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Re: President Obama in India



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Here’s my take today–basically two thumbs up. Regarding the endorsement of making India a permanent member of the Security Council, symbolically it was very important. But we shouldn’t pursue the implementation of this reform very diligently. 1) As Nile Gardner of the Heritage Foundation was telling me yesterday, once you start messing with composition of the Security Council, you’re opening up a Pandora’s Box and there’s no guarantee you’re going to like the results; 2) India will be a pain in the neck on the Security Council. It is a very important country and it’s wonderful that we’re drawing closer, but its prickly pridefulness and hangover of non-aligned attitudes make it a difficult diplomatic customer. A friend who has been involved in negotiating with the Indians told me yesterday if we trade France for India, it won’t be long before we miss France.

UPDATE:

Commenter “Overt” notes:

Having worked with Indians a LOT, I can say that their values and cultural traditions are just different than what we have in the West. This isn’t good or bad, it is just the way things are. And an ascendant India will bring those new cultural demands to the Security Council, where they will certainly result in a serious realignment.

On the other hand, India can be trusted to take the threat of fanatical Muslim orthodoxy seriously. They also seem disinterested about the affairs of the Middle East, and so could be persuaded to not care about the SC’s regular obsession, Israel. Finally, adding another developing country to the SC could certainly complicate further power-grab attempts by the UN under the guise of climate change….



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