Thursday, February 28, 2008

Importance of a Relationship with the U.S.

Last week, when Dmitry Peskov was speaking here, those of you who saw the event noted that I asked a question about his characterization of the U.S.-Russia relationship as "an" important relationship for Russia, but perhaps no longer the central relationship for Russia, and his response--that Russia would pursue essentially the multipolar option.

Then I was sent this interview with India's former national security advisor Brajesh Mishra. Just to give the context, he is a strong supporter of the U.S.-India nuclear deal and of improved ties with the U.S. But he rejects the idea that an improved relationship between New Delhi and Washington is America doing a favor for India--and doesn't see why this requires India to abandon other profitable ties. He says,

"But we should not give importance only to the Indo-US dialogue. When French President Nicolas Sarkozy, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown or Russian President Vladimir Putin [Images] come here don't they discuss similar issues? Why should we give importance only to the Indo-US dialogue? There is Indo-French, Indo-UK, Indo-European and Indo-Russia dialogue going on. What is happening is that India is beginning to have its voice heard in an international sphere."

Spokes and hub approach isn't going to work.

If one looks at the national objectives of Russia, India, and China, the central one is to emulate the innovative capacities characteristic of the United States. At the same time, the diplomacy of these countries ostensibly aims to curb unilateral US influence. There is some irony here.

The other great powers have good reason to anticipate the day that America itself will no longer be in charge of the world. Whether these powers can avoid socially becoming more like America as a necessary part of their rise remains to be seen.
Yes, but US is also becoming more like them; less innovative, more rigid, less democratic with less liberty, lower tolerance for abuses of power by the state...

It works both ways.
Sorry! Meant to say "higher tolerance for the abuse of power by the state"
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