Will the DDG-53 FNOP get Delhi thinking again?

USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53)
USS John Paul Jones

For thirty years now I have been writing about the reasons why India needs to have heavy healthy scepticism when tackling the US, and why Washington’s record has earned it a high level of distrust. Except four successive governments under Narasimha Rao, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Manmohan Singh and, since 2014, Narendra Modi, entirely unmindful of this history, have acted as if India is America’s peon.

Given the high level of institutionalized US-leaning policy tilt of the Government of India spurred by a bunch of factors, such as most senior Indian diplomats and military officers having their children in America, being part of the American thintank (Carnegie, Brookings — now under another guise, Aspen) circus in Delhi pushing the US policy line, etc that I have been warning about, I am not at all surprised the Indian government is surprised by the US Navy alerting the world to the fact that one of its ships, USS John Paul Jones, an Arleigh Burke-class missile destroyer (DDG-53), had willfully violated Indian maritime territory, and sailed through the waters close to the Lakshdweep Islands without so much as ‘by your leave’, as courtesy demanded. It is as much this sailing as the egregious statement that followed about the ship asserting its right of untrammeled transit issued by the US government that is cause for worry.

The Indian Navy’s Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC), Gurgaon, tracking Jones in its eastward path from the Gulf area, was aware it had transgressed into Indian territory but did not raise a stink about it. India did not contest, and was not contesting, this ship’s passage. So why did Washington feel the need to make a public hullabaloo about this ship being on a Freedom of Navigation Patrol (FNOP), implying that by word and/or deed Delhi, in some sense, opposed it? That the FNOP reference also mentioned China, whose claims in the South China Sea and in the Taiwan Strait are regularly flouted by US carriers groups, flotillas, or single ships, makes this incident even more curious.

If India — America’s supposed ‘strategic partner’ in containing China, is equated by Washington, with China, then what does it say about where India stands vis a vis the US in the larger geostrategic game that’s afoot?

The US is not a signatory to the 1982 UNCLOS (UN Convention on the Law of the Sea). But, like every other international treaty-multilateral agreement within its eyeshot that the ridiculously shortsighted and idiotic Indian government, at the MEA’s behest, signs blindly without thinking about its longterm ramifications, the country once again finds itself holding the shortend of the stick. Delhi got quickly on board the UNCLOS without waiting for the US to first sign. Why was this last important? There’s the unresolved matter of the largest island, Diego Garcia, in the Chagos Archipelago claimed rightfully by Mauritius, a claim India has from the start backed. When Britain vacated the space ‘east of Suez’ in the 1970s it handed over Diego Garcia to the US, which promptly built a very imposing naval and air base on the island, complete with nuclear submarine pens, ship repair facilities, and vast storage tanks for oil and depots for prepositioned stores to sustain major military deployment in the Indian Ocean.

The prickly issue is two-fold: One, as it did elsewhere — partitioning India, for instance — Britain departed the area but not withhout doing prior mischief. It had no right to detach Diego Garcia from the rest of the island group, and even less right to transfer it to the US without Mauritius’ concurrence, which’s what it did. So, how’s the US presence on this island to be treated when America has no legitimate right to be there in the first place? India is well within its rights to treat the US presence on Diego Garcia as illegal, and act on this basis. And two, the US disrespects Indian claims off Lakshdweep extending some 220 kms out to sea as India’s Exclusive Economic Zone per UNCLOS that the US wants nothing to do with even as its representatives Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Biden’s NSA Jake Sullivan crow about all countries needing to heed a “rule based order”! What’s that again?! So the US means to follow only those rules that serve its purposes, in which respect how is it different from China?

China signed this treaty on the same day as India did in December 1982. Except, as its shenanigans in imposing its nonseniscal ‘nine-dash’ exclusive claim line — which is ultra vires of UNCLOS provisions indicates, Beijing signs pieces of paper without intending in the least to respect them. This is in contrast to India’s attitude which signs damnfool agreements all the time and then, boy scout fashion, follows them not just in the letter but also in the spirit — doubly hampering the country’s pursuit of national interest.

