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​'India's Neutral Stand on Ukraine War Poses No Danger to Ties With US': Expert John Mearsheimer​

Source : News18

​'India's Neutral Stand on Ukraine War Poses No Danger to Ties With US': Expert John Mearsheimer​
Mearsheimer made an interesting point that in view of China becoming a powerful country, it makes no strategic sense for the US to try to drive a wedge between India and Russia. (Reuters)



In what seemed to be a major endorsement of India’s neutral stand on the Ukraine war, renowned political scientist John J Mearsheimer said “it doesn’t matter if Washington is unhappy with India because Washington needs New Delhi to contain China”.

In an exclusive interview to CNN-News18’s Zakka Jacob, the Chicago University professor said the US has a rich history of having fundamental disagreements with India and is used to it. “There is no serious danger of rupture in relations between the two countries because of India’s neutral stand,” he said.

Mearsheimer made an interesting point that in view of China becoming a powerful country, it makes “no strategic sense” for the US to try to drive a wedge between India and Russia. The US should be happy that India and Russia are working together but it cannot be because it is fighting a “remarkably foolish” war, he said. From India’s point of view, he added, it’s not good that the US is bogged down in Europe and has lost sight of the China threat.

Mearsheimer also said the Ukraine war will not end any time soon. He said there were a number of reasonable people in the US and Western Europe who were arguing that this war could go on for years and it may go on at a lower level than now.

He said if the Russian military did well against the Ukrainians, the Americans will go to great lengths, as will the Europeans, to help the Ukrainians. “It is a situation where the Russians feel they cannot lose. And the Americans and European allies feel they cannot lose. It would be a humiliating defeat for the US, especially for President Joe Biden, if Russia were to win a great victory. So, the US would like to keep Ukraine fighting.”

At the same time, he said, the Russians are going to “fight like crazy” to make sure that they don’t lose. As a result, there is little room for maneouvering for Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

This is a prescription for disaster because, Mesrheimer says, the potential for an accident or some sort of incident that brings the West into direct fight or creates a situation where nuclear weapons are used is always there. A war this long facilitates trouble.

The leading international relations expert was among the first to predict Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggression. In a much talked-about lecture in 2015, Mearsheimer had said that “the West is leading Ukraine down the primrose path and the end result is that Ukraine is going to get wrecked”. Mearsheimer has squarely blamed the US for pushing Putin to go to war by promising North Atlantic Treaty Organisation’s (NATO) membership to Ukraine.

In the CNN-News18 interview, he called the Western argument that Putin wants to recreate Soviet Union and that he has imperial designs as “nonsense”. He reiterated the US is entirely responsible for how the world got here.

In a scathing attack on American foreign policy, Mearsheimer said, for the US there is one serious threat in the world today and that is China and not Russia. China is a “peer competitor” and threatens to be a regional hegemon in Asia. “The US should be focusing laser-like on China. It should be thinking overtime how to contain China and at the same time it should be working with Russia as an ally to help contain Beijing.”

Mearsheimer argued that India, Russia and the US should all be on the “same side of the ledger” all bent on containing China because Beijing has the potential to be a remarkably powerful country.

Instead, the US has “foolishly” picked a fight with Russia and it is bogged down in Eastern Europe. Washington has done very little in East Asia to explain to its allies how it plans to contain China because it’s too busy thinking how to fight the Russians. He asserted there is one winner as a result of this Ukraine war and that is China.

“The US is not fighting the actual war but it’s deeply involved. The US is doing everything but fighting. The American intellectual capital is focused on Eastern Europe now. The US is not thinking about how to deal with China,” he added.

Mearsheimer warned Putin can become dangerous in the course of the war. “When you poke a great power like Russia in the eye and you present it with an existential threat, you do not want to underestimate how ruthless great powers can be. This includes the US as well as Russia, when they think they are facing an existential threat. That makes Putin very dangerous.”

As a result, Mearsheimer said, Ukraine is being destroyed by Russian military aggression.

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