India Extends Helping Hand To United States Troubled Seventh Fleet

India Extends Helping Hand To United States Troubled Seventh Fleet

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India has finally granted permission to the United States to enable it to use some of the available major service and repair facilities in the Private Sector for the US Seventh Fleet—the armada that is at the center of US war preparations against China.

Last month the Pentagon awarded a contract, said to be worth up to $1.5 billion over the next five years, to a shipyard in Gujarat to maintain the Seventh Fleet’s warships and patrol and service vessels.

This is a strategic move on part of India and a big boon to the beleaguered American Navy . This is as per last August’s agreement opening India’s military bases and ports to peace time use by the US military for the resupply and repair of its warplanes and warships. This agreement is strictly on reciprocal basis. Thus India allowing the Seventh Fleet, which had come barging in during 1971 Indo pak war to rescue Pakistan and had failed miserably , marks a new stage in India’s in Indo US military-strategic partnership.

The Seventh Fleet is at the very center of US plans to wage war on China. It has responsibility for the western Pacific and the eastern stretches of the Indian Ocean up to the India-Pakistan border. US strategy calls for the Seventh Fleet to impose an economic blockade on China by seizing control of the Straits of Malacca and other Indian Ocean/South China Sea chokepoints and to spearhead a massive bombardment of Chinese military installations, cities and infrastructure in what the Pentagon calls its “Air-Sea Battle” plan.

India is fully aware that since the beginning of the 21st century, Washington has worked assiduously to harness New Delhi to its agenda to build up India as a counterweight to China. The Pentagon and US military-intelligence think tanks have long coveted India as a geopolitical prize because of its size, its large nuclear-armed military and its strategic location. India, or so the strategists of US imperialism calculate, can serve as China’s “soft southern underbelly.” It also provides the best vantage point from which to dominate the Indian Ocean, China’s and the world’s most important commercial waterway.

Under Narendra Modi , New Delhi has dramatically expanded its already extensive military-strategic cooperation with Washington. In addition to the repair and peace time logistic agreement, India has expanded bilateral and trilateral military-strategic ties with America’s principal Asian-Pacific allies, Japan and Australia. In January, the head of the US Pacific Command, Admiral Harry Harris, revealed that the Pentagon and Indian military are sharing intelligence on Chinese submarine and ship movements in the Indian Ocean.

The Indo-US alliance represents stability to the people of Asia and the world and this alliance has to be based on equality. The advent of the Trump administration though leaves the field still unclear. It has denounced China as a “currency manipulator,” dismissed the Obama administration’s anti-China “Pivot to Asia” as weak and ineffective, and threatened to deny Beijing access to Chinese-controlled islets in the South China Sea—an act that would be tantamount to a declaration of war. Trump has criticized Obama’s foreign policy on many fronts. But when it comes to India, Defense Secretary James “Mad Dog” Mattis has vowed that the Trump administration is determined to “build upon” the recent “tremendous progress” in Indo-US “defense cooperation.”

India’s permission to the the US Seventh Fleet is so striking a change, however, that even Indian media reports could not avoid mentioning that during the Cold War, the Seventh Fleet was used by Washington to bully and threaten New Delhi on several occasions. The Times of India wrote, “The US Seventh Fleet, which was sent to the Bay of Bengal in December 1971 by then-American President Richard Nixon … to pressure India during the Bangladesh liberation war, will now ironically be maintained by an Indian company.” However for India it does not matter as the 7th Fleet had miserably failed in its mission.

Because of New Delhi’s strategic and commercial ties with Moscow, Washington treated India as an adversary for most of the Cold War. Newly independent India had been eager to establish warm relations with Washington. But New Delhi balked at US imperialism’s attempts to bully it into subordinating its foreign policy to Washington’s strategic offensive against the Soviet Union. Washington responded by recruiting Pakistan, the rival state created through the communal partition of the subcontinent that had accompanied independence, to serve as a linchpin of its Cold War alliance system. With the US arming Pakistan, India turned to the Soviet Union for arms purchases and strategic support. It also became one of the founders and the principal leaders of the Non-Aligned Movement. Soviet support also helped New Delhi counter the economic pressure the US exerted on India because of its use of import substitution and state ownership to strengthen the Indian position vis a vis international capital.

This shift for proper relationship with USA also was spearheaded by Nehru’s Congress Party heirs. It was a Congress-led government that forged the “global Indo-US strategic partnership” that served as the antechamber for India’s transformation under Modi into a partnership with Washington for global peace.

However Chinese see all this as US imperialism’s reckless drive to harness India to its offensive against China has transformed South Asia into a geopolitical powder keg. As per Beijing the Indo-Pakistani and Sino-Indian conflicts have become enmeshed with the US-China confrontation, adding to each a massive new explosive charge, with potentially calamitous implications for the people of the region and the world.
The above shows that now China has no choice but to cultivate India . They always refer to history, so should not forget that historically Indian Buddhists had prevailed on China . It is in their interest to live in peace with India.