Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Bringing India Into the Fold

India’s rapprochement with the West has been going on since the 1990’s; economically this has meant the selling off a state owned enterprises, and privatization of the economy. Politically, it has meant the continued development of bourgeoisie democracy and parties aligned with that process.

The recent trip by Secretary of State Clinton continued this engagement, and in a way, was the U.S. attempting to play catch-up to ties already developed by E.U. states.

Three aspects of the trip: 1) Two U.S. designed nuclear power plants will be built in India, with others in the approval process. 2) U.S. designed components will be allowed on Indian non-military satellites 3) U.S. military manufactures will be allowed to bid on the upcoming multi-billion dollar contract to upgrade India’s air force.

All of these deals will allow a certain amount of state-protected technology to be transferred to India. It means a good deal of money for U.S. based corporations.

These are the same type of technology transfers that China has been blocked from obtaining. It’s a question – why India, and why not China? One can guess that China is seen as having the ability to disrupt U.S. imperial power, whereas India – much poorer on a per capita basis, and more geographically constrained, is not seen a threat. Bolstering India – and in particular its military, is probably seen as a good way to disrupt China’s influence in South Asia. The two countries fought a war a generation ago, and their border is still under dispute.

It is uncertain how all this affects climate change talks. If the goal is not only contracts for U.S. corporations, but also geopolitical, it might mean that some sort of deal is struck with India which would disrupt the rather weak BRIC alliance on this and other matters.

1"The U.S. / India Nuclear Deal" - Council on Foreign Relations

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