Obviously, the sailing by DDG-53 was to rub India’s nose in the dirt and to let the Indian government know that the US will do damn well as it pleases torpedoing, in the process, even pretensions to sea-based order UNCLOS promotes and which the US champions in the South China Sea.

This puts the Narendra Modi regime in bit of a political pickle. Already buffeted by Congress party’s charges about corruption attending on the Rafale deal and anti-corruption provisions missing from the contract with the French company Dassault Avions, it now has to put up or shut up where the US is concerned. Modi must miss his fellow-Alpha male leader Trump in the White House with whom he had cultivated a working relationship. With the Biden Administration, the Modi government has had to face one insult and slight after another. Various US agencies have slammed his government for human rights abuses, pushed India down the list on the religious freedom count and Freedom House has rated India as only a “partially free” country, imposed counter-tariffs to hurt Indian exports, etc. This is bad enough.

But for the US to treat India as potential strategic impediment in the same class as China, is something else altogether. It undercuts Modi’s entire foreign policy centering on the US that has been vigorously pushed by the external affairs minister S Jaishankar, who as Foreign Secretary shephered the four foundational accords and earlier in his career as an MEA babu negotiated the completely unequal 2005 nuclear civilian nuclear cooperation deal that, by barring future testing, froze Indian nuclear weapons technology at the low yield fission level.

The operative part of these developments is this: The next time IMAC begins tracking US Navy ships and finds one heading towards Indian waters, Indian Naval ships will have to be ready to impose the UNCLOS rule of law to keep them out. The crunch will come when that US ship simply disregards Indian naval warnings, then what? What exactly will the Indian ships do in response — fire a missile across the bow of the American ship as a warning? What if the US ship counters by firing a salvo to miss the Indian naval ship(s), will the Indian ship(s) be ordered to escalate proceedings? Should the Modi regime and Indian Navy not be ready and prepared for such contingency?

If, on the other hand, the Indian government and Navy again do nothing, or plan on doing nothing, how can they respond differently if a Chinese warship does exactly the same thing? Meaning, the US ships are setting a precedent for other navies to violate Indian territorial seas at will. Already, India and Indian government have been shown up — nothing new here! — as weak, willing to take guff from anybody, because they are too spineless, too unwilling to court risk, to up the ante. To restate an old saw — with friends like the US, who needs enemies?

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 asia-Pacific/Indo-Pacific, Asian geopolitics, China, China military, civil-military relations, corruption, Culture, Decision-making, domestic politics, Europe, Geopolitics, geopolitics/geostrategy, Great Power imperatives, India's China Policy, India's strategic thinking and policy, Indian democracy, Indian ecobomic situation, Indian Navy, Indian Ocean, Indian Politics, Indo-Pacific, Intelligence, MEA/foreign policy, Military/military advice, Missiles, South Asia, South East Asia, Strategic Relations with South East Asia & Far East, Strategic Relations with the US & West, UN, United States, US., Weapons, Western militaries. Bookmark the permalink.

53 Responses to Will the DDG-53 FNOP get Delhi thinking again?

  1. Amit says:

    You’ve passionately argued against aligning with the US for a while, but frankly without strong allies, India cannot handle China on its own. At least not yet when it’s economy is still struggling. Your approach of a quad+ minus the US also won’t work given that the ASEAN countries are quite diffident against China, have limited military capabilities, apart from the fact that Japan and Australia won’t act independently of the US, at least for the foreseeable future. So your strategy of quad+ minus the US won’t work, at least for a few years from now when India is a bigger economy and can provide real economic and military leadership, and Japan and Australia are more Independent of the US in strategic matters (doubt if this will happen even in the foreseeable future).

