India Should Beware of the American Empire’s Trap

© AFP 2023 PUNIT PARANJPEJoe Biden addresses a gathering of Indian businessmen at the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) in Mumbai on July 24, 2013.
Joe Biden addresses a gathering of Indian businessmen at the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) in Mumbai on July 24, 2013. - Sputnik India, 1920, 21.03.2024
It's difficult for most Indians to understand the true nature of the United States, which seems benign and benevolent from the perspectives of the average person. But it's Washington that gains a lot more than India does in this relationship.
“We must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence by the military-industrial complex.”
These are not the words of a peacenik but of a five-star US military general and President, Eisenhower. Six decades after his farewell speech, Americans and the world have forgotten his warning. Instead, we are now experiencing dangerous wars in Europe and the Middle East, and the world is closer to a world war than ever before since the 1930s.
India, as the most populous nation and the fastest growing large economy in the world, has a choice – get caught in the geopolitical web of the American Empire or be a leader of the Global South in promoting peace and development.
It's difficult for most Indians to understand the true nature of the USA, which seems benign and benevolent from the perspectives of the average person. After all, millions of Indians have immigrated to the US and have achieved remarkable success in all aspects of American society. US investments in India are also helping the economy.
From a geopolitical point of view, the US seems to offer strategic support against a more powerful neighbor, China. So, what’s the problem?

Everyone is a Pawn

First, Indians must realize that the USA is not a charity. Whatever it does is based on self-interests. While that is not bad in itself – it can lead to win-win scenarios – the US is an empire, whose goal is divide and conquer. This means every country is viewed as a pawn. And the geopolitical pawn will be sacrificed any time for the sake of the king.
Let’s take a look at some examples.
In the late 19th century, the US decided to use Japan as a proxy to weaken Russia and colonize parts of Asia. Thus, the US funded and armed Japan to attack and destroy Russia’s naval forces in the far east. Wall Street giant Jacob Schiff raised money for Japan, and the US provided oil, steel and expertise to build up Japan’s military. Later, with the blessings of the US and other European empires, Japan conquered Taiwan and Korea. After WW1, the West generously gave former German colonies in China to Japan.
However, after WW1, Japan got a bit too powerful and independent. And guess what? The US seamlessly shifted its alliance from Japan to China! During WW2, the US also allied with Russia (USSR) against Japan – remember that four decades earlier, the Americans had used Japan against Russia. Then, after WW2, when Mao won the civil war, the US shifted its loyalty one more time and became pro-Japan, anti-China and anti-Russia.
Then, in 1959, the US invited Soviet leader Khruschev for a two-week visit, which led to the Sino-Soviet split. Then, thirteen years later, Nixon flew to China and turned it against the Soviet Union! All this flip-flopping will make anyone’s head spin.
As for Korea, it became a sad pawn of the American empire. Having decided that it needs a footstep on China’s border, the US found a clever way to occupy Korea. Hence the Korean War, which split the country in half. Then, on the pretext of protecting South Korea, the US colonized the country. Even today, the Korean military is run by an American! And to justify its occupation, the US makes sure that there is no peace between North Korea and South Korea. Moreover, all through the Cold War, the US supported brutal dictatorships in South Korea (and Taiwan). How about that for spreading freedom and democracy?
And now we are witnessing how the US has turned Ukraine and Europe into pawns against Russia. Of course, it’s Ukraine that has been devastated the most – probably forever – but Europe has suffered immensely in terms of economy for the last two years. The deindustrialization of Europe, especially Germany, is profound and will have long-term effects. Many German companies – some founded 200 years ago – have been idled or shut down permanently.
Europe is now starting to wake up. Only 10% of Europeans believe that Ukraine can win the war. In some countries like Italy, 60% say that the EU should not give military aid to Ukraine. However, there is extreme censorship and repression. People in Europe are getting arrested for voicing their non-violent but “politically incorrect” opinions on social media. In Germany, there are even plans to ban the popular AfD party. So far, it’s been mainly the farmers who are protesting all over Europe. If the economic situation worsens, there will be severe upheavals all over Europe, where many countries are in or near recession, and their economies have been stagnant for 15 years.

