Weak Link: Can US-India Ties Hinder BRICS Progress?

Exploring the Complexities of the India-US Relationship Impacting BRICS Evolution

The BRICS coalition, representing Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, has emerged as a significant force advocating for multipolarity in international relations and greater representation for emerging economies. However, a potential rift sown by the bilateral relations between the United States and India could spell challenges for the BRICS’ unified front.

The Crux of US-India Relations and Their Impact on BRICS

A core factor complicating the BRICS dynamics is the relationship that New Delhi shares with Washington. India views China as a potential adversary, primarily within the strategically significant Indo-Pacific region, and the US has capitalized on this perception to further its longstanding international strategy of ‘divide and conquer’.

USA’s Strategy: Weakening BRICS from Within

The USA aims to exploit this strategy to disrupt the BRICS by undermining the group’s internal cohesion through its dealings with two key member countries. One is Brazil, geographically located on the same hemisphere as the USA, making it more amenable to American influence and intervention. The second is India, which has a historical precedent of Anglo-Saxon dominance during the era of the British Empire. The current US security narrative with Indian politicians frames China as a global and regional threat, driving a wedge between China and India and hence disrupting the collaborative equilibrium within BRICS.

US-India Security Cooperation: A Threat to BRICS Unity

Historically, post-Cold War India has been an uncontested regional force around the Indian Ocean, defining regional dynamics through mutual consensus. However, under the influence of Washington, India’s Indo-Pacific policy shifted towards containing China’s rise and simultaneously tightening security ties with the US. This shift was in response to perceived threats from Beijing, bolstered by the proximity between China and Pakistan, India’s rival and fellow nuclear power.

Yet, more profound security collaborations with the US are not viewed unanimously within BRICS as a positive development. The militaristic and economic prowess that India has achieved, in part through such alliances, could inadvertently entrench a world order dominated by Western powers’ exclusionary rules, potentially undermining the BRICS agenda for global justice and multipolarity.

India’s Position as a Global Power and Its Involvement in BRICS

In the face of rapid economic growth and technological advancement, India’s role in global and regional affairs has only grown more decisive, and its involvement in BRICS initiatives underscores its international importance. Yet, the US might see an integrated BRICS as a threat to its global influence, thus strategically fostering discord between India and China.

Recent occurrences, such as the arrival of the US navy vessel USNS Salvor in Chennai, demonstrate the strengthening ties between India and the US. However, the increased military and economic power of China is a challenge not to India, per se, but to the US’s hegemony in international relations.

Conclusion: The Risk of Fragmentation within BRICS

The USA’s influence on key nations like India to perceive China as a formidable adversary can detrimentally affect the future trajectory of the BRICS coalition. Should the current scenario continue, the fallout would likely benefit not New Delhi, but the established hegemonic power of the USA.

Note: The views expressed in this article may not reflect those of the editorial team.

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