Archive for the ‘History’ category

In the News: America’s Secret War in Pakistan

23 September, 2010

In historical parallel to US operations in Cambodia and Laos during the Vietnam War, America is now engaged in a secret war in Afghanistan.

“Counterterrorist Pursuit Team: 3,000 Man CIA Paramilitary Force Hunts Militants In Afghanistan, Pakistan”.

KIMBERLY DOZIER and ADAM GOLDMAN

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/22/counterterrorist-pursuit-_n_734961.html

WASHINGTON — The CIA has trained and bankrolled a well-paid force of elite Afghan paramilitaries for nearly eight years to hunt al-Qaida and the Taliban for the CIA, according to current and former U.S. officials.

Modeled after U.S. special forces, the Counterterrorist Pursuit Team was set up in the months following the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2002 to penetrate territory controlled by the Taliban and al-Qaida and target militants for interrogations by CIA officials.

The 3,000-strong Afghan teams are used for surveillance and long-range reconnaissance missions and some have trained at CIA facilities in the United States. The force has operated in Kabul and some of Afghanistan’s most violence-wracked provinces including Kandahar, Khost, Paktia and Paktika, according to a security professional familiar with the program.

The security official and former intelligence officials spoke about the Afghan force on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the sensitive information.

The secret Afghan force has emerged as a new component of ramped-up American counter-terror operations against the Taliban in Afghanistan and against al-Qaida and allies over the mountainous border in Pakistan. The U.S. military, including special operations forces, has been working with the CIA in an intensified crackdown against militants on both sides of the border.

Drone strikes run by the CIA are at their highest level yet against Afghan Taliban, Haqqani and al-Qaida leaders in Pakistan, while U.S. special operations forces have been staging combined raids with Afghan army special forces against the midlevel leadership that operates on the Afghan side.

The Afghan pursuit teams were described in detail in Bob Woodward’s new book, “Obama’s Wars,” due out Monday. Woodward reported that the units conducted covert operations inside neighboring Pakistan’s lawless border areas as part of a campaign against al-Qaida and Taliban havens.

Pakistan allows U.S. special operations forces to enter the border region only for limited training missions. The use of Afghan paramilitaries to carry out spying activities will likely inflame already frayed political relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“We do not allow any foreign troops or militia to operate on our side of the border,” Pakistani army spokesman Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas said. “There are no reports of any such incident, and, should it happen in future, they will be fired upon by our troops.”

Unlike regular Afghan army commandos, the CIA-run Afghan paramilitary units mostly work independently from CIA paramilitary or special operations forces but will occasionally combine forces for an operation. Despite operating independently, the units coordinate their operations with NATO, the security professional said.

The Afghan force became the focus of a debate last year between CIA and military officials over who would control its operations. The CIA remained the lead agency, the former official said. The paramilitaries earn generous salaries compared to Afghans employed by the army or police.

The CIA-run Afghan paramilitary in Kandahar were compensated on an elite pay scale, according to human rights investigators. The average paramilitary in the force could earn $340 a month while a regiment head could take home as much as $1,000.

In Uruzgan, the U.S. pays members $300 to $320 per month. In comparison, a freshly recruited Afghan solider in troubled Helmand province earns about $240 a month. And Afghan policemen make an average starting salary of only about $140 per month. Even the Taliban reportedly pays its footsoldiers about $250 to $300 a month.

While U.S. officials insist the paramilitary forces have an excellent record, at least one unit stumbled badly in the past. The Kandahar branch paramilitaries shot and killed Kandahar’s police chief and nine other Afghan police officials in 2009 over a dispute after one of its own members was arrested. During their face-off with the police chief, the paramilitaries were wearing uniforms and guns bought by the CIA.

Current and former U.S. officials said the incident had been reviewed fully and that the review found that CIA officers had no prior knowledge that the Afghans had intended to go on a killing spree. One U.S. official said the review showed that the incident was not typical of the force and that the paramilitaries were reacting to what they viewed as the unfair arrest of one their people by one of their rivals.

Jonathan Horowitz, a human rights expert working with the Open Society Institute, said: “These paramilitary groups operate in such a cloak of secrecy that accountability for their abuses is nearly impossible for most Afghans. These forces don’t fall under an Afghan military chain of command, and if a civilian is killed or maimed, the U.S. can say it wasn’t the fault of the U.S.

Horowitz added that Afghan civilians have regularly accused these paramilitary groups of physical abuse and theft of property during night raids, conduct that he said taints Afghan views of the U.S. forces who arm, train and pay them.

___

Dozier reported from Kabul. Associated Press writer Chris Brummitt in Islamabad contributed to this report.

Critical Security Studies

16 September, 2010

My posts haven’t been very prolific lately, but I decided I would wait until I had written something new and original before I posted again. This is an essay on Critical Security Studies, written as part of the Master of International Relations course I am currently undertaking. It is a lot more theoretical than my usual posts.

Critical Security Studies and the Deconstruction of Realist Hegemony.

David Alexander Robinson

Though still marginal within the field of International Relations, over the last two decades a paradigm of Critical Security Studies has developed that challenges traditional definitions of ‘security’ and emphasises the socially-constructed nature of state identities and international systems. This essay will examine the key elements of the critical security approach with particular focus on the ‘Copenhagen School’ – which calls for a broadening of the concept of ‘security’ and highlights the process of ‘securitization’ of political issues – and the ‘Welsh School’, which draws on Marxism and Critical Theory to create a self-consciously activist approach that emphasises ‘emancipation’. These will be set in contrast to the hegemonic discourse of Neorealism, and it will be noted that these critical theories are gradually beginning to be used in analysis of real relations and events.

Since the mid-Twentieth Century ‘security studies’ has been largely synonymous with the theoretical paradigm of Realism (Classical/Neorealism). Ken Booth writes,

“Traditional security thinking, which has dominated the subject for half a century, has been associated with the intellectual hegemony of realism … empha[sizing] military threats and the need for strong counters; it has been status quo orientated; and it has centered on states”. [1]

Realists see states as preoccupied with their own physical safety and autonomy, in an international system defined by its anarchy. “The nature of the system, and its pressures and constraints, are the major factors determining the security goals and relations of national governments”.[2] States are in constant competition to increase their power relative to other states (often in a military form), and these international interactions are more important than states’ domestic cultures, leaders or political systems in determining behaviour.[3] Realist scholar Kenneth Waltz’s Theory of International Politics, which combined an individualist ‘micro-economic’ approach to the international system with a Classical Realist emphasis on power and material interests, is an important example of Neorealist thinking.[4] For Waltz, the international system requires states to operate competitively or be eliminated, like corporations within a free market.[5] Waltz observes that, “In anarchy, security is the highest end. Only if survival is assured can states seek such other goals as tranquility, profit, and power”.[6]

No IR theory emphasises security more than Neorealism, yet David Baldwin observes that Neorealist analysts have rarely critically-analysed what security means.[7] During the Cold War security studies was dominated by interest in military statecraft, and security was uncritically tethered to strategic issues. Thus military force, not security itself, was the focus of security studies and the Realist school.[8] Keith Krause and Michael C. Williams argue that Neorealism achieved hegemony in the field by defining security studies as a cumulative collection of objective knowledge, of which Neorealist theory is the legitimate expression.

“Supported by this metahistorical and epistemological foundation is a series of foundational claims that are now presented as unproblematic facts. The most important of these concerns the centrality of the state as the subject of security and provides the basis for the exclusion of issues other than those of traditional military diplomacy from the field”.[9]

Advocates of the paradigm(s) of Critical Security Studies (CSS) have used historical watersheds such as the end of the Cold War and the 9/11 terrorist attacks to call for reassessment within security studies. They have emphasised growing international interdependence, the danger of arms races, the heavy burden of defence spending, and the changing nature of threats to people’s daily lives, as reasons to formulate a definition of security less focused on military power and more inclusive of economic, social, political and environmental issues.[10] However, while real world events provided social and political space for these theoretical dissidents, their critiques of Realism are based in far deeper epistemological disagreement. Fundamentally, constructivist IR theoreticians criticise Neorealism’s failure to recognise how international systems are socially-constructed.

“As Richard Ashley has noted, [the Neorealist] account rests on ‘an understanding of international society … in which … there exists no form of sociality, no intersubjective consensual basis, prior to or constitutive of individual actors or their private ends’”.[11]

Increasingly theorists are accepting that, in contradistinction to the Neorealist position, the structures and dynamics of international relations, “are determined primarily by shared ideas rather than material forces, and … that the identities and interests of purposive actors are constructed by these shared ideas rather than given in nature”.[12] This shift from Realist ‘rational choice theory’ “to a focus on historically and reflexively constituted practices” provides a more interrogative and insightful paradigm for understanding international relations.[13]

Barry Buzan’s book, People, States, and Fear (1983), was a seminal text in the development of CSS, broadening the concept of security to include political, economic, societal, and ecological elements, and discussing the idea that individual humans were the ‘irreducible base units’ for security.[14] However, for Bill McSweeney, Buzan’s insistence that states remain the referent object in his analysis meant that he did not break radically with the Neorealist explanatory model.[15] By the beginning of the 1990s growing numbers of theorists began embracing more critical analyses of security, in the context of the transformation of the bipolar international system. The critical approach increasingly introduced an ‘instability-of-the-object’ into the understanding of international affairs, and began to posit security as a relational rather than absolute quality.[16] The name ‘Critical Security Studies’ was then adopted for the field by the participants at a small conference: ‘Strategies in Conflict: Critical Approaches to Security Studies’ – at York University, Toronto, in May 1994.[17]

At the core of the constructivist theories is the understanding that actors/objects relate to each other within a landscape of collectively-constructed social configurations. States classify each other as friends and enemies on the basis of their identities and intentions, rather than purely on the objective distribution of power: “U.S. military power has a different significance for Canada than for Cuba, despite their similar ‘structural’ positions”.[18] Actors in the system acquire relatively stable identities through their relations with other states and institutions, but these identities are inherently social in nature and set in the context of understandings that actors collectively hold about themselves and one another. Institutions that emerge from this collective cognition are then often experienced by individual actors as coercive social facts.[19] So, as Jeff Coulter notes, “social configurations are not ‘objective’ like mountains or forests, but neither are they ‘subjective’ like dreams or flights of speculative fancy. They are … intersubjective constructions”.[20]

Even as Critical Security Studies began emerging as a self-conscious field in the early 1990s, it was already experiencing theoretical diversification – Krause and Williams lamenting in 1997 that, “reconceptualizing security has often come to resemble a grab bag of different issue areas, lacking a cohesive framework for analysing the complementary and contradictory themes at work”.[21] Then in 1998 Buzan released the book, Security: A New Framework for Analysis, with Ole Waever and Jaap de Wilde, restating the need for security studies to diversify its foci (to the political/economic/societal/ecological), and to concretely distinguish a new ‘Copenhagen School’ from other Critical Security Studies. A core component of the Copenhagen analysis was that, “the social production of security is sufficiently stable to be treated objectively”.[22] Buzan et al made clear their variance with much of the field, stating that:

“An emerging school of ‘critical security studies’ (CSS) wants to challenge conventional security studies by applying postpositivist perspectives, such as critical theory and poststructuralism. Much of its work … deals with the social construction of security, but CSS mostly has the intent … of showing that change is possible because things are socially constituted. …  [But the Copenhagen School maintain that] even the socially constituted is often sedimented as structure and becomes so relatively stable as practice that one must do analysis also on the basis that it continues … in our purposes we are closer to traditional security studies, which at its best attempted to grasp security constellations and thereby steer them into benign interactions. This stands in contrast to the ‘critical’ purposes of CSS, which point toward a more wholesale refutation of current power wielders”.[23]

Another defining element of the Copenhagen School, particularly established by Ole Waever, was the idea of ‘securitization’ of political issues.