US-India Past and Present Relations

Let’s not forget the British colonialism and the US hostility towards India during the Cold War. The US supported Pakistan and armed the Mujahideen, whose brotherly terrorists infiltrated Kashmir. In the 1960s, the CIA assassinated Indian Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri and the Indian nuclear physicist Homi Bhabha. In 1971, during the Bangladesh liberation war, the U.S. sent its nuclear aircraft carrier, U.S.S. Enterprise, to the Bay of Bengal, to bully India. However, the USSR sent its own navy to repel the American show of force. To summarize, the Anglo-American empire conspired against India for a long time.
However, remember how the US supported India during the Indo-China conflicts in the 1960s. Thus, you can see the typical American shifting – a friend this decade, an enemy the next.
US-India relations got turbocharged only after the 2008 financial crisis, when the US realized their economic model was failing, and China was rising rapidly. Thus, the standard playbook was used to leverage and prop up India.
The US gains a lot more than India does in this relationship.
USA gets the smartest people from India.
USA gets to monopolize Indian consumer and tech markets
USA gets to exploit cheap Indian labor – mostly for software, but increasingly for manufacturing as well.
USA gets to sell weapons to India
USA gets to use India against China, geo-politically and militarily
So, from the US point of view, it’s all positive. Now, look at it from the point of view of India:
India loses its smartest people due to brain drain
India does not get to develop its own indigenous companies like China did. Instead, we are all forced to use Google Search, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Google Pay, Amazon, Cisco, Microsoft, Oracle, Dell, HP and so on. All the successful Indian tech startups have US investors as the biggest shareholders. Such dependency on the US makes India extremely vulnerable to sanctions.
Indians make $20 an hour so that American corporations can make billions of dollars. It’s the old colonial model again.
India buys expensive US weapons, which are often not worth the price. For example, the American drone, MQ-9 Reaper, costs $30 million each, but is easily shot down by the Houthis with inexpensive missiles. Another example is the fleet of F-35 planes, of which only 70% are combat-ready.
India’s conflict with China will be detrimental for both countries, while strengthening the US hegemony. Of course, the US will never let India become a regional hegemon. That’s why the US still has good relations with Pakistan as a backup strategy. The US can also use Sikh separatists, Kashmir Muslims, or Manipur tribes to demonize India on human rights. From a friend to a foe is just a matter of a year or two.

India-China Conflicts

The US has been quite successful in driving a wedge between China and India. This was not too difficult, since the geopolitical competition between two most populous nations with shared borders is natural.
However, looking at the big picture, Indians must realize that there is more to benefit by cooperating with China; and that the US is simply exploiting the tensions. If the US were a true friend of India, Americans would help negotiate peace between the two Asian giants – just like how China brought Saudi Arabia and Iran together. However, a peaceful and prosperous Asia is terrible for American hegemony.
Whatever promises the US makes to India will be temporary. The US will never let India be a regional hegemon unless India agrees to station US military bases and essentially follows the vassal model of Japan, South Korea, and Germany. That would, of course, mean loss of sovereignty.
India will be better off negotiating with China. The two ancient civilizations can combine their wisdom to first resolve the border issues. This could entail just freezing the disputes for a few decades or settle on some bargaining – “this region is yours and that region is mine.”
Second, both countries need to create a security framework for spheres of influence. In a multipolar world, there will never be 100% alignment. For example, the US cannot demand India to sever all relations with Russia. Indian foreign minister Jaishankar has repeatedly espoused this view of all-alignment. Similarly, India cannot demand Nepal or Sri Lanka to have zero relations with China. However, both countries can agree upon red lines – for example, no Chinese military bases or weapons of mass destruction in these neighboring states.
The potential for India-China is immense. As China’s workforce gets older, they need to offshore manufacturing, which is perfect for India where 100+ million young people are looking for good jobs. India’s focus should be attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), becoming a manufacturing hub, and boosting exports. Right now, the net FDI in India is only 0.6% of GDP. Furthermore, China can be leveraged to build new cities, highways, railways, seaports etc., where China has proven skills and cost-effective solutions.
Remember that India’s GDP-per-capita is less than $3000. India needs to maintain its high growth for the next 20-25 years to become a developed nation, and that would still be at the low end. Thus, India needs absolute focus on growth, which will be derailed by conflicts and wars.

