The Hindu Editorial with Vocabulary : New colours of the White House

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The Hindu Editorial with Vocabulary

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Modi can shape Trump’s views on Pakistan: New colours of the White House

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As Prime Minister Narendra Modi prepares to meet President Donald Trump for the first time, today in Washington, there is a sense that the favourable winds that carried the India-U.S. relationship over the past 10 to 15 years may be changing. In its first six months, the Trump administration’s radical and nationalistic approach to international affairs has already touched India in important areas, from visas for skilled workers, to climate change, to Iran policy. After an era in which successive American Presidents were persuaded to forego short-term pay-offs for longer-term economic and diplomatic investment in India, we now have an incumbent whose foreign policy imperative is to secure a pound of flesh — and to do so in the here and now. “The world is not a “global community’,” noted two of Trump’s advisers in a Wall Street Journal oped this month, summarising the President’s worldview, declaring that they embraced “this elemental nature of international affairs”. This undoubtedly throws up new challenges for India. Yet there are three important things to keep in mind when looking at the path ahead.

Three indications

First, the India-U.S. relationship has its own mass and momentum. While the grand gestures of the past decade may be more difficult to achieve, the relationship is likely to remain robust. While the whims of the President and his most radical advisers will buffet particular areas — such as trade, immigration, and climate change — more pragmatic cabinet ministers are not without influence. Most significant here is the so-called Axis of Adults, comprising Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defence James Mattis, and National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster.

While this trio has been undercut more than once — sometimes quite brutally, as when Mr. Trump removed a crucial reference to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation’s collective defence clause from a major speech — they continue to exercise power over their own domains, on issues that do not necessarily rise to presidential attention. This is especially true of the Pentagon, which is vested with considerable executive authority, but also of weaker departments. The State Department’s decision to authorise the $2 billion sale of nearly two dozen predator drones to India, significantly augmenting the Indian Navy’s unmanned aerial capability, is an important signal in this regard. Such a sensitive platform might have been used as leverage to secure Indian concessions in areas where the administration was seeking a change in India’s behaviour — say, Iran — but the positive trend in defence sales looks set to continue. Progress in the joint working group in aircraft carrier technology, which involves much more far-reaching technology transfer, will be an important test of this over the medium term.

The record so far

Second, there is now a template for how foreign leaders can manipulate Mr. Trump to their own ends. We have two useful illustrations of this: China and Saudi Arabia. China, criticised in vituperative terms by Mr. Trump on the campaign trail, persuaded the President not only to swallow the bowdlerised history that Korea “used to be a part of China”, but also that Beijing was making every effort to address North Korea’s nuclear programme. In doing so, it induced Mr. Trump to soft-pedal on the South China Sea — the administration blocked at least three requests by the U.S. military’s Pacific Command to conduct freedom of navigation operations, before the first one was allowed to go ahead in late May — and delay arms sales to Taiwan. On June 20, the President declared that this policy of relying on China “has not worked out”, but expressed gratitude to Beijing for trying. It’s too early to conclude that the Chinese approach to Mr. Trump has entirely succeeded, because a sixth North Korean nuclear test could clearly upend this détente (the easing of hostility or strained relations, especially between countries- शांति बनाए रखने). However, China has managed to dramatically moderate Mr. Trump’s hostility and buy a period of calm. Another, even more stark, example comes from West Asia. In recent weeks, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have persuaded Mr. Trump to enthusiastically tweet his support for their economic and diplomatic assault on Qatar, a country which hosts more than 10,000 American troops and the forward headquarters of Central Command, over its policies towards the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran. Mr. Trump was persuaded of this despite the State Department’s urging that the dispute be settled quickly and amicably, and the risk to disruption of U.S.-led military operations against the Islamic State at a crucial time in the battle.

These two cases have a few things in common. For one thing, they involve foreign leaders personally cultivating Mr. Trump. “After listening for 10 minutes,” Mr. Trump declared following his April meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on North Korea, “I realised that it’s not so easy.” Mr. Xi achieved the best of both worlds: persuading Mr. Trump that Chinese influence was limited, thereby insulating China from the consequences of failure, but also securing Mr. Trump’s goodwill for his efforts. Mr. Trump’s meetings with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, and now Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh in May were also likely to have been important in winning his subsequent backing for the campaign against Qatar.

Mr. Trump is credulous, impressionable, and narcissistic. China and Saudi Arabia succeeded in framing their behaviour as being, first and foremost, an effort to address one of the President’s personal priorities — North Korea in the first instance, and terrorism in the second. By contrast, the U.S.’s allies in Europe and Japan have struggled to craft a similar narrative.

