

endowment; economic capabilities; and military strength. Waltz, it must be

noted however, makes no attempt to quantify any of these variables, stating only

that their relative importance fluctuates with time, leading to frequent

miscalculations regarding the relative power of states. His list of power

components is more an acknowledgement of the measurement problem than a

solution. Kenneth Waltz, Theory of International Politics. (Reading:

Addison-Wesley, 1979) pg. 131.

See also Russett and Starr, Politics, The Menu for Choice, pg. 149.

[ix] Two recent volumes, by Stephen Cohen and Baldev Raj Nayar and T.V. Paul,

similarly seek to assess India’s power position, but in more detail than space

allows here. Stephen P. Cohen, India: Emerging Power (Washington, DC: Brookings

Institution Press, 2001), Baldev Raj Nayar and T.V. Paul, India In the World

Order: Searching for Major-Power Status (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,

2003). The Cohen volume is more interpretive, while Nayar and Paul complicate

their analysis of India’s capacities with an argument that the U.S. and other

recognized major powers systematically prevent India from entering these ranks.

The problematic argument unfortunately distracts and detracts from the useful

analysis of India’s strengths and weaknesses. Nayar and Paul consider ten power

indicators or “resources”, in their term. Four “hard-power resources” are

military power, economic power, technology, and demographics. Six “soft-power

resources” are normative, institutional, cultural, state capacity, strategy and

diplomacy, and national leadership. Ibid., 49-62.

[x] Satish Kumar, ed., India’s National Security Annual Review, p. 359.

[xi] Pradeep Agarwal et al., Policy Regimes and Industrial Competitiveness: A

Comparative Study of East Asia and India (Houndmills, UK: Macmillan, 2000), p.


[xii] Human Development in South Asia 1999, The Crisis of Governance, Karachi:

The Mahbub ul Haq Human Development Centre.

[xiii] Martin Ravillon, presentation to the Brookings Institution-Carnegie

Endowment for International Peace conference, “Making Globalization Work,”

December 2, 2002, transcript of panel 1, pp. 7-8.

[xiv] Leading debt reduction options are to: reduce the size of government by

cutting payrolls and privatizing state enterprises (or alternatively, increase

the productivity of government workers and enterprises); attract foreign

investment, particularly in infrastructure; increase tax collections (not

necessarily tax rates).

[xv]Still, to achieve the level of economic development that can raise the

quality of life of all Indians, especially the poor, the nation must average

seven-to-eight percent annual growth over the next decade.

Sanjaya Baru, “The Strategic Consequences of India’s Economic Performance,” in

Satish Kumar, ed., India’s National Security Annual Review 2002 (New Delhi:

India Research Press, 2003) 177.

[xvi] The RAND study, Measuring National Power in the Postindustrial Age,

considers a state’s “capacity to set goals,” the “extent of elite cohesion,”

“relative power of social groups,” the capacity of the state to collect higher

levels of taxes from direct levies versus taxes on trade, and so on. Some of

these variables admit quantitative measurement, but most require subjective

analysis. Op. cit., 22-27.

[xvii] Nayar and Paul write that “India is often called a soft state, a state

that fails to enforce enacted policies…” This may be a function of

democratization itself. As Francine Frankel has noted, “democratization has

fragmented political parties along state, sub-regional, caste and religious

lines, creating unstable coalition governments, paralyzed from within, without

the capacity to carry out unfinished reforms.” Nayar and Paul, 60. Francine

Frankel, “Contextual Democracy: intersections of society, culture and politics

in India,” in Francine Frankel, Zoya Hasan, Rajeev Bhargava, Balveer Arora eds.,

Transforming India (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2000), 20.

[xviii] Francine Frankel, “Contextual Democracy: intersections of society,

culture and politics in India,” in Francine Frankel, Zoya Hasan, Rajeev

Bhargava, Balveer Arora eds., Transforming India (New Delhi: Oxford University

Press, 2000), 5.

[xix] Achin Vanaik, “Interface Between Democracy, Diversity and Stability,” in D

D Khanna, LL Mehrotra, Gert W. Kueck eds., Democracy, Diversity, Stability

(Delhi: MacMillan India Ltd., 1998), 301.

[xx] Using Samuel Huntington’s controversial categories, the world can be seen

as divided along the following civilizational lines: Western, Latin American,

African, Islamic, Sinic, Hindu, Orthodox, Buddhist, Japanese. Samuel

Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations and The Remaking of World Order (New

York: Simon and Schuster, 1996).

[xxi] For a more thorough discussion of these developments, see pp. 495-501 in

Perkovich, India’s Nuclear Bomb, paperback edition, 2001.

[xxii] Sanjay Singh, “Thin Red Line: New Delhi’s Balancing Act,” Pioneer, March

23, 2003.

[xxiii] Sanjay Singh, “Thin Red Line: New Delhi’s Balancing Act,” Pioneer, March

23, 2003.

[xxiv] In Kumar, ed., op. cit., p. 352.
Any idea what is India game plan ???



Delhi sends an invite to key Iraq Kurds

Saturday November 22 2003 02:01 IST

NEW DELHI: India has taken an unusual step in the fast-changing Iraq theatre by inviting key Kurdish leaders Jalal Talebani and Masoud Barzani, besides Adnan Pachachi, the Sunni leader who once served as the country's foreign minister.

The invitations to the three key members of the Iraqi Governing Council_Talebani is right now its rotating head_were issued on the weekend, around the same time US announced it would hand over power to the Iraqis by the summer of 2004.

New Delhi will also decide ``over the next few days'' when to send the advance Army medical team to Najaf in central Iraq to put together a hospital specializing in maternity and paediatric care, along with the Jordanians.

The invitations to the Iraqi leaders comes in the wake of a long debate within the government over how to deal with Iraq. While PM Vajpayee has ruled out sending troops to help ease the pain of the US-led coalition forces, because they are also ``occupying forces'', he has also stressed the need for India ``to get out of its Cold War mindset'' and deal with a new world.

