Tuesday, July 05, 2005

The Iraq War and Threat to India

B.Raman (Intelligence Analyst , former Addl. cabinet secretary, GoI) has said that increased terorist attacks in India (other than Kashmir) were only to be expected because of the growing economic and defence ties between the US and India.

Everybody knows that the US attack on Iraq was not motivated by weapons of mass destruction or the ties between Iraq and Al Qaida as claimed. Many other reasons are constantly given; hold on the oil, securing a foothold in the middle east for protecting Israel and so on. However, to me the more practical reason seems to be that, a war in iraq will attract all the islamic militants there and keep them away from the american homeland. They can be fought there rather than here. But ofcourse there surely may be other reasons too...lucrative military contracts, the dominance of the american military-industrial complex etc. (Is it a co-incidence that the american economy began to grow quite rapidly from approximately the start of the war?).

But is Bin Laden and his deputies so dumb as to not see this? They surely are very smart too. They know very well that they cannot fight the US might militarily; as Bin Laden once said, they have to fight it economically. The current insurgency in iraq, very clearly kept going by a steady inflow of islamic fighters, is doing just that. American expenditure on the war is already in excess of $400 billion and still counting. They havent obtained a single penny from oil sales to this day, which they hoped will more that pay for the war.(Clauswitz: "Always make the enemy pay for your war") During the first gulf war, the US actually made a slight profit; they forced Saudi Arabia to pay the bill, something of the order of $50 billion.

At what point will war expenditure stop helping the US economy and begin to hurt it? I don't know, but surely there must be some point where that is bound to happen. But anyway, in the mean time whats happening is that Iraq is becoming a haven for foreign militants. The Pentagon recently admitted this and also stated that militant training in Iraq is now much more sophisticated than it was in Afghanistan during the Russian War there. I am amazed by the rate of suicide bombings occuring in Iraq....where do they get so many guys to blow themselves up?

This is where the bad news for the security situation in India comes.

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