Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Friday, September 24, 2004

Nuclear Detente in South Asia?

When I was in college at Lawrence U. in Appleton, Wisconsin, we had this political science professor from Mumbai (Bombay) who spoke just like John Hausman from the Paper Chase. His voice was slightly English in accent but mostly it just oozed centuries of family membership in the elite of India that might even have pre-dated the British "Raj". As Freshmen, we were scared to death of him. One day he asked us, "Does anyone know what is important about today?" Nervously a hand went up....."Its the 25 anniversary of the assasination of JFK?" (which it was by the way, pretty sharp for a frosh). "No..." said the professor, "Although I suppose that's improtant tooo. There was an election in PakiSTAN today. What do you dooo here in the Midwest just sit around and watch the corn grow?" (I thought that was unfair since most students at LU were from Chicago, Minneapolis and Milwaukee and this guy had lived for over 30 years in Appleton, Wisconsin and he was calling us hicks?) In his defense the new Prime Minister of Pakistan was Benizir Bhuto, the first woman head of government in any Muslim country and only the second woman head of government in the world.

So, does anyone know what is important about today?

India and Pakistan are holding a summit in New York City (note: not Washington, D.C.). You can read the BBC.com story about it here. This peace process has survived a leadership turnover in India and several minor border clashes in Kashmir. This is a HUGE development in the world. The nuclear standoff between these two countries is dangerous beyond measure. That they are talking and saying nice things about each other is fantastic! I only hope Musharraf can avoid being killed for his trouble.

I'm very interested to read what von Brawn thinks of it. My take is that India and Pakistan have looked into the abyss and decided they like living more than they hate each other. In other words this could another case where we have to chalk one up for Mutually Assured Destruction.

While I'm waxing speculative about South Asia, I'll suggest that India should get a permanent seat on the Security Council. After all China has one and India and China have serious strategic differences in South Asia and South East Asia. According to the original logic of the Security Council, both should be represented. By the way, I think putting Japan on the Security Council wouldn't be a bad idea either. Germany, I'm not so sure. The EU/Western Europe already has two votes on the S.C. Would adding Germany really incorporate new strategic interests? Anyway, India is clearly a responsible nuclear nation that also has a powerful conventional army, navy and airforce capable to projecting power throughout the Indian Ocean (India has aircraft carriers which China does not). India has its own strategic agenda independent of the US and in potential conflict with China. So they should be on the S.C.

Comments? Discussion?

2 comments:

Gaoshan said...

Given the mind boggeling lack on general knowledge that, in my opinion, far too many of today's college students (esp. American students) display (AN ASIDE: the other day a student with good grades and a reputation for doing good work asked, "What is the E.U.? Does that stand for "Europe" or something?" Argh! OMFG!!!! ok, back to my post) I think it's not so unusual for a professor to think quite highly of themselves. Of course, professors tend to do that under most circumstances, anyway. Hmmm.

That such a summit is being held is good. Now lets see if it leads to anything or turns out to be nothing more than political masturbation.

India having a permanent seat on the security council would be a great idea! You are right on about the China/India situation and giving India a bit of pull in that area would most likely be a good, long term idea. Of course, what might this do to Pakistan/India relations? Pakistan is sure to use it's pull amongst Muslim states to oppose such an inclusion.

We could also consider the thought that being on the UN Security Council isn't worth a damn. I mean, what REAL power does it hold? It couldn't stop the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

Raised By Republicans said...

Being on the Security Council would let India veto some move by China that only they and China cared about. It would let India block moves by China that were backed by the USA too.

Most importantly, it would provide a forum in which India's position on matters of strategic concern would be displayed publicly. That would give China better information about what India's reaction might be to some action they took.