Even critics admit the Indian invitation perfectly straddles that divide. Firstly, the US had invited New Delhi to send its troops to the Kurdistan sector in northern Iraq, knowing full well that New Delhi would not like to confront Sunnis and Shias in middle and southern Iraq.

When Indian officials went on a trip to northern Iraq in the late summer and met both Talebani and Barzani, the Kurdish leaders told the officials that they ``would have no problem'' if Indian troops kept the peace in their part of Iraq.

Significantly, both Talebani and Barzani told the Indian officials that they fondly remembered the support given to the 1925 Kurdistan campaign by none other than Jawaharlal Nehru.

They knew too that Nehru had sympathetically referred to the Kurds vis-à-vis the Turks (``(Kemal Pasha) then crushed the Kurds without pity...The Kurdish leaders, Sheikh Said and Doctor Fuad and many others, were executed. They died with the plea for the independence of Kurdistan on their lips.''), and cited chapter and verse from Nehru's `Glimpses of World History.

Certainly, New Delhi seems not only keen about reforging the old Kurdish connection, it is also interested in restoring ties with the rest of Sunni-Shia Iraq. Short of sending troops and putting its people in danger, the message in the government is, India would be willing to help participate in civilian projects in that country.

One Indian team has already restored power in a central Iraqi city. The decision to send the advance medical team, for example, is only on hold because of the unstable security situation. The invitation to Adnan Pachaci, the very patrician Sunni leader, is also part of this effort.
<b>UN vote on self-determination a setback for Pakistan</b>?
By Khalid Hasan

WASHINGTON: The resolution on the “realisation of the right of self-determination” adopted by a vote on November 20 by the United Nations General Assembly is being viewed as a setback to Pakistan because in the past the same resolution that Pakistan moves every year had been adopted by consensus.

<b>This year, it was India which called for a vote. The results came as a shock to Pakistan because out of total of 191 UN members, only 88 voted in favour of the resolution with India, Bhutan and Mauritius voting against. Four out of the five permanent members of the Security Council abstained.</b>

A Pakistan diplomat who did not wish to be identified told Daily Times, “This resolution had been our creation and was adopted for years through consensus and without a vote. It used to be a genuine moral victory for Pakistan. This year, for whatever reason, India called for a vote, and the end result has been a major setback not only to the very concept of self-determination, a cardinal principal of the UN Charter, but also to our own stated cause. This vote has grave symbolic importance. The principle of self-determination has lost the traditional consensus support it always enjoyed, having received less than 50 percent of the UN votes in favour while the overwhelming majority of member states abstained or deliberately absented themselves only because the resolution was viewed largely in the context of India-Pakistan relations. In fact, some countries even withdrew their co-sponsorship of the draft resolution because they felt the prevailing context of the solution was not ‘appropriate’, nor within the spirit of the universal principal of the right of self-determination. I feel deeply disturbed at this development because it has weakened the moral weight of a concept that Pakistan has always used in support of its position on Kashmir.”

The resolution opposes military intervention and occupation that are threatening to suppress, the right to self-determination of peoples and nations and declares opposition to acts of foreign military intervention, aggression and occupation, calling upon those states responsible to cease immediately their military intervention in and occupation of foreign countries and territories. Many speakers said during the debate that it appeared that the universal principle of self-determination had been used to refer to the specific situation between India and Pakistan. Believing that the context that had prevailed was not appropriate or within the spirit of the universal principle of the right to self-determination, some delegations, including Benin, Dominican Republic, Kenya, Botswana and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines withdrew their co-sponsorship of the draft resolution.

<b>Explaining his vote, the representative of India said that the statement made by the main sponsor Pakistan had challenged the unity and territorial integrity of India. The right to self-determination must not be construed to condone any action that would disrupt or threaten the territorial integrity of a state. India would oppose any attempts to misuse the principle of the right to self-determination for ulterior motives.</b>

The representative of Pakistan expressed his gratitude to all delegations that had reaffirmed their commitment to the principle of self-determination. A vote for this principle was not a vote in favour of any specific issues it was a vote for the principle of self-determination a principle central to the United Nations Charter, he added. The representative of India, explaining his vote, said that some of the references made by Pakistan on behalf of the co-sponsors, challenged and threatened the territorial integrity of India. It was therefore clear that for Pakistan the universal right of people to self-determination was a mere excuse to pursue its own political agenda. He said the draft was selective and unbalanced and did not deal with the right to self-determination in its entirety and any attempt aimed at the disruption of the territorial integrity of a nation State went against the purpose and principles of the Charter. The right to self-determinations implied free elections, democracy, equality, secularism and the rule of law, he said. The Pakistani people had been deprived of those rights for most of their history. The Government of Pakistan must therefore ensure the right to self-determination to its own people, before tabling resolutions on the universal right to self-determination. The representative of India would therefore vote against the draft resolution.

The Pakistani representative said that the draft resolution was unacceptable to India; however, India had joined the consensus on the text for several years in a row. This represented new thinking in New Delhi, and one must wonder what the causes were for this change. When a territory’s final status was to be determined through the exercise of the right to self-determination through a United Nations plebiscite, it could not be described as an integral part of a State. It was a disputed territory, he said.

Both India and Pakistan had emerged as sovereign States through the right of self-determination, he said. He reserved the right to respond to the gratuitous remarks made about the Government of Pakistan and stressed that a Government made up of fascists and fanatics had no right to criticise any other Government.

