Would India go to war with China to help America? | World Defense

Would India go to war with China to help America?

UAE

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Would India go to war with China to help America?

In his latest contribution to our debate, Shashank Joshi raised some excellent points against my sceptical view of the emerging India-US strategic partnership. But I'm still unpersuaded.

To explain why, it helps to step back and clarify the question we are debating here. It is not whether strategic relations between Delhi and Washington have grown closer in recent years, because clearly they have. It is what these closer relations mean for the geo-political contest between America and China.

India's position is clearly important to this contest. Many Americans, and many of America's friends in Asia, have long believed that India's growing wealth and power will be vital in helping America counterbalance China's growing strategic weight, and resist China's challenge to US regional leadership.

Indeed, the belief many people have that India will play this role is central to their confidence that America can and will preserve the status quo against China's challenge. It is therefore important to decide whether the progress we have seen in US-India relations justifies that confidence.

I have argued that in a geopolitical contest of the kind we see unfolding between America and China today, India's relations with America will only make a difference to the extent that India is seen to be willing to support America in a US-China conflict.

That is because who wins the contest between the American and Chinese visions of Asia's future order ultimately depends on which is seen to be more willing to fight for their vision. Each power wants the other to believe that it will go to war to impose its vision, and hopes that, if all else fails, this will persuade the other to back off.

This way of describing what is happening will surprise those who think that this kind of old-fashioned power politics disappeared after 1989, but it seems to me the only way to understand events in Asia today. In fact power politics never went away; people simply started to think that America was the only power that was indulging in it. It has been taken for granted that America will fight to support its vision of regional order, but that no one would be willing to oppose them. Now China is proving that false. We can no longer assume that China is any more determined to change the current order than America is to preserve it.

That is why India's role in this contest depends on how far it appears willing and able to materially support the US in a conflict with China. In a game played for these stakes, nothing less counts for much.

As I read him, Shashank makes two key points about this question.

One is that, while India might not be willing to send combat forces to fight alongside America's in a coalition against China, it would provide other, non-combat support such as basing and refuelling facilities. That sounds like what the diplomats call 'all support short of actual help'. It would do very little either practically or symbolically to bolster America's position against China, and certainly much less than American boosters of the relationship expect.

His second key point is that perhaps India would be willing to provide America with more substantial support if it saw really fundamental issues of regional order at stake in a US-China conflict. He cites the example of the wide support given to America in opposing Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990 by countries who saw basic questions of international order being tested there.

I agree with Shashank that very important issues for India would be at stake in a US-China clash. But deciding to support America against China would be much harder than joining the coalition against Iraq. In every way China is both a much more valuable partner and a much more dangerous adversary. The key question for India, and for America's other friends in Asia, is what would have to be at stake for them to make that decision?

So it boils down to this: would India go to war with China to help America preserve the current order based on US primacy? If the answer is no, then I don't think the new warmth between America and India matters much to the future of Asia, and America's position in Asia is rather weaker than most people assume.

Would India go to war with China to help America? | Business Spectator
 

Redheart

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In every way China is both a much more valuable partner and a much more dangerous adversary.
That is probably the reason why India can't or won't choose to side with the U.S to protect the U.S's interests in Asia. Highly unlikely. Bilateral trade between China and India will draw these two closer and closer so the most likely outcome of this trade partnership is . . . the U.S loses India as an ally. Eventually.
 

TommyVercetti

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I highly doubt it. China has major economic deals with India, they're not about to jeopardize those anytime soon. My guess is, when the time comes, India will steer clear of conflict.
 

pwarbi

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I don't think in this economic climate, India would be willing to side with or against anybody. India will be quite content not to become involved in any dispute, especially one that may affect their own country.

War is an expensive business and the effects in a already weak economy could be disastrous.
 

vegito12

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I reckon India will try to have a good business relationship with China and try and stay away from violence as if that occurs lives will be taken and also money will be used and also the economy will suffer as well badly. China is more upto date with weapons and will not be afraid to use them if USA tries to fight them or even India which it won't since the investments by China have helped the economy and created jobs as well. China would help india in problems like the Nepal earthquake and giving the aid it needs and doing so for humanity but it could be for having investments and also money put in that is why.
 

pwarbi

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So in other words, India aren't stupid enough to turn round and bite the hand that feeds them.

To be honest I can't see India in conflict with any nation in the near future, they seem content to just sit there will the world implodes aound them.
 

Rowe992

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I don't think the India people are that stupid and anyone who makes this suggestion then is clearly insulting the Indian people. Why would India go to war with China in the first place let alone to go to war for another country? China would crush India in no time and a war would leave the Asian content in far worst shape than it is now.
 

orangesunset

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Highly unlikely, what does USA have to offer India. I already posted it China, Russia and India are going to do joint military exercises later this year. Also because of location, India is strengthening economic ties with China and Russia. With Russian oil and gas, and India being a lot closer to European markets, USA doesn't really have much to offer.
 

pwarbi

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Your right about location, I think that's pretty much what it's all about where India is concerned.

While like I said, I don't think they're too willing to form any sort of coalition with any nation at the moment, but I'd they did, they'd obviously be looking at the countries closest to them, in this case that would be China or Russia.
 

orangesunset

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China would crush India in no time and a war would leave the Asian content in far worst shape than it is now.
Indian is kind of the country that everyone forgets about. India has the 3rd largest GDP in the world, but you never hear about that. India is actually one of the world's largest arms exporters. India has more operational aircraft carriers then the EU and has actually managed to construct aircraft carriers by themselves. India has nuclear weapons.

So in the hypothetical chance that China attacked India, India might be able to hold its own. But as you said why should India get involved in such things.
 
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India will go to war against China for the same reason they went to war against Japan in WWII, to protect their own interests. They do not want to be enslaved by anyone again. They are a democratic nation and wish to stay that way.
 

kana_marie

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Honestly, I'm skeptical about India fighting anyone. And if ,they do get involved I was under the impression they were getting all buddy-buddy with China
 

pwarbi

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I don't know about them becoming best pals as such, I think they both have something to offer each other so I think they're more associates than friends, so to speak.

India might want to protect its own interests, but I very much doubt if they'll get involved in any sort of war with any country to be honest.
 

Corzhens

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I'm not sure if that is possible - India siding with the US to fight China. This is my take on the 2 most populous countries in the world. If the foreign countries are afraid of the huge population of China or India, well, China and India are also afraid of their population. What would happen if there is a war? Their population would be easy targets. So I guess those 2 countries are just bluffing with their hints of war.
 

Waynefire

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As much as India would love the idea of conquering China, they need to realize this is not the case. In fact these two countries as many people have mentioned have close economic ties. So to take those ties and throw them in the trash could easily lead to India not having an economy anymore.
 
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