The Copenhagen School’s ‘securitization’ analysis emphasises that ‘national security’ is often invoked by states to legitimise the use of force or other extraordinary actions, and then to mobilise resources and exercise special powers that would otherwise be unacceptable for domestic and international audiences. An issue is securitized when it is,

“presented as an existential threat, requiring emergency measures and justifying actions outside the normal bounds of political procedure. … the actor [claims] a right to handle the issue through extraordinary means, to break the normal political rules of the game (e.g., in the form of secrecy, levying taxes or conscription, placing limitations on otherwise inviolable rights, or focusing society’s energy and resources on a specific task). … it is in this practice that the issue becomes a security issue – not necessarily because a real existential threat exists but because the issue is presented as such a threat”.[24]

A successful securitization process thus first posits an existential threat, then demands an emergency response, and finally undertakes actions that break free of normal social and political rules. Usually the process of securitization conforms to the particular rhetorical structure in which the problem/challenge is equated with state survival, and then given priority of action, “because if the problem is not handled now it will be too late, and we will not exist to remedy our failure”.[25] Securitization is thus a ‘speech-act’, in which a performance of the securitization’s rhetorical process creates rights, commitments or obligations; and the process is also intersubjective in that the audience must accept or tolerate the securitization for the act to be successful.[26] Buzan et al also note that,

“in some cases securitization has become institutionalized. Constant drama does not have to be present, because it is implicitly assumed that when we talk of this (typically, but not necessarily, defense issues), we are by definition in the area of urgency…”[27]

– obvious examples being the threat of Communism during the Cold War, and Islamic fundamentalism today. Buzan et al thus conclude that ‘national security’ is a concept that has been used to silence opposition and allow power-holders to circumvent democracy. They therefore argue that ‘security’ should actually be seen as negative: “as a failure to deal with issues as normal politics”.[28] Waever continues that ideally issues should be ‘desecuritized’ and removed from the security agenda.[29]

The Copenhagen School attracts various criticism from within CSS, commonly focused on the assumptions the School shares with the Realist tradition.[30] Wendt points out that the Copenhagen School follows Neorealists in accepting that anarchies have a particular ‘logic’ and fails to deconstruct interactions within those systems.[31] McSweeney criticises them for portraying identity as an objective social reality to be discovered, rather than a negotiated process continually shaped by social forces.[32] While Johan Eriksson argues that security itself is a social construct, and points out that by calling for a broadening of areas to be considered as elements of security the Copenhagen School may be actually increasing the scope of issues that can be securitized.[33]

Another attempt to produce a coherent CSS approach has been recognised in what is now called the ‘Welsh School’. Ken Booth and colleagues have built their School’s approach around elements of Marxism, Gramscianism, and post-Marxist Critical Theory, with a particular penchant for the Frankfurt School of Marxist thought and the theorist Jurgen Habermas.[34] Some key elements of Welsh School thinking are that ‘emancipation’ should be the primary purpose of CSS, and that research is a form of political practice with normative elements. Thus their research aims to denaturalise the dominant security discourse and investigate opportunities for social transformation.[35] In this context ‘emancipation’ is defined as freeing individuals from, “War and the threat of war … poverty, poor education, political oppression and so on”.[36] They assert that researchers should be, “self-reflexive with regard to the normative implications of their work … [and make] a concern for human emancipation endogenous to their work”.[37] Steve Smith notes that the normative element of the Welsh School attracts criticism from those advocating ‘objectivity’, but argues that in reality there is, “no neutral place to stand to pronounce on the meaning of the concept of security, all definitions are theory-dependent, and all definitions reflect normative commitments”.[38] For Booth and the Welsh School the concept of ‘emancipation’ should be privileged over power and order, which are at other people’s expense, and “true (stable) security can only be achieved by people and groups if they do not deprive others of it”.[39]

Finally, it may be asked whether the CSS framework can actually be applied to real-world events. While this field is still embryonic, analyses are starting to be produced on the basis of these ideas. Examples include Ralf Emmers, who draws on the Copenhagen School to argue that ASEAN securitized the illicit drug trade in Asia, and notes the “securitization rather than the criminalization of terrorism … [and] the so-called war on drugs”;[40] Eli Stamnes from the Welsh School who demonstrates how CSS can shed light on UN operations in Macedonia[41]; and Paul Williams who argues that CSS helps reveal the true beneficiaries of South African economic policies, and emphasises the need for constructive transformation in South African society.[42]

Thus, from Buzan’s call for a broadening of security’s definition in the 1980s, Critical Security Studies has grown into a diverse field that challenges all aspects of thinking surrounding security and the functioning of the international system. Within CSS the Copenhagen and Welsh Schools have so far managed to construct the most coherent and influential approaches, though the diversity and self-critical nature of the field as a whole is its strength. The idea of broadening ‘security’ seems to be increasingly accepted in mainstream IR, and the concepts of ‘securitization’ and ‘emancipation’ are starting to be deployed in real-world analyses. Though connected to CSS, the emerging field of Human Security is seen by some to be superfluous, as CSS may already articulate its ideas and some scholars remain, “suspicious of human security as a hegemonic discourse co-opted by the state”.[43] This has led to the characterisation of Human Security as ‘Critical Security Studies-lite’. Generally the influence of CSS within IR today remains limited, but the growing awareness and popularity of the paradigm bodes well for the future of critical thought and hopefully humanity.

Bibliography

Baldwin, David A. “The Concept of Security”, Review of International Studies, No 23, 1997, pp5-26.

Booth, Ken. “Security and Emancipation”, Review of International Studies, No 17, 1991, pp313-326.

Buzon, Barry, Ole Waever and Jaap de Wilde, “Security Analysis”, in Security: A New Framework for Analysis, Lynne Rienner, Boulder, 1998, pp21-47.

Emmers, Ralf. “ASEAN and the Securitization of Transnational Crime in Southeast Asia”, The Pacific Review, Vol 16, No 3, 2003, pp419-438.

Krause, Keith and Michael C. Williams, “From Strategy to Security: Foundations of Critical Security Studies”, in Keith Krause and Michael C. Williams (eds), Critical Security Studies: Concepts and Cases, UCL Press, London, 1997, pp33-59.

McSweeney, Bill. Security, Identity and Interests: A Sociology of International Relations, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2004.

Morgan, Patrick. “Security in International Politics: Traditional Approaches”, in Alan Collins (ed), Contemporary Security Studies, Oxford Uni Press, Oxford, 2007, pp13-33.

Mutimer, David. “Critical Security Studies: A Schismatic History”, in Alan Collins (ed), Contemporary Security Studies, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2007, pp53-74.

Newman, Edward. “Critical Human Security Studies”, Review of International Studies, No 36, 2010, pp77-94.

Smith, Steve. “The Contested Concept of Security”, in Ken Booth (ed), Critical Security Studies and World Politics, Lynne Rienner, Boulder, 2005, pp27-62.

Stamnes, Eli. “Critical Security Studies and the United Nations Preventive Deployment in Macedonia”, International Peacekeeping, Vol 11, No 1, Spring 2004, pp161-181.

Wendt, Alexander. “Anarchy is what States Make of it: The Social Construction of Power Politics”, International Organization, Vol 46, No 2, Spring 1992, pp391-425.

Wendt, Alexander. Social Theory of International Politics, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1999.

Williams, Michael C. “Words, Images, Enemies: Securitization and International Politics”, International Studies Quarterly, No 47, 2003, pp511-531.

Williams, Paul. “South African Foreign Policy: Getting Critical?”, Politikon, Vol 27, No 1, 2000, pp73-91.


[1] Ken Booth, “Security and Emancipation”, Review of International Studies, No 17, 1991, p318.

[2] Patrick Morgan, “Security in International Politics: Traditional Approaches”, in Alan Collins (ed), Contemporary Security Studies, Oxford Uni Press, Oxford, 2007, pp16-17.

[3] Morgan, “Security in International Politics”, pp16-17.

[4] Alexander Wendt, Social Theory of International Politics, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1999, p2.

[5] Wendt, Social Theory of International Politics, p16.

[6] Kenneth Waltz quote in David A. Baldwin, “The Concept of Security”, Review of International Studies, No 23, 1997, p21.

[7] Baldwin, “The Concept of Security”, p21.

[8] Baldwin, “The Concept of Security”, p9.

[9] Keith Krause and Michael C. Williams, “From Strategy to Security: Foundations of Critical Security Studies”, in Keith Krause and Michael C. Williams (eds), Critical Security Studies: Concepts and Cases, UCL Press, London, 1997, p38.

[10] Booth, “Security and Emancipation”, p318.

[11] Richard Ashley quoted in Krause and Williams, “From Strategy to Security”, p41.

[12] Wendt, Social Theory of International Politics, p1.

[13] Krause and Williams, “From Strategy to Security”, p52.

[14] Steve Smith, “The Contested Concept of Security”, in Ken Booth (ed), Critical Security Studies and World Politics, Lynne Rienner, Boulder, 2005, p32.

[15] Bill McSweeney, Security, Identity and Interests: A Sociology of International Relations, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2004, p123.

[16] McSweeney, Security, Identity and Interests, p3.

[17] David Mutimer, “Critical Security Studies: A Schismatic History”, in Alan Collins (ed), Contemporary Security Studies, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2007, p56.

[18] Alexander Wendt, “Anarchy is what States Make of it: The Social Construction of Power Politics”, International Organization, Vol 46, No 2, Spring 1992, p397.

[19] Wendt, “Anarchy is what States Make of it”, pp396-399.

[20] Jeff Coulter quoted in Wendt, “Anarchy is what States Make of it”, p406.

[21] Krause and Williams, “From Strategy to Security”, p35.

[22] Mutimer, “Critical Security Studies”, p62.

[23] Barry Buzon, Ole Waever and Jaap de Wilde, “Security Analysis”, in Security: A new Framework for Analysis, Lynne Rienner, Boulder, 1998, pp34-35.

[24] Buzon et al, “Security Analysis”, p24.

[25] Buzon et al, “Security Analysis”, p26.

[26] Ralf Emmers, “ASEAN and the Securitization of Transnational Crime in Southeast Asia”, The Pacific Review, Vol 16, No 3, 2003, p422.

[27] Buzon et al, “Security Analysis”, p27.

[28] Buzon et al, “Security Analysis”, p29.

[29] Smith, “The Contested Concept of Security”, p34.

[30] Michael C. Williams, “Words, Images, Enemies: Securitization and International Politics”, International Studies Quarterly, No 47, 2003, p512.

[31] Wendt, Social Theory of International Politics, p21.

[32] Smith, “The Contested Concept of Security”, p35.

[33] Smith, “The Contested Concept of Security”, p36.

[34] Mutimer, “Critical Security Studies”, p62.

[35] Eli Stamnes, “Critical Security Studies and the United Nations Preventive Deployment in Macedonia”, International Peacekeeping, Vol 11, No 1, Spring 2004, p162.

[36] Booth, “Security and Emancipation”, p319.

[37] Stamnes, “Critical Security Studies”, p163.

[38] Smith, “The Contested Concept of Security”, p28.

[39] Booth, “Security and Emancipation”, p319.

[40] Emmers, “ASEAN”, p421.

[41] Stamnes, “Critical Security Studies”, p177.