The representative of Pakistan said a vote for this principle was not a vote in favour of any issue; it was a vote for the principle involved, a principle central to the United Nations Charter and the basis for the existence of the United Nations. It was not Pakistan’s intention to introduce controversy or polemics with India in the context of the resolution. Pakistan had introduced this resolution for almost one dozen years. He said it was a matter of record that over the years, Pakistan had mentioned Palestine, Namibia and also Kashmir in its statements related to the resolution. What happened this year was that the context had been changed, and polemics introduced by India. What changed was that India felt it could bully the United Nations and bully Pakistan into halting its advocacy of the cause of Kashmir. Pakistan would continue to support Kashmir, whether other delegations supported it or not.

He noted that 80,000 Kashmiris had been killed by the Indian army and thousands of others had been maimed and women raped. Kashmir was a disputed territory, wherein the Security Council had determined that people must be given the right to choose their destiny, as to whether to be a part of India or Pakistan. The territory of Kashmir shown on the map of the United Nations was disputed territory; it was not part of India and would never be a part of India. The people of a disputed territory should not be denied its right to self-determination.

Those who voted in favour of the resolution were: Albania, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Honduras, Iran, Ireland, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Somalia, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen.

Those who voted against were: Bhutan, India, Mauritius and those who abstained were:

Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Botswana, Cambodia, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Estonia, Federated States of Micronesia, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guyana, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Latvia, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malta, Monaco, Namibia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, San Marino, Senegal, Serbia and Montenegro, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Uganda, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, United States.

The following were absent: Afghanistan, Belarus, Central African Republic, Chad, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Fiji, Gambia, Grenada, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Iraq, Kiribati, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Liberia, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Nepal, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
<b>Europeans are worse than cockroaches</b>
There is a Cold War between the US and the EU, says Mark Steyn, and it will end with the collapse of Old Europe New Hampshire

Here’s a round-up of recent items from the world’s press you may have missed: Item 1: In the last two weeks, two Toronto-bound El Al flights had to be diverted to other airports after credible terrorist threats were made about using surface-to-air missiles against them. The Canadian transport minister, David Collenette, responded by suggesting that the Israeli airline’s service to Pearson International Airport might be ended.

Item 2: The Baghdad hotel in which Paul Wolfowitz was staying was blown up. Several people were killed, though the US deputy defence secretary emerged unscathed. Much of the death and destruction was caused by French 68mm missiles ‘in pristine condition’, according to one US officer who inspected the rocket tubes and assembly. In other words, they’re not rusty leftovers Saddam had lying around from the 1980s. The Baathist dictatorship had acquired these missiles from the French rather more recently.

Item 3: According to Le Nouvel Observateur, ‘D’après un questionnaire de la Commission Européenne, 59% des Européens pensent qu’Israël est le pays le plus menaçant pour la paix dans le monde.’

Item 4: In the Guardian, Tariq Ali ended this week’s column on the mounting American (and NGO) death toll in Iraq thus: ‘Iraqis have one thing of which they can be proud and of which British and US citizens should be envious: an opposition’.

On 11 September 2001, I wrote that one of the casualties of the day’s events would be the Western alliance: ‘The US taxpayer’s willingness to pay for the defence of Canada and Europe has contributed to the decay of America’s so-called “allies”, freeing them to disband their armed forces, flirt with dictators and gangster states, and essentially convert themselves to semi-non-aligned.’ ‘The West’ was an obsolete concept, because, as I put it later that month, for everyone but America ‘the free world is mostly a free ride’.

Two years on, most governments, at least officially, and most commentators, at least in the mainstream press, still don’t believe the relationship between America and its ‘allies’ is in a terminal state. But the above quartet of stories — and you can find equivalent items any week — illustrates why it can’t be put back together.

One: Mr Collenette’s response to terrorists is to take it out on their targets. Terrorists are threatening to use SAMs against El Al? No problem, we’ll get rid of El Al. That’s a great message to send. How soon before similar threats are phoned in to similarly jelly-spined jurisdictions in Europe? Pretty soon El Al won’t be flying anywhere. But no matter: Air Canada and Air France and Lufthansa will still be flying to Tel Aviv — at least until a couple of anonymous phone calls are made hinting at fresh targets.

The threats against El Al came via phone calls from the Toronto area from terrorists claiming to have heat-seeking missiles. Police subsequently found a cache of weapons including a German-made shoulder rocket launcher that was smuggled into Canada through the ingenious method of dropping it in the mail and letting the Post Office deliver it. So there are two approaches to this problem: you can crack down on Toronto-based terrorist cells and try to get government agencies not to deliver their rocket launchers; or you can ban El Al. Mr Collenette inclines to the latter. This is a man, by the way, who marked the first anniversary of 11 September by publicly regretting the fall of the Soviet Union because now there is nobody to check America’s ‘bullying’.

Lesson: In the war on terror, the United States believes in pre-emption; Canada, like many other ‘allies’, believes in pre-emptive surrender. These two strategies are incompatible.

Two: Just suppose that one of those French rockets had killed Paul Wolfowitz. One of the greatest fictions of the interminable debate on Euro-American differences over Iraq is that it’s an argument about the means, not the end. If only Bush had been a little less Texan, less arrogant, less bullying, if only he’d been less impatient and willing to put in the hours, he could have brought the French and Germans round. After all, everyone agrees Saddam Hussein is a very bad man.

Not the French and Germans. There’s too much evidence suggesting the main reason they were unable to join the Bush side in this war is that they’d already signed on to the other team and they’d decided, in the sort of ghastly vernacular the cretinous Yanks would use, to dance with them what brung you. They’re being admirably consistent about this: at the recent Madrid conference France and Germany both refused to pony up one single euro to Iraqi reconstruction. It was never about the means, only the end.

Lesson: America and ‘Old Europe’ have different objectives in Iraq, and those objectives are incompatible.

Three: 59 per cent of Europeans think Israel is the biggest threat to world peace. Only 59 per cent? What’s wrong with the rest of you? But, hey, don’t worry. In Britain, it’s 60 per cent; Germany, 65 per cent; Austria, 69 per cent; the Netherlands, 74 per cent. The good news is that Israel won’t be a threat to world peace much longer, at least not if Iran’s nuclear programme carries on running rings around the International Atomic Energy Agency and the ayatollahs fulfil their pledge to solve the problem of the Zionist Entity once and for all.

