There is absolutely no way that India is going to sacrifice its grand strategic interests for the US’ sake. All attempts by America to pressure it in this direction are doomed to fail because India’s special and privileged strategic partnership with Russia is considered by its strategists to be crucial for maintaining the balance of influence across Eurasia between those two de facto allies and China.
US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman told Congress last week that their country demands that India abandon its historical policy of neutrality and non-alignment. Her exact words were that “We, obviously, would prefer that India move away from their long-term history of non-alignment G77 partnership with Russia.” This policy is dead on arrival though since India’s grand strategy is to proudly flex its strategic autonomy and actually attempt to jointly assemble a new Non-Aligned Movement (“Neo-NAM”) with Russia for creating a third pole of influence in the increasingly bi-multipolar world order.
Sherman’s statement was the embodiment of “American Exceptionalism” and the arrogance that infamously accompanies this discredited ideology. Her country has consistently sought to discredit India’s principled neutrality towards Russia’s ongoing special military operation in Ukraine and pressure it to publicly condemn its special and privileged strategic partner in complete contradiction of its objective national interests. This policy has been publicly practiced by Jen Psaki, Victoria Nuland, Daleep Singh, Lloyd Austin, and Brian Deese, among others. Suffice to say, they’ve all spectacularly failed.
There is absolutely no way that India is going to sacrifice its grand strategic interests for the US’ sake. All attempts by America to pressure it in this direction are doomed to fail because India’s special and privileged strategic partnership with Russia is considered by its strategists to be crucial for maintaining the balance of influence across Eurasia between those two de facto allies and China. Ditching Moscow would simply push it directly into Beijing’s arms and resultantly risk having the People’s Republic potentially exert disproportionate influence over the Kremlin at New Delhi’s possible expense.
This is basic geopolitics but isn’t understood by US policymakers, most likely due to the influence that their “American Exceptionalism” ideology has in blinding them to this simple reality. Statements like Sherman’s are actually counterproductive to the US’ interests since they serve as factual evidence that Washington is openly meddling in India’s affairs, which in turn makes it all the less likely that New Delhi would ever compromise on this issue out of fear of appearing to its people to have sacrificed their national interests in the face of American pressure.
No government in India could survive such a perception since it would expose them as puppets of a foreign power, especially if they spit in the face of their country’s special and privileged half-century-long strategic partners in Russia. The emotional element in their relations means that India would be portrayed as having backstabbed Russia for no reason at all other than for some officials to get a pat on the back from their American patrons. That’s absolutely unacceptable for the Indian masses, who would demand that patriots be immediately returned to power in their country to replace those puppets.