Israelis — doers, ‘karmyogis’ Vs Indians, talkers

Earlier this week there was sustained interaction with an Israeli team of former militarymen, policy persons, and researchers including a fighter pilot from the July 1981 sortie that preemptively took out the Iraqi reactor — Osiraq, that was about to go critical. The Israeli concern this time around was, of course, Iran. [Chatham House rules were the norm, so cannot identify the Israeli or the Indian dramatis personnae.]The point the former fighter pilot made very convincingly was not that aerial strikes to destroy the Iranian nuclear facilities would prevent Tehran from pursuing a weapons capability, but rather that such a strike would, at a minimum, delay Iran’s securing nuclear weapons and could also deter that country from pursuing the weapons option owing to the well-founded fear that the capabilities would again be hit once they reached a certain dangerous threshold, reducing their nuclear weapons project to a hopeless, Sisphyean task that will eventually be so frustrating, the Iranians will give up the effort. Had we this kind of Israeli mentality, we would have joined the Israelis to repeatedly attack Pakistani nuclear weapons complex every time it approached certain level, until Islamabad got the nessage. This option is not practicable any more. But it was readily available during the 1970s and early 1980s when Pakistan was cobbling the N-weapons capability tohgether centrally with Chinese design and material  assistance, and America, helpfully, looking the other way. Washington needed Pakistan as base to mount the jihad against the Soviet occupation troops in Afghanistan, remember? [In Greek mythology, Sisyphus tried to steal fire from the Gods and was punished by having repeatedly to roll a large boulder up a mountain only to see it roll down once he had managed to get it almost to the top.] What an exhilerating change this is from hearing our diplomats and official types constantly bellyache about Washington not doing this, not doing that, not doing nearly enough to rein in Pakistan, its terrorist activities, etc. Well, how about the Indian government doing something about it, such as ordering  covert ops to remove Hafeez Saeed from the scene, instead of relying on the $10 million US bounty to reel him in, which won’t catch this fish. Then again, Indians are talkers, and Israelis are doers — the great difference that cannot be bridged.

About Bharat Karnad

Senior Fellow in National Security Studies at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi, he was Member of the (1st) National Security Advisory Board and the Nuclear Doctrine-drafting Group, and author, among other books of, 'Nuclear Weapons and Indian Security: The Realist Foundations of Strategy', 'India's Nuclear Policy' and most recently, 'Why India is Not a Great Power (Yet)'. Educated at the University of California (undergrad and grad), he was Visiting Scholar at Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, the Shanghai Institutes of International Studies, and Henry L. Stimson Center, Washington, DC.
This entry was posted in civil-military relations, India's Pakistan Policy, India's strategic thinking and policy, indian policy -- Israel, Iran and West Asia, Nuclear Policy & Strategy, Nuclear Weapons. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Israelis — doers, ‘karmyogis’ Vs Indians, talkers

  1. Ravi says:

    In spite of Israel being the second largest defence supplier to India why do you think that some Organisations (particularly Islamic and Communist) vehemently oppose any sort of bilateral ties with Israel.They even held protests and agitated when Ariel Sharon visited India-whereas the same groups never oppose any talks or the proposal of bilateral cooperation with Pakistan (even though ISI openly supports all kinds of support (logistic and intellectual).What can be the reason ?

    • Actually, in recent years anti-Israel demonstrations have been few in number. Perhaps, the Islamic and Communist orgs you refer to understand the danger to them from pursuing their anti-Israel agenda too far — it would tax the tolerance of the majority and, in th context of the military supply situation, be seen as anti-national. This they cannot afford to have happen.

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