Let us leave for another day the question of whether Israel is actually a bigger global menace than North Korea, which has hung a big shingle on the street saying ‘Nukes? We Got ’Em! And You Won’t Believe Our Prices!’ The fact is that 11 September bound America to Israel in ways that oblige Washington to regard European distaste for Jews as more than a mere social faux pas. Given the rate of Islamic immigration to Europe, those anti-Israeli numbers are heading in only one direction. At present demographic rates, by 2020 the majority of children in Holland — i.e., the population under 18 — will be Muslim. What do you figure that 74 per cent will be up to by then? Eighty-five per cent? Ninety-six per cent? If Americans think it’s difficult getting the Continentals on side now, wait another decade. In that sense, the Israelis are the canaries in the coalmine.

Lesson: America’s and Europe’s world views have diverged significantly, and those world views are now incompatible.

Four: Tariq Ali may not be the most representative political commentator, but it’s still quite something to find the house journal of the United Kingdom’s leftie establishment printing the assertion that Americans and Britons can only envy the vigour of the Iraqi ‘opposition’. So that’s what Iain Duncan Smith was doing wrong! He should have been loading up ambulances with rockets and firing them into hospitals. That’s the way to draw attention to the problems of the NHS.

The other day I accidentally referred to Tariq Ali as Tariq Aziz and within minutes had a little flurry of emails from correspondents sneering that evidently all these guys sound alike to me. Well, I wouldn’t say that. But Tariq Ali and Tariq Aziz are sounding very much alike. In fact, T. Ali sounds more Baathist than T. Aziz these days. When I was in the Sunni Triangle, I met many Iraqis who were grateful to the Americans; some who wanted a more visible US presence on the ground, a few who resented the infidel occupier — but not one who was as gung-ho for the Saddamite holdouts and Syrian and Iranian opportunists as Tariq Ali. For him, and for Mr Collenette, and for Goran Persson and Nelson Mandela and many many others, even on 11 September, the issue was never terrorism; the issue was always America.

Lesson: Washington and Europe do not agree on the problem, so they’re hardly likely to agree on the solution.

Tariq and co. are right to this extent: in the scheme of things, it’s not about Islamic terrorism. The Islamist goal is a planet on which their enemies are either dead or Muslim converts. That’s not going to happen. But Islamism is sufficiently disruptive to rupture permanently the old ‘Western alliance’. A lot of things have been said on both sides, but what’s impressive about the Europeans is the palpable desire for America to fail, and Bush to fall.

I can’t see that happening. On election day next November, the Democrats have no chance of taking back the House of Representatives and they’re all but certain to lose seats in the Senate. Bush is likely to be re-elected: with that 7.2 per cent growth in GDP, it’s hard even for the BBC to keep pretending America’s in the middle of some sort of recession; and whatever happens in Iraq it’s difficult to see the Democrats, running on a foreign policy of Cut & Run, being the beneficiaries. But the trouble with a war on terror is that the victories go unreported — the plotters who get foiled, the bombers who don’t make it through. All you hear about are the defeats. Let’s say there’s a terrorist attack in the US in the next 12 months and it kills several hundred people. On the one hand, you could argue that this shows the soundness of Bush’s judgment in making terrorism the priority of his administration. On the other, you could argue that this proves he never learnt the lessons of the failures of 11 September. Knowing the American media, I’d bet on the latter line being the one they settle on.

But other than that, the arguments over the next few years are going to be between conservatives — between those who think it is worth pushing on with an ambitious programme to bring the Middle East within the non-deranged world, and those who figure that’s doomed to fail and we should settle for something less. This project is in the national interest of the United States but, in the end, the fate of the world’s hyperpower does not hinge on it.

Now let’s turn back to Europe. The Telegraph’s Adam Nicolson got irritated the other day because Denis Boyles of America’s National Review had dismissed the Europeans as ‘cockroaches’. Boyles is wrong. The Europeans are not cockroaches. The cockroach is the one creature you can rely on to come crawling out of the rubble of the nuclear holocaust. Whereas the one thing that can be said with absolute confidence is that the Europeans will not emerge from under their own rubble.

Europe is dying. As I’ve pointed out here before, it can’t square rising welfare costs, a collapsed birthrate and a manpower dependent on the world’s least skilled, least assimilable immigrants. In 20 years’ time, as those Dutch Muslim teenagers are entering the voting booths, European countries, unlike parts of Nigeria, will not be living under Sharia, but they will be reaching their accommodations with their radicalised Islamic compatriots, who like many intolerant types are expert at exploiting the ‘tolerance’ of pluralist societies.

How happy what’s left of the ethnic Dutch or French or Danes will be about this remains to be seen. But the idea of a childless Europe rivalling America militarily or economically is laughable. Sometime this century there will be 500 million Americans, and what’s left in Europe will either be very old or very Muslim. That’s the Europe that Britain will be binding its fate to. Japan faces the same problem: in 2006, its population will begin an absolute decline, a death spiral it will be unlikely ever to climb out of. Will Japan be an economic powerhouse if it’s populated by Koreans and Filipinos? Possibly. Will Germany if it’s populated by Algerians? That’s a trickier proposition.

Last Sunday, recalling the US–Soviet summits that helped ‘ease the tensions of the Cold War’, the New York Times’s Thomas Friedman proposed we hold regular US-Franco-German summits. Implicit in that analysis is the assumption that France and perhaps other Continental countries now exist in a quasi-Cold War with America. If that’s so, the trick is to manage the relationship until the Europeans, like the Soviets, collapse. Europe is dying, and it’s only a question of whether it goes peacefully or through convulsions of violence. On that point, I bet on form.
Billig, Michael. Banal Nationalism. London: Sage Publications, 1995.

