Hello defence lovers! After American Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s remark over Washington being “deeply engaged” with India for “over-the-horizon” capabilities to keep a check on Afghanistan and the new Taliban regime there, there are speculations that India being considered as a possible base for US forces’ offensive against Taliban. In This article, we are going to analyse whether India should allow any foreign military bases on its soil. We will also look at the advantages and drawbacks of having a US military base in India.
Why The US Wants A Military Base In India?
After the disastrous pullout from Afghanistan, Joe Biden’s and his government is now afraid of another 9/11 attack on America. Joe Biden’s political stunt will now fire back on him. He has also damaged America’s reputation as a global superpower. Now after these blunders, Biden wants to do some damage control. The US is looking for a military base near Afghanistan to conducts drone strikes or any other Aerial strikes on Afghanistan if required.
Earlier all other neighbours of Afghanistan had denied access to their soil for a military base. Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan had denied access as they are part of a military alliance with Russia called the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). Under CSTO Russia provides security to almost all former Soviet Union members. Thus it is obvious that Russian influence won’t allow these countries to build a military base on their soil.
Now talking about the other two countries Iran and Pakistan, Iran is right now America’s arch-enemy thanks to Donald Trump’s stupid move of pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal and imposing sanctions. And Pakistan is the biggest sponsor and supporter of terrorism in the region. It is impossible that it will allow America to bomb terrorists from its soil. However, it is very much possible that Pakistan will provide safe heaven to some most wanted terrorists just like Osama bin laden.
Hence India is the last choice for America to establish a military base. Under the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA), the US can already use Indian military bases for refuelling and replenishment purposes and vice versa. However, refuelling a friendly aircraft or ship and hosting an offensive are altogether two different things.
Should India Allow A US Military Base On Indian Soil?
Having a foreign military base in our country, especially an American base has many aspects. For many small nations like South Korea, the Philippines, Japan and many other European countries, a US military base provides additional security. For an instance, let’s forget that according to the global firepower index India has the 4th strongest military in the world, the same goes for India. A US military base will provide additional security and deterrence for the enemy to attack. It will also help in improving defence cooperation. Except for these two points, there is no other benefit of having a US military base. Now let’s look at the broader picture.
Indian armed are capable enough of not only defending our motherland but also neighbouring states like Bhutan if required. We have the second-largest army, 4th largest airforce and 7th largest Navy on the planet and we don’t need any foreign military on our soil for our protection. Moreover, allowing any foreign nation to build a military base is against our pride and political policies.
Allowing America to operate a military base in India will negatively impact the India-Russia ties. For a very long time, Russia has been one of the most reliable defence partners. And we cannot sacrifice such a reliable partner for an opportunistic unreliable defence partner.
All over the world, it has been observed that US military bases face severe criticism and opposition from the local residents. There are several cases where US soldiers deployed on these bases create lots of problems as they are not punishable under local law due to their diplomatic immunity.
In geopolitics there are neither permanent friends nor enemies, only permanent interests
We must not forget that this America was the country that had sent its 7th fleet during the 1971 Bangladesh liberation war to invade India. It is the very same country that denied satellite images of Kargil during the Kargil war. America also stopped Russia from transferring the technology of cryogenic engines to India. It is the very same America that imposed sanctions on us for developing nuclear weapons. It is the very same America that vacated Afghanistan without considering the rising threat of terrorism in the region which will affect countries like India, for just some political leverage. America only understands American interests. Maintaining global peace and stability is just an excuse. Nearly America is the root cause of every major problem, be it Iran developing nuclear weapons or the Taliban spreading terrorism.
Before asking for a military base in India, the US should impose heavy sanctions on Pakistan which helped the Taliban to conquer Kabul and even bombed Panjshir. Imposing heavy sanctions on Pakistan for terror charges will solve almost half of the terrorism problem in the region. But we know very well that’s not going to happen as Joe Biden is too pleased with Hilal-e-Pakistan (Pakistan’s second-highest civilian award).
So that was my opinion regarding the US military base in India. Readers’ opinions in the comments section will be welcomed and appreciated.