The South Asian matrix

Third, more important than what President Trump does for India may be what he does not do. The Qatar crisis has shown that he cares little for shibboleths (किसी समूह का चिह्न) such as regional stability, mutual restraint, and dispute resolution. He respects power and those who wield (hold and use (a weapon or tool).) it, oftentimes regardless of the end result. For better or worse, this may open up new space for India’s posture towards Pakistan, which has over the past year evolved in a significantly more coercive and risk-acceptant direction. The Obama administration’s sympathetic approach to last year’s so-called surgical strikes showed that U.S. policy was anyway shifting in the direction of giving greater latitude to New Delhi. As the ceasefire on the Line of Control collapses and the Kulbhushan Jadhav crisis festers, the prospect of a militarised Indian response to another terrorist attack rises.

It’s by no means certain that Mr. Trump will take a hands-off stance in such a scenario. After all, Israeli leaders have been unpleasantly surprised by the interest that he has taken in the Israel-Palestine dispute, despite his broadly pro-Israel stance. But Mr. Modi will have an opportunity to shape Mr. Trump’s basic views on Pakistan, and at a formative moment for his administration’s Afghan policy. This may well be where Mr. Modi chooses to focus his efforts, leaving thornier subjects for the coming years.

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Magical Vocabulary from The Hindu Editorial

  1. Incumbent (Adjective) निर्भर: Necessary for (someone) as a duty or responsibility.

Synonyms: Necessary for one to, essential that, required that, imperative that, holder, bearer, occupant.

Example: It is a small union and it does not take many votes to defeat an incumbent official.

Related Word: Cardinal (Noun): A leading dignitary of the Roman Catholic Church.

  1. Pragmatic (Adjective) व्यावहारिक/ हस्तक्षेप करने वाला : Dealing with things sensibly and realistically in a way that is based on practical rather than theoretical considerations.

Synonyms: Practical, matter-of-fact, sensible, down-to-earth, commonsensical, matter-of-fact.

Example: This is a programme that any pragmatic centre-right government could be proud of.

  1. Vituperative (Adjective) निंदापूर्ण: Bitter and abusive.

Synonyms: Sardonic, pejorative, abusive

Example: The assembly meeting was the scene of vituperative attacks on any attempt to mitigate the consequences of the victory.

  1. Swallow (Noun) सहन करना/ निगलना: An act of swallowing something, especially food or drink.

Synonyms: Tolerate, endure, stand, put up with, bear, abide, countenance.

Example: Thilda shrugged her shoulders and took a swallow of her mead.

  1. Amicable (adjective) मैत्रीपूर्ण/ सौहार्दपूर्ण: (of relations between people) having a spirit of friendliness; without serious disagreement or rancor

Synonyms: friendly, good-natured, cordial, easy, easygoing, neighborly, harmonious, cooperative.

Example: The conversation was amicable , as befitted a meeting between two old friends.

  1. Consequences (noun) परिणाम: A result or effect of an action or condition.

Synonyms: result, upshot, outcome, effect, repercussion, ramification.

Example: Many have been laid off from work as a consequence of the administration’s policies.

  1. Credulous (adjective) विश्वासप्रवणता: Having or showing too great a readiness to believe things.

Synonyms: Gullible, naive, too trusting, easily taken in, impressionable, unsuspecting, unsuspicious.

Example: This is not a new approach, since mediums have long done readings for their credulous clients.

  1. Narcissistic (adjective) आत्मशक्ति: Having an excessive or erotic interest in oneself and one’s physical appearance.

Synonyms: vain, self-loving, self-admiring, self-absorbed, self-obsessed, conceited.

Example: The narcissistic presumption of centrality that underpins paranoia here gives birth to semiotic solipsism.

  1. Coercive (adjective) बलपूर्वक/ अनिवार्य: Relating to or using force or threats.

Synonyms: compulsive, compulsory, violent, preceptive, mandatory.

Example: What we have here is the government using its    power over prisoners for commercial advantage.

  1. Thornier (adjective) कांटेदार/ कठिन/ कष्टमय : Having many thorns or thorn bushes.

Synonyms: Problematic, tricky, ticklish, touchy, delicate, controversial, awkward, difficult, knotty, tough.

Example: He addresses this thorny question in his third book on the science of belief.

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Courtesy And Official editorial link :- The Hindu

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