The U.S. and alliances are turning to a new ally to counter the rise of China – India.
Just as the AK party government in Turkey was the rising star for moderate Islam in the Greater Middle East during former U.S. President Obama’s term, so now is India a rising star in Washington.
U.S. President Biden, who didn’t hold a sit-down talk with President Erdogan during UN meetings in New York, despite the Turkish President’s requests, this week hosted India’s populist, Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Modi at the White House.
U.S. Secretary of State Blinken, further, held a four-party meeting with his Indian, Japanese, and Australian counterparts in September, which is when he took the first steps of to form an alliance against China in the Asia-Pacific.
INDIA’S S-400 PURCHASE AND WASHINGTON’S ATTITUDE
The matter of S-400 missile purchases revealed how India is important for Washington. Like Turkey, India purchased S-400 missile systems from Russia,
The Washington administration, which imposed CAATSA sanctions on Turkey and kicked it out of the F-35 fighter jet program for the S -400 purchase, has already signaled that it won’t use the same harsh tactics with India.
The first step to exempt India from punishment has been taken by the U.S. Senate – a body which, it is worth noting, makes almost all decisions against Turkey with a three-fourths majority. American Senators have prepared a legislative proposal to exempt the quad alliance, consisting of India, Australia, and Japan, from CAATSA sanctions in case they buy more weapons from Russia.
The proposal before the Senate, which will be added to the American Defense Budget, is directly related to India’s S-400 purchase.
There is also the Russian side of the issue. Washington’s moves to cooperate with Russia have significantly increased recently.
WHICH SIDE WILL RUSSIA TAKE IN A U.S.̞ CHINA CONFRONTATION?
The stance of Russia in the U.S.-China dispute will also determine will be the victor in the new Cold War.
This is why the Washington administration’s successive steps recently to bring Russia to the table are noteworthy.
The foundations of U.S.-Russia cooperation in Afghanistan have been laid. The Withdrawal of U.S. and allied forces from Afghanistan has completely left the country in complete chaos and under the control of the Taliban. This situation disturbs Russia, which has forcefully suppressed separatist Muslim movements domestically. The Washington administration, which benefits from this uneasiness, has started to seek collaboration on Afghanistan with Moscow.
The U.S. and Russian Army Chiefs of Staff convened in Helsinki in September. The most important topic on the negotiation table was the U.S.’ request to use Russia’s military bases in Central Asia in order to monitor the situation in Afghanistan. Interestingly, news leaks show that Moscow didn’t take a dim view of this proposal.
Exempting India’s S-400 purchase from CAATSA sanctions is a move to appease Russia.
Given that the legislative proposal before the U.S. Senate also excludes other members of the Quad alliance, namely Japan and Australia, from the sanctions apart from India, these countries may become new arms markets for Russia.
The CIA Director Burns also visited Moscow and convened with Russian intelligence officers. Such a critical meeting is uncommon in U.S.-Russia relations. Burns previously served as U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation. This history played a role in the meeting. The fact that the Washington administration sent the CIA Director, a bureaucrat who knows and monitors Russia best, to directly contact Moscow is also an indicator of the importance the U.S. places on transitioning to an easier era in U.S.-Russian relations.
Then, there is the Israeli dimension of the issue.
The U.S.’ most critical ally, Israel has also put in action plans to pull Russia away from China. Israeli Prime Minister Bennet and Russian Leader Putin discussed rebuilding Syria last month when they convened in Sochi. The most interesting part of the meeting was Putin’s request to the Prime Minister that he use his influence on the U.S. to ensure Russian firms are exempted from American sanctions during the rebuilding process.
END OF ANKARA’S ‘BALANCE POLICY’
This potential alliance between the U.S. and Russia throws a wrench in the AK Party government’s foreign policy strategy. For the past five years, in particular, Ankara has benefitted from the hostility and competition between the two powers. Now, that won’t work: this is demonstrated by the fact that President Erdogan couldn’t get an appointment from the U.S. President Biden in New York, and when he paid a visit to Sochi right after, also couldn’t find the collaboration that he expected from the Russians.
The AK Party government also didn’t get what it expected from Erdogan-Biden meeting held in Rome. This situation clearly shows that the Washington administration no longer takes seriously Ankara’s Russia approaches. The reflection of all of this on domestic policy will not be good for the Erdogan administration. It wouldn’t be wrong to say the international community won’t support the AK Party and will get behind the opposition in the lead up to the next election…
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