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Author Topic: India/Indian Ocean (and India-afpakia and India-China)  (Read 17402 times)
ya
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« Reply #100 on: May 04, 2013, 07:32:33 PM »

Here's a post on Pak and the spread of Islam in India by an Indian nationalist poster called Rudradev. He has some interesting ideas, that I had not heard before. I have made some comments in italics, where the language might be unfamiliar to you, or underlined or made things bold..

"The essential similarities between Western feudalism (transplanted to colonized countries in the colonial era) and Islamic "Kabila (defined later)" imply that it is not only the "West" which has been a colonial entity as far as societies like ours are concerned... Islam itself is equally a foreign colonialist entity in our subcontinent, as fundamentally alien and predatory to our land, our culture and our way of life as the British or Portuguese or Dutch ever were. The atavistic howls issuing from their minarets five times a day are, indeed, cries of triumph and domination in a foreign language... the language of the colonizer shouting down the colonized.

Ramana has written extensively on the "Kabila" model... it roughly translates to "government as armed camp." Essentially there is a sultan who, with his generals and their troops, constitutes the ultimate fount of power in the political hierarchy. This is unwaveringly typical of the manner in which various political groups and dynasties have consolidated power in West and Central Asia, and North Africa, since the very advent of Islam.

The "Kabila" worked very well in the lands where Islam originated, and where it spread in the early centuries of its expansion. Why? Because the lands themselves were amenable to being governed in this form. In the deserts of West Asia, the arid mountains of Persia and the steppes to the North, the circumstances of nature favour a form of political dominance which relies on armament, maneuverability and mobility. This is because resources are scarce and concentrated in a few areas... an oasis here, a valley there. With a strong group of highly mobile armed men on horseback, you can easily forge an empire in such places. All you have to do is seize control of the few well-defined supply centers, the market centers (city states) and the trade routes between them. Most of the land is junk anyway. Once you're able to do this, and especially to destroy any civilizational affinity to pre-Islamic forms in the market centers (hence the Islamic obsession with temple breaking and idol smashing) you have, effectively, an empire. It doesn't matter if the thousands of useless square miles in between are physically under your domination or not; as long as you have no challengers in these particular small foci of power, you're an unchallenged monarch.

"Kabila" differs from European feudalism because of the emphasis on mobility... horsemen and artillery could be moved to engage a challenger in very short order. A necessary corollary of the Kabila model is un-rootedness. If you have to move fast you cannot afford to be tied down. Therefore, you do not invest in the land or the people, you see them only as objects to be controlled and squeezed for every drop of utility against the hard anvil of history. You position mullahs in population centers to be your spies, propagandists and social monitors... weeding out unorthodoxy and rebellion at the stage of ideation before it becomes necessary to smack down an armed rebellion. But ultimately you, and your apparatus of mullahs, constitute an extraordinarily parasitic, locust-like and virulent form of colonialism. This is something that Western studies of post-colonialism (with their essentially Euro-centric historiography) entirely ignore... they see the Islamic virus as something that was indigenous somehow to the lands they conquered. They do not realize that it was merely a more rapacious and less invested form of colonial imperialism.

Indeed, the more invested Muslim rulers became in their territories, the less "Islamic" they became, of necessity taking on the administrative, social and traditional trappings of pre-Islamic statehood. This made them vulnerable to "purer", mobile and less-invested Islamic conquerors. Hence the Delhi sultanate was prime fodder for Timur and Babar... Baghdad for the Mongols... and Mughal Delhi, again, for Nadir Shah. In each case the less-civilized, more predatory and more essentially savage Kabila prevailed over the more "settled" and "urbanized" Muslim state. When you do not carry the baggage of civilization or of feeling responsibility for the people you rule, you have much more maneuverability and ruthlessness at your disposal. Taking advantage of the Kabila's inherent strengths, the West was able to lead roving bands of armed Arabs in a devastatingly effective rebellion against the settled Ottomans during the 1st World War.

Why do I bring all this up with relevance to Pakistan?

As I said before... the "Kabila" system worked very well to dominate places where resources were scarce and concentrated in well-defined locations. However, it never worked quite as well in India.

