Thursday, January 12, 2012

Understanding USA's political Spectrum - Part4 - Conclusion

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Author: Rudra Devacharya


Continued from Part three

In conclusion, is not easy to identify any one of these groups as the “best” from India’s point of view.

Also, it is important to realize that no one group typically has complete dominance over a particular US administration’s foreign policy. The actual policy is often a vector sum of competing influences brought together by political expediency and self-interest.

For example, Clinton’s initiatives were planned by Clinton-Wilsonians but strongly modified to accommodate Hamiltonian interests (which became extremely powerful during the Reagan years.)

Bush’s Iraq War was a Bush-Wilsonian policy initiative to bring an American-controlled “democratic” regime change to Iraq. But to enact it, the Bush administration relied on support from both Hamiltonians (interest in the oil fields of Iraq) and Jacksonians (strong popular opposition to Islamism following 9/11.)

Obama is a Jeffersonian who is torn between his Jeffersonian electoral base, which favours a withdrawal from Afghanistan, and a Clinton-Wilsonian foreign policy establishment, which pursues a flawed policy based on alliance with Pakistan and negotiations with “good” Taliban.

It seems clear that the Clinton-Wilsonians are the most implacable foes of India among all these groups.

Others, particularly Bush-Wilsonians and Hamiltonians, can be engaged on some specific points of convergent interest, but must be handled carefully because other aspects of their agendas are inimical to Indian interest.

Ultimately, a Jacksonian President is perhaps most likely to nuke Pakistan or take a confrontationalist posture towards China… but depending on various factors, the specific circumstances and consequences may or may not be in India’s interest.. We will have to be quick on our feet to translate any advantage out of such situations.

And finally, if India ever rises beyond the confines of the region to the beginnings of global superpowerdom… probably our best bet is for the United States to follow a Jeffersonian line of limited intervention, leaving a power vacuum that we can endeavour to fill.

To close, the Indian equivalents of the W.R. Meade spectrum.

Hamiltonian—PV Narasimha rao vadi 
Wilsonian—Indiravadi
Jeffersonian—Jawaharlalvadi
Jacksonian—Thackerayvadi!

1 comment:

Amatya Rakshas said...

Most interesting. Kudos for penning it down.

This categorization is new to me and interesting as well. Indeed there are multiple vectors governing the US domestic and foreign policy; albeit I think we'll be better off with a truly nationalistic govt. at centre (which appears a distant dream atm).

On the other hand, even for the BJP I've my reservations regarding their actual and perceived --what they call-- 'cultural nationalism'.

Regards,
-AR