The Anglo-Saxon Needs to Embrace a Multi-Aligned India in a Multipolar World
This short write-up is about understanding the emerging multipolar blocs around the globe. I am sad that I did not reflect African interests yet, since the focus is only on Eurasia. Let us understand some things clearly.
Did the US violate international law, like the Russians in the past?
Is the decision of the US of not supporting Ukraine via its own “intervention” based on its past decisions? (As of March 4, 2022)
Maybe, no doubt.
It wasn’t about whataboutery. It is about hierarchies of approaches.
Is the US Government trying to engage with their Indian counterparts?
Yes, that’s visible.
Should this change India’s positions?
Never, because that’s how the realpolitik functions.
Let’s compare this with Dragonbear.
Will China be concerned if Russia falls?
Was China properly intimated by Putin about his plans?
Doesn’t seem so.
Is dragonbear so much institutionally revanchist, or that revanchism is just merely tactical?
Seems the latter more.
The US government might have learned or not, I don’t know, but the experts from the North Atlantic region, surely DO NOT understand Asian public concerns.
It’s not even about supporting or opposing governments here.
Just because state counterparts understand each other, doesn’t mean their public do and so, do the experts.
From Shiv Shankar Menon to other veterans, the Indian strategic circle seems clear.
There can be exceptions for sure.
Is it about morality?
IR (the field of international relations) isn’t motivated by morality. Of course, morality and shared values, might have some limited role to play, but not in every case.
Morality plays a key role only and only when it makes pragmatic sense. Like, it would make pragmatic sense when lives are threatened and lost. Why would it make sense? That’s an objective criteria, on which people can objectively and commonly agree. Ideological critiques and takes over morality are futile.
It is not about the losses or gains always. It is also about the processes and the capillaries that makes history rhyme.
Somebody (maybe Sumantra Maitra) rightly commented that several Western IR thinkers are stuck in their Munich/Sudetenland outlook for too long. That’s not how India and other Global South countries’ thinkers have sought.
Believe me — Indians have tried so hard to understand the West. Yes, colonial and post-colonial arguments also come in, with sense, but since modernity went along, it is unfair to state that Indians have no sense of engagement at all. They do, and learn about societies and systems in their own way, which would always be their benefit of doubt.
That’s so evident.
But thinkers in the West still do not understand India and it’s multi level priorities.
India and Indians can’t blame themselves in a vetoed manner. This self-loathing of Indian concerns, society, realities, systems, history and even strategic autonomy is unacceptable anymore. Objective analysis is different, but convergence of interests is to be made possible. How is it done, is surely a form of art.
Should the Ukraine crisis affect India-US relations and the Quad?
It will not in my view.
Will these 2 relationships however lose relevance if not pragmatic enough to be streamlined?
Absolutely. India cares about it so much. Just look at Amb. Trimurti’s statements. I think that maybe India should not care a lot about it, but its own interest in engaging with Russia, the US and China, in its own way, is completely a sovereign imperative, which even countries like Israel and UAE would adopt, honestly. The recent Quad Leaders Meeting’s statement, especially on Ukraine, despite being “objectivist”, is sadly, distracting by nature. Funnily, the Indian PM had made it clear that the key objectives of the Quad, should remain intact.
Sadly, the US does not seem to care, which is evident.
People can claim paradoxically a lot, that the US is trying to make things better. I do not disagree with that too. Several administrations are trying hard anyways. But maybe, it’s outlook towards strengthening ties with India should not be about:
- Merely China
The latter is important to understand too. Yes, enhancing security is a need realistically.
The US can support India. I still think there is some sanity left in the US establishment. How will they streamline themselves, is something I however cannot predict.
But tendencies do not change fast. In fact they subject themselves to dissimulation. Does it affect trust at face value?
India can hope to prosper itself through the West and I think it should not even need to decouple.
However, India cannot keep a blind eye and so, cannot just stay mum.
On China, it is apparent that India is helpful for the US.
Can the Quad try to do better for the Indo Pacific along with the China realities?
Can Biden make it happen?
No. Joe Biden and Harris’ lack of clarity, despite some aspects of coordination being intact, shows theirs and the administration’s deep inertia & flawed considerations.
So, the core problem isn’t in Russian, European, Indian or other domestic political economies. It’s an Anglo Saxon problem clearly.
It is the domestic issues in the Five Eyes Alliance countries which shape such confused and fractured discourses.
India can help and try, but maybe the Anglosphere has to prove itself better.
India had to do as well. Let the Anglo prove themselves too.
Also, if the US sells this notion that Europe is united because of them, that’s also getting untrue.
The European Union and several EU member states know what they are doing to Russia and how it can affect them.
Can Europe be economically affected by sanctions on Russia, like it was affected due to Brexit, US-China trade wars, etc.?
Yes. All of these are collateral damage issues as far as European realities are concerned. Europe needs coordinated solutions, rather than mere conciliatory strategies and positions. It has to leverage the sovereign interests and potential of various countries such as Germany, France, Italy and Greece, for example.
Should Europe think differently?
Can such collateral damage issues affect European unity and credibility?
There are 4 power blocs keeping aside Africa for a moment — which are not seeking grand narratives, but for sure seeking better self-resilient approaches — West Asia, India, Far East & Europe.
I cannot predict how will they do, because it is too early.
So, it wasn’t about hypocrisy or whataboutery.
It is about how decisions are made and power is reflected upon.
Would it be mature for the US to treat India equally?
Should Europe understand India more?
Will India do the same?
It has done, and it can. Engagement and negotiations can happen through various horizons and at various subtle and real hierarchies.
It seems clear nevertheless that understanding strategic interests isn’t actually accepting those interests entirely, but just clearing some air to breathe in those interests by their taste and vision further.
I believe the Anglo-Saxon still has a long mile to go to prove allegiance to these 4 power blocs. This is my Eurasian perspective.
I had co-authored a special report on an India-led Indo-Pacific vision, in the realm of global governance. Sharing the link below:
To end, on this “impact” on the rules-based international order:
International law’s principled development can become better with more pragmatic scholarship, focusing on the decentralised identity of the field itself, rather than making it pseudo-horizontal or too much catered to how North Atlantic countries look at the global order. Liberal democracy, also is an imperfect construct. How people look at dignity, liberties, fraternities, rights, duties, liabilities and responsibilities — would be a complex web. Can there be some objective standards? Yes. Can those imperfect objective standards be shaped in a better way? Absolutely. This rules-based order has its own strategic value for learners, trotters, winners and underdogs of the realpolitik, which is absolutely natural.
Rules must make better systems, and those systems must see if new rules, would make sense. The helical nature of development only ensures continuity and evolution together. How linear and cyclic understandings shape are of course independent in their own right. The helical progression of continuity and evolution, is not a self-righteous goal, and should not be misconstrued with inaction, and even Pyrrhic means of achieving linear goals alone. That would not let both linear and cyclic means even intact. Multi-alignment — by the nature of its own, can shape up newer multilateral institutions if needed. I cannot predict anything, because it is a piecemeal issue.
However, if a nation-state succeeds in mediating and ceding some space for international law to even work, as if the regard seems discrete and horizontal, yet yielding results, then drivers of ethics can be improved. Natural and statutory moralities, shape with time. They too are not absolute. They can have a continuous character. The nuance of making things happen, is actually the art of ethical inquiry and action. That shapes the relevance of international law and the rules-based order, largely.
I am not warranting or denying every criticism of the US and the Anglosphere itself by thinkers, social media users and even experts. I might disagree or agree with them, which is a piecemeal consideration for me.
Hence, I request that my piece cannot be miscontrued for any good or bad faith reasons.