That is because our Bharatvarsha(Hindi term for India) is quite unlike those lands where Islam originated and expanded in the early centuries of its being. In Bharatvarsha, the land is almost never inhospitable or forbidding. In Arabia, a band of people displaced from an oasis had two choices: submit to the peaceful orthodoxy of a triumphant Muslim conqueror, or go out into the desert and die. In India, not so. A displaced people had only to go fifty or a hundred or two hundred kilometres in any direction... and mother Bharat (India)in her generous embrace would provide fertile lands, rich orchards, abundant and plentiful fields. How many generations and what huge extents of such flights were supported by the bounty of Bharatvarsha become apparent if you study the migration of the Saraswats, originally from Kashmir... one branch traveled from there south of the Vindhyas, to Goa, and then again uprooted themselves in the face of Portuguese onslaught and proceeded to what is Dakshin Kannada in Karnataka today.

This had two effects: first, it made Indians in general indifferent to the fact of an Islamic conquest. If they took away our old fields and seized our city... well, we would just move over a little bit and build a new city, cultivate new fields. Our Gods and families are safe, let the Turk or Afghan have the old land, because there is enough for everybody if we simply adjust our location a little bit: this was how our forefathers dealt with Islamic expansion. Incidentally, this is also how we deal with Chinese encroachments!)

The second effect, of course, is that Hindu society survived, largely unscathed, as an essentially Indian identity. In Mesopotamia or Egypt, the Muslim idol-smashers and temple-breakers could effectively carry out cultural genocide because their targets were all in one place and immobile... where could you build another Baghdad or Luxor? The inheritors of the old culture had no choice but to surrender before the savagery of Islam's harbingers, and participate willingly in the extinction of their pre-Islamic cultural identities, if they wished to survive at all. In India, we would take our Gods, our families and our few possessions and head out a few more miles into the vast green hinterland and endless bounty of Bharat-mata (Hindi for mother land), who would provide lovingly for us to begin our lives over again as Hindus.

This is essentially why we were saved from being extinguished by the onslaught of Islamic colonialism... Bharatvarsha herself sheltered her children and empowered them to preserve their way of life.

Now what you have in Pakistan today is the continuance of the Kabila system. The West realized soon enough that without the depredations of Islamic colonialism that denuded the civilizational wealth of the East for nearly ten centuries, sapping the power of the old Asiatic states and erasing their very identities... without this, the West would have had a much harder time pursuing their own colonial expansions. In fact, Islamic colonialism prepares the ground for Western colonialism... a fact that remains as true today as it was before the Battle of Plassey. Hence, everyone from Olaf Caroe to Zbignew Brzezinski sees a utility for the West in maintaining Islamic Kabilas even when the armies and viceroys of the West have gone home. The Kabilas will never construct a state of sufficient power to threaten the West; but they will keep Asia weak for the day that the West might want to return, in one form or another.

THIS is why the West was so determined to see a Pakistan constructed out of a large portion of Bharatvarsha. It is also why the West has been careful to destroy any alternative sense of nationhood or state-based form of governance in the Muslim world, other than Kabila. It is why the Arab nationalists of Ba'ath Egypt (Nasser) and Iraq (Saddam) had to be deposed, and the last scion of Ba'athism, Syria's Assad, is being systematically marked for elimination today. This is the reason why Gaddaffi in Libya was ousted, and why Iran is now at the head of the list of Western targets. Meanwhile the Kabila-state of Saudi Arabia is raised to paramountcy; while in smaller GCC nations... which are essentially city-states or market-centers like the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain... the US itself has taken on the role of Kabila.

In Pakistan that role has been given to the Kabila known as the Pakistan Army. However, let's remember... the land which the Pakistan Army Kabila seeks to dominate is not an arid expanse with tightly localized resource concentrations, as in the territories where the Kabila model has a natural advantage. No, the land of Pakistan is the land of Bharatvarsha... all-embracing and hospitable. It is much harder for a Kabila to control and dominate this "Pakistan" than a Persia or an Iraq.

Meanwhile, to the northwest of Pakistan is Afghanistan... a prime Kabila land, where a mobile and savage army unencumbered by investment in the people can always prevail over the forces of a more settled kingdom.