[42] Paul Williams, “South African Foreign Policy: Getting Critical?”, Politikon, Vol 27, No 1, 2000, p82.

[43] Edward Newman, “Critical Human Security Studies”, Review of International Studies, No 36, 2010, p77.

John Pilger on Wars and ‘Wars of Perception’

12 July, 2010

“The Charge of the Media Brigade”

By John Pilger

ON LINE Opinion: Australia’s e-journal of social and political debate

http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=10668

First published in New Statesman on 8 July 2010.

The TV anchorwoman was conducting a split screen interview with a journalist who had volunteered to be a witness at the first execution of a man on death row in Utah for 25 years. “He had a choice,” said the journalist, “lethal injection or firing squad”. “Wow!” said the anchorwoman. Cue a blizzard of commercials for fast food, teeth whitener, stomach stapling, the new Cadillac. This was followed by the war in Afghanistan presented by a correspondent sweating in a flak jacket. “Hey, it’s hot,” he said on the split screen. “Take care,” said the anchorwoman. “Coming up” was a reality show in which the camera watched a man serving solitary confinement in a prison’s “hell hole”.

The next morning I arrived at the Pentagon for an interview with one of President Obama’s senior war-making officials. There was a long walk along shiny corridors hung with pictures of generals and admirals festooned in ribbons. The interview room was purpose-built. It was blue and arctic cold, and windowless and featureless except for a flag and two chairs: props to create the illusion of a place of authority. The last time I was in a room like this in the Pentagon a colonel called Hum stopped my interview with another war-making official when I asked why so many innocent civilians were being killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Then it was in the thousands; now it is more than a million. “Stop tape!” he ordered.

This time there was no Colonel Hum, merely a polite dismissal of soldiers’ testimony that it was a “common occurrence” that troops were ordered to “kill every mother fucker”. The Pentagon, says the Associated Press, spends $4.7 billion on public relations: that is, winning the hearts and minds not of recalcitrant Afghan tribesmen but of Americans. This is known as “information dominance” and PR people are “information warriors”.

American imperial power flows through a media culture to which the word imperial is anathema. To broach it is heresy. Colonial campaigns are really “wars of perception”, wrote the present commander, General David Petraeus, in which the media popularises the terms and conditions. “Narrative” is the accredited word because it is post-modern and bereft of context and truth. The narrative of Iraq is that the war is won, and the narrative of Afghanistan is that it is a “good war”. That neither is true is beside the point. They promote a “grand narrative” of a constant threat and the need for permanent war. “We are living in a world of cascading and intertwined threats,” wrote the celebrated New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, “that have the potential to turn our country upside down at any moment”.

Friedman supports an attack on Iran, whose independence is intolerable. This is the psychopathic vanity of great power which Martin Luther King described as “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world”. He was then shot dead.

The psychopathic is applauded across popular, corporate culture, from the TV death watch of a man choosing a firing squad over lethal injection to the Oscar winning Hurt Locker and a new acclaimed war documentary Restrepo. Directors of both films deny and dignify the violence of invasion as “apolitical”. And yet behind the cartoon façade is serious purpose. The US is engaged militarily in 75 countries. There are some 900 US military bases across the world, many at the gateways to the sources of fossil fuels.

But there is a problem. Most Americans are opposed to these wars and to the billions of dollars spent on them. That their brainwashing so often fails is America’s greatest virtue. This is frequently due to courageous mavericks, especially those who emerge from the centrifuge of power. In 1971, military analyst Daniel Ellsberg leaked documents known as the Pentagon Papers which put the lie to almost everything two presidents had claimed about Vietnam. Many of these insiders are not even renegades. I have a section in my address book filled with the names of former officers of the CIA, who have spoken out. They have no equivalent in Britain.

In 1993, C. Philip Liechty, the CIA operations officer in Jakarta at the time of Indonesia’s murderous invasion of East Timor, described to me how President Gerald Ford and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger had given the dictator Suharto “a green light” and secretly supplied the arms and logistics he needed. As the first reports of massacres arrived at his desk, he began to turn. “It was wrong,” he said. “I felt badly.”

Melvin Goodman is now a scholar at Johns Hopkins University in Washington. He was in the CIA more than 40 years and rose to be a senior Soviet analyst. When we met the other day, he described the conduct of the cold war as a series of gross exaggerations of Soviet “aggressiveness” that wilfully ignored the intelligence that the Soviets were committed to avoid nuclear war at all costs. Declassified official files on both sides of the Atlantic support this view. “What mattered to the hardliners in Washington,” he said, “was how a perceived threat could be exploited”. The present secretary of defence, Robert Gates, as deputy director of the CIA in the 1980s, had constantly hyped the “Soviet menace” and is, says Goodman, doing the same today “on Afghanistan, North Korea and Iran”.

Little has changed. In America, in 1939, W.H. Auden wrote:

As the clever hopes expire
Of a low dishonest decade:
Waves of anger and fear
Circulate over the bright
And darkened lands of the earth,
Obsessing our private lives […]
Out of the mirror they stare,
Imperialism’s face
And the international wrong

Hearts, Minds and Wallets – China in Africa Interview

5 July, 2010

This is an interview I gave last week for Eric Olander of the ‘China Talking Points’ website – http://www.chinatalkingpoints.com

With reference to my recent article, ‘Hearts, Minds and Wallets: Lessons from China’s Growing Relationship with Africa‘, Eric wanted to discuss the issues surrounding China’s expanding economic and political influence in Africa, and the hysteria demonstrated by Western commentators about this trend. My own perspective, while recognising potentially negative outcomes of Chinese involvement, is that Africa’s new relationship with China has great potential to spur development – far beyond what has been achieved through Western intervention – and that most commentators have historical amnesia with regards to the West’s activities on the continent.

China in Africa Podcast: Winning Hearts, Minds and Wallets by ChinaTalkingPoints

India’s Rise as a Great Power

17 June, 2010

The Regional and Global Implications of India’s Rise as a Great Power.

David Robinson

Introduction:

Over the last decade there has been an increasing focus on India’s economic and military expansion, and its consequences for South Asia and the world. India is rapidly rising to become a great power, but its ascent depends on maintaining relative domestic stability, and carefully crafting its policies towards the United States and its neighbours Pakistan and China. All four states are nuclear powers, so the consequences of any conflict between them are potentially dire.[1] India has found the post-Cold War international environment amenable to expansion of its bilateral ties with all the major powers simultaneously, and has thus pursued a strategy of ‘poly-alignment’ – seeking to be a ‘bridging power’ between the sometimes competing poles of the United States, Russia, China, and the European Union.[2] This inverts India’s traditional non-alignment policy, allowing India to reap the benefits of closer economic and strategic ties while maintaining the same spirit of balanced international relations.[3] To a degree this arises from uncertainty about the shape of the emerging international order, and India’s own lack of a credible vision of its place in that environment.[4] Nonetheless, its growing wealth and population is now enabling India to build up its military might, and as “a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic democracy … India is being asked to shoulder global responsibilities in consonance with its rising global stature”.[5] This paper will consider India’s rise as a global power, and the likely regional and global implications, through a specific focus on its relations with its strategically significant neighbours Pakistan and China, and argue that fundamentally the balance of power between them will not change dramatically in the near future.

The Rise of India:

As Indian power increases it will inevitably challenge existing political, economic and military patterns, but as Harsh Pant argues,

“India continues to be ambivalent about power, it has failed to develop a strategic agenda commensurate with its growing economic and military capabilities … throughout history, India has failed to master the creation, deployment and use of its military instruments in support of its national objectives”.[6]

From independence in 1947 Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru pursued a strategy of non-alignment that sought to avoid participation in the Cold War, prioritising multilateral institutions and the Non-Aligned Movement. Indian policy was always opposed to the use of military force in international relations.[7] However, as India begins to assert itself as a regional power it is today moving to convert its ‘brown-water’ navy into a ‘blue-water’ navy and is expanding the reach of its air force, moving beyond border control and demonstrating greater concern for strategic issues, such as the protection of shipping lanes.[8] While maintaining constructive relations with the United States, India has also been involved in trilateral dialogue with China and Russia, increasingly sharing their vision of a multipolar world based on consensus among the major powers. India has also become a non-voting member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), through which China and Russia have sought to strategically counterbalance NATO advancement into the Middle East and Central Asia.[9] At the same time, it is China’s conventional and nuclear capabilities that many argue remain the primary military threat to India’s security and the key motivation for India’s own nuclear weapons program; while the United States, under the G.W. Bush administration, negotiated a substantial deal that would assist India’s ‘civilian’ nuclear development. India’s other major challenge comes from its unstable neighbour Pakistan, with which full-scale war and nuclear exchange have been avoided despite clashes in the Kargil region of Kashmir in 1999, and attacks on India by Pakistani-backed terrorists in 2001 and 2008.[10]

The collapse of the Soviet Union and the 1991 Gulf War confronted India with an unprecedented financial crisis, as India simultaneously lost access to Eastern European markets, global oil prices spiked, and over 100,000 Indians were repatriated from the Gulf region, thus precluding their remittances. These economic shocks forced a dramatic rethink of Indian economic and foreign policies. Under Prime Minister Narasimha Rao India steered towards greater economic liberalisation and diplomatic diversity. The Rao government sought greater engagement with the United States and China, as well as making overtures to Israel and seeking improved relations with Southeast Asia through a ‘Look East’ policy.[11] Since then India’s average GDP growth rate has hovered at around 7 percent, and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has predicted that in spite of the global financial crisis, India’s growth should remain at 6.5 percent in 2010.[12] Not only has India maintained this amazing economic growth, but it is also envisaged that in the next two decades India’s population “will surpass China’s to make it the world’s most populous country, and its rapidly expanding middle class may constitute up to 60 percent of its 1.3 billion-plus people”.[13] Internationally the Indian diaspora now numbers over 20 million, and is relatively affluent, successful, and well-integrated – spreading India’s ‘soft’ cultural influence.[14] While the approximately 3.7 million Indian nationals now living in the six Gulf (GCC) states specifically remit around $8 billion annually.[15]

Despite India’s meteoric economic development, it can be said India has both the best of the First World and the worst of the Third World within its borders, and faces unprecedented human security challenges.[16] India now has 410 million people living below the U.N. poverty line – 37.2 percent of its population and actually 100 million more people than in 2004 – and millions of India’s rural poor are faced with food price inflation of up to 17 percent.[17] 60 percent of Indian labour is still agricultural, and the integration of hundreds of millions of peasants into a modern economy may be an extremely painful process.[18] And while Indian infrastructure such as roads, civil aviation, ports, and telecommunications have experienced noticeable improvements in recent years, electricity, railways, and irrigation all still need significant investment; and India continues to lag in social infrastructure, such as education and healthcare.[19] These social inequalities have fuelled the widespread ‘Naxalite’ Maoist insurgency affecting vast areas throughout eastern and central India, and whose 20,000 insurgents current Prime Minister Manmohan Singh identified as the “greatest internal security threat” facing the nation.[20] These internal issues pose the first challenge to India’s rise as a great power, as external projection must be based on a firm foundation of domestic stability. The requirements for domestic stability also shape India’s international needs. Pant asserts that,

“The biggest challenge for India remains that of continuing to achieve the rates of economic growth that it has enjoyed in recent years. Everything else is of secondary importance. … Unless India can sustain this momentum, its larger foreign policy ambitions cannot be realized”.[21]

The political stability of India (and similarly its neighbour China) “is absolutely dependent on continued economic dynamism, which is in turn dependent on energy and resources which must be imported”[22], thus the process of diversifying and securing access to international energy sources is a vital element in avoiding domestic social and political turbulence.[23]