"... there is something misleading about this accepted use of the
word `nationalism'. It always seems to locate nationalism on the
periphery. Separatists are often to be found in the outer regions of
states; the extremists lurk on the margins of political life in
established democracies, usually shunned by the sensible politicians
of the centre. The guerrilla figures, seeking to establish their new
homelands, operate in conditions where existing structures of state
have collapsed, typically at a distance from the established centres
of the West. From the perspective of Paris, peripherally placed on
the edge of Europe. All these factors combine to make nationalism
not merely an exotic force, but a peripheral one. In consequence,
those in established nations – at the centre of things – are led to
see nationalism as the property of others, not of `us'.

"This is where the accepted view becomes misleading: it overlooks
the nationalism of the West's nation-states. In a world of nation-
states, nationalism cannot be confined to the peripheries. That
might be conceded, but still it might be objected that nationalism
only strikes the established nation-states on special occasions.
Crises, such as the Falklands or Gulf Wars, infect a sore spot,
causing bodily fevers: the symptoms are an inflamed rhetoric and an
outbreak of ensigns. But the irruption soon dies down; the
temperature passes; the flags are rolled up; and, then, it is
business as usual." (p. 5)


"... the term banal nationalism is introduced to cover the
ideological habits which enable the established nations of the West
to be reproduced. It is argued that these habits are not removed
from everyday life, as some observers have supposed. Daily, the
nation is indicated, or `flagged', in the lives of its citizenry.
Nationalism, far from being an intermittent mood in established
nations, is the endemic condition." (p.6)


"The central thesis of the present book is that, in the established
nations, there is a continual `flagging', or reminding, of
nationhood. The established nations are those states that have
confidence in their own continuity, and that, particularly, are part
of what is conventionally described as `the West'. The political
leaders of such nations – whether France, the USA, the United
Kingdom or New Zealand – are not typically termed `nationalists'.
However, as will be suggested, nationhood provides a continual
background for their political discourses, for cultural products,
and even for the structuring of newspapers. In so many little ways,
the citizenry are daily reminded of their national place in a world
of nations. However, this reminding is so familiar, so continual,
that it is not consciously registered as reminding. The metonymic
image of banal nationalism is not a flag which is being consciously
waved with fervent passion; it is the flag hanging unnoticed on the
public building.

"National identity embraces all these forgotten reminders.
Consequently, an identity is to be found in the embodied habits of
social life. Such habits include those of thinking and using
language. To have a national identity is to possess ways of talking
about nationhood. As a number of critical social psychologists have
been emphasizing, the social psychological study of identity should
involve the detailed study of discourse…. Having a national identity
also involves being situated physically, legally, socially, as well
as emotionally: typically, it means being situated within a
homeland, which itself is situated within the world of nations. And,
only if people believe that they have national identities, will such
homelands, and the world of national homelands, be reproduced.

"In many ways, this book itself aims to be a reminder. Because the
concept of nationalism has been restricted to exotic and passionate
exemplars, the routine and familiar forms of nationalism have been
overlooked. In this case, `our' daily nationalism slips from
attention. There is a growing body of opinion that nation-states are
declining. Nationalism, or so it is said, is no longer a major
force: globalization is the order of the day. But a reminder is
necessary. Nationhood is still being reproduced: it can still call
for ultimate sacrifices; and, daily, its symbols and assumptions are
flagged." (pp.8-9)


The political psychology of Hindu nationalism
Rajeev Bhargava
5 - 11 - 2003

Why does Hindu nationalism take an aggressive, exclusive form? This is a question of psychology as well as politics. Rajeev Bhargava, in New Delhi, examines the worldview of activists who use ‘Indianness’ as a weapon against their Muslim, Christian, and secular fellow-citizens.

Hindu nationalists think of themselves as a large Indian joint family, a parivar. And perhaps rightly so, for they are propelled by a family of closely-related ideas and, put together, all their networks and organisations constitute an enormous right-wing platform, a massive arena that showcases all known varieties of illiberalisms.

The movement brings together fundamentalists, traditionalists, anti-modernists, and right-wing conservatives who covet a form of modernisation radically different from the one begun by secular humanists such as Jawaharlal Nehru. Under its wings, there are proponents of old-fashioned terrorism, authoritarianism and fascism packed closely together with those who reluctantly submit to the constraints set by representative democracy. Present in the movement are people with a rigidly hierarchical cast of mind who fail to shed their strong upper-caste leanings as well as half-hearted egalitarians who, for strategic reasons, grudgingly include the lower castes within their fold.
West(specially UK) feels more convenient with congress.id on't know why......maybe bcoz congress is anti-hindu and west don't like hindu or vedic culture to survive on earth.
But since its kaliyuga i don't see that our culture will become more global but only thing to happen is more oppression of vedas and our culture.it will last till end of this yuga....so why we are worry so much?...instead find out when is actual end of yuga and till then chat hare krishna.. <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->
Anti war groups of Australia on their web site www.agitprop.org.au compiled a informative analysis regarding the current round of Indo-American relations in Asia.

“Only the most naive would buy the idea -- advanced in the speeches of Indian and US leaders -- that the reason for the US's newfound interest is India's increased importance as a world power. India's economy is less than one-twentieth the size of the US's, and its entire Gross Domestic Product is just about the size of the US trade deficit. Its official military budget is $13 billion or so, compared to the US's $379 billion. The object of recent moves by the US is not Indo-US 'partnership', but advancing US interests, using India as a strategic pawn. In the words of US ambassador Robert Blackwill, "President Bush vigorously pursues strategic relations with India because a powerful India will advance American democratic values [sic] and vital US national interests in the decade ahead".