What happened over the last ten years is instructive. The Kabila (Pakistan Army) deputed by the West to control and enervate Western Bharatvarsha for colonial exploitation, has failed in its task. It has succumbed to the temptations of the land it occupies... Bharatvarsha... and become more "settled" than a Kabila has any right to be. It has become invested in private enterprise, legitimate ones like textiles and agriculture as well as illegal ones such as heroin supply. The Pakistan Army remains a true Kabila in that it still does not give a damn for the people in its charge; but it has become "softer" in the style of the Lodhi who was overwhelmed by Babar, or the Abbasid Caliph who was smashed by Genghis Khan. To compensate for its softness, the Pakistan Army has overemphasized the role traditionally played by Mullahs in the Kabila system, and set up a huge, hypertrophied apparatus of highly empowered political agents to subdue the population in the name of Islam... including all our favourite Tanzeems(Paki terror groups).

The big mistake that the Soft Kabila of the Pakistan Army made was to create another Kabila... the Taliban... in an attempt to colonize and subdue the people of Afghanistan. Taliban Kabila, being a classic, mobile, hard Kabila, was able to gain control over the prime Kabila-land of Afghanistan in record time back in 1996. However, with the force of historic inevitability... they have utterly lost regard and affinity for the soft, settled Kabila of the TSPA. They see no reason why they should take orders from this decadent, less-pure Sultanate; they have enjoyed repeated military successes over the TSPA (derogatory term Terrorist State of Pak Army) over the past ten years; and worst of all, they have seen the TSPA do the bidding of the Kaffir (USA) by comfortably abetting the slaughter of Momin (muslims) perpetuated by the Americans since 2001.

As a result, not only the Taliban, but many sections of the Kabila-apparatchik mullahs (who would ordinarily remain loyal to a strong, hard-Kabila) have turned against the soft and decadent Kabila of the TSPA.

Perhaps the most curious thing is how the TSPA and the Paki elite have responded to this state of affairs. Being themselves of Bharatvarsha... they have begun to do the classic Hindoo thing! "Fine", they say, "let the fundoos have FATA/KP, after all we have much more productive land".... "fine, let them have a presence in Karachi/Quetta/Peshawar, not a blade of grass grows there"... "fine, let them expand into southern Punjab, after all we should keep them close so we can keep an eye on them." Rationalization after rationalization is articulated by these Pakis while their circle of influence shrinks; so far will our bounteous mother Bharat let them retreat into the welcoming folds of her sari that they blindfold themselves ever more tightly with her pallu (wrap of the sari dress) and convince themselves that all is well."
« Last Edit: May 04, 2013, 07:37:45 PM by ya » Logged
ya
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« Reply #101 on: May 04, 2013, 07:51:25 PM »

Koranic concept of war, pdf

http://wolfpangloss.files.wordpress.com/2008/02/malik-quranic-concept-of-war.pdf
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ya
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« Reply #102 on: May 05, 2013, 04:01:25 PM »

Looks like the Chinese have withdrawn, from Indian territory. Am sure the details will be out soon..
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #103 on: May 05, 2013, 07:41:06 PM »

Good to have you back with us YA.  Thank you for these posts.
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bigdog
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« Reply #104 on: May 05, 2013, 08:56:50 PM »

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2013/05/03/china_india_most_dangerous_border

From the article:

While China's motivations remain unclear, the potential implications are massive. The Sino-Indian dynamic is often seen as a sideshow to Beijing's more immediate rivalries with the United States and Japan. But more intense strategic competition between India and China would reverberate throughout the continent, exacerbating tensions in Central Asia, the Indian Ocean, and Southeast Asia. Disruptions to the Asian engine of economic growth caused by these tensions could debilitate the global economy.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #105 on: May 05, 2013, 09:43:06 PM »

OTOH the Indians make natural allies of the US in its dealings with China  grin
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ya
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« Reply #106 on: May 11, 2013, 02:10:53 PM »

Something not appreciated in the west is that India's current political leadership, is from the preindependence era (1947). eg the Current prime minister was born in what is currently Pakistan, and eg Musharraf was born in India!. They have emotional baggage related to pak. However, as the newer generation of politicians come to power, these leaders do not have anything binding them to Pak and are infact willing to take a much harder line.  As the economy improves, the newer gen of Indians, are willing to take a harder line against China too.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #107 on: May 27, 2013, 10:19:18 AM »

An opinion from a New Delhi economist published in the Asia Times FWIW...

