The Indian Navy joined the United States (US) led maritime security initiative Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) as an associate member in July 2022. Ostensibly the inclusion of what is an Indo-Pacific nation (as per US standards) into a primarily Western Indian Ocean initiative is part of Washington’s strategy to aid in its drawdown from the Middle East as well as bolster US-led designs for the region. However, the US strategy seems to have a weak link which is ironically its main pillar of support i.e. India. While the US seeks to turn India its main ally in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), the latter seems to be pursuing its own agenda which often runs counter to Washington’s desires. The US has sought to project its alliance with India through a slew of joint exercises but has not been able to stop India from conducting exercises with nations whom the US considers its competitors namely Russia. Amid the military conflict in Ukraine, Russia held its Vostok (East) 2022 exercises alongside other nations in Siberia, the Far Eastern Federal District, the Sea of Okhotsk, and the Sea of Japan. A conspicuous participant was the Republic of India ruled by the Hindutva BJP regime which sent a single contingent of its 7th Battalion of the 8th Gorkha Rifles Regiment. Indian participation in Exercise Vostok has raised concerns worldwide, especially among the West which has always tried to portray New Delhi as a natural ally against its competitors. Yet these concerns have been limited to news briefings only with no tangible reaction from the West. While Washington vainly tries to seduce India, New Delhi has still opened its inventory to Russian equipment such as S400 anti air system, MiG 29 fighters, BrahMos missiles, etc, and refused to condemn Russian military operations in Ukraine i.e abstained from voting against Russia in UN Resolutions, while filling its tanks with cheap Russian oil. As a Polish news site observed “India plays its own game buying Russian oil and competing with China”. The propaganda being spewed from Indian media outlets and think tanks is trying to craft this game as “balanced foreign policy” and “neutrality” instead of deception or a product of strategic confusion. This deception is most apparent in the fact that it is part of both the Russia & China-led SCO and the US-led Quad have competing objectives and are considered antitheses of each other. This is not a recent change in policy behavior but an Indian trait ever since the country’s independence from British rule in 1947. India’s strategic confusion arises from its perception of itself as a great power and eternal civilization whose friendship is indispensable to the world. This delusion was bolstered by the exceptional treatment it received at the hands of the USA and USSR during the Cold War and later on the US favored such a nuclear deal despite not fulfilling several parameters. This double game is not limited to Russia but is also linked to another of the US’s foes “Iran”. The relations between the US and Iran are hostile, to say the least with the US blaming Iran for, among other things, attacks on its troops stationed in Iraq and Syria. Yet India is pursuing a massive strategic project in the Iranian port of Chabahar and by extension of the North-South Strategic Corridor which is also set to benefit Russia as well. The US has repeatedly defined Iran as its primary concern in the Middle East and yet is willing to delegate security of US interests to one of Iran’s closest allies; should be a matter of introspection for US policymakers. In fact, US policymakers should go further in their introspection. Their biased behavior, which looks more and more like appeasement, has only increased Indian unreliability. Indeed, it can be stated that the global rules-based order has been damaged by the US itself through its appeasement of regimes like India and Israel. This biased behavior of the US raises quite a few questions in the mind of a global citizen. How can it ask others to cut down ties with Russia over its annexation of Crimea while it turns a blind eye to the Indian annexation of Occupied Kashmir or the Zionist annexation of Palestine? Under what set of principles can it sanction a NATO ally Turkiye over purchasing Russian defense equipment while not only ignoring larger Indian purchases of similar nature but actively supplying them with high-end western equipment? How can it ask other countries to put their populace through backbreaking inflation by refusing cheaper Russian fuel imports while shutting its eyes to Indian imports from Russia? American appeasement has only resulted in creating a flawed strategy and endangered the American people but also damaged the principles which Washington claims to uphold. The US must also recognize that it is not serving the cause of democracy by appeasing the Hindutva regime in India who openly exhibit supremacist and fascist tendencies with each passing day. By propping up the BJP regime, the West is not doing any favors to the common Indian who not only has to contend with a lack of jobs, misgovernance, and law & order but also religious terrorism and caste violence on a daily basis under Modi. In the end much like the Munich Pact of 1938, the West will relive the experience of knowing that fascism (in any form) cannot be appeased. The author is an M.Phil from National Defence University (NDU) Islamabad in International Relations and routinely writes on current affairs.