On The Great Game Of Geopolitics, India Gets A Thumbs-Up From US Political Expert Mearsheimer – News18

Curated By: Rohit
Last Updated: March 19, 2024, 21:22 IST
New Delhi, India
Professor Mearsheimer has written extensively about security issues and international politics more generally.
American political scientist John J. Mearsheimer on Tuesday described India as an “aspiring great power” that is growing strength to strength in the geopolitical rivalry involving the United States, China, and Russia. Speaking during a session at CNN News18’s Rising Bharat Summit 2024 in New Delhi, Mearsheimer said that the United States was the most powerful country on the planet during the unipolar phase, which started with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and lasted roughly till the mid-2010s.
Arguing from a realist perspective, he said the world today was a multipolar one where great powers are vying for dominance. “By 2017, Vladimir Putin had rescued Russia from the dead and Russia was back as the great power — and China (too) because of all of the economic growth that had taken place, during the 1990s and the first 17 years of the 21st century,” said Mearsheimer. During the session titled ‘Geo-Calculus: Cracking The Code’, the US expert said the world is now in a system where there are three great powers, namely China, Russia, and the United States.
When asked where India stands and whether it can play a role as a bridging power, Mearsheimer said India is an aspiring great power. “The two building blocks of great power in the international system are population size and wealth. You need a great deal of wealth and a lot of people to qualify as a great power,” he said, adding that things were changing fast in India’s favour.
Professor Mearsheimer, known for predicting the Ukraine conflict, has written extensively about security issues and international politics. He has published seven books, including ‘The Tragedy of Great Power Politics’. Elaborating on the state of the current geopolitical landscape, he said, “China was not considered a great power until recently because it didn’t have the wealth, but it centrally had the population size. What India has for sure is the population size for sure, and it’s growing wealthier and wealthier by the year.”
Top ministers, including External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, has described the world’s largest democracy as Vishwamitra (friend of the world) and a bridging power. With its rapid economic growth and population size, India considers itself to have a front of its own and believes that it doesn’t have to take any sides in the great power rivalry. “There is no question that India is a major power and it in a very important way caught between those three great powers,” Mearsheimer said.
Answering a question on the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, he said Moscow will get an “ugly victory” in the conflict which started in February 2022. The American expert argued that Ukraine might have to abandon its dream of joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). His remarks came as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine marked its second anniversary last month.
Two years into the Ukraine war, the tide has shifted, and Russian forces have some momentum, according to several experts. “I believe the Russians now control about 20 percent of Ukrainian territory. The balance of power has shifted decisively in Russia’s favour in terms of both weaponry and manpower, which are of great importance in a war of attrition,” he said, underlining that Russia will end up conquering a significant portion of Ukraine’s territory.
On the question of whether Ukraine will join NATO, he said, Russia will do everything in its power to avoid that possibility. “I think that the West will not bring the dysfunctional Ukraine into the alliance.” He argued that it was best for Ukraine to now end the war and reach a settlement with the Russians. “Ukraine must sever all relations with NATO and become a truly neutral state,” he said.
On the possibility of conflict between Taiwan and China, Mearsheimer said Taiwan is of great strategic importance to the United States, and Washington will surely come to its rescue in case of escalation. “I don’t think that Xi Jinping will attack Taiwan anytime soon. For China to attack Taiwan, it will have to cross a large body of water. Amphibious operations are among the most difficult operations to perform. It is very difficult to cross waters as vast as the Taiwan Strait,” he added.
Mearsheimer also underlined how China has not fought a war for a long time, whereas the United States is constantly at war. “The US has a highly primed military, it’s primed for conflict. The Chinese military has not fought a war in a long time. It has a rusty military. We know from watching the Russians from the early stage of the war, armies take time to get used to war,” he added.


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