People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 30

July 24, 2011






Indo-US Joint Statement


Subordinate Ally of USA?



THE joint statement issued after the second India-USA strategic dialogue  resoundingly confirms the apprehensions aired by these columns in the past and the Left parties that the Indo-US nuclear deal clinched in 2008 was actually the launch pad for drawing India as a subordinate ally of US imperialism’s global designs.  It is not a strategic relationship between two individual countries alone. India has virtually become a partner of USA’s global geo-political strategy. 


The joint statement reflected that both sides are “committed to continuing to broaden and deepen the Indo-US global strategic partnership”.  Referring to “the relationships extra ordinary breadth and depth”, the statement says: “Since the inaugural strategic dialogue in 2010, the India-US partnership has resulted in advances in nearly every area of human endeavour”.  In the bargain, the USA is reneging on what the UPA-I government told the Indian parliament that the US had agreed to give India “full civilian nuclear cooperation”.  We shall return to this later. 


Confirming that India is now a part of US global strategy, the statement informs that, “The two sides launched a Central Asia Dialogue in June 2011 in New Delhi and a West Asia Dialogue in July 2011 in Washington DC.  The two sides intend to expand strategic consultations to other regions, including Latin America and Caribbean, and plan to hold the fourth round of the East Asia Dialogue in September 2011. 


India, the United states, and Japan plan to commence a trilateral dialogue at senior official level.”


The two sides reaffirm their commitment for “consultation, coordination and cooperation on Afghanistan.”  The statement also speaks of joint Indo-US initiatives in Africa and other parts of the globe. 


This has serious implications for India’s national and internal security.  We have repeatedly discussed in these columns in the past that State terrorism sponsored by US imperialism and acts of fundamentalist terrorism feed upon each other.  The US military occupation of Iraq, the NATO operations in Afghanistan led by the USA, its latest military offensive against Libya and the continued intransigence in refusing to grant Palestinians their genuine right to a homeland are all instances that are globally perceived as examples of US imperialism’s hegemonism and efforts to impose a unilateral world order under its leadership.  It is not in India’s national or security interests to become a partner of the USA in such a global strategy. 


While there is talk of combating global terrorism jointly and to strengthen counter terrorism cooperation, the joint statement “called for Pakistan to move expeditiously in prosecuting those involved in the November 2008 Mumbai terror attack”.  The Indian people are, thus, left with no greater insight as what the USA would do to ensure this   as well as on other related issues like Headley etc.


While the statement speaks of a wide range of issues from cooperation on cyber issues, open source “” platforms, strengthening election management capacities, maritime security etc, the key area remains in  welcoming the “progress in bilateral defence cooperation”.  The statement informs that India’s defence orders from US companies had reached “a cumulative value of over $ 8 billion in the last decade”, ie, over Rs 40,000 crores.  This is the primary objective of the USA which seeks to promote its commercial interests in the areas of defence and nuclear power generation by selling us an equivalent, if not greater, value in nuclear reactors. 


Another area of concern are the plans in the field of education.  The joint statement talks of a higher education summit between India and USA be held in October this year to emphasise the many avenues of collaboration. Such a dialogue is to continue through annual meetings incorporating the private/non-governmental sectors. As a part of the Obama-Singh 21st century knowledge initiative, the linkages from post-secondary level onwards are designed to be strengthened. All these are part of the plans of the UPA-II government to not only privatise education in India further but to permit the entry of foreign universities and institutions to open their profit raking  shops in our country. 


While there is talk of greater cooperation in many other fields including space exploration, on the civil nuclear cooperation issue, the USA remains ambivalent to its 2008 commitment to transfer technologies to India and continues to put pressure on India to amend its Nuclear Liability Bill that absolves the suppliers of nuclear reactors of all obligations and responsibilities in the event of an unfortunate accident.  The CPI(M) Polit Bureau statement carried alongside in this issue explains our position.  In this context, it is important to note what a key player behind the Indo-US nuclear deal, the then chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, Anil Kakodkar has to say.  Despite the fact that the USA had assured India in 2008 that the Nuclear Supplier Group will give a “clean waiver” to India permitting the transfer of enrichment and reprocessing (ENR) technologies, they are now reneging on this by stating that such transfer will only be permitted to those countries that are signatories to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT). India has refused to sign the NPT as it is patently discriminatory.  Kakodkar calls this a “betrayal”. On the pressure on India to sign the NPT, he was categorical in saying that, “We have to protect our interests”.  Another former chairman of India’s Atomic Energy Commission, P K Iyengar, feels that the new conditions, “are an indirect way of forcing India to sign the NPT.  I felt that the Indo-US nuclear deal was a non-starter right from the beginning and this is proving right.”


It has been announced that the India-US strategic dialogue will take place annually and the next is planned for Washington DC in 2012.  It is clear that the direction in which this dialogue is proceeding will only further cement India’s role as a subordinate ally of US imperialism’s global geopolitical strategies.  India’s strength has always been and shall continue to be its independent role in international affairs reflecting the aspirations of the vast billions of people that inhabit the developing world.  This requires India to uncompromisingly maintain an independent foreign policy while seeking to improve our relations with all countries based on the principles of the panchsheel.  The efforts to deny India this legitimate role and authority in the international comity of nations by becoming a partner of US global strategy must be resisted to the hilt. 

(July 20, 2011)