Friday, October 26, 2012

Be Careful What You Wish

I've long read that it is a Chinese warning that says to be careful about what you wish for, because it might come true. An Indian author believes a weaker America would be good for India. Is he serious?

I find this amazingly narrow strategic thinking:

Historian Arnold Toynbee likened America to a ''large, friendly dog in a very small room. Every time it wags its tail, it knocks over something.'' More recent chroniclers have not been as charitable. They ascribe to the United States less innocence, and credit it with a more predatory outlook in its pursuit of global domination and maintaining that primacy.

In either case, the suggestion that US actions have been damaging to the world either from guileless clumsiness or from wilful depredation finds greater acceptance today than America's own conviction that it has been a force for good.

The bottom line is that the author welcomes declining American power as an opportunity for India to fill the vacuum where we leave.


Granted, the idea that we aren't a force for good has found greater acceptance even in our own White House. That doesn't mean it is true. And even if true, isn't an Indian analyst's job to determine if American weakness would be better or worse for India?

I wonder how this author will feel when Chinese carrier battle groups are sailing in the Bay of Bengal with land-based anti-ship ballistic missiles over-watching their movements?

I wonder how this author will feel if Chinese forces launch a snatch-and-grab mission into Arunachal Pradesh and dare India to take back what China has captured?

I wonder how this author will feel if Pakistan turns fully to China as an ally in the absence of America to look for help?

Ah, opportunities! Don't they sound grand?

Wishes are wonderful things, eh? May India not have to suffer getting this author's wish about not having to endure our guileless clumsiness or willful depredation should China fill that "welcome" vacuum of American decline before India can expand their power to compensate.