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/SOU-03-240513.html
    
Indian growth model unsustainable at best
By Kunal Kumar Kundu

NEW DELHI- The Indian economy is likely to have grown at a mere 5% in the financial year that ended in March, the lowest growth rate in a decade; investments are falling and the fault lines of Indian politics lie fully exposed.

With the government embroiled in a numerous corruption cases, leading to a sense of policy paralysis gripping the economy, business confidence has been on the wane.

India's shinning story of a decade back has lost plenty of sheen of late due to growing frustration at a rising governance deficit. The


very fact that the Indian economy is expected to grow at close to 6% during the current financial year and close to 7% in the next (a far cry from 8% to 9% growth predicted a few years back) indicates how short-term expectations have been whittled down.

However, like China, India is still considered to be one of the world's rising economic powers. But, while the Chinese growth story has the authoritarian state to thank for it, the forward march of the Indian economy has been impeded by the ineptitude of the state.

After growing at over a double-digit rate for decades, China is now on the throes of a slowdown caused by over investment and under consumption, though its state-of-the-art infrastructure can be cause for envy. India, on the other hand, suffers from woefully inadequate infrastructure as the financially challenged government cannot invest while the morally and politically challenged government fails to clear away hurdles against private investment.

Even so, there's a generally held view that by 2030, India (a supposed growth engine for the global economy) will be the world's third-largest economy while it could overtake China as the world's fastest growing major economy much sooner.

The question, therefore, is how can one of the most populous countries like India grow at a pace it has grown despite widespread corruption, inefficiency and a government that can barely be called functional?

A peek into India's growth history can, to a large extent, explain this dichotomy. Essentially, it boils down to the extent of control that the government has on the various sectors of the economy.

India leapfrogged from being an agrarian economy to a service sector led economy as entrepreneurs had to find a way to grow despite the heavy hand of government. The agriculture sector, which is under maximum government control, now accounts for a mere 14% of gross domestic product (GDP). Industry, where the government still has major control on the factors of production such as land, labor and natural resources, accounts for roughly 26% of GDP. On the other hand, the service sector, about which the government has limited knowledge and over which it has the least control, now accounts for roughly 60% of GDP.

To understand how India's entrepreneurial spirit thrives and grows despite clear governance failure, one need look no further than the cities of Gurgaon, in northwestern Haryana state, and Bangalore, to the south in Karnataka.

Gurgaon, as we know it, is barely two decades old yet houses practically every big name in the corporate world. Its buildings are designed by the world's best architects, and it has about 24 shopping malls that stock practically every international brand, eight golf courses and more than 20 outlets for luxury cars such as BMW, Audi and Volkswagen.

However, while it's a private sector success story, it is a public sector failure. The city does not have a functioning drainage system; reliable electricity or water; or any citywide system of public transportation.

The inadequacies of the government did not act as a deterrent for the private sector. To compensate for several hours of electricity blackouts, companies and real estate developers operate massive diesel generators that have the capacity to provide electricity to small towns. Private water supply flourishes as do privately dug bore wells to take care of shortages. Large number of companies employs hundreds of private buses and taxis to bridge the transportation gap.

The experience of India's IT capital Bangalore is not dissimilar. Companies such as Infosys and Wipro maintain their own fleet of vehicles to transport their employees and have huge captive power generation capacity to ensure uninterrupted service.

Gurgaon and Bangalore are good examples of how the private sector strives to keep the economy functional despite the huge governance deficit, raising the question of whether this should be the template for future economic growth?

Ideally not, since the existing growth template is not efficient enough. It can provide temporary succor but not a permanent solution. The animal spirit that was unleashed following the ushering in of economic reforms in 1991 has, by now, taken advantage of all the low hanging fruits that could be plucked.

A functional private sector and a dysfunctional public sector is the least desired recipe for sustainable growth. Fact is, only a small portion of the blame for recently plummeting growth can be directed toward external factors. The debilitating impact of the governance deficit has manifested itself in a far bigger way than anticipated.

