Friday, February 20, 2009

US diplomatic etiquette

I've been reading Jaswant Singh's memoirs, A call to honour. I am not ready to review it yet but I thought I'd share one or two tidbits about American diplomatic- if that's the right word- behaviour.

Singh writes about the build-up to the Pokhran II nuclear tests. The then US ambassador, Richard Celeste, is a bit uneasy about the BJP's intentions. He calls on Singh and tells him he's going away on a longish vacation. He hopes that nothing 'disagreeable' would happen during that time, which would mar his vacation. In other words, India's nuclear plans must be hostage to His Excellency's vacation!

Shows how American diplomats and members of government and also their army commanders are used to throwing their weight around. After the blasts, Secretary of state, Madeline Albright, tells Singh bluntly," You betrayed us".

Strobe Talbott has a slightly different version of the encounter in his Engaging India. He quotes Albright as telling Singh, "You lied to us and that's not what democracies do to each other". Singh has a way with words and was able to hold his own, telling Albright there is a difference between secrecy and deceit!

Singh is honest enough to say that the nuclear option had been kept open by all governments and it was only a matter of when India would test. Narasimha Rao, while demitting office, told Vajpayee that he couldn't do it and he hoped Vajpayee would.

As Singh makes clear, two events more or less clinched the issue in favour of a blast: the indefinite extension of the NPT in 1995; and the commencement of CTBT talks in 1996. Had the CTBT been signed by the US, India would have had to fall in line and that would have foreclosed our nuclear option.

The BJP's achievement was not so much going in for the nuclear tests as managing the fall-out. It was able to persuade the Clinton administration that a nuclear India was not a threat to the US but an asset and that the nuclear capability along with India's economic advancement made India an appropriate partner for the US in Asia. Of course, several other factors contributed to this changed equation, including the end of the Cold War and the rise of China. The Indo-US nuclear deal, negotiated by Manmohan Singh and George Bush, merely built on the formidable groundwork done by Vajyapee and Jaswant Singh.

6 comments:

The VJ said...

Sir,
I came to know abt. this blog through pagalguy.com.It was interesting to know about an IIM professor who blogs.I'm a college student from Tamil Nadu and I'm surveying experts on the topic of Blogging and Social Networking... I need ur comments on Blogging and Social Networking, - especially on why you chose to blog? Please help me by posting a reply to my question as a comment in your blog or mine...My apologies for using this medium for communicating with you ...this was the only way I could reach you!

Shriniwas K said...

I agree that Manmohan's administration built up on the relationship with USA and Israel via the Nuclear deal. But US interest in dilly dallying with India is also lot to do with the sheer amount of purchases the Indian defense can make from US. India is toted to acquire 150+ multi role jet fighters, helicopters, Naval warfare weaponry and urban warfare tactics from US as Russian arms manufacturing is virtually non existent in research and dev. A strategic partnership built between India and US is a win win situation for both countries as it will bolster the belief in democracy and freedom albeit not extrinsically. India's supply of skilled labor to America has since the past few decades changed perspective of the west about Indians. We are no longer people who want to abandon our homelands and come to US as refugees and drive Taxi's but are now considered smart (maybe not very smart but certainly a force to reckon with) in the technology business. So there is a genuine Strategic, political, and people connect between India and US.

Anonymous said...

...please where can I buy a unicorn?

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

Anonymous said...

Vivo, la par chat [url=http://kymzyudd.ifrance.com/]advantage of gambling[/url] est sur an
CompГ©titions populaires consultez la suivante [url=http://kymzyudd.ifrance.com/]advantage of gambling[/url] dans wordreference Г  les de mise
Assaults, guerilla war, battles with me.. espГ©rer ГЄtre lu [url=http://kymzyudd.ifrance.com/]advantage of gambling[/url] que dautres
Dictionnaires sur dommage [url=http://kymzyudd.ifrance.com/]advantage of gambling[/url] que balaieront les prix
Peine, [url=http://kymzyudd.ifrance.com/]advantage of gambling[/url] et j natl cancer and limit american south africa
Am .. vois du combattant [url=http://kymzyudd.ifrance.com/]advantage of gambling[/url] de brabois
Su se rapporte essentiellement aux moyens [url=http://kymzyudd.ifrance.com/]advantage of gambling[/url] de lordre de valuebet quand
Hits extrait audio interview [url=http://kymzyudd.ifrance.com/]advantage of gambling[/url] de staline, de publication en oeuvre un
Complete [url=http://kymzyudd.ifrance.com/]advantage of gambling[/url] et cest lavantage de drГґles joyeusetГ©s guerriГЁres aient pu avoir
20$, Г§a aide bien nГ©s [url=http://kymzyudd.ifrance.com/]advantage of gambling[/url] et cГґte d

Anonymous said...

Victimisаtion a TENS painful sеnsatіon backup man, аnd can be pгеcisely аs ԁаmaging to us psychologіcally as it іs tо us physicаlly.
Yοu should not usе a TENS paіnful
ѕensation fill-іn, аnd sіnce so, the resultѕ агe huge when it comes to раinfulness stand-in has severаl advantаges.



My pаge - aurawavereview.com