US should keep its diplomacy ready amid Doklam standoff: Ex-CIA official
Washington: The standoff between India and China at the Doklam area of the Sikkim section has enormous consequences for the world, including the US, so the Trump administration should have its diplomacy at the ready, a former CIA analyst said on Wednesday.
Bruce Riedel, who is now working with the Brookings Institute—a Washington-based think-tank—said both India and China have built up their conventional forces facing each other in the Himalayas.
“China and India are now nuclear weapons powers with nuclear armed missiles targeting, respectively, New Delhi and Beijing. Both are huge economic powers with considerable trade between them,” Riedel wrote in an op-ed in the Daily Beast.
India and China have been locked in a face-off in Doklam for 50 days after Indian troops stopped the Chinese Army from building a road in the area.
Also read | Doklam may bring Bhutan closer to India
“This is a face-off with potentially enormous consequences for the world. Neither side has asked for American intervention but American interests are very much at stake,” he said.
The Chinese incursion into Bhutan coincided with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the White House, probably a deliberate move by Beijing, he wrote.
“Washington should have its diplomacy at the ready. We need experienced hands in the State Department South Asia bureau. We need the best possible ambassadors on the scene. Our military ties to India need to be on watch. JFK was ready in 1962, we should not be caught off guard today,” Riedel said.
In 2015, Riedel wrote a book JFK’s Forgotten Crisis: Tibet, the CIA, and the Sino-Indian War Hardcover, whose paperback edition is coming out soon.
The book gives an account of how then US President John F. Kennedy came out in support of India during the 1962 war with China. PTI
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