Jim Hoagland wrote in the Washington Post that "There is new thinking about nuclear doctrine, and India, at the White House. Bush intends to end the sanctions in a matter of months, according to aides, and wants a new strategic relationship with India." ("Rethinking Asia in India's Favour", 1/7/01)

In other words, the Indian nuclear program has become a part of the US strategic architecture for this region.

“The integration of India into US military targeting of China will increase the risk of war for the Indian people, since China will surely respond by targeting India as the US's beachhead in the region. Against such a response by China, the Indian rulers -- for all their talk of being a 'major power' -- would simply seek refuge under the American umbrella. The Vajpayee government not only endorsed the US's widely condemned 'missile defense' programme, but is clearly hoping to be brought under its protection. Hoagland wrote in July 1991 that "China noticed Bush's unusually warm welcome of Indian Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh for an Oval Office chat about missile defense in April. Since then, India has been more supportive of Bush's [missile defense] plans than all but one or two of America's European allies.... China, however, sees the Bush strategic defense plan as aimed specifically at neutralizing its small but growing nuclear arsenal. A significant warming of U.S.-Indian ties, powered by conceptual agreement on missile defense, could cause the Chinese to expand and accelerate their nuclear upgrades, to poke at India through help to Pakistan and take risks that have not been well calculated."

“In the face of a US on the offensive, a US-India axis and a missile shield, China might follow the course similar to that followed by the USSR in the 1980s -- namely, building up a much larger force of nuclear missiles in order to penetrate the missile shield in different places, including over India. The Americans are well aware that such a programme would be enormously expensive, and would strain China's economic strength; indeed, that is one of their objectives. The Indian public, however, is unaware that it is being thrust into this dangerous strategic chess-game by its rulers”. This game of artition will drain the Indian resources also to buy expensive military gadgets costing billions of dollars thus bringing the weapons making nations (US Britain, Russia, France Israel) come out of recession than developing Indian infrastructure and eventually plunging India in to a debt trap.
I didn't find the smiley with two thumbs down ..

What's up with the AUSSIES ???? <!--emo&:thumbdown--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/thumbsdownsmileyanim.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='thumbsdownsmileyanim.gif' /><!--endemo-->

<b>We join Star Wars program</b>

For years, Australia has been involved in monitoring missile launches via satellite through the top-secret US ground station at Pine Gap, near Alice Springs.

Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer said the system was defensive and designed to dissuade countries from developing ballistic missiles.

<b>He said several countries in unstable regions were developing longer range missiles with weapons of mass destruction capability.

They include North Korea, Iran, Pakistan, India and China.</b>
<!--QuoteBegin-acharya+Dec 5 2003, 06:58 AM-->QUOTE(acharya @ Dec 5 2003, 06:58 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->

“In the face of a US on the offensive, a US-India axis and a missile shield, China might follow the course similar to that followed by the USSR in the 1980s -- namely, building up a much larger force of nuclear missiles in order to penetrate the missile shield in different places, including over India. The Americans are well aware that such a programme would be enormously expensive, and would strain China's economic strength; indeed, that is one of their objectives. The Indian public, however, is unaware that it is being thrust into this dangerous strategic chess-game by its rulers”. This game of artition will drain the Indian resources also to buy expensive military gadgets costing billions of dollars thus bringing the weapons making nations (US Britain, Russia, France Israel) come out of recession than developing Indian infrastructure and eventually plunging India in to a debt trap. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
that is exactly on the spot! Graduate

Thats the same reason why i appose Indian-US defence ties.But helll, our politicians are not mature enough to understand washigton's game.

in the end india,china will end up with all messed up.Washigton will be laughing at other end 10,000 miles away at end of this century around 2091.
(Bejan daruwalla has predicted a big WAR between india & china in 2091)

evil west will spring back at end of this century with destruction of two great cultures in india <!--emo&:unsure:--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/unsure.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='unsure.gif' /><!--endemo-->

[already due to lack of awareness in indian leaders about strategic games in world we have lost most of things till 1997 which include kashmir problem(due to british game which neharu failed to understand),loss of 1/3 kashmir,late nukes test) and now this game]

India has 3 options ->
1)choose china as closer ally or friend or business partner(its impossible due to lack of contacts between chinese and indian community)
2)choose US as strategic ally(i think we did this suicide already by leaning towards US and also showing hasty interest in missile defense program <!--emo&:thumbdown--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/thumbsdownsmileyanim.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='thumbsdownsmileyanim.gif' /><!--endemo--> )
3)be neutral and treat both as per our needs on case by case basis(WE are too late to think over this BEST OPTION.

We are doing same mistake again which we did in 1965 of ignoring China angle.
When our think tanks think about weapons deals with US(not Israel) they ignore what impact it will have on china-india equations in ASIA.This is a mistake.
We must INCREASE military co-operation with china.We must MAKE clear to US we are no way going to compete with china in defense modernisation.
CHINA will do modernisation bcoz it feels un-secure from WEST.By making defense deals with WEST we are making india-china relations more BAD.

A TIP from me : in long term,friendship with china is better and safer than with West.Bcoz west is noone's friend,never be.While china can become our best friend bcoz
1)we are neighbours
2)we don't have any old rivalry.If there is anything then its border problems which are not any big issues.
3)as far as china's help to pak is concerned it is bcoz china feels india is going closer US and feels in-secure.And india is ONLY INCREASING their feeling by going close and closer to US. IF china is given assurance they are secure from our side then pukki-support will get narrow year by year.(don't expect close-up bcoz china also need weapons market as pukki).
4)A powerfull neighbour in Asia as india's close friend.WHAT can be better thing for india(and most destructing thing for WEST)?......just imagine two biggest economies of world as close friends and neighbour too!!!(so they can fight together with any enemy of them in world!!)
5)Noone in the world(including US,brits) can think of attacking india or china due to this DEADLY combination of 2.5 billion people of ASIA! (this is the main reason why US is always un-easy when indian PM visits china).
6)If you agree with above 5 points then you will agree with me that washigton will DO EVERYTHING in his power and reach to avoid closer india-china relations.US may offer defense missile,phalcon(already did...a mess,it infuriated our neighbour
.......what can be worse THING that can happen to two neighbours in ASIA.....WEST must be laughing how they succeded again keeping DEADLY combination away from meeting... <!--emo&:angry:--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/mad.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='mad.gif' /><!--endemo--> )
Another mess was joint military excercises.Our leaders AGAIN neglected strategic consequences of this act in regard with china-india relations.AGAIN WEST is laughing.....they succeded.