In this context Indian oil and gas companies have been encouraged to invest abroad, and have the long-term aim of producing tens of millions of tons of oil a year overseas by 2025. India has thus been developing strategic relationships with the major oil-producing Gulf countries like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, Central Asian states such as Turkmenistan, and increasingly Iran, as potential sources of energy. Multinational oil and gas pipeline projects have been high on India’s agenda for over a decade, though poor relations with its neighbours Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar have prevented such a scheme; while the United States has used its significant leverage to insist India chooses between pipeline projects or a US-supported nuclear energy programme.[24]

The United States has been particularly concerned by India’s relations with Iran, which the international community has worked to isolate for some time. In this case the US is battling the logic of supply and demand as Iran has the world’s third largest reserve of oil, is nearby to India, and India is a resource-hungry customer. But India and Iran also have a convergence of other economic and strategic interests. The ‘Road Map to Strategic Cooperation’ signed by Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Iranian leader Mohammad Khatami in 2003 also mapped out cooperation for increased bilateral trade, and developments like Iran’s Chahbahar port complex, the Chahbahar-Fahranj-Bam railway link, and a Marine Oil Tanking Terminal.[25] The broader aim of these facilities is a North-South Transport Corridor with Russia that would help facilitate the flow of goods across Central Asia, taking cargo from Iran’s ports of Bandar Abbas or Chahbahar via rail to the Caspian Sea and on to Russia’s Caspian ports. This route would significantly reduce travel time and transport costs for exporters like India.[26] India and Iran also share concerns about Sunni Islamist power in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and there are reports of a strategic deal allowing Indian access to Iranian military bases and equipment in the event of war with Pakistan.[27] Politically, Iran has recognised Kashmir as a legitimate part of India; while India is thought to have transferred sensitive nuclear and rocket technology to Tehran, with direct security consequences for Europe and the United States.[28]

So, with energy pipelines still far from reality, and only a nascent civilian nuclear programme, India remains highly dependence on energy imports and increasingly seeks to secure sea shipping lanes for the transportation of oil, from nations like Iran and Myanmar, to as far abroad as Sudan and Nigeria.[29] Nearly half of global seaborne trade passes through the Indian Ocean, around 40 percent of offshore oil production comes from the Indian Ocean, and 65 percent of the world’s oil and 35 percent of its gas reserves are found in the littoral states of the Ocean. This makes the region generally strategically significant. With India’s ever-growing reliance on imported energy, any disruptions in the Indian Ocean (which are particularly feasible at ‘choke points’ such as the Strait of Hormuz, the Gulf of Aden, the Suez Canal and the Strait of Malacca) can lead to serious consequences for the Indian economy. While a key danger is interruption of supply during a time of war, today non-state actors, such as organised criminals, pirates or terrorists, are also an increasing threat.[30] As India increasingly sees itself as a great power, and defines its security in terms of the entire Indian Ocean basin, its strategic frontiers will stretch from the African coast, to the Strait of Malacca and the South China Sea, and potentially southwards as far as Antarctica. Continentally, India already looks to the economic and strategic importance of Central Asia, and has made moves to consolidate its strategic footing, including two airbases in Tajikistan.[31]

The US government’s recent National Intelligence Council ‘Global Trends 2025’ report projects that, “Maritime security concerns are providing a rationale for naval buildups and modernization efforts, such as China’s and India’s development of blue-water naval capabilities”.[32] Indeed India spent $10.5 billion between 2004 and 2007 on creating the world’s fourth-largest military[33], and is projected to spend more than $45 billion on arms purchases between 2009 and 2013.[34] These will include long-range aircraft, aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines that are intended to make India a formidable force in the Indian Ocean.[35] The Indian Navy is planning over the next decade to create a fleet of 130-140 vessels comprising three aircraft carrier battle groups, and has created a Far Eastern Naval Command, headquartered on the Andaman Islands – 190 nautical miles from Chinese facilities at Great Coco Island.[36] Meanwhile, India’s longer-term plans involve constructing a fleet capable of projecting power into the South China Sea.[37] There is also much speculation around India’s production of the new ‘Surya’ ICBM, which may use technology from India’s civilian space programme. India’s Agni medium-range ballistic missile programme currently consists of missiles with ranges of upwards of 700kms, 2,000kms, and 3,000kms. The Surya project will result in missiles with ranges of 5,000 kms, which can hit Chinese targets; 8,000-12,000 kms, which can reach the United States and Europe; and 20,000 kms, which will have a global reach. These will have the option of a nuclear payload, and potentially multiple warheads.[38] The reported 12,000km-range Surya-2 in particular is tailor-made to target the United States.[39] This expansion of India’s missile capacity may create increased tensions with China, and may hinder cooperation with Europe and the United States.[40]

Today the United States remains the key external actor in the Indian Ocean, with its military presence stretching from north and east Africa to the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea, east to Singapore, and southwards to Diego Garcia. “America’s raw power in the region has made it imperative that New Delhi court the United States”.[41] From the time of Indian independence some American analysts already saw the potential for India to compete for influence with Communist China, but as India took its non-aligned path the US found a willing ally in Pakistan, which provided military bases in exchange for economic and military aid.[42] The US relationship with Pakistan led to them taking financial and political actions against India following the 1965 and 1971 Indo-Pakistani wars, despite Pakistan being the aggressor. Eventually President Reagan made moves to close the diplomatic gap with India in an effort to wean New Delhi away from dependence on Moscow, thus the 1982-1991 period witnessed a gradual warming of US-Indian relations. The collapse of superpower competition in 1991 then allowed the United States to move away from its Pakistani ally and engage with India.[43] By March 2000 President Clinton made this new relationship clear while visiting India, stating that, “we are convinced that it is time to chart a new and purposeful direction in our relationship”.[44] This was enacted through the ‘Next Steps in Strategic Partnership’ agreement of January 2004, which announced expanded cooperation in civilian nuclear activities and space programs, as well as missile defence. A senior official made the strategic design of this relationship clear, announcing that America’s, “goal is to help India become a major world power in the 21st century … We understand fully the implications, including military implications, of that statement”.[45]

As part of this emerging relationship the United States has subsequently held joint military operations with India, encouraging them to actively patrol the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea, and President G.W. Bush sponsored agreements facilitating the development of India’s nuclear program.[46] President Bush signed the US-India Peaceful Nuclear Cooperation Bill into law in December 2006, which will result in up to $40 billion in trade with India in defence and energy products.[47] Contrary to non-proliferation goals, the deal leaves India free to develop its military nuclear capabilities and increases its ability to access uranium and nuclear technologies.[48] Supporters of the deal see it as President Bush’s,

“greatest foreign policy achievement. This success, if sustained through wise policies and skilful diplomacy by future administrations, will portend enormous consequences for the future balance of power in Asia and globally to the advantage of the United States”.[49]

Subsequently, under the Obama administration, the Indian government signed a $2.1 billion contract with the US for eight long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft, capable of anti-submarine and anti-surface naval warfare.[50] Despite India’s advocacy of a non-polar world, Indian policymakers recognise the benefits of American sponsorship; and both nations agree that it serves neither American nor Indian interests for a powerful authoritarian China to dominate the Asian landmass, or for radical Islamic to wage wars that threaten the security of both states.[51] Thus, as the United States perceives strategic advantage from assisting India’s rise to great power status, and India is receiving tangible military and economic benefits from this relationship, for the foreseeable future India’s continued ascendance will be supported by the global hegemon.

The Problem of Pakistan:

India’s geographically closest and most frequently problematic relationship is with its neighbour and prodigal twin Pakistan. India’s rise as a great power will most immediately impact the extremely dangerous stalemate between these two states. Many security concerns converge in Pakistan, which has been a key supporter of the Taliban in Afghanistan, factions of which the Pakistani Army is now fighting in a de facto civil war; elements within the state support Islamic terrorist organisations that periodically attack India, provoking regional crises; and, the Pakistani Army has a growing nuclear arsenal, which could be vulnerable to misuse by malicious elements within the state.[52] India and Pakistan engaged in wars in 1965 and 1971, with crises surrounding continuing Pakistani support for an indigenous insurgency in the disputed Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir erupting periodically, and threatening war in 1990.[53] Following Indian and Pakistani nuclear tests in May 1998, Pakistani incursions across the Line of Control in the Kargil region of Kashmir led to another limited war, and the veiled nuclear threat by Pakistani Foreign Secretary Shamshad Ahmed, “We will not hesitate to use any weapon in our arsenal to defend our territorial integrity”.[54] Major terrorist attacks in Jammu and Kashmir on 1 October 2001, and in the Indian capital Delhi on 13 December 2001, again threatened war though merely resulted in major military manoeuvres by India – code-named Operation Parakram.[55] The lack of military retaliation by India despite grave provocation seems to suggest that India is successfully deterred by Pakistan’s nuclear capability, and this in turn only fuels the eagerness of elements within Pakistan to provoke them.[56] Pakistan has adopted an ‘asymmetric nuclear escalation posture’, which has deterred Indian conventional military power and thus enabled Pakistan’s “aggressive strategy of bleeding India by a ‘thousand cuts’ with little fear of significant retaliation”.[57]

India is four times larger and seven times more populated than Pakistan, and as Pakistan averages only 300 miles in width it is susceptible to a central assault that would spilt the country in two. A number of important Pakistani cities also lie close to the international border in the Indus River basin.[58] As Pakistan is thus extremely vulnerable to conventional attack by India’s larger military, it defines such an attack as an existential threat to the Pakistani state. Pakistani Lt. Gen. Khalid Kidwai thus outlined that Pakistan would use its nuclear weapons if India attacks Pakistan and conquers a large part of its territory; India destroys a large part of Pakistan’s land or air forces; India blockades Pakistan in an effort to strangle it economically; or India pushes Pakistan into a state of political destabilisation.[59] This asymmetric escalation posture is designed for a rapid first use of nuclear weapons against conventional attacks, thus leaving India without the ability to punish terrorist attacks through conventional retaliation.[60] As elements within Pakistan continue to provoke India, this creates an extremely dangerous imbalance reliant on India’s restraint to maintain peace.

Vipin Narang notes that, “Scholars who study the South Asian nuclear balance have argued that if a limited clash between India and Pakistan were to expand into a full-scale conventional war, escalation to the nuclear level would likely result”.[61] And most of the ‘war-game’ scenarios played out by the US military also foresee any conventional conflict between India and Pakistan escalating to the use of nuclear weapons within the first 12 days.[62] New analyses of this eventuality reveal that a conflict be­tween India and Pakistan, in which 100 nuclear bombs were dropped on cities and industrial areas within the two countries, would kill more than 20 million people from the blasts, fires and radioactivity. However, in addition, the explosions could produce enough smoke to cripple global agriculture. Smoke generated by burning cities could create a climatic response that immediately reduces sunlight, cools the planet, and reduces precipitation worldwide. This ‘nuclear winter’ would reduce or eliminate agricultur­al production over vast areas, simultaneously decreasing crop yields nearly everywhere at once. Approximately one billion people worldwide today live on marginal food supplies and would be directly threatened with starvation.[63] While some analysts maintain that nuclear weapons would only be used in a measured way, the chaos, fear and interruption of communications that would follow nuclear war’s commencement leads some to doubt that attacks would be limited in any rational manner.[64] Additionally, Pakistan could face a decision to use its entire nuclear arsenal quickly or lose it to Indian forces which seize its military bases.[65] Thus unrestrained nuclear war in South Asia potentially has cataclysmic regional and global consequences.

