Friday, December 5, 2008

Ethical Concerns vs. Strategic Interests: The US in South Asia

The U.S. political system, in which all discourses (including my blog), are commodified and branded, has a core problem. This commodified political/economic system is UNABLE TO ALIGN its strategic interests with its ETHICAL interests.

US history has demonstrated that this govt and her people have ethical interests. That is a very good thing. However, ethical concerns are nearly always overturned by perceived US strategic interests.

I will highlight the South Asia case as an example:

1. The US has no ETHICAL interest in India or Pakistan or Afghanistan.

2. The US is primarily interested in advancing what the US considers its own narrowly defined, completely self-interested strategic interest in the subcontinental region.
This strategic interest of the US does NOT coincide with the strategic, intra-regional or domestic interests of Pakistan, India or Afghanistan each of whom have mutually overlapping ethical and strategic interests, which are not shared by the US.

3. The US strategic interest benefits from a compliant India, weak Pakistan and weak Afghanistan, ALL of whom can then serve as a base for US ground and air intelligence operations.
India's alleged "belligerence" against Pakistan, serves the US strategic interest, because the US can then continue to maintain an ostensibly mediating strategic presence on the ground in the region, as well as have a hold on the Security Council in the UN and other intergovernmental agencies, on the question of peace and stability in South Asia.

4. The US strategic interest is part of a longterm, but not necessarily consistent or well-reasoned policy strategy, which began in the State Department of the Eisenhower administration, under Secretary of State John Foster Dulles(1953-1959) with the creation of SEATO and CENTO, to counteract NAM -- The Non Aligned Movement, an historic alliance of formerly colonized and therefore oppressed, newly liberatory sovereign nation-states of Africa, Asia and Latin America, with rich natural resources.

5. The US strategic interest in South Asia is to maintain a dominant presence in the region to counteract the influence of Russia and now Iran, on the Western sector adjoining the South Asia region.

6. The US strategic interest in South Asia is to maintain a dominant presence in the region to counteract the influence of China on the Eastern sector adjoining the South Asia region.

7. The satellitization by the US of Pakistan and now Afghanistan is consistent with and linked to the US strategic interest in West Asia, where Israel has been voluntarily satellitized, to confound and impede stability, peace, civil society development and democracy in West Asia (constructed as "The Middle East" first by imperial Britain and now by the neo-imperial US). Middle of What? East of Where? The intentional construction of the Middle East as a non-place serves the US strategic interest, just as in the period of U.S. slavery and plantation economy, the construction of the slave as Negro, made him/her a non-person without a place.

8. Ethical Democracy in South Asia is best advanced by mutual collaboration among India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and all other sovereign nation-states of the South Asia geopolitical region.
People-to-people crossborder civil society development exchanges are a vital strategy for the accomplishment of this objective.

Chithra KarunaKaran
Ethical Democracy As Lived Practice