India has announced two important decisions that underline an important theme in the emerging Asian order: even as India aligns its strategic approach with the US, it asserts its independence at every turn.The most recent signs: India’s decision not to cut oil imports from Iran, and its award of a multi-billion dollar jet fighter award to France’s Dassault rather than to Lockheed or Boeing. The order is worth more than $10 billion for more than 100 planes.The oil story is also significant. India is one of Iran’s largest purchasers; India and China together buy more Iranian oil than Europe. As India’s finance minister put it last weekend, “It is not possible for India to take any decision to reduce the import from Iran drastically because, after all, the countries which can provide the requirement of the emerging economy, Iran is an important country among them.”In other words, we want the oil, we need the oil, so shut up.Its European allies drove the US crazy during the Cold War; new Asian friends and allies will be no easier to work with in the Pacific era now under way. India wants to be a superpower in its own right rather than a character actor in an American John Wayne movie; expect many more signs of Indian independence as the new Asian order takes shape.