Following the terrorist attack by Kashmiri militants in December 2001 and the subsequent military standoff with Pakistan in Operation Parakram, the Indian Army announced a new limited war policy in April 2004 called the Cold Start doctrine, which aims to allow conventional retaliation without posing an existential threat to Pakistan.[66] Under Cold Start the Indian army would avoid delivering a catastrophic blow to Pakistan, and instead deliberately only make shallow territorial gains, 50–80kms deep, that could be used in post-conflict negotiations. This doctrine aims to deny Pakistan the justification of ‘regime survival’ for employing nuclear weapons in response to a conventional Indian attack.[67] However, Walter C. Ladwig foresees that, “An operational Cold Start capability could lead Pakistan to lower its nuclear red line, put its nuclear weapons on a higher state of readiness, develop tactical nuclear weapons, or undertake some equally destabilizing course of action”.[68] The danger of escalation is further compounded by the relatively immature ‘command and control’ and early warning systems of both India’s and Pakistan’s nuclear arsenals.[69] Scott Sagan also points out the danger of nuclear accident as, if one of the nations accidentally blows up a nuclear warhead on one of its own military bases, it probably will not have adequate surveillance intelligence to know it has not been attacked by its enemy, and thus may falsely ‘retaliate’ against the other country.[70]

Meanwhile, in the context of the continuing conflict in Afghanistan, Pakistan believes the United States will intervene to prevent war, as it relies on Pakistani troops along the Afghan border, and supplies for American forces are transported through Pakistan. Thus Pakistan believes the only potential military action available to India is air-strikes against Islamist training camps, which itself is not a serious problem, and may actually help Islamabad by killing destabilising jihadists while generating massive support among Pakistanis for their government.[71] The dual problems of nuclear escalation and American reliance on Pakistan for counter-insurgency meant that following terrorist attacks in Mumbai by Pakistani group Lashkar-e-Taiba on 26 November 2008, which killed 163 people, India was unable to respond with conventional military strikes.[72] Any attack by India might either destabilise the Pakistani government, or escalate the conflict to nuclear exchange. In the event of state disintegration, Pakistani nuclear weapons could fall into the hands of militant elements who would attempt to use those weapons against India or the West.[73]

Unfortunately, there is no easy path to stabilising reform within Pakistan. Pakistan essentially has a feudal political establishment, run by a civilian aristocracy of wealthy agricultural landowners and industrialists, and the Army.[74] The civilian political parties primarily function as patronage networks, without deep-seated ideological differences, and merely struggle to control state resources. As a key aim of the agricultural and industrial elites is to avoiding paying income taxes, the Pakistani government is also chronically in debt.[75] The Army is seen by most Pakistanis as the primary defender of the nation and the ultimate guarantor of domestic stability. The ever-present threat of India is used to justify the Army’s disproportionate share of national resources, and the Army itself also owns and manages a large agricultural and industrial empire. Domestically, the Army is the ultimate power-broker between the political parties, and has acted on several occasions to remove the party in power.[76] As successive governments have received bailouts from international financial institutions, neither the civilian political elites nor the Army have felt any real incentive to institute fundamental change.[77]

For the time-being the Army is objectively the most stable and responsible force to control the country. The Pakistani military is the only state institution that works effectively, and without it Pakistan would probably have disintegrated long ago.[78] The dire alternative is the representatives of the rising wave of radical Islam who arose from the madrassas under the patronage of General Zia-Ul-Huq, and gained their training in the US-backed mujahadeen struggle against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.[79] These elements, and more recent jihadist recruits, are currently involved in the Kashmiri terrorist organisations like Jaysh-e-Mohammad (JeM), and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), as well as in the Afghani and Pakistani Taliban who occupy Pakistan’s border provinces.[80] While the Pakistani Army and intelligence services (ISI) are often unwilling to directly challenge these forces (and indeed currently cultivate relations with the Kashmiri groups and the Afghani Taliban), and external (and particularly American) attempts to deploy foreign forces in Pakistani territory would almost certainly make things worse, this unstable situation is likely to continue.[81]

As India’s power increases, so will its ability to strategically encircle Pakistan, through relations with Iran and Afghanistan, and via naval power. At the same time India’s patience for Pakistan’s continuing terrorist provocations will probably lessen. Nevertheless, Pakistan’s deterrent capabilities remain, as either unsuccessful or successful attacks on the Pakistani state are likely to result in either nuclear exchange or widespread chaos and bloodshed. However, if India continues restraint, and reaches out to more moderate elements within the military and civilian political parties, it could leverage its growing economic strength to gradually help a more moderate Pakistani state develop.

The Challenge of China:

On a grander strategic level, relations between India and China will be highly significant as India emerges as a great power. There is a growing interdependence between the two Asian giants, as China is now India’s number-one trading partner, with more than $52 billion in bilateral trade, and estimates are that China-India trade will surpass US-China trade by 2020. China’s powerful manufacturing sector complements India’s combination of a raw materials and cutting-edge technology economy.[82] Strategically, a strong and influential India helps create a more multipolar world, consistent with Chinese interests, however China increasingly regards India as its main Asian rival.[83] China is thus involved in a complex game of encirclement with India. China has armed Pakistan with nuclear weapons and ballistic missile technology, and has built “strong military-to-military ties with Burma, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka as part of what Indians see as a strategy to tie India down, Gulliver-like, in its region”.[84] China is also developing deep-water ports throughout the Indian Ocean to support its projected blue-water naval capacity.

Meanwhile, on the Indo-Tibetan border China continues to press its claims to vast tracts of Indian territory.[85] Over the past year increased friction in the border area between India and China has led to incursions by Chinese troops, the wounding of several Indian border police, and a build-up of military forces on both sides, as Beijing has been uncharacteristically assertive in its claims to sections of India’s Arunachal Pradesh state. The Indians responded by moving 30,000 troops and its latest warplanes into the area, leading some analysts to predict a China-India war within five years.[86]

China rejects the McMahon Line that forms the border between it and India, and places the traditional Sino-Indian border at the base of the Himalayan foothills.[87] For China, control of Tibet is strategically important, providing a barrier with its populous and economically and militarily-advancing neighbour. The high mountain passes of Tibet provide virtually impenetrable terrain which is easy to militarily protect. Along the frontier directly south of this border in India is one of the largest population concentrations in the world. Beijing fears that if China were to withdraw from Tibet this population could migrate into the Himalayas and Tibet could gradually turn into a beachhead for Indian power, which would directly abut Sichuan and Yunnan provinces in central China. The Chinese thus see control of Tibet as a matter of fundamental national security.[88] They also see the 1959 decision by Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to give asylum to the Dalai Lama, and the continuing support for the Tibetan government-in-exile, as perpetuating this threat.[89] Thus, “Beijing’s price for a border settlement and for normalisation of ties with India, appears to be that India dismantle the Tibetan settlement in Dharamshala and request the Dalai Lama take up residence in another country”.[90]

Meanwhile, on a broader front, 80 percent of China’s oil and gas supplies transit the Indian Ocean and South China Sea, so the Chinese navy is increasingly making its presence felt in the area in order to secure its lines of supply.[91] Like India, for China the steady flow of imported resources is not just an issue of economic growth, but also of the longevity of the Chinese Communist Party’s rule. Chinese leaders increasingly fear that adversaries could blockade sea lanes and strategic bottlenecks such as the Strait of Malacca, and are thus moving to an offshore defence policy that will include ‘distant ocean defence’. However, China’s actions may impinge upon India’s interests and destabilise relations.[92]

Following ‘defensive realist’ strategies, the nations will attempt to gain power for self-preservation, and each nation will see this move by the other as a strategic threat, thus decreasing collective security.[93] As part of this competition China has been developing a ‘string-of-pearls’ strategy, expanding influence into ports in Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. According to a report by US defence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton (BAH), “China is building strategic relationships along the sea lanes from the Middle East to the South China Sea in a way that suggests defensive and offensive positioning to protect China’s energy interests”.[94] China emerged as the biggest military spender in the Asia-Pacific in 2006, and now has the fourth-largest defence expenditure in the world.[95] Meanwhile, China’s navy is considered the third-largest in the world behind only the US and Russia, and it is superior to the Indian navy.[96] In this context, India perceives Chinese actions as power maximisation, and fears that China’s forward-basing strategy will be used to contain India and rapidly achieve hegemony in the Indian Ocean.[97]

Meanwhile, China and India have adopted nuclear ‘assured retaliation’ postures (what they sometimes refer to as “credible minimum deterrence”), which rely on small but secure and survivable nuclear forces that assure a retaliatory strike against their primary opponent’s targets.[98] In many ways this seems like the most stable aspect of the competition between India and China, though it is yet to be seen what reaction a new generation of Indian Surya missiles might provoke. Meanwhile, many analysts expect that China will follow a consistent but non-provocative build-up of its military capabilities and diplomatic alliances over the long-term, aiming to gradually edge the United States out of a hegemonic position.[99] India is likely to mirror this build-up, so tension and possible low-level confrontation may result on the India-China border and in the Indian Ocean region.

Conclusion:

India’s rise to great power status is inevitable and will occur quickly over the coming decades, especially as the United States believes this will assist it in maintaining a global strategic balance. This will lead to a greater exertion of India’s power outside of its borders, and especially into the Indian Ocean region, which it sees as being essentially for its economic and social stability. The two states that India’s ascent will have the greatest strategic impact on will be its neighbours Pakistan and China, however, for contrasting reasons, this impact may not change the fundamental power balance that exists today. Pakistan is already overwhelmed by the military strength of India, and thus its primary defences are the threat of nuclear exchange, or state disintegration – neither of which will definitely be undermined by rising Indian power. In contrast, China and India will have increasingly complex and intertwined relations, but the economic and strategic issues that bind them, and the evenly-matched nature of their conventional and nuclear forces, are likely to maintain relative peace and strategic stability. India sees itself as an emerging great power in a multi-power world, which will maintain a strategy of poly-alignment. With the balance of forces developing as they are, that projection is likely to become a reality.

Bibliography

“100 million more Indians now living in poverty”, The Economic Times, 18 Apr 2010, http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/indicators/100-million-more-Indians-now-living-in-poverty/articleshow/5829267.cms

Bardhan, Pranab. “Crouching Tiger, Lumbering Elephant? The Rise of China and India in a Comparative Economic Perspective”, Brown Journal of World Affairs, Fall/Winter 2006, Vol 13, No 1, pp49-62.

Berlin, Donald L. “India in the Indian Ocean”, Naval War College Review, Spring 2006, Vol 59, No 2, pp58-89.

Blazevic, Jason J. “Defensive Realism in the Indian Ocean: Oil, Sea Lanes and the Security Dilemma”, China Security, Vol 5 No 3, 2009, pp59-71.

Cohen, Stephen P. “Approaching India’s Military and Security Policy, with a Detour through Disaster Studies”, India Review, Vol 7, No 4, October–December, 2008, pp295-319.

Copley, Gregory R. “The Global Energy Framework: A New Conceptual Matrix”, in Gregory R. Copley, Andrew Pickford and Kenneth Chern (eds), Energy Security in the IndoPacific Basins: Looking at the Broader Context in a Time of Change, (FDI Occasional Paper 3), Perth, Western Australia: Future Directions International, 2008, pp7-21.

Erickson, Andrew S. and Gabriel B. Collins, “China’s Oil Security Pipe Dream: The Reality, and Strategic Consequences, of Seaborne Imports”, Naval War College Review, Spring 2010, Vol 63, No 2, pp89-111.

