Speaking in New Delhi, President Obama expressed his support for granting India a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council. The deck chairs on the Flying Dutchman are currently occupied by the United States, France, the United Kingdom, China, and Russia. France is convulsed with riots and union strikes due to raising its retirement age by two years, which doesn’t put them in a good position to ensure anyone else’s security, so maybe India could have their seat.
“The just and sustainable international order that America seeks includes a United Nations that is efficient, effective, credible and legitimate,” said Obama, who complains endlessly about his predecessor’s efforts to make U.N. Security Council resolutions credible and legitimate. “That is why I can say today — in the years ahead, I look forward to a reformed U.N. Security Council that includes India as a permanent member.”
As the Associated Press points out, this is all diplomatic rhetoric, not a concrete plan to put India on the Security Council by a date certain. Still, India has done as much to earn the honor as anyone. Their economic and diplomatic strength has grown tremendously, and they have resolutely manned a post on the front lines in the War On Terror.
Lurking on the other side of that front line is Pakistan, which would not be happy about seeing India receive its black belt in global security. Obama stopped short of endorsing India’s accusations about Pakistani intelligence masterminding the 2008 Mumbai attacks, but he did criticize Pakistani indulgence of terrorist safe havens, and demand justice for the perpetrators of Mumbai. The threat of elevating India to the Security Council reminds Islamabad it’s on the verge of being officially declared The Wrong Side Of The Tracks.
Will it work? The degree of terrorist influence in Pakistani intelligence is deeply troubling, but the cosmopolitan ruling class should be able to compare India to the south with Afghanistan to the north, and see the advantages to becoming more like the former. The structural absurdities of the United Nations mean it will be years before India gains the recognition it deserves… but recognizing it deserves that recognition sends an important message to its old adversary. Diplomacy is complicated, but it’s simple enough to see there is no future in terrorism for nations which aspire to join the First World.