Having failed miserably in the propaganda that the Ukraine war will kill Russia militarily and economically, the United States has shifted focus to Beijing and China’s economic downfall. But the US would not talk of its escalating external debt that rose to an unprecedented level of $34.191 trillion in January 2024, with a monthly interest rate of 3.15%.

Moreover, America’s war mongering has brought European countries, as also the United Kingdom, into recession. Even US-supported Israel, having killed 28,775 people and injuring 68,552 in Gaza, is experiencing a downfall in GDP.

The US-led West excels in generating refugees by creating conditions in countries which they or their allies invade or subject to insurgency. Thereafter, bully countries to accept refugees for resettlement, ignoring the damage, destruction and bloodshed.

Hasn’t this happened in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Ukraine, Libya and Lebanon? Isn’t this the aim of the Israeli offensive in Rafah, to shove over a million refugees into Egypt? Shouldn’t the propaganda blurring the lines between Hitler’s extermination of Jews and Netanyahu’s extermination of Palestinians in Gaza ring a bell in conscious minds?

Not content with the ongoing wars, America is seeking new fronts to initiate conflict. United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken is poking his nose into Central Asia.

Meeting Central Asian diplomats in Kazakhstan on March 1, 2024, Blinken warned that no country, particularly those that have traditionally been in Moscow’s orbit, can afford to ignore the threats posed by the Russian invasion, including to the international “rules-based order” and the global economy.

The fact is that the Ukraine war is a war of the US against Russia using Ukraine as a proxy. This has been said umpteen times by US scholars, strategists and former military and intelligence professionals.

The latest is Jeffery D Sachs, American economist, professor at Columbia University, popular writer on international relations and special adviser to three UN secretaries general, who says the conflict in Ukraine was provoked by the US attempts to expand NATO.

He further says that the American foreign policy is a “fraud based on corruption” and the leaders of the European Union are subordinate to Washington and serve the US military-industrial complex.

Moreover, how would Blinken explain this so-called “Rules-Based Order”, when it is on record, besides other proofs, that the ISIS was created by the US, used them for operations, and ISIS casualties were being treated in Israel (


In fact, the CIA, MI6, MIT and Mossad created ISIS, involving Jordanian intelligence as well, to keep the Turkish and Israeli borders safe. Presently, ISIS cadres are reportedly being pumped into northern Afghanistan to pressure Central Asia and ensure ISIS does not help Hamas.

During their last summit in San Francisco in December 2023, attended by a dozen officials from both sides, Chinese President Xi Jinping bluntly told the POTUS Joe Biden that Beijing will reunify Taiwan with mainland China. So, it is only a question of when and how. But the US, which has historically shown the propensity to wage war on countries that cannot hit back mainland America, is unlikely to get into direct conflict with China or Russia, no matter the rhetoric and muscle flexing.

At the same time, the US seeks conflict in the Indo-Pacific, including in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), to extract strategic and economic mileage, without getting directly involved and furthering its national interests. The apparent aim is to push regional powers, like India, into conflict.

Biden’s blue-eyed diplomat, Eric Garcetti, was posted to India as the US ambassador two years after he told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during his confirmation that in India he would bring up human rights and discrimination such as via the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) as a “core” piece of his engagement rather than as an obligation. Also, in the backdrop of America’s dismal human rights record, Garcetti was associated with the California Board of Human Rights Watch.

But on arrival in India as America’s ambassador, Garcetti has spared no effort to ingratiate himself with officials, even meeting the Union Home Minister and offering help in the ethnic violence burning the border state of Manipur. What help did he have in mind, a Gaza type invasion?

In a recent development, the US House of Representatives has passed the ‘Quad Bill’ to facilitate closer cooperation between the Quad members – Australia, India, Japan and the US. The Bill officially calls to ‘Strengthen US-Australia-India-Japan cooperation and directed the US State Department to submit a roadmap to increase engagements with Quad members.

Notably, speaking at the Jaipur Literature Festival on February 4, 2024, Garcetti emphasised that India holds the leading role in the Quad, likening it to being in the "driving seat," while the US occupies the seat next to it with the "corrective steering wheel." He highlighted that it is India's responsibility to assertively delineate what we want to do with the Quad.

Garcetti’s message is implicitly clear – you be the forefront of Quad, we will tell you what to do and where to go? And, in the event of a clash with China, you fire, we will give you intelligence that suits us and of course we will supply you weapons at our price.

Speaking at the special session titled “Strengthening Indo-U.S. Relationship in Amrit Kaal - Aatmanirbhar Bharat” organised by the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce on January 30, 2024, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that the capital and technological know-how from the US can help India achieve its goal of becoming a developed country by 2047, and India-US cooperation will act as force multiplier for “rules-based world order”.

Hope the minister realises the trap being set up – how smoothly an India-China war can be triggered with India in the “driver’s seat” and America sitting on the fence, Ukraine-style.

Concurrently, there is news that the first spy satellite by a local private player (Tata Advanced Systems Limited – TASL) is being sent to Florida for launching aboard a SpaceX rocket by April 2024, which will be used by the Indian Armed Forces to get “discreet information”. This should pose multiple questions. Is ISRO incapable of providing a rocket for this “spy” satellite?

Doesn’t using a foreign rocket violate the much vaunted Atmanirbhar concept? Have the basic security concerns been addressed? Or, is this simply to boost cooperation in order to promote the “rules-based order” as talked of by Rajnath Singh?

Lt General PRAKASH KATOCH is a veteran of the Indian Army. Views expressed are the writer’s own.