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Asia, next target
Rule Asia to rule the world?
04/03/2010

Unlike their highly effective drones, America’s foreign relations machinery still seems to be way off the mark in South Asia. And it’s apt to begin that discussion with India – the very country that has been projected to have a defining relationship with the US in the 21st century.

Washington has a notion of India as a soft state that can be won over by gratifying gestures and pleasing etiquette – as was done with India’s Prime Minister being the first guest of honour in Obama’s administration. Strengthening bilateral relations and an acknowledgement of India’s indispensability were the only symbolic promises made – and of course, there’s the nuclear deal, where Obama will just fulfil the modalities of setting up an enrichment facility under the IAEA safeguards. Yet, there is enough hesitation from his administration to contribute to India’s capability. In spite of recognizing India as a rising power, the US administration ostensibly wishes China to play a bigger role in the India-Pakistan conflict – a sheer case of contradiction and please-all-policy.

With Pakistan, US seems confused on the question – what does Pakistan deserve more – a carrot or a stick? Around 9000 Pakistanis have died in 2009 alone, being victims of suicide attacks, bombings & other violent terrorist assaults – carried out directly or at the behest of al Qaeda & Taliban. Pakistan has accused America’s failed Afghanistan strategy for its miseries. US, on the other hand, is not at all comfortable at Pakistan’s languid approach towards terror groups and its tacit support to some of them. However, groups like Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan are different – they try to break Pakistan’s stability from within by attacking military as well as civilian installations mostly in North West Frontier Province. And it becomes more complicated for US troops, who were sent in with a focus on Pakistan.

From Bangladesh (which rues Obama’s changing climate policy) to Iran (which has no love lost for any US president), from North Korea (which loves Iran for the same reasons Iran hates the US) to Japan (where the new elected party detests US steamrolling tactics), Obama might now find it hard to symbolically control any geography in Asia – including shotgun friends Israel

By:- Sayan Ghosh
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