“US seeks military base in SL – Kunayakam”
Posted on March 10th, 2014

By Bernard Wijeyasingha

The history of US foreign policy is fraught with tragedy for those nations foolish enough to let a nation whose history and culture is basically defined by isolationism. It took world war two and an attack on Pearl Harbor for the US to wake up to the menace of the Axis powers. Even after Japan attacked the US it was the European stage that the US first took on. The first American invasion against Nazi Germany was in Africa where we landed in the north coast of Africa.

To sum up that war it was brought to an end by extreme brutality by the allied forces of the US, UK and Russia. The Nazi Germans after engaging Russia in in the invasion called “Operation Barbarossa” where the Germans started their invasion in the summer of 1943 ended up deep in Russia in one of the coldest winters of that time. The Germans dressed in Summer clothing died by the thousands and the red army of Russia who defended Leningrad also died in the thousands as did the Russian people. It was the most brutal war waged during that war so the Germans had plenty to fear from the invading Red army at the end of the war where the red army raped and pillaged the parts of Germany and Berlin that fell into their hands. The US ended the war with Japan in the same cruel manner she used on Europe. No quarter was given. Tokyo like Dresden was carpet bombed with as many casualties as those from Nagasaki and Hiroshima.

Since then the US has had a series of wars where human rights violations perpetrated by the US military was the rule of the day. In Vietnam both Agent Orange and Napalm was extensively used and yet the US lost that war and left a broken nation. In Korea the war came to a stalemate because of the Chinese intervention. The wars in the Middle East were a sham. Short of liberating Kuwait from Iraq the US lost in every other war with the last being in Afghanistan which ended being the longest war the US has ever fought.

Regarding the Subcontinent the US has played one nation against the other. For quite a while India was the victim of Washington D.C. support of Pakistan. Now the tables have been turned and India is now the chosen alley yet the US sends 1.6 Billion dollars to Pakistan recently. When Obama came to India he stated “India is not a rising power but a risen one” and we are not talking about baking a bread though it might as well have been. With that resounding praise India was recruited to contain China. Now the Obama government has decided to slash our military to pre world war 2 levels or that of Portugal during the 1940”²s. Our base in Diego Garcia will end in 2016 when our lease from Great Britain runs out and that archipelago is claimed by Mauritius. The US has been turned down by the Maldive islands for building a US base because it would violate the security sensibilities of Sri Lanka and India.

Compare this with Russia who is planning eight military bases. two of which will be built in the nation of Seychelles and Singapore both of whom did not turn the offer down in consideration of India’s sense of Security. In this light for Colombo to offer a military base to the Obama government who has tirelessly worked on resolution after resolution against Colombo would not even make sense. This is one are both India and Sri Lanka will have something in common.

If there is anything one should learn from recent history is that India lost a great opportunity to become a true regional power when the Soviet Union collapsed and the Muslim central Asian nations turned to India to form an organization because India was the Soviet Union’s strongest alley. It was the Soviet Union that made India into a nuclear weapons power. India also had the second largest Muslim population and is considered the world’s largest Democracy and yet New Delhi lost that opportunity and turned to the US under President Bush Sr. to sign a broad based alliance where many factors of that alliance is yet to be realized.

Sri Lanka must not make the same mistake as Pakistan or India and instead offer Russia a ninth military base in exchange for an unfettered access to the Indian ocean. Considering that Russia is on an expansionist state where she just took over the Crimean peninsula and China has increased her military spending by 12% it will greatly enhance Sri Lanka’s power base by negotiating to become a member of Russia’s CSTO and China’s SCO. One time the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stated “We can choose our friends but we cannot choose our neighbors” in response to China’s aggressive claim of Indian Land. Sri Lanka’s neighbors include Russia and China and not the western oriented mentality of the USA.

Unlike Russia or China the US will never offer Sri Lanka to become a NATO member and even if it does Sri Lanka will be in an organization led by the US whose economy is under the control of China and by its own actions is falling apart. Sri Lanka would also be part of an organization whose members are mostly European and many in deep financial trouble. Sri Lanka will get little by offering a military base to the US. Sri Lanka might end up ruing the day if the US does build a base in that island for Sri Lanka stands to lose the strong alliance so painfully formed with Russia and China the true rising powers of the 21st century to that of the US which has chosen to fade as a global power.

One Response to ““US seeks military base in SL – Kunayakam””

  1. Christie Says:

    US was born by fighting among themselves (US civil war) and will keep fighting. Chinese suffered very badly under the Japanese occupation thanks to Chandra Bose, Mohandas Karamchand, J Nehru and escaped war crime conviction thanks to Radhabind Pal.

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