Nikki Haley calls for formal US alliance with India

Nikki HaleyIndian American leader says US-India alliance would allow both countries to expand their global strength

Suggesting that “an axis of terror is forming from Hamas to Iran to the Taliban” in the aftermath of America’s “disastrous Afghanistan withdrawal,” Indian American Republican leader Nikki Haley has called for a formal alliance with India to stem the damage.

“Our adversaries are growing bolder, especially following the disastrous Afghanistan withdrawal. An axis of terror is forming from Hamas to Iran to the Taliban,” she writes in an op-ed in Foreign Policy magazine with Florida congressman Mike Waltz.

“Pakistan has stepped up its engagement with Iran. China has increased its incursions into Taiwan’s air identification zone to record levels. Russia is increasing its influence in Belarus and further threatening Ukraine,” they note.

Read: Nikki Haley: US completely surrendered to the Taliban (August 23, 2021)

“Is this really the best “diplomacy” and “engagement” the United States can muster?” ask Haley, former US ambassador to the United Nations and Waltz, a member on the House Armed Services Committee, and vice chair of the India Caucus.

“Of course not,” they say suggesting, “Instead of insulting our friends and ignoring our foes, the United States should prioritize relationships that strengthen our standing in the world.”

“The place to start is India. It’s time to form an alliance,” suggest Haley and Waltz.

“As a nuclear power with more than one million troops, a growing navy, a top-tier space program, and a proven history of economic and military cooperation with the United States, India would make a strong ally,” they write.

“An alliance with India would allow both countries to maintain and expand their global strength,” Haley and Waltz assert. “And together with Japan and Australia, it would enable the United States to form a real deterrent to potential terrorist threats in Afghanistan as well as counter China.”

Haley and Waltz dubbed as “inaccurate” Biden administration’s claim that even after its withdrawal from Afghanistan. the United States retains “over-the-horizon” capabilities to strike terrorists.

“For example, should a US military drone launch from a base in the Persian Gulf, it would consume much of its fuel just getting to Afghanistan, severely limiting our ability to identify and strike targets,” they write.

“With no US bases left in the region, China, Iran, Russia, and even Pakistan will influence the future of these terrorist groups, with little reason to help the United States.”

“We now only have one partner who can effectively keep a watchful eye on Afghanistan. It’s the same partner that can keep track of China’s southern flank: India,” Haley and Waltz declared.

“India operates Farkhor Air Base in Tajikistan, the only air base with the proximity to conduct counterterrorism strikes in Afghanistan,” the two leaders noted.

“With an alliance, India could allow us access to strategic bases to protect US interests in Afghanistan and the broader region,” they suggested. “A US-India alliance would also give us an edge over China. Like the United States, India recognizes that China is a rapidly growing threat.”

“Not only is it attempting to capitalize on our withdrawal from Afghanistan, which goes against both the United States and India’s interests, China is also pressuring India on its own borders,” Haley and Waltz wrote.

“Last year, Chinese and Indian troops clashed in the contested Himalayan border region of Ladakh, resulting in the deaths of 20 Indian soldiers and four Chinese soldiers, according to the Chinese government,” they noted.

“India has since redirected 50,000 troops to its border with China for a total of 200,000 Indian troops now stationed there. Tensions have only escalated since then.”

Noting that “in recent days, China has also reinforced its military presence along the Himalayan border with 100 advanced long-range rocket launchers,” Haley and Waltz wrote, “A US-India alliance would give China pause before further expanding into Central and Southern Asia.”

“And we’d be building on solid ground,” they asserted noting, “Just this month, the US military held joint exercises with hundreds of Indian soldiers in Alaska to strengthen cooperation and better prepare for cold, mountainous conditions like those in the China-India border region.”

“An alliance would also recognize the region’s shifting geopolitical realities,” Haley and Waltz wrote suggesting, “China’s newly aggressive posture toward India is not by accident. It is part of a broader plan.”

Read: Nikki Haley asks Biden to reassure India, other key allies (September 3, 2021)

“The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is emboldened after shoring up support from India’s longtime foe, Pakistan,” they wrote describing Islamabad as China’s “regional client state willing to do the CCP’s bidding and help bolster its international standing.”

“Growing collusion between China and Pakistan poses serious security risks for both India and the United States,” Haley and Waltz asserted. “For India, a US alliance would be a bulwark against a two-fronted conflict on its borders.”

“For the United States, an alliance would help blunt Pakistan’s influence—a state sponsor of terrorism now propped up by Chinese investments—in Afghanistan,” they wrote. “We need a new partner to prevent the creation of a terrorist super state that can attack our country again.”

“Beyond the security relationship, the United States and India also share economic concerns, including the need for a stable supply chain,” Haley and Waltz noted.

“India’s enormous workforce offers an opportunity for the United States to alter its supply chain dependence on China,” they wrote suggesting the US “can rely on India as a major source of pharmaceuticals, technology, and critical minerals, supplementing our own domestic manufacturing capabilities.”

“We should also continue working toward a more comprehensive US-India trade deal,” Haley and Waltz suggested.

Turning to cyberwarfare, they noted they even as US suffered Colonial Pipeline cyberattack by Russia-linked cybercriminals earlier this year, a suspected Chinese state-sponsored group cyberattacked India, causing 20 million residents in Mumbai to lose power last fall.

“A US-India alliance would also enable them to prevent and respond to cyber threats utilizing best practices, technologies, and expertise,” Haley and Waltz declared.

“The benefits of a US-India alliance are many. It’s also the case that we share many values. By uniting the world’s strongest and largest democracies in a formal alliance, we can do a better job of defending freedom in an increasingly tyrannical world,” they wrote.

“Establishing an alliance is the natural result of recent momentum. The United States and India drew closer together during the Trump administration; one notable achievement was the signing of the 2018 Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement.”

“That deal granted India more advanced communication technology for US-purchased defense equipment to help elevate coordination during conflict,” Haley and Waltz noted.

Read: US former diplomat Haley and Congressman Mike Waltz call for an alliance with India (October 27, 2021)

“In October 2020, the Trump administration and the Indian government signed another agreement for geospatial cooperation that boosted the Indian military’s weapons systems with advanced navigational tools.”

“These are the sorts of things that allies do, yet our current diplomatic status with India is described as a ‘strategic partnership’,” Haley and Waltz wrote.

“An upgrade is urgently needed. Just as our alliances with NATO, Japan, and South Korea transformed US security in the 20th century, an alliance with India would help keep us safe in the 21st century,” they wrote declaring, “It’s time to make that happen.”


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