The Seduction of George W. Bush – Foreign Policy
Dec 11, At an all-smiles Modi-Putin summit in New Delhi Thursday, India and despite a high-profile re-launching of ties under President Bush that. Sep 6, India's deals with Russia and Iran are likely to dominate talks with US officials " For India, which won a number of special favours under the Bush and It's true that Mr Modi invested a lot of time and energy in India-US ties. Oct 5, Modi today said India and Russia have unmatchable relationships . PM Modi condoles passing away of former US Prez George H.W. Bush.
Bush took that as a victory, but both Russia and Georgia were unhappy and itching for a fight. A long-running conflict between the two neighbors was turning hot. It was their 28th and final meeting as presidents, with Putin preparing to step down in favor of his handpicked successor, Dmitry Medvedev, while taking up the post of prime minister. Russian troops were marching into neighboring Georgia after the smaller country shelled a breakaway republic aligned with Moscow. Years of tension had finally exploded into full-fledged war.
As he absorbed the news, Bush noticed that just a few places ahead of him in the receiving line was Putin. Bush chose not to say anything to him right then, reasoning that the ceremony presented the wrong venue for a confrontation over war. Besides, protocol demanded that he deal with Medvedev as a fellow head of state. So he waited until he returned to his hotel to call Moscow. But Bush was dealing with the wrong man. As the opening ceremony for the Olympics commenced, Bush found himself seated in the same row with Putin, so he had his wife and the king of Cambodia shift down a few seats so that the Russian prime minister could sit next to him.
Aware of the television cameras focused on them, Bush tried to avoid causing a scene but told Putin that he had made a serious mistake that would leave Russia isolated if it did not get out of Georgia. Putin countered that Saakashvili was a war criminal who had provoked Moscow.
He and his aides worried that Georgia was just the first stone to fall; if Moscow were allowed to roll over a weak neighbor, then it could next try to seize the Crimea region in Ukraine or even make a move in the Baltics, where it ruled until the fall of the Soviet Union.
On the other hand, the last thing Bush wanted to do was turn a volatile situation into a Russian-U.
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Meetings at the White House during that week of war were unusually emotional. When a junior aide suggested that the United States had to step in, Adm.
Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, interrupted. He did not want another, especially with Russia. Mullen was virtually the only American able to reach his counterpart in Moscow.
Most Russian officials were ignoring their phones, but Mullen had perhaps seven or eight conversations with Gen. Nikolai Makarov, the Russian chief of staff, over the course of a few days, trying to keep the Russians from marching all the way to the Georgian capital. To avoid framing it as a proxy clash between nuclear-armed superpowers, Bush turned to President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, who held the rotating presidency of the European Union, and asked him to negotiate a ceasefire.
In the meantime, some in the White House kept looking for possible responses — even military ones.
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Among the options were bombing the Roki Tunnel to block any further Russian advance into Georgia. Cheney had received a call from a frantic Saakashvili requesting military equipment such as Stinger anti-aircraft missiles. The question came up at a meeting after Bush returned from Beijing. Cheney noted the Stinger request from Saakashvili. Finally, Stephen Hadley, the national security adviser, cut to the chase. Bush looked at Hadley as if he were crazy.
At that point, Bush got it. Hadley was protecting him, calling the bluff of Cheney and the other hawks: Were they really ready to go to war with Russia over Georgia? Hadley wanted the principals to give their positions explicitly so they could not later write in their memoirs that they had disagreed with the president.
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Picking up on that, Bush posed the question. The next day, Sarkozy reached a ceasefire agreement with both sides, but he had been snookered.
The Russians took advantage and moved in. They were on the doorstep of Tbilisi, intent on regime change. Bush decided he could no longer sit on the sidelines. He sent Rice to mediate and authorized humanitarian aid to Georgia sent on military cargo planes to make a point.
With American military planes on the runway in Tbilisi, he calculated, the Russians would be foolish to attack the Georgian capital. Rice flew to Paris, Moscow, and Tbilisi to broker a new agreement.
Russia agreed to pull out of Georgia but not from its breakaway republics. The war was over, but the relationship between Bush and Putin that started with soul-gazing seven years earlier was irrevocably broken. Bush shelved a civilian nuclear agreement he had spent years negotiating with Putin.
The days of collaboration were over. While India shares some strategic objectives with the US, we cannot agree to give the US the right to veto our acquisitions from Russia, thereby adversely affecting our national security. These missiles are unquestionably the best defences we can acquire to defend the Capital Delhi, other cities and strategic defence targets against attacks by missiles or aircraft, launched against them.
Even the US does not possess such a missile defence system, which we need now more than ever, especially given the depleted strength of our Air Force. China has already been targeted by the recent American legislation for acquiring the S Missile defence system and the SU 35 advanced fighter aircraft. While the S missile defence deal, could be subjected to American sanctions, there can be no question of us demeaning ourselves, by going with a virtual begging bowl to the Americans, asking them not to apply sanctions, on every arms deal, we propose to sign with Russia.
We should bear in mind that there are several crucial weapons systems where we have decided, in principle, will be acquired from Russia. Crucial weapons systems These crucial weapons systems include lease of another nuclear attack SSN Submarine, over Light Helicopters to be built in India, four naval frigates, conventional submarines to be largely built in Indian shipyards, and an estimated 6,00, AK assault rifles, also to be made in India.
Our Jawans urgently need these rifles, as the present weapons they carry are far from satisfactory. Following the recent American sanctions on arms purchases from Russia, India was faced with the prospect of its leading banks, with large dollar holdings, facing crippling American sanctions, if they made payments for large arms purchases from Russia. The only viable alternative for India and Russia was to devise measures to avoid and sidestep possible American pressures. We have now reportedly devised measures to face up to the threat of American financial sanctions.
One agreement signed during the Putin visit received little attention. It remains to be seen whether and what sanctions Indian defence organisations involved in such transactions will be subjected to.
Many of them could ironically be essential partners in any defence deal, which India decides to sign with the US also! The then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi refused to oblige and turned to France for supply of nuclear fuel.