In his address to the World Affairs Council of New Hampshire yesterday, Republican candidate Jon Huntsman included permanent Security Council membership for India among his foreign policy priorities.
“The arc of countries that lie along the Indian Ocean border some of the most important energy and trading lanes in the entire world. Those lanes are critical for the free flow of commerce and remain vunerable to threats large and small. To that end, I welcome the Indian navy’s transformation to a blue-water navy. As President, I will increase our military and diplomatic cooperation with India, with the expectation that they share responsibility in maintaining peace and security in this vital region. And recognizing India’s emerging role, I will also support our ally’s bid to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council as is fitting a country representing one-sixth of humanity.”
Unfortunately, Huntsman continues to poll among the lowest of the Republican candidates due to his very moderate positions on many issues. His recognition of another country having an emerging role in maintaining international peace and security–let alone representing “one-sixth of humanity” and deserving of a permanent Security Council seat alongside the U.S.–is a concept that many in his party would find alien and bewildering. At best, they will see this as affirming a position held by President Barack Obama; at worst, an attempt to weaken America’s (global) sovereignty.