    Therefore India has no choice but to align with the US for now as it is the dominant economic and military power and the only power that can help India against China in a meaningful way. Reliable or not. India will just have to learn how to manage the US. India did manage Trump quite well, who put significant pressure on India. In fact, this dual pressure from China and the US is actually good for India as its inefficient systems and processes will not change for the better otherwise. To abandon the US as an ally at this stage would be foolhardy IMHO.

    • San Mann says:

      I think India also needs to use these temporary “alliance” periods to push out against the constraints that have been imposed upon us by these “allies” – by conducting a Pokhran-3 thermonuclear test. Our Pokhran-2 test was a disappointment, because the thermonuclear component of the test failed. We need to do a Pokhran-3 (thermonuclear) so that we can have a more effective arsenal of our own to counter China. The fact that we’re in a period where US has greater dependency upon us as compared to before, means we should make use of it for our best interest in carrying out a test. Japan too seems to be acutely dependent upon us, and that’s why they’re willing to help us improve Andaman & Nicobar islands. By carrying out our test, we would go through some brief short term rebuke, but relations would quickly recover due to the greater threat from China, etc. A Pokhran-3 right now would provide us an excellent opportunity to test the quality of our “alliances”.

  2. PRATIK KUMAR says:

    Sir can’t we use our leverages to counter such moves by US? I mean Through secret or back channel diplomacy, we can threaten the US that if it doesn’t stops such misadventures, we will cancel LEMOA , COMCASA etc., or threaten to supply (whatever is possible) data of US weapons (that it has given to us, like P8i) to Russia. Can’t we do it sir???

    • Sankar says:

      Pratik Kumar@ — Simply does not work as you may think. Take, for example, P8i – a first rate surveillance naval aircraft with its jamming pod for EW also. But the version given to India (and others) will not have the same radar ‘characteristics functionality’ as the original US version. Technically, it means that although the main beam function is the same for the Indian and the original US, the modulation features of the side-lobes of the radar will not be passed on to India by the US. And the side-lobes will play the crucial role for the war for excelling over the adversary. Outwardly, you will never discover that distinction.

  3. Sid Singh says:

    Looks like US is sending a message after India’s refusal to axe the S-400 deal. The worst that India could do now is to appease the US and brush the whole incident under the carpet. An appropriate response could be to get out of LEMOA, make some oil cargo purchases from Iran, and maybe also a sightseeing mission to Diego Garcia. That should let US know that India would not be a lapdog like the UK.

  4. Sankar says:

    Brilliant analysis!

    To my knowledge, Britain in 1961 forcefully uprooted the native (Indian ethnically) inhabitants of Diego Garcia to another IOR island (Lakshadweep group?) to claim sovereignty in DG. At the time Nehru Government had protested to the UN.

    Here is another pointer by MKB:
    “Unsurprisingly, Delhi gave a supine response to the Pentagon warning — straight out of Chanakya’s rule book. However, now that the US warships have disappeared over the horizon, let us sit upon the ground and reflect sadly where all the heady Quad (“Asian NATO”) misadventure is taking India. ” –

    PS. @Professor Karnad: Does Chanakya have any relevance in the modern world of international politics, excepting for some trivialities?

    • Limited macro relevance. But Chanakya’s geopolitical concept of ‘mandala’ is geometric determinism at its worst, as I have argued in my books.

      • San Mann says:

        Prof Karnad, China is engaging in military escalation in South China Sea, while Russia is engaging in military escalation on Ukraine border. These 2 partners are acting up right now and keeping America’s hands full, in what seems to be jointly orchestrated moves between them. The Biden Whitehouse has responded to these escalations by sending an aircraft carrier into the South China Sea, and by asking Putin for summit talks.

