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Saturday, February 21, 2009

India grapples with the Obama era By M K Bhadrakumar

Khuda aisay dostON say humaiN bacha'aye ~~t

Three factors have shaken up the Indian complacency. First, Indian strategists seriously underestimated the military stalemate that was developing in the war in Afghanistan and the consequent acute dependence of the US on Pakistan's cooperation. This may sound surprising, but the knowledge of Afghan affairs remains shockingly poor among Indian strategists.

Two, Indian strategists underestimated the gravity of the global financial crisis that erupted last year. They couldn't comprehend that the crisis would fundamentally change the world order. Even hard-nosed Indian strategists placed a touching faith in the "New American Century" project.

Three, the Indian establishment failed to grasp what Obama meant when he spoke of "change". The Indian skepticism about Obama's capacity to change US policies remained fairly widespread. The Indian establishment concluded that Obama would ultimately have to work within the box, hemmed in by America's political, foreign policy and security establishment. It failed to see that the US's capacity to sustain its global dominance was itself weakening and that necessitated radical changes in Obama's policies.


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