The End Game

The big picture here is that the American Century is coming to an end. In desperation, Washington elites are making dangerous mistakes such as starting a war with Russia, trying to start a regional war in the Middle East in the hope of neutralizing Iran, and provoking the People’s Republic of China in the island of Taiwan.
But all their plans are falling apart. The proxy war in Ukraine has failed miserably. Russia is stronger than ever and is winning on the frontlines. Russia’s economy kept growing over the last two years and has surpassed Germany (in PPP GDP) to become the largest economy in Europe.
Meanwhile, Ukraine is running out of funding, ammunition and soldiers. The situation is so grim that mini-Napoleon Macron wants to send French troops as sacrificial lambs to Ukraine. All the hyped weapons – the “game-changers” – such as HIMARS, Patriot defense systems, French/British missiles, German tanks etc. have failed to turn the situation around in Ukraine. Ukrainians are being trained for merely a few weeks and being sent into the meat grinder, since most of the neo-Nazi soldiers (such as the Azov Battalion) that were trained by NATO since 2014 have been eliminated by Russian forces.
As for the inhumane war on Gaza, the complicity of the US in the slaughter -- or a genocide, according to many experts and politicians such as Brazilian President Lula – has made America a pariah in the region. Rather than pushing Israel towards a two-state solution and a Palestinian statehood, the US is bombing Yemen’s Houthis, while supplying arms to Israel for bombing Lebanon (Hezbollah) and Syria. There is a strong possibility for the US to be mired in Middle East wars for many years to come. Such a disastrous warmonger cannot be a strategic partner for India.
Meanwhile, BRICS is expanding rapidly, with 30+ countries having expressed interest in membership. This new coalition of the Global South will be the tipping point for the dollar regime, as they start trading in local currencies. Russia-China trade is already 95% dollar-free; the African Union is trying to de-dollarize intra-trade; and even India is pushing for Rupee-based trade as much as possible. The 130+ members of China’s Belt and Road Initiative are also decoupling from US dollar, US technology, US debt (through IMF), and US influence.
Many investment experts such as Zoltan Pozsar have written about the end game for the dollar. With the US borrowing $1 trillion every 100 days, the end of the Ponzi economy is not far away. Since WW2, the mighty US military has protected the US dollar. However, this racket is coming to an end, as China and Russia have developed strong militaries and even surpassed the US in areas such as hypersonic missiles.

American Fantasy

In the fantasy of the Death Cult in the US, there would be a massive war in Asia, where countries like Japan, Australia, Philippines, India and others would attack China. In that process, everyone would destroy themselves, just like Europe did after WW2. Near the end of the war, the USA would swoop in as a savior, defeat an exhausted China, and rule everyone else in order to preserve peace and order. The defeated nations will pay reparations that will pay off US debt. Henceforth will begin the dystopian global empire – Part 2 of the American Century.
However, looking at Ray Dalio’s famous cycles of empires, the US is at a mix of Stage 15 and 17 – internal conflict and weak leadership. The next step is the loss of the reserve currency status, after which the US will face a civil war.
© Photo : Ray DalioRay Dalio’s famous cycles of empires
Ray Dalio’s famous cycles of empires - Sputnik India, 1920, 20.03.2024
Ray Dalio’s famous cycles of empires


India is in a sweet spot in terms of demographics, economic growth, and geopolitics. Everyone is seeking partnership and trade with India. However, this ideal situation will not last forever. India needs to make the best out of the situation over the next decade, after which the youth population will start to decrease, the US empire will not be powerful or prosperous enough to help the Indian economy, and the Fourth Industrial Revolution with robots and AI will start chipping away at manufacturing jobs.
India needs to keep the Empire of Chaos at arm’s length, while strengthening its cooperation with the Global South – Asian countries for trade, China for infrastructure and manufacturing, Middle East for energy, Russia for energy and defense and multipolarity, and Africa for resources and mutual development. Yes, India should also have strategic relations with the US and the EU, but while avoiding their propensity for wars, neoliberal/financialized economics, and pernicious social ideologies.
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