Archive for June, 2010

Can US be a Reliable Friend

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010


American self interests and whims have always dominated US foreign policy. It has a history of abandoning its non European allies if it felt that a country or a regime was not following its dictates or going against American interests. The acceptance of the Hyde Act which includes many dos and don’t clauses like India must support US efforts to prevent Iran from producing nuclear weapons and halt increase in nuclear weapons arsenal in South Asia (meaning India) illustrates the malaise. Let us see some examples of American betrayal of its allies:

  • · Cuba. The US had liberated Cuba from Spanish rule and de-facto ruled the country thereon to 1959. Castro had started the Cuban revolution in 1956. The US had been firmly on the side of President Batista who had been elected for the second time in 1955. The US had inducted a Military Advisory Group to assist President Batista and was providing military and financial aid to the right wing, anti communist, pro US, Batista regime in its fight against the revolutionaries. Then suddenly in March 1958, the American regime under President Eisenhower stopped military supplies to the Batista Regime and imposed trade sanctions over human rights abuses. They even persuaded Batista to step down on January 1, 1959, allowed Fidel Castro to takeover power and recognized his government on January 7, 1959.
  • · Pakistan. Pakistan joined the US and NATO alliance in 1958 by joining SEATO and CENTO treaties. It received military and economic aid which encouraged it to attack India. But just because it had not obtained US permission for doing so, the US stopped military supplies including spares during the war. It again stopped supply of F-16 aircraft which had been paid for to Pakistan when it carried out nuclear tests in 1998. Pakistan has stopped relying on the US for military supplies and banks on China for weapons and military supplies.
  • · Lebanon. US and its NATO allies have always supported the Christian elements of Lebanon and opposed pro Syria and pro Palestine elements. The UN Security Council passed Resolution 425 calling for an immediate Israeli withdrawal and creating the UN Interim Force in Lebanon. This force was given the responsibility of maintaining peace after Israeli forces withdrew which really meant ensuring that Muslims did not get an upper hand. The international force was composed of U.S. Marines, French, Italian units. Two truck bombings struck the US embassy and US marine barracks. Unable to accept the casualties, the Americans withdrew and left Lebanon under Syrian influence. They had also abandoned South Vietnam and Cambodia allowing Vietnam to be unified under the communist regime and Cambodia coming under Vietnamese domination.
  • · Georgia. Ever since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the US has been trying to wean away the countries which broke away from the Soviet Union and bring them under US and NATO influence. Georgia is one of these countries. The US encouraged the Rose revolution and rejoiced when President Saakashvili assumed power in 2004. Military and economic aid flowed in and Gerogia became a part of President Bush’s “Coalition of the willing” and sent troops to Iraq. In 2008, President Saakashvili, confident of US support, attacked the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. When the Russians counterattacked and almost took over Georgia, the US did very little. It certainly did not intervene militarily.

Khampa Rebellion. The US supported the Khampa Rebellion in Tibet with funds and weapons through CIA. Most of the aid was channeled through Nepal. But suddenly, in 1969, during Kissinger’s overtures to China, they abandoned the Khampas in favor of relations with China.

These were a few examples of US reliability as an ally. There are many others like Iraq, Somalia. There are many examples of American arrogance like justifying a body search of Ex President A P J Abdul Kalam amongst a host of other lesser Indians. We meekly tolerate such nonsense and refuse to retaliate. Today the Indian Government is enthusiastically proclaiming “US-India Bhai Bhai”. We just had a foreign minister level  strategic dialogue with the US. I hope our learned and honorable political leaders are aware of the US track record as an ally before ditching the Soviet Union and hitching their future to the self seeking American Administrations.