Rising inequality, continued health and education challenges, and a tussle for ownership of factors of production are challenges that need to be addressed by well-intentioned government and the private sector.

The Indian economy cannot be service-sector driven for an indefinite period. Manufacturing has to play an equally important role to ensure a more equitable growth. For that to happen India desperately needs a government that can function and be effective. Only a concerted effort to follow this strategy can help the economy get back to the growth path that logically should be India's.

Kunal Kumar Kundu is a New Delhi-based economist.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #108 on: August 30, 2013, 11:48:37 PM »

Slowdowns in China and India don't help us, nor does our stagnation help them.
-----------
http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2013/08/30/as-gdp-slips-pm-attempts-to-restore-confidence-in-indias-economy/

India’s GDP growth for the April to June quarter was a dismal 4.4 percent, the government said today. It was the slowest rate of growth since 2009. ”It was a weaker performance than most economists had been expecting,” the BBC reports, “and was a slowdown from the first three months of the year, when growth was 4.8%.”


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G M
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« Reply #109 on: August 31, 2013, 05:26:01 AM »

Plowhorse!-Pradesh Weshindi

Slowdowns in China and India don't help us, nor does our stagnation help them.
-----------
http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2013/08/30/as-gdp-slips-pm-attempts-to-restore-confidence-in-indias-economy/

India’s GDP growth for the April to June quarter was a dismal 4.4 percent, the government said today. It was the slowest rate of growth since 2009. ”It was a weaker performance than most economists had been expecting,” the BBC reports, “and was a slowdown from the first three months of the year, when growth was 4.8%.”



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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #110 on: April 09, 2014, 01:26:40 PM »

y Robert D. Kaplan

A noteworthy geopolitical shift is emerging that the media have yet to report on. In future years, a sizable portion of the U.S. Navy's forces in the Middle East could be spending less time in the Persian Gulf and more time in the adjacent Indian Ocean. Manama in Bahrain will continue to be the headquarters of the Fifth Fleet. But American warships and their crews, as well as the myriad supply and repair services for them, could be increasingly focused on the brand new Omani port of Duqm, located outside the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Sea, which, in turn, forms the western half of the Indian Ocean.

High-ranking U.S. defense officials, military and civilian, have been visiting Oman and particularly Duqm of late. A few years ago, Duqm was just a blank spot on the map, facing the sea on a vast and empty coastline with its back to the desert. Now, $2 billion has been invested to build miles and miles of quays, dry docks, roads, an airfield and hotels. By the time Duqm evolves into a full-fledged city-state, $60 billion will have been spent, officials told me during a visit I made there -- a visit sponsored by the government of Oman.

Duqm is a completely artificial development that aims to be not a media, cultural or entertainment center like Doha or Dubai, but a sterile and artificially engineered logistical supply chain city of the 21st century, whose basis of existence will be purely geographical and geopolitical. Duqm has little history behind it; it will be all about trade and business. If you look at the map, Duqm lies safely outside the increasingly vulnerable and conflict-prone Persian Gulf, but close enough to take advantage of the Gulf's energy logistics trail. It is also midway across the Arabian Sea, between the growing middle classes of India and East Africa.

Key Indian Ocean Ports
Click to Enlarge
For Oman, Duqm is key to nation building, as it will further link the southwestern Omani province of Dhofar and its port of Salalah with the ports of Muscat and Sohar in northeastern Oman. For the United States, Duqm will be a partial answer to the Chinese-built port of Gwadar on the nearby coast of Pakistan. As China continues its growing involvement in Indian Ocean ports (as I documented in my 2010 book, Monsoon: The Indian Ocean and the Future of American Power), the United States will seek to preserve the balance of power in the Indian Ocean with its own military and commercial footprint. The reported new emphasis on Duqm would be a giant step toward the U.S. Navy becoming an Indian Ocean-Pacific sea force instead of an Atlantic-Pacific one, as it has been for all of its previous history. From Duqm, the U.S. Navy would still be close enough to the Persian Gulf to bomb Iran, yet without American warships being as hemmed-in and exposed to attack as they are in Bahrain. To be clear, this will be a gradual and subtle shift over time. The U.S. Navy is not deserting Bahrain and the Gulf.

