The Realist Prism: IBSA Deserves Long-Term U.S. Commitment

The Realist Prism: IBSA Deserves Long-Term U.S. Commitment

Last week, I highlighted the "bad news" that came out of Brasilia with regards to Washington's Iran policy. There was, however, a silver lining that should not be ignored.

Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula de Silva hosted two meetings that week -- that of the Brazil-Russia-India-China group (BRIC) and another for the India-Brazil-South Africa forum (IBSA). What is interesting to note is that China's interest in playing a greater role in IBSA -- with some even talking about expanding that group to become CHIBSA -- was politely rebuffed. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stressed that IBSA is not simply a forum for three major rising powers, but also for states which share open political and economic systems. In other words, IBSA views itself as an embryonic "League of (Southern) Democracies," and wants to maintain that separate identity. This is even more surprising in light of the fact that China and the IBSA countries formed the "BASIC" bloc at Copenhagen, presenting a united front on climate change issues.

Brazil and India both have real concerns about China's policy of maintaining an artificially low value for the yuan, concerns that they share with the developed nations of the West. And despite the fact that India and China share the goal of reshaping global institutions to give more voice to the Eastern powers, the two neighbors still remain rivals in a number of areas -- including, as David Axe's WPR column noted this week, competition for water and energy resources.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.