Thursday, May 15, 2008

First Comments out of Yekaterinburg

One "lure" the United States has tried to deploy vis-a-vis India in the past is to support India playing a greater global role. China and Russia are just as prepared to endorse that proposition. Press Trust of India reports:

"China along with Russia today expressed support for India's "aspirations" to play a greater role in the United Nations, signalling its readiness to back New Delhi's quest for a permanent berth in the Security Council. "The Ministers of Russia and China reiterated that their countries attach importance to the status of India in international affairs and understand and support India's aspirations to play a greater role in the United Nations," according to a joint communique of the Foreign Ministers of Russia, India and China (RIC) who held a meeting here.

"Russia and China also expressed their readiness to provide additional opportunities to India within the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation of which it is an observer."

An interesting report from Bloomberg--`BRIC' Nations Summit Seeks to Turn Economic Might Into Clout.

French president Sarkozy, by the way, has not only NOT endorsed the call of Senator McCain to "throw" Russia out of the G-8 but has signaled his support for making China, India and Brazil full members and not just have them as "invited guests" at future summits.

By the way, I liked Sujit Dutta's comment (he is an analyst at New Delhi's Institute of Defense Studies and Analyses)--that this BRIC meeting is important because "through this informal arrangement, the four nations will understand each others' policies, discuss common factors and issues and leverage their positions through dialogue." The key word here being LEVERAGE.

Yes. That word, leverage. The BRICs have it too. You might ask why. It's a combination of 3 things:

1) They have something others want.

2) They will bargain those things in return for things they want.

3) They will withold those things if they are not offered fair value in return.

The US government can take a lesson here. The USG seeks obsessively for leverage, but dosen't reciprocate, and never gives it up (is the Jackson-Vanik amendment repealed yet, despite Russian Jews being free to emigrate for the past couple of decades? I thought not).

This means, for countries too powerful for the US to invade, there is no benefit in doing what the USG says. It should therefore come as no suprise that President Medveded is off to Berlin and Beijing, but not Washington. After all, what would he get in DC but a tiresome list of US demands, complaints, insults, and threats? What possible reason does he have to subject himself to that?

Thus we see that it is the USG's very desire to accumulate and employ leverage that deprives the USG of leverage,
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