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June 08, 2005



Well said, by both Mr. Rice and Mr. Rumsfeld!

Amit Kulkarni

The US does NOT stand by its allies as proved by history, it left Pakistan in the cold after the Afghan withdrawal of the Soviets. It exposed the then Soviets (or was it Russians?) to Hitler in WW 2 forcing Stalin/Molotov to delay and sign the non-aggression pact just before WW 2. It left the Kurds to the Iraqis after the Iran-Iraq war, remember Chemical Ali?

The US stands by its objectives, which is admirable to me.

Loyalty to allies and fulfilling foreign policy objectives are entirely different things.

Amit Kulkarni

Will the US come to Taiwan's aid if for any reason China attacks and the cost is unacceptably high? Why is China arming itself? Is it just because they want to be respected or feared in Asia?

Does anybody have an opinion or any pointer to studies?

I personally feel that if US and China enter into a cold war, it would be catastrophic for the world economy. As an Indian citizen, I would hate to choose sides. China's emergence is forcing US to rethink, but it is also forcing everybody to do a rethink.

Bill Rice


Thank you for your comments. I must disagree with your thoughts on how the US stands by its allies. The record is not perfect, but compared to most other powers the US has a far better record. We have been committed to the South Korean penisula, sacrificing our own for almost 60 years, the same goes with Japan, Western and now Eastern Europe and many nations in the Pacific Rim.

It is in both India's and the US' interest to forge a common goal of promoting India as "a 21st Century World Power" to counter a non-free and non-democratic China and to point to a better system of government for the Chinese people. Hopefully change will occur.

Totalitarian governments have been on the wrong side of history. India's future lies with the US over China. This does not mean that India should forgo closer ties with China, it should increase economic and military ties as it is doing. However, real security and economic expansion is more likely with India joining the US and its Pacific Allies.

Thank you for your comments.

Kind regards,

Bill Rice
Dawn's Early Light


As for the comment on the US abandoning allies:
1. Pakistan was more than adequately compensated for its role as collaborator in the Afghan proxy war against the Soviets. When the Soviets took Afghanistan, Pak was at the mercy of the Soviets and would have been begging for the US at that stage. And the US came to their rescue. Once the Soviets left, there was no risk left to Pak. So maybe the Soviets left them in the cold instead?
2. I did not understand the sentence on WW-II as it seems a mix-up between tenses and timelines. However, the US shed blood that helped the Soviets on the Western Front, while the Soviets did not reciprocate in the East (except to grab the strategic Kurils after the war was decided).
3. I dont know about what commitments the US had made to the kurds. From what I know they were firmly aligned with Iraq, and the US is known to support their dictators pretty thoroughly.

The US stood by India during the war with China (despite the absence of a treaty) and sent its forces, though slightly delayed. The delaying factor was the Cuban crisis and the Chinese timed their aggression perfectly to make use of it.

The US is already spending a lot in showing a build up to protect Taiwan. That counts for a lot. As for China's motives, we must remember that in the end it has a totalitarian government, and the actions of such governments cannot always be expected to be rational. Humphrey Hawksley presents good insights into the working of the Chinese leadership in his book "The Third World War".

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