<i><b> One more thing i forgot is that in this game Greatest Victory of West will be lowering the heat between india-RUSSIA relations by PUSHING more modern and latest weapons from ISrael or directly(HTCG-agreement) with India.Reaction of this will be increased HEAT of relations(defense deals) between CHINA and
RUSSIA(they simply need money....so won't mind selling large stuffs...carriers,submarines...updation) to counter the heat between india and US.

so guys think again,who we should go closer with.....having 2 million NRI community in US and more business ties is not enough reason to invite bigger mess and miss more healthy ties(india-china)as it can be superpower of asia which west never wanna see.

<b><i>The Divide And Rule that Brits played with indian kings to rule India some centuries ago,today The Same Game WEST is playing with CHINA and India </b></i>
expect more defense deals from west in coming days... <!--emo&Sad--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/sad.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='sad.gif' /><!--endemo-->

that was my assesment of things.....maybe right..
<b> my suggestion : make realtions with all of our neighbours better first before dealing or running for WEST.bocz,it only our neighbour which matches in culture with us not the greedy West. </b>

Vishal wishful thinking by you !!! Perhaps that is what Nehru thought 50 years ago. Only think is that the Chinese proved to be the wrong neighbours for India. <!--emo&Sad--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/sad.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='sad.gif' /><!--endemo-->

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->India has 3 options ->
1)choose china as closer ally or friend or business partner(its impossible due to lack of contacts between chinese and indian community)
2)choose US as strategic ally(i think we did this suicide already by leaning towards US and also showing hasty interest in missile defense program  )
3)be neutral and treat both as per our needs on case by case basis(WE are too late to think over this BEST OPTION.

Option 1 and 3 suits Chinese ambitions pretty well. But they will not serve Indian interests. You can't remain neutral in this game. Either you play and survive or you get played over and surrender. You have to be a player, or else you will be outplayed by everyone, both the west and the Chinese or perhaps both. Is that what you are sugesting ? I have posted a link in the clash of civilizations thread. Please read it carefully, before you comment on Indian strategists.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->We are doing same mistake again which we did in 1965 of ignoring China angle.
When our think tanks think about weapons deals with US(not Israel) they ignore what impact it will have on china-india equations in ASIA.This is a mistake.
We must INCREASE military co-operation with china.We must MAKE clear to US we are no way going to compete with china in defense modernisation.
CHINA will do modernisation bcoz it feels un-secure from WEST.By making defense deals with WEST we are making india-china relations more BAD.

A TIP from me : in long term,friendship with china is better and safer than with West.

After having experienced 1961, if you still advise the Indians to trust and side with the Chinese would be like keeping your head safe under the Chinese gun pointed at your head. Chinese like Pakistanis and NKoreans and might call them as their allies, because they do almost everything they tell them to do. What I mean is that Chinese need slaves or would like to use you like a condom, without any greater freedom to their allies. Pakis and NKoreans will pay first for the mistake of joining hands with teh Chinese.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Bcoz west is noone's friend,never be.While china can become our best friend bcoz
1)we are neighbours

2)we don't have any old rivalry.If there is anything then its border problems which are not any big issues.

3)as far as china's help to pak is concerned it is bcoz china feels india is going closer US and feels in-secure.And india is ONLY INCREASING their feeling by going close and closer to US. IF china is given assurance they are secure from our side then pukki-support will get narrow year by year.(don't expect close-up bcoz china also need weapons market as pukki).

4)A powerfull neighbour in Asia as india's close friend.WHAT can be better thing for india(and most destructing thing for WEST)?......just imagine two biggest economies of world as close friends and neighbour too!!!(so they can fight together with any enemy of them in world!!)

5)Noone in the world(including US,brits) can think of attacking india or china due to this DEADLY combination of 2.5 billion people of ASIA! (this is the main reason why US is always un-easy when indian PM visits china).

6)If you agree with above 5 points then you will agree with me that washigton will DO EVERYTHING in his power and reach to avoid closer india-china relations. US may offer defense missile,phalcon(already did...a mess,it infuriated our neighbour
.......what can be worse THING that can happen to two neighbours in ASIA.....WEST must be laughing how they succeded again keeping DEADLY combination away from meeting...  )


All the reasons given here come out of naivity and ignorance of the relationship of India with China. Perfect defeatist analogy and thinking with no vision for India, but doing everything not to offend the Chinese even if it is not in Indian interests.

Let me Xplain ....
Point #1 Chinese being neighbour. Doesn't make them our ally. Being neighbour doesn't qualify them to dictate terms on India. Infact a militarily strong nation taht is suspicious about India dealing with the west, is a threat to India.

Point #2 Have you heard or Taimur and Cheingis Khan and what did their dynasty do to India ? Do you know Taimur's roots ? Do you know that there are more than millions of innocent Tibetian refugees living in India ? Do you know that China occupies and or claims more than 125,000 SQ Kms of Indian land apart from making Tibet an enemy land for India ? Do you think that since India wants to partner China, the Chinese will not give nukes to Pakistan ? Don't be naive and think like a defeatist or a child. In this era, Darwinism prevails. That's is the fitter will survive. If your aim is not to compete and play the games you will be outplayed and out smarted by everyone since you will remain the weak link and also since you are not in the game you will never understad the dynamics and the intencity of the game. You must talk to Chola on BRF. I think you missed his points.