        Additionally, the Biden Whitehouse is facing a 3rd front — the republican-led grassroots conservative opposition at home, who are chafing under what they see as an illegitimate govt. Note that Biden’s Democrats have just now responded to this threat by announcing that they will expand the number of seats on the US Supreme Court, to basically convert the court into the political lackeys of the ruling party, and effectively ensure One Party rule in perpetuity. I’m saying that America’s ruling establishment have done this domestic move specifically due to the simultaneous escalations from the other 2 fronts (China & Russia). Facing escalations on those other 2 external fronts, Biden’s ruling Democrats have decided they need to shore up their grip on power domestically in order to meet those external challenges. The fact that America’s democracy has to be thrown under a bus in the process, is of little or no concern to them.

        It’s possible for any of these situations to imminently spiral out of control. China could attack & seize Taiwan’s smaller outlying islands near the mainland coast. Russia could grab more territory from Ukraine. And American conservatives could lead a wider public revolt against the Biden govt’s increasingly autocratic measures at home.

        If things escalate on any of these fronts, then what’s wrong with India carrying out a Pokhran-3 thermonuclear test? If US sanctions India during the COVID crisis, then it would prevent India from delivering life-saving vaccines to the world, even while leaving itself without a vital ally while confronting China & Russia. Or is a Modi govt simply afraid that US could carry out regime change in India, using the same dirty tricks it used to throw out Donald Trump and oust conservatives from power at home?

  5. By email from Shivanand Kanavi, skanavi@gmail.com, Sun, 11 Apr at 7:01 pm

    Excellent piece Sirji!

    Shivanand Kanavi (Adjunct Faculty, National Institute of Advanced Studies; Former VP TCS, Former Executive Editor Business India magazine)

  6. Gram Massla says:

    American assurances are not worth the paper they are written on. Consider the Iran nuclear agreement signed under President Obama which was promptly torn to shreds under Trump. The message was load and clear. The Americans will be as whimsical as it wants to be. Only Israel can expect consistency from the US which reflects the diktats of internal politics and the strength of PACs like AIPAC. The CCP, which is simply another just another Chinese dynasty wedded to the proposition that all entities around China’s periphery must be weakened at all costs, is the existential threat. The US is far from being such as a threat. As such India must, of necessity, find the guile to extract from the US what it can, give in when it has to, and learn to fights its battles with its prominent eye on the survival of the Indian state.


    How may I write to you seeking an appointment? Thanks.

  8. Bhaskar says:

    Dear Sir,
    Forgive my limited understanding on navigation of seas.
    According to you if UNCLOS isn’t signed by US, can India really expect anything from its protest and displeasure?

    US navy can go anywhere anytime as it’s outside UNCLOS. For China, at-least India can take some action as the former is a signatory.

  9. ranjith says:

    Biden knows he can’t do anything against Russia, China, or Iran. So from time to time, he will act like the tough guy against friendly states like Israel, India, Saudi Arabia for the sake of the domestic audience. It is the same Obama doctrine of kowtowing to enemies and abandoning allies.

  10. By email from Admiral Arun Prakash [former CNS], Sun, 11 Apr at 10:26 pm
    Apropos scenario painted by you: “…US Navy ships heading towards Indian waters…IN ships will have to be ready to impose UNCLOS rule of law to keep them out.”
    Can you please quote the specific UNCLOS 1982 Rule/Article that you have in mind? Or any Article of the Maritime Zones of India Act 1976?
    Arun Prakash

    • Arun Prakash@ —
      My dear Admiral,

      Article 55, UNCLOS, concerns prescriptive rights to EEZ
      Article 73 refers to the enforcement right.

      Having signed the 1982 UNCLOS, India should have fleshed
      out the enforcement rules and mechanisms to ensure EEZ is
      respected. Haven’t looked at the 1976 Act you mention, but
      suffice to say it predates UNCLOS. So if GOI was serious about
      implementing EEZ, this Act should have been subsequently
      amended and teeth inserted into it for enforcement consistent
      with India’s national interest. If this was not done, then GOI has
      been remiss.