Fair, C. Christine. “India-Iran Security Ties: Thicker Than Oil”, in Henry Sokolski (ed), Gauging U.S.-Indian Strategic Cooperation, Carlisle, PA: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College, March 2007, pp259-289.

Friedman, George. “Chinese Geopolitics and the Significance of Tibet”, Stratfor Geopolitical Weeky, 15 April 2008, http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/chinese_geopolitics_and_significance_tibet

Friedman, George. “Next Steps in the Indo-Pakistani Crisis”, Stratfor Geopolitical Weekly, 8 December 2008, http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/20081208_next_steps_indo_pakistani_crisis

Ganguly, Sumit and Manjeet S. Pardesi, “Explaining Sixty Years of India’s Foreign Policy”, India Review, Vol 8, No 1, January–March 2009, pp4–19.

Ganguly, Sumit. “Nuclear Stability in South Asia”, International Security, Vol 33, No 2, Fall 2008, pp45–70.

Hallinan, Conn. “China and India Battle Over Thin Air”, Foreign Policy In Focus, Washington, DC. 27 January 2010,  http://www.fpif.org/articles/china_and_india_battle_over_thin_air

Hallinan, Conn. “U.S. and India–A Dangerous Alliance”, Foreign Policy In Focus, Washington, DC.  6 May 2003, http://www.fpif.org/articles/us_and_india-a_dangerous_alliance

Hedrick, Brian K. India’s Strategic Defense Transformation: Expanding Global Relationships, Carlisle, PA: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College, November 2009.

Hong, Zhao. “An Energy Comparison of the Asian Giants: China and India”, Asian Affairs, Vol 15, No 3, November 2009, pp377-390.

Kamdar, Mira. “The Real Prize in India-U.S. Relations”, World Policy Journal, Winter 2006/07, pp60-63.

Ladwig III, Walter C. “A Cold Start for Hot Wars? The Indian Army’s New Limited War Doctrine”, International Security, Vol 32, No 3, Winter 2007/08, pp158-190.

Lieven, Anatol. “All Kayani’s Men”, National Interest Online, 30 April 2010,

http://www.nationalinterest.org/Article.aspx?id=23214

Mian, Zia. “A Story of Leaders, Partners, and Clients”, Foreign Policy In Focus, Washington, DC, 27 September 2005, http://www.fpif.org/articles/a_story_of_leaders_partners_and_clients

Narang, Vipin. “Posturing for Peace? Pakistan’s Nuclear Postures and South Asian Stability”, International Security, Vol 34, No 3, Winter 2009/10, pp38–78.

Niazi, Tarique. “Pushback to Unilateralism: the China-India-Russia Alliance”, Foreign Policy In Focus, Washington, DC, 20 December 2007.

Pandit, Rajat. “India inks largest-ever defence deal with US”, The Times of India, 5 Jan 2009, http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India_inks_largest-ever_defence_deal_with_US/articleshow/3934357.cms

Pant, Harsh V. “A Rising India’s Search for a Foreign Policy”, Orbis, Vol 53, No 2, 2009, p250-264.

Pant, Harsh V. “Indian Foreign and Security Policy: Beyond Nuclear Weapons”, Brown Journal of World Affairs, Vol 25, No 2, Spring/Summer 2009, pp225-238.

Pant, Harsh V. “India in the Indian Ocean: Growing Mismatch Between Ambitions and Capabilities”, Pacific Affairs, Vol 82, No 2 Summer 2009, pp279-297.

Ricks, Thomas E. “India-Pakistan Nuclear Rivalry”, The Wall Street Journal, 24 June 1998, http://www.defencejournal.com/aug98/indiapakrivalry.htm

Robock, Alan and Owen Brian Toon, “Local Nuclear War, Global Suffering”, Scientific American Magazine, January 2010, pp74-81.

Schmidt, John R. “The Unravelling of Pakistan”, Survival, Vol 51, No 3, 2009, pp29-54.

Sokolski, Henry. “Negotiating the Obstacles to U.S.-Indian Strategic Cooperation”, in Henry Sokolski (ed), Gauging U.S.-Indian Strategic Cooperation, Carlisle, PA: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College, March 2007, pp1-11.

Speier, Richard. “U.S. Satellite Space Launch Cooperation and India’s Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Program”, in Henry Sokolski (ed), Gauging U.S.-Indian Strategic Cooperation, Carlisle, PA: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College, March 2007.

Sperling, Elliot. “The Politics of History and the Indo-Tibetan Border (1987–88)”, India Review, Vol 7, No 3, July–September, 2008, pp223–239.

Srivastava, Siddharth. “Indian arms spree on the fast track”, Asia Times, 4 June 2009, http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/KF04Df01.html

Sung Won Kim, David P. Fidler, and Sumit Ganguly, “Eastphalia Rising? Asian Influence and the Fate of Human Security”, World Policy Journal, Summer 2009, pp53-64.

Tellis, Ashley J. “What Should We Expect from India as a Strategic Partner?”, in Henry Sokolski (ed), Gauging U.S.-Indian Strategic Cooperation, Carlisle, PA: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College, March 2007, pp231-258.

Twining, Daniel. “Diplomatic Negligence: The Obama administration fumbles relations with India”, The Weekly Standard, Vol 15, No 32, 10 May 2010, http://weeklystandard.com/articles/diplomatic-negligence

Varma, Pavan K. “Citizen India: The Many Are One”, World Policy Journal, Spring 2009, pp45-52.

Walt, Stephen M. “China’s new strategy”, Foreign Policy, 26 April 2010, http://walt.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/04/25/chinas_new_strategy

[1] Cohen, Stephen P. “Approaching India’s Military and Security Policy, with a Detour through Disaster Studies”, India Review, Vol 7, No 4, October–December, 2008, p314.

[2] Pant, Harsh V. “A Rising India’s Search for a Foreign Policy”, Orbis, Vol 53, No 2, 2009, p264.

[3] Hedrick, Brian K. India’s Strategic Defense Transformation: Expanding Global Relationships, Carlisle, PA: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College, November 2009, pp42-43.

[4] Pant, Harsh V. “Indian Foreign and Security Policy: Beyond Nuclear Weapons”, Brown Journal of World Affairs, Vol 25, No 2, Spring/Summer 2009, p236.

[5] Pant, “A Rising India”, p252.

[6] Pant, “A Rising India”, pp252-255.

[7] Ganguly, Sumit and Manjeet S. Pardesi, “Explaining Sixty Years of India’s Foreign Policy”, India Review, Vol 8, No 1, January–March 2009, pp5-6.

[8] Hedrick, “India’s Strategic”, p46.

[9] Tarique Niazi, “Pushback to Unilateralism: the China-India-Russia Alliance”, Foreign Policy In Focus, Washington, DC, 20 December 2007.

[10] Ganguly and Pardesi, “Explaining Sixty Years”, p15.

[11] Ganguly and Pardesi, “Explaining Sixty Years”, pp10-14.

[12] Hong, Zhao. “An Energy Comparison of the Asian Giants: China and India”, Asian Affairs, Vol 15, No 3, November 2009, p377.

[13] Twining, Daniel. “Diplomatic Negligence: The Obama administration fumbles relations with India”, The Weekly Standard, Vol 15, No 32, 10 May 2010, http://weeklystandard.com/articles/diplomatic-negligence

[14] Varma, Pavan K. “Citizen India: The Many Are One”, World Policy Journal, Spring 2009, p51.

[15] Berlin, Donald L. “India in the Indian Ocean”, Naval War College Review, Spring 2006, Vol 59, No 2, p71.

[16] Sung Won Kim, David P. Fidler, and Sumit Ganguly, “Eastphalia Rising? Asian Influence and the Fate of Human Security”, World Policy Journal, Summer 2009, p64.

[17] “100 million more Indians now living in poverty”, The Economic Times, 18 Apr 2010, http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/indicators/100-million-more-Indians-now-living-in-poverty/articleshow/5829267.cms

[18] Bardhan, Pranab. “Crouching Tiger, Lumbering Elephant? The Rise of China and India in a Comparative Economic Perspective”, Brown Journal of World Affairs, Fall/Winter 2006, Vol 13, No 1, p51.

[19] Bardhan, “Crouching Tiger”, p52.

[20] Pant, “Indian Foreign and Security Policy”, p231.

[21] Pant, “Indian Foreign and Security Policy”, p226.

[22] Copley, Gregory R. “The Global Energy Framework: A New Conceptual Matrix”, in Gregory R. Copley, Andrew Pickford and Kenneth Chern (eds), Energy Security in the IndoPacific Basins: Looking at the Broader Context in a Time of Change, (FDI Occasional Paper 3), Perth, Western Australia: Future Directions International, 2008, p5.

[23] Hong, “An Energy Comparison”, p379.

[24] Hong, “An Energy Comparison”, pp384-387.

[25] Fair, C. Christine. “India-Iran Security Ties: Thicker Than Oil”, in Henry Sokolski (ed), Gauging U.S.-Indian Strategic Cooperation, Carlisle, PA: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College, March 2007, p271.

[26] Fair, “India-Iran Security Ties”, p273.

[27] Fair, “India-Iran Security Ties”, p276.

[28] Sokolski, Henry. “Negotiating the Obstacles to U.S.-Indian Strategic Cooperation”, in Henry Sokolski (ed), Gauging U.S.-Indian Strategic Cooperation, Carlisle, PA: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College, March 2007, p4.

[29] Blazevic, Jason J. “Defensive Realism in the Indian Ocean: Oil, Sea Lanes and the Security Dilemma”, China Security, Vol 5 No 3, 2009, p65.

[30] Pant, Harsh V. “India in the Indian Ocean: Growing Mismatch Between Ambitions and Capabilities”, Pacific Affairs, Vol 82, No 2 Summer 2009, pp280-284.

[31] Fair, “India-Iran Security Ties”,, p265.

[32] Erickson, Andrew S. and Gabriel B. Collins, “China’s Oil Security Pipe Dream: The Reality, and Strategic Consequences, of Seaborne Imports”, Naval War College Review, Spring 2010, Vol 63, No 2, p89.

[33] Srivastava, Siddharth. “Indian arms spree on the fast track”, Asia Times, 4 June 2009, http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/KF04Df01.html

[34] Pant, “Indian Foreign and Security Policy”, p226.

[35] Pant, “India in the Indian Ocean”, p284.

[36] Blazevic, “Defensive Realism”, p65.

[37] Hallinan, Conn. “U.S. and India–A Dangerous Alliance”, Foreign Policy In Focus, Washington, DC.  6 May 2003, http://www.fpif.org/articles/us_and_india-a_dangerous_alliance

[38] Speier, Richard. “U.S. Satellite Space Launch Cooperation and India’s Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Program”, in Henry Sokolski (ed), Gauging U.S.-Indian Strategic Cooperation, Carlisle, PA: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College, March 2007, pp189-190.

[39] Speier, “U.S. Satellite Space Launch”, p192.

[40] Speier, “U.S. Satellite Space Launch”, p199.

[41] Berlin, “India in the Indian Ocean”, p66.

[42] Mian, Zia. “A Story of Leaders, Partners, and Clients”, Foreign Policy In Focus, Washington, DC, 27 September 2005, http://www.fpif.org/articles/a_story_of_leaders_partners_and_clients

[43] Tellis, Ashley J. “What Should We Expect from India as a Strategic Partner?”, in Henry Sokolski (ed), Gauging U.S.-Indian Strategic Cooperation, Carlisle, PA: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College, March 2007, pp233-234.

[44] Mian, “A Story of Leaders”.

[45] Mian, “A Story of Leaders”.