Point#3 is utter garbage ... Why should Indian foreign policies be held hostage to China ? Why should India keep the US and the west away from India, just because it bothers the Chinese ? What will India get in return from China ? WHY should China gets concerned by our relationship with the west be it US or UK or anyone else for that matter of fact ? WHY do you want India to act based on what the Chinese concerns DICTATE, unless you are a Chinese stooge ? Why ????
Don't you know that India is a independent nation and can and should act independent of its bullying neighbours and address its concerns ?

Point #4 Tell your Chinese bosses that it takes two for a tango, and 1961 has created such a great distrust that Chinese will have to do more to erase the BAD memories. The memories of 1961 can not and will not be erased if Chinese keep funding the paki army and giving them the WMDs and missiles.

Point #5 Day dreaming. Believing China is as good as loosing the game at the very begining. If you can not think of any more moves to counter the Chinese mminent threats to India, you must form a team who can think of new moves and play your cards. That's the reason a dynastic rule is not good for any nation. Because one families thinkings are imposed on to the nation of a Billion people.

Point #6 I am not amused.

Another mess was joint military excercises.Our leaders AGAIN neglected strategic consequences of this act in regard with china-india relations.AGAIN WEST is laughing.....they succeded.

Should India care who is laughing and who is not ?

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->One more thing i forgot is that in this game Greatest Victory of West will be lowering the heat between india-RUSSIA relations by PUSHING more modern and latest weapons from ISrael or directly(HTCG-agreement) with India. Reaction of this will be increased HEAT of relations(defense deals) between CHINA and
RUSSIA(they simply need money....so won't mind selling large stuffs...carriers,submarines...updation) to counter the heat between india and US.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

What makes you think that Russia will not sell China more weapons if India doesn't buy weapons from Israel or the west ?

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->so guys think again,who we should go closer with.....having 2 million NRI community in US and more business ties is not enough reason to invite bigger mess and miss more healthy ties(india-china)as it can be superpower of asia which west never wanna see.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Why should China think that India dealing with the west is bad fo them, unless they are suspicious about India? If they are suspicious about India, how can Indians be their allies ?

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->MY FINAL WORDS ARE,
The Divide And Rule that Brits played with indian kings to rule India some centuries ago,today The Same Game WEST is playing with CHINA and India
expect more defense deals from west in coming days... 

that was my assesment of things.....maybe right..
my suggestion : make realtions with all of our neighbours better first before dealing or running for WEST.bocz,it only our neighbour which matches in culture with us not the greedy West.


The mistake Indians did in the past was that they fought among themselves and were not uinted, but now we are united. In the past we didn't give much attention to arm ourself to defend India, but now we must and we are moving in the right direction. India should concentrate on enhancing and strengthening both its economy and military. Development of only one is not going to help India. We must strike a balance and form appropriate alliance to counter our immediate threats which comes from Pakistan, BD and China.
that was clear and gr9 explanation, opened my EYES <!--emo&:blink:--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/blink.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='blink.gif' /><!--endemo--> (areee.....bilkul dho dala re <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo--> ) thanks Graduate <!--emo&:cool--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/specool.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='specool.gif' /><!--endemo-->

from what you said i learnt that now we have 2 options :

1)sit on our as* and lets see how to solve corruption,un-employment,reservation policies,pension,terrorists under dynasty rule.

2)gear up and go for all.get everything that we can get.maximise the efforts,become greedy about GDP B) ,make all 100+ billions indians educated or atleast all of them Graduate Graduate

anything i missed? <!--emo&Smile--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='smile.gif' /><!--endemo--> Huh
My thoughts-

New Year is just weeks away, World had changed lot for better or for worse this year. Coming years will be challenging for everyone on earth. This year’s changes have long lasting effect on India.

Roller coaster ride of <b>Indo-Pak </b>relationship will be interesting to watch next year, whether new love fest can last for one month. Indian PM will be visiting SAARC in Pakistan and as expected Pakistan dictator will come up with his stupid stunts.

<b>Indo-China </b>relationship is improving because of common economic interest and China is worried about US cozy relationship with India. Trusting China will be biggest blunder for Indian Government, they should not ignore development on Brahmputra river, Arunachal Pradesh and support to terrorist in BanglaDesh , Burma.

<b>Indo-SriLanka </b>– Sri lanka situation is now moving towards worse because of political unrest and LTTE is not happy with peace efforts. This will effect India coming year. I hope this situation will not drag India into Lanka mess.

<b>Nepal</b> will be hotspot. US, India and China is directly involved and Pakistan is busy giving their moral support to Maoist. After resuming air link Pakistan will try to put more efforts to destabilize Nepal and create problems for India.

<b>Indo US</b> relationship will be worth to watch. Looks like India will get involved in Iraq. Mainly, civilian role and will get drag in policing role also.
Economically, election year will bring lot of legislation which will be good or bad for India. IT sector may see slow down.

For a change <b>Israel </b>is without suicide attack for more than 5 weeks. Which means either US is able to put enough pressure on Palestine authority to stop attack on Israel or Israel raids inside occupied Palestine really worked or these terrorist and their operators are now busy in Iraq.

Turmoil in House of <b>Saud </b> .
Vishal you need to educate yourself about indian foreign policy, past and present before commenting about things. <!--emo&Smile--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='smile.gif' /><!--endemo-->

Your posts that we should get closer to china is quite amateurish <!--emo&:blink:--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/blink.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='blink.gif' /><!--endemo-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->New Year is just weeks away, World had changed lot for better or for worse this year.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
A little off topic .... any of you remember comments made by OBL in one of his tapes earlier in the year that this would be his last year and he's planning to 'go down' in the 'belly of the eagle'?
OBL is not dead and still kicking, he may give surprise. It was really shocking to see video of 9/11 which was on some OBL cronies site and shown on TV two days back.

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