India’s Challenge to US Binary Thinking

By:  Peter Isackson

Ashley Tellis' Foreign Affairs article questions whether India, as the world's largest democracy, is a friend or foe to the US.

US categorizes nations as allies or enemies. George W. Bush's "axis of evil" remark reflects the binary perspective: with us or terrorists.

The Cold War era shaped the US mission in a new world order, seeking to assert leadership without appearing neo-colonialist.

World Wars dismantled empires, transformed colonialism. Eisenhower saw a divided world based on conflicting ideologies.

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Eisenhower envisioned capitalism versus communism, nations choosing allegiances like feudal Europe's barons and vassals.

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The Cold War adopted allegiance as a key concept, influenced by the US's pledge of allegiance and opposition to Marxism.

Tellis asserts that India lacks inherent allegiance to preserving the liberal international order and is reluctant to engage in mutual defense.

India's non-alignment preference doesn't hinder collaboration with the US, particularly in monitoring China and sharing shipping information.