The United States influenced Indian polity before Manmohan Singh and will do so after he is no more prime minister in proportion to its international power.

But the disgustful pro-Americanism of Manmohan Singh established by new Wikileaks suggests that US capacity to interfere within India is more than its current decline permits.

This is because of the peculiar unaccountable prime-ministership of Manmohan Singh.

Foreign policy-making has been a prime-ministerial prerogative since the time of Jawaharlal Nehru. But there have been internal and external constraints imposed on this.

India's parliamentary democracy with a PM answerable to Parliament has fixed limits. Then there are controls levied by the foreign environment. Much as he tried to build a new era of relations with the John F.Kennedy administration, Nehru got nearly nowhere. By then, he was also immersed in non-alignment which erected fences in his mind.

The Chinese aggression did jolt him to turn to the Americans. But US military aid was slow in coming, inadequate and conditional (on Kashmir), which made any meaningful relationship impossible.

Subsequently, as the world slipped deeper into the Cold War and India was forced to veer to a pro-Soviet position, climaxing with a 1971 peace-and-friendship treaty, ties with the United States soured.

During the 1971 war, Henry Kissinger prodded the Chinese to open a second front against India. And Richard Nixon ordered a carrier nuclear taskforce into the Bay of Bengal to frighten the Indian leadership.

So reflexively and profoundly suspicious was India of the US that nearly two decades later P.V.Narasimha Rao supported a doomed communist coup in post-Soviet Russia in the vain hope of a new Cold War.

A.B.Vajpayee was not comfortable with the Americans either and resisted the CTBT.

All the four significant PMs mentioned above were elected and steeped in India's political traditions. They instinctively embraced a policy of strategic autonomy.

While this was a Nehruvian formula, it is a wonder that it survived despite a pronounced pro-US mindset of the Nineties' intelligentsia.

It is instructive how a US diplomat compared India and Pakistan especially in respect of advancing American aims in Afghanistan immediately post-9/11. Although the Vajpayee government had offered cooperation on Afghanistan (some of which presumably was taken on positioning the Northern Alliance decisively against the Taliban/ Al-Qaeda), it was Pakistan the US openly embraced (after threatening to bomb it back to the Stone Age).

The US diplomat explained why.

"In your country," he said, "there is Parliament, public opinion, the opposition to take on board for policy changes. It is messy like the United States. Things don't get done -- or don't get done fast enough. You do not have one man to command and control."

"In Pakistan," the US diplomat continued, "we face no such problems. We tell Parvez Musharraf (who was then military president) what we want and he arranges it. There is no Parliament to confront and there is zero political opposition. As for public opinion, who cares?"

That situation still exists in Pakistan despite an elected government and regardless of the Raymond Davis affair. And tragically, under Manmohan Singh, that scheme of US manipulation of internal affairs has been imported here as well.

This is particularly well-established, among other examples, by the manner Manmohan Singh misled and scorned Parliament and rode roughshod over objective strategic-community objections to ram through the Indo-US nuclear deal, whose alleged fruits look perilously forbidden after Japan's earthquake and tsunami.

How could the US take advantage of Manmohan even as it failed or had minimal success with his predecessors? The answer lies in the peculiar nature of his prime-ministership.

Manmohan Singh is not answerable to Parliament but to Sonia Gandhi who made him PM. She gave him freedom in foreign policy-making as a sop to keep her own iron grip on domestic politics.

Manmohan Singh has no friends in Indian politics and he continues in that friendless state. The US saw an opportunity in this friendless PM who had already revealed his mental slavery towards the West.

The US used him to the hilt, as the new Wikileaks reveal, from fixing a pro-America cabinet to fixing Iran. Prone to flattery, Manmohan Singh would do US bidding.

And because Sonia Gandhi had her own compulsions to retain him, she acquiesced in the American meddling.

Unless India gets an elected PM again, fully answerable and committed to Parliament, it will be vulnerable to US machinations, despite America's decline as a world power.

This is very bad news for India's peaceful rise.