Korybko To WaPo’s Karishma Mehrotra: Russian Military Ties Don’t Constrain Modi
The liberal-globalists failed in their campaign to pressure India into dumping Russia so now they’re desperately looking for excuses to help them cope with this.
The Washington Post’s (WaPo) South Asia correspondent Karishma Mehrotra published a piece on Tuesday about how “As Modi visits White House, India’s reliance on Russian arms constrains him”. The piece argues that India’s decades-long military-technical ties with Russia limit Prime Minister Modi’s freedom to criticize its special operation in Ukraine. Mehrotra and her cited experts’ assessment has no basis in truth despite how much it might help them cope with some “politically inconvenient” realities.
Western liberal-globalists and their allies among the Indian intelligentsia can’t accept the Modi Administration’s fusion of nationalism and internationalism since it goes against their ideology. They regard their economic, political, and socio-cultural models as exceptional, superior, and universal, which is why they’ve made it their life’s work to force others to adopt them, even against their will. The Modi Administration’s refusal to have India submit to their foreign models is an unforgiveable offense to them.
Worst of all in their minds is that he and his team have repeatedly refused to take the West’s side in the NATO-Russian proxy war, choosing instead to stick to their policy of principled neutrality and thus maximizing their country’s strategic autonomy in the New Cold War by multi-aligning between everyone. This pragmatic approach served to accelerate India’s rise as a globally significant Great Power that envisages informally leading the Global South amidst the ongoing trifurcation of International Relations.
The liberal-globalists literally hate India’s multipolar grand strategy since it’s truly independent. They wrongly assumed that the Modi Administration’s decision to comprehensively expand ties with the US signaled his team’s willingness to make their country the West’s largest-ever vassal state, which was a fundamental misreading of the reasons behind this policy. Had they not been blinded by their ideology, then they’d have realized that he simply sought to have them help one another as true equals.
From Prime Minister Modi’s standpoint, India and the US have similar economic and political systems, as well as shared interests in managing China’s rise. It therefore made perfect sense from his perspective for them to work more closely together in all ways, though provided that they mutually respected each other. Regrettably, the liberal-globalist faction of America’s policymaking bureaucracy never reciprocated the last-mentioned part of their informal deal, thus explaining their recent pressure on India.
After the start of Russia’s special operation, the US thought that it was “calling in favors” by demanding that its partners across the world arm Kiev and sanction Moscow, but the New York Times reported on the one-year anniversary of this long-running conflict’s latest phase that only 38 heeded its call. India wasn’t among them for the previously explained reasons, which also aim to preemptively avert Russia’s potentially disproportionate dependence on China by giving it a reliable complementary partner.
Had India surrendered its hard-earned sovereignty by becoming the West’s largest-ever vassal state like the US’ liberal-globalists wanted, then Russia might have then become China’s, thus turbocharging the latter’s superpower trajectory and likely bifurcating International Relations. Neither India, Russia, nor any self-respecting country wants that dark scenario to materialize, so with the preceding insight in mind, it can therefore be said that India literally changed the course of history by making multipolarity inevitable.
This wasn’t to the detriment of the US’ objective interests like the liberal-globalist policymaking faction imagines since it actually helps their country smoothly transition into the era of Great Power competition instead of entering into a round of superpower competition with China. By contrast, members of the rival pragmatic policymaking faction accept the limits of what the US can realistically expect from India in their strategic partnership, which was recently articulated by Ashley J. Tellis.
It's this second-mentioned pragmatic faction that’s nowadays back in the driver’s seat when it comes to influencing the US’ Indo-Pacific policy. One can only speculate the behind-the-scenes twists and turns over the past two years that it took for them to regain the prominence that they previously held under the Trump Administration, but their restored role was strongly hinted at in Prime Minister Modi’s latest comments to the Wall Street Journal on the eve of his trip to the US.
He told them that “I don’t think this type of perception (of criticizing India’s ties with Russia) is widespread in the U.S. I think India’s position is well known and well understood in the entire world. The world has full confidence that India’s top-most priority is peace.” The very fact that he’s being feted by the US in spite of defying its demands to dump Russia and the State Department’s “religious freedom report” ridiculously fearmongering last month about a Holocaust-like genocide in India proves this.
If that policymaking wing’s liberal-globalist faction was really as widespread as their media presence misleadingly makes it seem, then it’s extremely unlikely that the US would have invited Prime Minister Modi for this state visit that many expect to mark the beginning of a new era in their relations. This context enables one to better understand why Mehrotra and the ideologically aligned experts who she cited were so wrong in their assessment of India’s Russian military ties supposedly constraining him.
Their pressure campaign against his administration failed so now they’re desperately looking for excuses to help them cope with this, hence their propagation of the false narrative that this is supposedly attributable to that particular part of their strategic partnership. The reality as was explained in this analysis is that the Modi Administration treasures India’s hard-earned sovereignty and the strategic autonomy that it brings, which is why it would never concede on these under any pressure.
The ideological dilemma that this poses for that policymaking faction is that the Biden Administration is openly liberal-globalist like they are, yet it wisely realized that applying a touch of Trump-era pragmatism on a case-by-case basis is required to advance their country’s objective interests. Trotsky-like dogmatists can never accept this, especially if they work within that administration, since they consider it to be a similarly unforgiveable offense as India’s refusal to submit to their demands.
This explains why they’re now running with the false narrative alleging that India practically has no agency in the matter since it’s supposedly held hostage by its military relations with Russia, which it can’t cut off like the liberal-globalists initially wanted without serious national security consequences. It helps them account for the “politically inconvenient” reality that their ideologically driven policy demands failed and were then rescinded by their more pragmatic bosses higher up in the Biden Administration.
Instead of acknowledging this, they’d rather remain under the illusion that their worldview is still relevant and that India will thus eventually come along to the US’ side by dumping Russia after however many decades it’ll take to eliminate that country’s leading role in its military-industrial complex. If that’s what it took for this trip to go ahead and get almost all American policymaking stakeholders on board, then so be it, but no honest observer should be misled by their false coping narrative about this.