For China, Duqm can be a transshipment hub for its consumer goods bound for the Indian subcontinent and East Africa -- especially for the growing markets of Tanzania and Mozambique. In other words, container ships would arrive from China, and the containers themselves would then be off-loaded at Duqm for transport on smaller ships to various points in Africa, India and the Greater Middle East. Salalah, farther southwest, already serves this purpose. But local officials maintain that there will be enough commercial sea traffic in coming decades to make Duqm viable as well. Though China has openly expressed interest in utilizing Duqm, Omani officials assured me that China will never have the influence over this new port as they have at others around the Indian Ocean.

The scale of development here is simply profound, attesting to the Indian Ocean's increasing geopolitical importance. I drove five hours across the desert from the Omani capital of Muscat to reach Duqm, with almost nothing in between but a bare-knuckled wilderness in innumerable shades of gray and little else besides goats and camels in sight. Upon arrival, I saw a 4.5-kilometer main breakwater built of reinforced concrete octopods protecting the new port, which already features mobile and rail harbor cranes, as well as rail lines already laid for future gantry cranes. Sixteen warships from the Gulf Cooperation Council sat along the pier in preparation for a live fire exercise the next day. The dry docks were filled with merchant vessels in need of repair. American Navy ships have been arriving for shore visits in greater frequency. Port authorities are planning for enhanced facilities in order to, perhaps one day, service U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and submarines.

Officials briefed me in front of a large and detailed scale-model of Duqm as they hope it will appear years hence: composed of fisheries, an oil refinery, a transit hub for petrochemicals, a rail link, mineral-based manufacturing, a desalinization plant, a hospital, a mall, an international school, a town center and a tourist zone. Obviously, the airport here will have cargo facilities. The runway, already built, is long enough to receive flights from Europe. With 80 kilometers of virginal coastline allotted to Duqm, the new city-state could be larger than Bahrain or Singapore. And this is all just phase one -- being built from scratch and inspired only by location on the map. The very fact of Duqm, as it exists and as it is envisioned, constitutes testimony to the fact that geography will be as important to the 21st century as it was to all previous ones.

New natural gas discoveries in the desert to the rear should help service Duqm's energy needs, as a population of 67,000 is envisioned here by 2020. The new railhead will link Duqm to Muscat, Dubai and ports all the way north to Kuwait at the head of the Persian Gulf. If a rapprochement between the United States and Iran is achieved, Duqm will repair Iranian ships and be an offshore base for the burgeoning Iranian economy. If the rapprochement never materializes, Duqm, located safely outside the Gulf, will be a port of choice for merchant shipping companies that do not want their mega-ships diverted to the volatile Gulf region. Instead, they can make landfall here and potentially take deliveries of hydrocarbons by rail or pipeline from inside the Gulf.

To spur development, Duqm will have a new legal framework and will feature 100 percent foreign ownership of local businesses. Foreign companies that invest here will enjoy tax-free status and the ability to operate without currency restrictions, I was told.

Duqm's biggest advantage for the Americans is that Oman has been for decades among the most stable, well governed and least oppressive states in the Greater Middle East -- whereas the problem the Chinese have in Gwadar is that Pakistan is among the least stable and worst governed states in the Greater Middle East. Strategic geography for a port requires not just an advantageous location vis-a-vis the sea, but vis-a-vis land, too. And it is road, rail and pipeline connections from Omani ports outside the Persian Gulf -- Salalah and Sohar, as well as Duqm -- to ports inside the Gulf, from Dubai to Kuwait, that potentially make this place so attractive.

If Duqm succeeds -- still a big "if" -- it will become a great place name of the 21st century, just as Aden was in the 19th and Singapore was in the 20th. Given continued demographic growth and the theoretical prospect for economic dynamism in India and East Africa -- even as Europe hovers around zero population growth with stagnant, over-regulated economies -- the Indian Ocean, as I have been writing for years, could become the geopolitical nerve center of postmodern times. Duqm constitutes a multibillion-dollar bet that I am right.

Read more: The Indian Ocean World Order | Stratfor
Follow us: @stratfor on Twitter | Stratfor on Facebook
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