‘Am in regular correspondence with former Naval Chief, Admiral Vishnu Bhagwat. His response to LEMOA, reproduced below with his permission, is important because it reflects the views of a large section of the armed forces which has not been heard by the GOI on this or any other matter.
Greetings! My initial response to your mail was a brief line stating that the signing portends ‘unpredictable consequences’. On reading your post of 30 August at where you have substantively commented on the Agreement and its most serious consequences, I add briefly that :
The signing is an act of Capitulation – it signals to the world that we are no longer capable of defending ourselves and that we depend henceforth on the US Military Umbrella to defend India , notwithstanding the belated clarification from the Ministry of Defense that this Agreement does not provide for Bases etc , an eye wash emanating from an organ which has neither studied nor has an understanding of history, geo-politics or strategy. The Agreement secures no security , it worsens insecurity and gravely damages our defenses.
The fact is that with this– we have ceased to be an Independent Power , ceased to be an Independent Pole in an an emerging multi-polar world …capitulated to serve as ‘cannon fodder ‘ to the ‘principled US strategic security architecture in Asia’ in other words the ‘Pivot to Asia’ and South Asia.
This Agreement has been signed at a point of time when Brzezinski has already declared that the United States can no longer control and manage the world and has stated that the US will now work with China and Russia ( Brzezinski has already silently dismissed any mention of India because of our capitulation to the US and its objectives for Asia).( See the US -China Summit Joint Statements– 2014 & 2015)
Further this Agreement and its predictable trajectory demoralises the Indian Armed forces and will steadily erode/diminish their confidence in strategic planning and the capacity to undertake joint operations independently (as in the ‘War of Movement’ in Bangladesh that achieved our politico-military objectives in just 12 days with 93,000 POWs laying down arms). It increases the chances of manipulation of the Indian military to secure US political, military, business/economic objectives in South Asia and the Region in ways that are an open secret in many countries the world over, including NATO members and Europe.
Notwithstanding the rhetoric emanating from top level officials of the US Administration in Washington and during their visits to New Delhi in the 25 years, those of us who have witnessed contemporary history recall that Empires don’t build great powers, they build clients and great dependencies or at most bequeath to the supplicants — ‘Most Important Non-NATO Ally’ (Honorary) status —and this trajectory, and what it does, is visible across the world as you have described.
As you have written LEMOA is likely to destabilise/rupture multi-segment, strategic agreements in place to strengthen our capabilities and capacities over a wide spectrum and open up new fronts of distrust, built up painstakingly over decades.
What is worrying is that this ‘thin end of the wedge’ is signed just at the time that it will do irretrievable damage. Are we so susceptible, so vulnerable, so myopic, just when the old order or if you like the ‘New World Order’ is in terminal decline and the Dollar System so fragile!?
If the Nation is indeed Sovereign , as it is claimed , this agreement needs to be ‘suspended’ or put in the freezer for the good of both sides , for even the saner elements, here and there, should clearly foresee that it must lead to ‘structured chaos’ which is uncontrollable and unpredictable, as I repeat, in its consequences.
Admiral Vishnu Bhagwat