Wednesday, December 12, 2018

On Point: SecDef Mattis and India's Sitharaman Conduct Meaningful Public Diplomacy

Austin Bay,; see also

India, US To Enhance Defence Ties As Nirmala Sitharaman Visits Pentagon
Image from, with caption: US Defense Secretary James Mattis welcomed Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on her visit to Washington

The SecDef's crafted statement was simultaneously a nuanced appeal to an ally and a harsh siren warning to China's ruling Communist dictators.

The siren warned aimed at Beijing -- the emerging India and the U.S. alliance -- has long-term implications for Asia's threatened peace.

U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis made his telling statement earlier this month after meeting in Washington with Indian Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Sitharaman (India's first female defense chief) was on a five-day trek through the U.S. ...

[A]s a secretary of defense engaged in high stakes Asian and global diplomacy, in his recent statement regarding U.S.-India cooperation Mattis employed delicate diplo-speak.

Diplo-speak is slang for diplomatic language. It can indicate obscure bureaucratese, but not always and definitely not in this case.

Here's my translation: When it comes to China's aggressive behavior in the South China Sea and the Himalayas, India and the U.S. are on the same page. India, a nuclear-armed regional power, and the U.S., a global hyperpower, despite their political disagreements, oppose Communist Chinese imperialism.

India will not be anyone's lackey. Hence Mattis' recognition of India's "strategic autonomy." But "strategic partnership" enhances India's and America's ability to deter a nuclear-armed global powerhouse (China).

Congrats to Mattis and Sitharaman for engaging in meaningful public diplomacy [JB emphasis]

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