The US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Donald Lu announced on April 22, 2023, that the POTUS Joe Biden is looking forward to attend the G20 Leaders Summit in India in September. He also thanked India for its ‘tremendous’ work at hosting the G20 Foreign Ministerial meeting in March 2023 and told the media, “This is gonna be a big year. Of course, India is hosting the G-20. This year, the United States is hosting APEC. Japan is hosting the G7. We have lots of our QUAD members who are taking on leadership roles. And it provides opportunities for all of us to bring our countries closer together.”
Concurrently, Biden has announced running for the US presidential election in 2024, claiming he is championing the “battle for the soul of America”. Speculation is that Biden doesn’t consider Robert Jr Kennedy much of a challenge within the Democrats being a controversial figure and hopes Donald Trump would not be GOP’s presidential nominee although a new rape case is being opened against Trump in the hope he is debarred from contesting elections. Now running 80, Biden was the oldest person to assume the US presidency when he was inaugurated at the age of 78.
The chatterati feels Biden may even win having raked in billions of dollars for American oil and arms industry through the Ukraine war, pushing Europe into Washington’s slavery, boosting NATO with new tasks for them in the Indo-Pacific, resurrecting the White Taliban Organization, strengthening the rogue-based world order and the Anglo-Saxon Front, and tightening the grip on the global economy and supply chains. Biden also has support of loyalists like Antony Blinken experienced in getting scores of former CIA officials to sign letters to hide Biden’s black deeds.
The only problems foreseen are that Biden may trip on the staircase of Air Force One, suffer a concussion and go into a comma this time although he managed to avoid injuries during similar falls earlier. Then, his teleprompter could also stop or malfunction during the presidential nominee debate; hacked by China, Russia, North Korea or the GOP, leaving Biden to narrate his road trips in China, reveal Hunter’s laptop secrets or serenade Zelensky.
Biden has been profusely praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the past several months, even sharing photographs of both of them together. He may hug Modi tighter during his first trip to India to indicate to China they are bosom friends. But hopefully his praise is genuine and he doesn’t expect Modi to raise the slogan of Ab Ki Baar Biden Sarkar when he is in India in order to influence America’s Indian-origin vote bank in his favour.
The US has emerged as India’s largest trading partner in FY23; bilateral trade between India and the US has increased by 7.65 per cent to $128.55 billion in 2022-23 as against $119.5 billion in 2021-22. It was USD 80.51 billion in 2020-21. In terms of foreign arms procurement, India spent $24 billion in the last five years, much of which came from the US. Even now India is considering procuring missiles and torpedoes from the US for the Navy worth $300 million. Yet, US officials keep harping about weaning India away from defence ties with India.
Such is the ideological brainwashing by the Joe Biden Administration that one finds Josep Borrell, High Representative of EU’s Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, saying that “countries will be judged by how they relate to Russia and China”. Borrell perhaps lives in a Spanish bore well or is sucking up to Washington at a time when European leaders are struggling to balance trade with China in order to uplift their economies damaged due to the US-sponsored Ukraine war.
Obviously, it is beyond the understanding of Borrell, why and what is the theme chosen by India for the 2023 G20 Summit, which reads: ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ or ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future’? He would probably suffer a stroke if he reads Michael Fitzgerald, deputy finance chief of Orient Overseas Container Line, writing that shifting production from China is well nigh impossible since Beijing’s world trade dominance will make cutting it out of global supply chains a tough task.
Now we have another sidekick of America’s rogue-based world order in Congressman RO Khanna (ironically Indian-origin) who says he is working hard on India joining NATO. This self-appointed strategist says that: the biggest guarantor of India’s security “has been” the US (oh boy!); few years ago the US assisted India with border skirmishes (?), and; US technology is better than Russian technology. Perhaps this 46-year old Khanna character thinks Indians are fools who cannot see through the American game:
- Despite an intelligence sharing agreement, the US gave no warning to India of PLA motorized divisions exercising in Aksai Chin moving into Eastern Ladakh.
- Declassified US documents of 1962 vintage reveal US policy directions for giving “some” weapons to India but “make sure India and China never join hands”.
- NATO has been discussing how to undermine the economies of both China and India.
- Eric Garcetti has been deputed by Biden as ambassador to destabilize India and help engineer India-China conflict.
- Ukraine’s friendship with the US has resulted in America lording over the ongoing death, destruction and exodus of millions of refugees of Ukraine, and vows to continue fighting till the last Ukrainian standing. The US wants India to be the Ukraine of the Indo-Pacific.
- The US knows it can’t afford a long-drawn war with China in the Taiwan Straits and end up in situations like Vietnam or Korea. A full blown India-China war is what America is interested in.
- Both Russia and China are ahead of the US in hypersonic technology, if not in cyber and space, and when has the US given India state-of-the-art technologies?
So master Khanna could reduce his intake of Fentanyl and seek medical help to right his dislocated brain. The American history is too sordid and its record of unreliability well documented not to take note. The US is also responsible for the current chaos in Sudan (killings, refugees, hunger, lack of medicines and supplies) just because Sudan Military is amenable to a Russian naval base in the Red Sea. Rather than working on India joining NATO, Khanna would do well to work on keeping Europe and NATO together with emerging fissures being whitewashed on the altar of the Anglo-Saxon Front devoid of morality and human values.
Finally, Biden would like to capture a major defence deal during his first visit to India. Already ideas are being inserted in the media for India to procure one squadron worth of used B1B stealth bombers from the US. This would be naïve considering these would be the first targets of China’s hypersonic missiles whether on ground or in the year. Additionally, the cost of operations of strategic bombers is prohibitive (including attrition) and a hypersonic cruise missile is a much better option – a missile like the Kinzel cannot be intercepted because of its speed.
India needs to think twice before buying old American B1B stealth bombers. According to the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies, which is part of the US Air & Space Forces Association industry group, the USAF must buy more than 200 B-21 stealth bombers if it wants to win a war against China; overall requirement being over 300 stealth bombers.
The author is an Indian Army veteran. Views expressed are personal.
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