[46] Hallinan, Conn. “China and India Battle Over Thin Air”, Foreign Policy In Focus, Washington, DC. 27 January 2010,  http://www.fpif.org/articles/china_and_india_battle_over_thin_air

[47] Kamdar, Mira. “The Real Prize in India-U.S. Relations”, World Policy Journal, Winter 2006/07, p60.

[48] Kamdar, “The Real Prize”, p61.

[49] Tellis, “What Should We Expect”, p231.

[50] Pandit, Rajat. “India inks largest-ever defence deal with US”, The Times of India, 5 Jan 2009, http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India_inks_largest-ever_defence_deal_with_US/articleshow/3934357.cms

[51] Tellis, “What Should We Expect”, p244.

[52] Narang, Vipin. “Posturing for Peace? Pakistan’s Nuclear Postures and South Asian Stability”, International Security, Vol 34, No 3, Winter 2009/10, p40.

[53] Ganguly, Sumit. “Nuclear Stability in South Asia”, International Security, Vol 33, No 2, Fall 2008, p51.

[54] Ganguly, “Nuclear Stability”, pp55-56.

[55] Ganguly, “Nuclear Stability”, p60.

[56] Ganguly, “Nuclear Stability”, p66.

[57] Narang, “Posturing for Peace?”, p39.

[58] Ladwig III, Walter C. “A Cold Start for Hot Wars? The Indian Army’s New Limited War Doctrine”, International Security, Vol 32, No 3, Winter 2007/08, p174.

[59] Ladwig, “A Cold Start for Hot Wars?”, p168.

[60] Narang, “Posturing for Peace?”, p44.

[61] Ladwig, “A Cold Start for Hot Wars?”, p167.

[62] Ricks, Thomas E. “India-Pakistan Nuclear Rivalry”, The Wall Street Journal, 24 June 1998, http://www.defencejournal.com/aug98/indiapakrivalry.htm

[63] Robock, Alan and Owen Brian Toon, “Local Nuclear War, Global Suffering”, Scientific American Magazine, January 2010, p79.

[64] Robock and Toon, “Local Nuclear War”, p75.

[65] Robock and Toon, “Local Nuclear War”, p77.

[66] Ladwig, “A Cold Start for Hot Wars?”, p158.

[67] Ladwig, “A Cold Start for Hot Wars?”, p166.

[68] Ladwig, “A Cold Start for Hot Wars?”, p169.

[69] Ladwig, “A Cold Start for Hot Wars?”, p175.

[70] Ricks, “India-Pakistan Nuclear Rivalry”.

[71] Friedman, George. “Next Steps in the Indo-Pakistani Crisis”, Stratfor Geopolitical Weekly, 8 December 2008, http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/20081208_next_steps_indo_pakistani_crisis

[72] Narang, “Posturing for Peace?”, p38.

[73] Friedman, “Next Steps in the Indo-Pakistani Crisis”.

[74] Schmidt, John R. “The Unravelling of Pakistan”, Survival, Vol 51, No 3, 2009, p29.

[75] Schmidt, “The Unravelling of Pakistan”, p30.

[76] Schmidt, “The Unravelling of Pakistan”, p31.

[77] Schmidt, “The Unravelling of Pakistan”, p32.

[78] Lieven, Anatol. “All Kayani’s Men”, National Interest Online, 30 April 2010,

http://www.nationalinterest.org/Article.aspx?id=23214

[79] Schmidt, “The Unravelling of Pakistan”, p33.

[80] Schmidt, “The Unravelling of Pakistan”, p34.

[81] Schmidt, “The Unravelling of Pakistan”, p45.

[82] Hallinan, “China and India Battle”.

[83] Berlin, “India in the Indian Ocean”, p85.

[84] Twining, “Diplomatic Negligence”.

[85] Twining, “Diplomatic Negligence”.

[86] Hallinan, “China and India Battle”.

[87] Sperling, Elliot. “The Politics of History and the Indo-Tibetan Border (1987–88)”, India Review, Vol 7, No 3, July–September, 2008, pp223-224.

[88] Friedman, George. “Chinese Geopolitics and the Significance of Tibet”, Stratfor Geopolitical Weeky, 15 April 2008, http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/chinese_geopolitics_and_significance_tibet

[89] Nalapat, Madhav. “The History of Sino-India Tensions”, The Diplomat, 1 December 2009, http://the-diplomat.com/2009/12/01/the-history-of-sino-india-tensions/

[90] Nalapat, “The History of Sino-India Tensions”.

[91] Hallinan, “China and India Battle”.

[92] Blazevic, “Defensive Realism”, pp59-60.

[93] Blazevic, “Defensive Realism”, p61.

[94] Blazevic, “Defensive Realism”, p63.

[95] Pant, “India in the Indian Ocean”, p286.

[96] Pant, “India in the Indian Ocean”, p287.

[97] Blazevic, “Defensive Realism”, p64.

[98] Narang, “Posturing for Peace?”, p44.

[99] Walt, Stephen M. “China’s new strategy”, Foreign Policy, 26 April 2010,

http://walt.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/04/25/chinas_new_strategy

Discourage Japanese Military Expansion

1 April, 2010

This entry is actually a paper I have just submitted as part of a Master of International Relations course. I want to point out that while in the paper I accept rather uncritically that Western influence in Asia is a good or natural state of affairs, this is primarily for the purposes of the argument as opposed to a full expression of my true opinions. However, I do stand by the key idea that expanding Japanese military power raises the probabilities of conflict or instability in Asia, and should be discouraged.

Foreign Policy of Japan Paper

Japanese foreign policy has gradually changed since the Cold War, as Japan’s allies have encouraged it to abandon the Yoshida Doctrine’s institutional pacifism and adopt a pro-active role in maintaining global security. This paper will examine the transition of Japanese foreign policy towards becoming a ‘normal’ state, and consider the questions of whether their quest for a United Nations Security Council seat should be supported, and if Asian nations are justified in emphasising Japanese war crimes in opposition to Japan’s expanding role. I will argue that replacing the Japanese army with an American security treaty helped to maintain Asian stability in the late Twentieth Century, and that most scenarios of expanding Japanese military power indicate an increased likelihood either of regional conflict or decreasing Western influence in the Asia-Pacific. Japan should thus be discouraged from developing its Self-Defense Force beyond minimal requirements. In this context Japan’s membership of the UN Security Council should not be supported, and references to past Japanese atrocities remain relevant and appropriate in discussions of Japan’s international role.

The pacifist Yoshida Doctrine, which advocated the devotion of Japan’s national resources to economic development and an almost total reliance on the United States for defence, dominated Japanese foreign policy thinking throughout the Cold War. Henry Kissinger thought those “Japanese decisions [were] the most farsighted and intelligent of any major nation in the post-World War Two era”.[1] Under the Yoshida Doctrine Japan resisted Western pressure to rearm and instead traded military bases to the US for protection. Japan was thus largely relieved of the burden of maintaining a military, and also benefited economically by supplying American forces in both the Korean and Vietnam Wars.[2] Of course, the historical context of this pacifism was Japan’s destruction in World War Two, following more than half a century of imperialist Japanese foreign policy. Japan had fought wars in East Asia against China in 1894-95 and against Russia in 1905; annexed the Korean Peninsula in 1910, and devoted 70,000 troops to the allied invasion of Russia following the Bolshevik Revolution. They were subsequently the main imperialists in Asia during the 1930s and 40s, invading Manchuria in 1931, and sparking the Second Sino-Japanese War from July 1937 onwards through their continued encroachment into Chinese territory. The aim of conquering Chinese territory and creating a ‘Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere’ led to Japanese military expansion throughout the region, and World War Two in the Pacific.[3]

After the war the United States occupied Japan, and secured their long-term military presence through the 1951 Security Treaty.[4] In these circumstances the sublimation of Japanese energies into economic activity was both appropriate and welcomed by a region who feared them, and a Japan who could be said to fear itself.[5] With this new focus Japan re-emerged as a major economic power in the 1960s, and by the 1990s was the world’s second largest economy.[6] While some analysts have characterised Japan’s subservient foreign policy as ‘karaoke diplomacy’, Richard Samuels argues, “it is not the passivity of karaoke but the defensive nature of the martial art aikido that best characterizes Japanese security policy. … As long as the United States was a credible partner, Japan was smart – indeed strategic – in building a military that could deter but not punish”.[7] While Japan might have seemed like a ‘reactive state’, they also exhibited a ‘pragmatic nationalism’ that advanced Japanese self-interest in the unusual circumstances that existed.[8] This enabled Japan to rebuild from the ruins of war and achieve the highest life expectancy in the world.[9] By the 1980s Japan became a large international investor (of over US$2 trillion by 1991) and a leader in regional development.[10]

While the US had urged Japanese remilitarisation since the late 1960s, it was only after the collapse of the Soviet Union that Japan was forced onto this path.[11] Bhubhindar Singh notes that the Gulf Crisis demonstrated a new element of uncertainty in international affairs which could best be dealt with through multilateral military cooperation.[12] Thus in 1991 Japan was called upon to support the war against Iraq amid an unexpected “storm of international criticism”.[13] In 1992 the UN Peacekeeping Operations Co-operation Bill allowed Japan to deploy troops overseas in limited logistical and humanitarian roles, which they did in Cambodia.[14] This was a shift in Japanese strategic attitudes. Ichiro Ozawa, who oversaw Japan’s political realignment in 1993, “expressed his desired course for Japan to be a ‘normal country’ that pursues its own interests by using all the foreign policy tools that other countries use: economic might, military prowess, and diplomatic skills”.[15] Since then the Self-Defense Force has been authorised to use an increasingly wide range of weaponry in their operations, and public support for Japan’s use of force for defensive purposes has risen.[16] So far Japanese security policy remains triangulated between its still-pacifist constitution, the UN Charter, and the US-Japanese Security Treaty.[17] However, sections of the Japanese media and political establishment increasingly call for Japan to acquire a greater range of defence systems, including long-range fighters, nuclear submarines, a missile defence system, and intelligence-gathering satellites.[18] Self-Defence Force spending is increasing dramatically, and there are calls to amend Article 9 of the constitution, and even to produce nuclear weapons.[19] Eugene Matthews argues that Japan nationalism is rising and, “This development could have an alarming consequence: namely, the rise of a militarized, assertive, and nuclear-armed Japan”.[20]

Japan is slowly shifting its political attitudes and institutional capabilities towards force projection outside of its borders, with the encouragement of the United States. Matthews writes that mainstream Japanese nationalists want, “the respect, political influence, and power commensurate with being the world’s second most important economy and a major contributor to world affairs”.[21] Meanwhile, for America there is less motivation to carry Japan’s defence load, as technology lessens the US Navy’s reliance on Japanese bases – which are themselves high-value targets for enemy nations.[22] Japan’s new strategy involves contributing to the international community responsibly, while being seen as increasingly independent from the United States.[23] Pyle notes that, ironically, the Yoshida Doctrine denied Japan the opportunity to demonstrate its responsibility as a military power.[24]

Most analysts recognise that a more independent Japanese foreign policy will lead to divergences from American policies and goals.[25] Pyle writes that Japanese cooperation, “is not so much the result of shared values as it is of the realist appraisal of the value of the alliance. … Japan will seek maximum autonomy for its own purposes … It will not wish to be hostage to the global strategy of the United States or to its relations with China and Korea”.[26] Inoguichi and Bacon hypothesize that the new relationship might conform to patterns such as the ‘British Model’ of a special relationship, a ‘German Model’ of ‘regional embeddedness’ and institutionalism, or a ‘French Model’ of strong autonomy.[27] But these limited scenarios echo the sentiment of Friedman that, “Conventional political analysis suffers from a profound failure of imagination”.[28] While Japanese political moderates may maintain the current relationship with America, more nationalistic elements could, “shift Japanese doctrine from a tethered, defensive realism to an untethered, offensive realism, in which strategists would be ever alert to exploit opportunities to expand Japan’s power. … It would join the other great powers in a permanent struggle to maximize national strength and influence”.[29] American domination of Japanese foreign policy helped to stabilise Asia during the Cold War. Détente with China, founded on the common Soviet enemy, would have been complicated by an independent Japan; and removing any Japanese threat to Southeast Asia helped to focus their efforts on combating Communist influence. It is possible that a newly independent Japan may either pose a renewed threat to other Asian states, and thus generate instability, or alternatively enhance its relationship with regional powers like China, potentially to the detriment of US regional influence.