      Warm regards,
      Bharat Karnad

  11. By email, from Joydeep Sircar, oropolitics@gmail.com, Mon, 12 Apr at 9:27 am

    Beautifully written. But you have answered your query yourself ! How can a boy aspiring to be a teacher’s pet complain if the teacher indulges in occasional sodomy?

    The lndian power elite has its head deeply inserted into the rectum of Uncle Sam, and has done nothing to withdraw it. Perhaps lndia believes that lndo-Americans will one day soon reach the levers of power of the decaying US and help lndia, but that is a false hope. The snake does not have empathy for the skin it sheds. Greed for white approval (which is the way to wealth) will outweigh vestigial patriotism every time. Wait and see what hybrid Harris does to us.

    There is a class factor at work here. The basic rural lndia is relatively uncorrupted, unlike its city-bred anglophone counterpart, but the former is remembered only when it comes to hand-to-hand in the Galwan. Of all our PMs, only Lal Bahadur Shastri was from that bedrock strata. Indira was mocked for her US-phobia, and for that gut instinct she remains one of our greatest leaders. Modi, coming from Gujarat that embraces the greed is good value system of the USA and bedazzled by early exposure to glitzy America, cannot find his backbone when it comes to hitting America hard. The USA trying to wipe out lndia’s pretension to independent decision-making just as China is trying to make us bend to its will. And our own inbuilt servility is letting us down.

    Joydeep Sircar

  12. By email, from Siddharth Varadarajan, Founding Editor, The Wire, Sun, Apr 11, 8:06 PM (15 hours ago)
    Super piece. May we publish in The Wire?

  13. Siddharth Varadarajan@ — Sure Sid.

  14. whatsinitanyway says:

    You said low level fission yield. Does the agreement mentions only ‘fission’ …this gives us room for fusion (Thermo nuclear) Or we can create a nuke power reactor with the fake purpose of power generation and then BLOW IT UP!
    We can also compensate for the cost of bomb from the grants we get after begging UN.

    • No the agreement does not mention low yield fission level as the ceiling for the Indian arsenal. But considering the thermonuclear device tested (S1) in 1998 fizzled, it leaves us with only that as the proven weapon. And how would blowing up a fake power plant constitute a weapon?

      • Sankar says:

        To my understanding, the ‘fusion’ process is triggered by a ‘fission’ process in the first place. The terminology ‘thermonuclear’ means ‘heat’ (thermo) to ‘fuse’ the nuclei. ‘Heat’ means random motion (vibration) of the atomic constituents of matter. The ‘nuclei’ carry positive charges, hence repel each other in a medium which is known as “Coulomb repulsion’ – the ‘Coulomb barrier’. Hence the nuclei in a matter in the normal state are separated to cross the Coulomb barrier apart – they cannot come close enough to ‘fuse’. The nuclear force is very short range in contrast to the electromagnetic force. The nuclear force is attractive, hence if the nuclei are close together, they can ‘fuse’ to form new nuclei. In that process, the mass of the end product nuclei is less than the sum of the two initial nuclei that have fused. And this mass difference is the nuclear radiation in nuclear bombs. The ‘fusion’ happens by heat in the matter and that heat (high temperature) can be created by a ‘fission’ process triggered by a neutron in a radioactive matter. The random kinetic energy (thermal) of the nuclei in high temperatures can overshoot the Coulomb barrier for the nuclear force to come into play to fuse – the fusion process.

        The bottom line here is if India has successfully mastered the fission technology, India could also be in a position to build a hydrogen ‘fusion’ bomb!

      • Not so, pardner! Channeling the fission energy to create temperatures to fuse the heavy nucleii is the hard part here. Getting the fission trigger right is the easier task.

      • whatsinitanyway says:

        I meant Blow up the weapon inside the reactor structure not the reactor and say that the reactor malfunctioned. … if we contsruct the reactor then we better utilise it to generate electricity and start semiconductor fab. Without which any strategic independence is just a chimera. Essentially playing around the rules.