Japan’s Self-Defense Force is already considered a powerful regional force, and Japan’s previous decisions not to acquire nuclear weapons have been, “on purely strategic grounds, unrelated to antimilitarism or pacifism”.[30] As Japan has a stockpile of plutonium and extremely sophisticated rocket technology, the possibility remains that Japan could become a major nuclear power within a decade if sufficiently provoked by regional competitors like North Korea.[31] Neo-Realist Kenneth Waltz has argued that Asia’s security environment will eventually compel Japan to nuclearise.[32] China and Japan are each dominant in the others’ strategic thinking regarding economic, political and military issues, and the enhancement of Japanese military power must influence China’s own strategic vision.[33] China and Korea also remain “convinced that Japanese militarism, supported by an invigorated nationalist right wing, lurks just beneath the surface”. [34] At the very least Japan’s new foreign policy could escalate into a regional arms race, with the potential for both Japan and South Korea to nuclearise. Issues like the Senkaku Islands, the division of Korea, and Chinese claims on Taiwan provide continuing fault-lines around which conflict might develop.[35]

China also has the potential for internal instability, as its social and political tensions threaten economic slump and social unrest, perhaps even leading to territorial disintegration. In a situation of political factionalism or civil conflict in China, Japan would be unlikely to remain a neutral onlooker, and might become a ‘king-maker’ on the mainland.[36] Japan’s willingness to influence smaller Asia-Pacific nations, in opposition to Western goals, manifests today in forums dealing with whaling and endangered species protection.[37] Meanwhile, issues of biased histories in Japanese schoolbooks, and visits to the Yasukuni Shrine prompt observers to fear new generations of Japanese may forget the horrors of war, and how easily nationalism may turn into imperialism.[38] On the other hand, hostility between China and Japan is not predestined, and they are two economies that already engage in the largest volume of bilateral trade in history. They are intertwined with investment, production and consumption, and 10 million Chinese work in Japanese firms.[39] In a situation of rising Japanese and Chinese power and cooperation, it is likely that Western influence in Asia could decline, and attempts by the US to retain such influence could lead to resentment and conflict.[40]

While America dominated Japanese foreign policy, hostilities by Japan or alliances forged in opposition to Western interests were precluded. This facilitated détente with China, and pro-Western policies throughout Southeast Asia. Encouraging independence in Japanese foreign policy holds a wide potential for developments inimical to Western interests. As this is the case, expressions of this independence should be limited as much as possible. While the likelihood of Japan attaining a UN Security Council seat is extremely low, and China has already made its opposition clear, the West should oppose the goal in order to limit Japan’s ‘Great Power’ ambitions.[41] And if rising Japanese nationalism can be seen as a threat, then reference to past Japanese war atrocities remains important for discouraging the careless embracing of those ideas by the Japanese public, and maintaining the vigilance of the international community against their repetition. As much as many analysts want to promote Japan’s new foreign policy as the ‘natural’ transition to becoming a ‘normal’ power, I believe that the American decision to encourage this transition is short-sighted and may result in detriment to Western interests.


[1] Pyle, Kenneth. “Restructuring Foreign and Defence policy: Japan”, in Anthony McGrew and Christopher Brook (eds), Asia-Pacific in the New World Order, New York: Routledge, 1998, pp123-124.

[2] Pyle, “Restructuring foreign and defence policy”, pp123-124.

[3] Mackerras, Colin, “From Imperialism to the End of the Cold War”, in Anthony McGrew and Christopher Brook (eds), Asia-Pacific in the New World Order, New York: Routledge, 1998, pp37-38.

[4] Mackerras, “From Imperialism to the End of the Cold War”, p41.

[5] Matthews, Eugene A. “Japan’s New Nationalism”, Foreign Affairs, Vol 82, No 6, Nov-Dec 2003, p76.

[6] Mackerras, “From Imperialism to the End of the Cold War”, p49.

[7] Samuels, Richard J. Securing Japan: Tokyo’s Grand Strategy and the Future of East Asia, Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2007, p3.

[8] Pyle, “Restructuring foreign and defence policy”, p122.

[9] Mackerras, “From Imperialism to the End of the Cold War”, p53.

[10] Pyle, “Restructuring foreign and defence policy”, p128.

[11] Mackerras, “From Imperialism to the End of the Cold War”, p49.

[12] Singh, Bhubhindar, “Japan’s Security Policy: From a Peace State to an International State”, The Pacific Review, Vol 21, No 3, 2008, pp313-314.

[13] Pyle, “Restructuring foreign and defence policy”,  pp126-127.

[14] Pyle, “Restructuring foreign and defence policy”, pp126-127.

[15] Sata, Yoichiro, “Conclusion: Japan in Asia and the Pacific”, in Akitoshi Miyashita and Yichiro Sato (eds), Japanese Foreign Policy in Asia and the Pacific, New York: Palgrave, 2001, p200.

[16] Inoguichi, Takashi and Paul Bacon, “Japan’s Emerging Role as a ‘Global Ordinary Power’”, International Relations of the Asia-Pacific, Vol 6, 2006, pp4-5.

[17] Singh, “Japan’s Security Policy”, p314.

[18] Inoguichi and Bacon, “Japan’s Emerging Role”, pp13-15.

[19] Matthews, “Japan’s New Nationalism”, p76.

[20] Matthews, “Japan’s New Nationalism”, pp74-75.

[21] Matthews, “Japan’s New Nationalism”, p85.

[22] Samuels, Securing Japan, p192.

[23] Singh, “Japan’s Security Policy”, p316.

[24] Pyle, “Restructuring foreign and defence policy”, p130.

[25] Sata, “Conclusion: Japan in Asia and the Pacific”, p198.

[26] Pyle, Kenneth B. Japan Rising: The Resurgence of Japanese Power and Purpose, New York: Public Affairs, 2007, p368.

[27] Inoguichi and Bacon, “Japan’s Emerging Role”, pp4-5.

[28] George Friedman, The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century, New York: Anchor Books, 2009, p3.

[29] Samuels, Securing Japan, p193.

[30] Alexander Bukh, Japan’s National Identity and Foreign Policy: Russia as Japan’s ‘Other’, London: Routledge, 2010, pp7-8.

[31] Matthews, “Japan’s New Nationalism”, p78.

[32] Mirashita, A. “Introduction: A Framework for Analysis”, in Akitoshi Miyashita and Yichiro Sato (eds), Japanese Foreign Policy in Asia and the Pacific, New York: Palgrave, 2001, p5.

[33] Pyle, Japan Rising, pp312-315.

[34] Samuels, Securing Japan, p2.

[35] Matthews, “Japan’s New Nationalism”, p81.

[36] Pyle, Japan Rising, p337.

[37] Sara Phillips, “Japan heading for a sea of isolation”, ABC News (Australia) – Environment, 29 Mar 2010, Accessed 30/03/10 at http://www.abc.net.au/environment/articles/2010/03/29/2858777.htm

[38] Matthews, “Japan’s New Nationalism”, pp79-80.

[39] Samuels, Securing Japan, p136.

[40] Matthews, “Japan’s New Nationalism”, pp88-89.

[41] Pyle, Japan Rising, p334.

French ‘Game of Death’ Torture a Disturbing Social Critique

19 March, 2010

“French TV contestants made to inflict ‘torture’”

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8571929.stm

A recent French TV documentary that replicates an experiment from the 1960s provides us with some disturbing insight into society and human nature. The documentary makers created a fake game show in which people who believed they were contestants were tested on their willingness to cause others pain. The ‘Game of Death’ was like a normal TV quiz show, except that contestants were connected to an electrical generator and given increasingly powerful electrical shocks when they got questions wrong. Unknown to the experiment’s guinea pigs, everyone involved in the game and the studio audience were actors except for them, and no one was really being electrocuted. The guinea pigs were encouraged by the studio audience and the show’s hostess to pull a lever to inflict increasingly severe punishment on their supposed rival contestants. This was sometimes taken to the point at which the victim of the electrocution would pretend to die.

The frightening results of the game show experiment were that out of 80 people tested, only 16 refused to pull the lever. 82% of participants agreed to inflict the punishment even though they were aware of the pain it was causing the other contestant. The documentary-maker Christophe Nick says he was amazed by the people’s willingness to obey sadistic orders. “They are not equipped to disobey … They don’t want to do it, they try to convince the authority figure that they should stop, but they don’t manage to”. These results are similar (though worse) than the original experiment on which the documentary was based. See some news coverage on the ‘Game of Death’ on Youtube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYHRq7oMnZQ

The original Yale University research was conducted by the psychologist Stanley Milgram, and is now known as the Milgram Experiment. Milgram’s 1961 experiment aimed to test people’s obedience to authority figures, and was later publicised through his contributions the ‘Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology’, and in the book ‘Obedience to Authority: An Experimental View’. They were inspired by recent prosecutions of former Nazis, and sought to understand how seemingly normal people could act immorally and sadistically. In the Milgram Experiment there are three participants, the ‘scientist’, the ‘teacher’ and the ‘learner’. The teacher is the person the experiment is testing, while the scientist and the learner are actors. The teacher is instructed to ask the learner memory-testing questions and punish them with increasingly-high-voltage shocks each time they get the questions wrong. The learner pretends they are being electrocuted, and later in the experiment may even start to call for help, before eventually pretending to fall unconscious. The experiment continues until the teacher refuses to obey the scientist’s orders to continue delivering the shocks, or goes all the way.

While many people indicated their desire to stop the experiment, most would continue when they were assured that they would not be held responsible. Even people who exhibited extreme opposition to the experiment often continued when told: “Please continue”; “The experiment requires that you continue”; “It is absolutely essential that you continue”; “You have no other choice, you must go on”. The frightening results were that a massive 65% of experiment participants went all the way to the end, and almost all the participants administered shocks at levels way beyond an acceptable limit. See how a British documentary replicates the Milgram Experiment on Youtube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BcvSNg0HZwk

Milgram wrote that, “The extreme willingness of adults to go to almost any lengths on the command of an authority constitutes the chief finding of the study and the fact most urgently demanding explanation. Ordinary people, simply doing their jobs, and without any particular hostility on their part, can become agents in a terrible destructive process. Moreover, even when the destructive effects of their work become patently clear, and they are asked to carry out actions incompatible with fundamental standards of morality, relatively few people have the resources needed to resist authority”.

In the French ‘Game of Death’ the results were even worse, with 82% willing to obey. Mr Nick says that his experiment is a commentary on people’s increased willingness to obey when they are on TV, and thus on the fad of Reality TV shows. The documentary is certainly a sign that the need for social education and resistance to ideas of conformism is as urgent as it has ever been, and a great remaining challenge for those who want to steer humanity along a better path.