      • Scale doesn’t work.

  15. Sir, you were once part of the government, in some form.

    You must be knowing some babus , generals and politicians.

    My question is–
    1. Do you chat about these things with them?
    2. If you do, why don’t you share your insights with them so that they make better decisions.

  16. Sir I’ve been curious.

    How do you get paid?

    No offence intended.

  17. Sankar says:

    @Professor Karnad:
    I fully agree with your statement: “Channeling the fission energy to create temperatures to fuse the heavy nucleii is the hard part here” – it is technical expertise indeed!
    Whether India has gained it needs to be demonstrated.

    Where I beg to differ is that in a fusion bomb you do not necessarily fuse “heavier” nuclei – it could be simply deuterium-tritium or similar light nuclei. I am aware one speaks of a plutonium bomb in the context. In contrast, you do need Uranium(radioactive) heavy nuclei for fission – does it make sense?
    Thank you.

  18. Tony says:

    All the brown sahibs worth their salt with photo of gandhi ji in their cabins have their kids parked at the best greenie burbs of Yankee land and many have even married true American beauties so let them come, like nehruji said about han incursion not even grass grows there so why bother and with americans I hear red Indians were given same assurances of friendship see how that pannned out

  19. Amit says:

    I’ve been reading with great interest the high degree of sensitivity of the readership of this column to US transgressions. Seems like Indians are stuck in colonial times and colonial hangovers die hard. Even though the US hardly had any role in India’s colonization.

    Many countries have smartly used the US to grow out of poverty and become developed or upper middle income nations. Germany, Japan, S. Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Israel, even China etc.

    However, the people of the Indus Valley and the Ganges valley keep crying hoarse about one thing or the other, act in emotional irrational ways and continue to wallow in poverty. Our new brown sahibs in India keep discussing this or that about how the US is bad for you, while missing out on all the good it can do.

    Wake up people! Leverage US financial and military power, inventiveness and current alignment of interests and grow out of poverty. Don’t worry about a slight here or there. There are a lot of positives and maybe a few negatives. Overall still positive. Leverage that to improve the economy and then be truly autonomous. All this big talk about strategic autonomy is less meaningful when you have your hands tied in more ways than one.

    And India has some real leverage with the US now. If it follows up on CAATSA there are a few things India can do to provide a nice wallop. So let’s stop behaving like school kids and more like a rising power.

  20. Gaurav Tyagi says:

    A sensible article for a change on Global Times;


    Sheer nonsense from the Japanese Government. Store the radioactive water, where it is. There is no need to dump and pollute the oceans.

  21. whatsinitanyway says:

    Hmm well it was worth a shot. Kautilya is vomitting in his grave!


      @whatsinitanyway Kautilya was not a Muslim so he could not be having his grave. Please correct it. The die hard Bhakts in this forum will make your life hell for misattributing Kautilya.

      • whatsinitanyway says:

        Debanjan Banerjee@ — Thanks for your concern mate. However you are wrong about burials and graves. Ancient literature predating Islam has mentions of burials and rituals for a burial. Vedas, Sangam, Buddhist all of them.

  22. Rohit Sharma says:

    Thoughts on this talk, Sir

    Seems like a mix of a lot of pessimism and generalities.

    Best regards,

  23. Kunal Singh says:

    Sir have u seen arthur d little report on indian military reform.

  24. By email, from Vice Admiral Harinder Singh (Retd) — fomer FOC-in-C, Eastern Naval Command harindersingh, admiralharinder@gmail.com
    Tue, 13 Apr at 6:32 pm

    Dear Bharat,
    Could you delve on the provisions that give india suzerainty over continental shelf/ EEZ.
    Remember we operate everywhere under the right of innocent passage. We have carried out
    multi-national exercises in the centre of SCS with aircraft carrier, submarines and LRMP aircraft
    operating from friendly airports. Similarly opposed by China



    I think the lesson of history is crystal clear. US does not involve itself in the matters of large, powerful countries when it comes to the push. The US can only intervene in small, weak countries like Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria where they are sure they cannot be challenged militarily. Examples of this are plenty in history.

    1. US did not stop the USSR from invading Hungary and Czechoslovakia
    2. US did not come to the aid of Pakistan in either 1965 or 1971 wars
    3. US did not help Israel in either 1967, 1973, 1982 Lebanon invasion or 2006 war with Hezbollah
    4. US did not come to the aid of Georgia when Russia attacked in 2008
    5. US did not help Ukraine when Russia invaded and annexed Crimea in 2014
    6. US did not help us either in Doklam or Ladkah situations

    So the US will not come to our aid in future. That is one conclusion we can surely make.

    The present situation in Ladakh was because our abrupt withdrawal of article 370 in Kashmir. The Jammu and Kashmir kingdom used to be the sovereign of Ladakh. By doing away with article 370, we gave a chance to China to intervene in Ladakh since the status of Ladakh is now uncertain and disputed.

    The Chinese do not consider India as a millennium old civilization similar to themselves. They consider the Indians as the legacy state of the British Raj in South Asia therefore inferior to themselves. They thus believe that they do not need to respect any boundary agreement with India now or on in future since colonially drawn boundaries can be changed at an opportune time in future.

    Moreover I believe the Chinese resent the historical Indian involvement as part of British colonial wars against China. This is also one reason that they do not see India as worthy of peace and cooperation.

    I would love your views on my observations.

    Thanks and regards with best wishes

    • Completely agree. See this list of US-led interventions: Iraq 1991, Kosovo 1999, Afghanistan 2001, Iraq 2003, Libya 2011. Every time they made sure their enemy was almost non-existent militarily or anyway faced by overwhelming coalitions. Israel is another issue altogheter, it boasts military excellence in the region right, but thanks to the US generous unlimited support.

      • gerald says:

        I tend to agree on the US but when in comes to israel, it is far from a military excellent country, the issue is that all of its enemies are arabs and the arabs have proven horrible in modern war, they have been defeated by everyone.Kennth pollack books argue this. so the israelis are not good, the arabs are just easy opponents.


        @Marco I think Israel’s best military achievements are chiefly assassinations and bombing raids following 1967 six-day war. Israel has failed to achieve similar success ever since.

        Since the beginning of the current millennium, Israel’s military record barring assassinations and bombing raids are patchy to say the least.

        1. Israel failed to destroy Hezbollah in 2006 despite having an absolute blank cheque from the Bush administration and the Gulf Arab states of the time. Israel was given a full 34 days to finish off Hezbollah yet it had failed to do so. I believe this has given Hezbollah the confidence that allowed it perform greatly in the Syrian civil war in the following decade.
        2. Israel failed to demolish Hamas as a political and military power both in 2009, 2010 and 2014 operations in Gaza. It killed many civilians though.
        3. Israel has failed to stop Iran entrenching itself inside Syria with it’s numerous surgical air strikes and also Israel failed to topple Assad at the time.

        Warfare is never a static thing particularly in a region like West Asia. Lets see how Israel (and the US) performs in the coming years.

        I would love your views on these observations of mine.

  26. Debanjan Banerjee@ — On Israel’s wars, should point out the US has reliably provided seminal strategic and operatinal intel to Israeli Defence Forces.

    • ~!@#$%^&*()_+ says:

      Equally important to point out that all the remaining countries in the list were supposed to get their own people killed for the benefit of Pax Americana. A wish list which has been fulfilled by establishments in all these remaining countries.
      So basically these people deserved it.

  27. Vivek says:

    What are chances that the incident took place in iran nuclear facility can also happen with india?

  28. Kunal Singh says:

    Sir every such incident and other incidents disregarding Indian sovereignty should be used as diplomatic tool for course correction, to even breach nuclear deal rather than subsuming India into US circle. ??

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