Skip to main content

US legislation wants Indian soldiers to fight "alongside" US forces, reducing "risk" of American citizens

By Our Representative
A controversial legislation, introduced in the American House of Representatives, US-India Defense Technology and Partnership Act, claiming to underline "fundamental changes between today’s political environment", wants Indian soldiers to fight with other foreign soldiers "alongside US forces, thereby reducing the risk to American men and women."
Introduced a few days ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's US visit on March 31, the legislation would also help decrease "the cost of purchasing defense equipment", even as "enabling a foreign country (India) to carry out a military mission that would otherwise be a US responsibility."
Revealing these and other "advantages" of the legislation for the US, a top American defense specialist, Benjamin Schwartz, who is director for defense and aerospace at the US-India Business Council, has said that the the legislation would push the era of the 1990s into the backdrop, when the US imposed sanctions on India.
"These sanctions, which contrast with Russia’s consistent military support, engendered deep Indian suspicion of US motivations and reliability", Shwartz writes in an an Opinion piece in top US daily, "The Wall Street Journal" (March 28).
According to Shwartz, "The legislation also identifies the actions India must take to justify the transfer of advanced US defense technology", adding, "It is in America’s interest to transfer defense technology if the partnership meets certain goals."
Titled "A US India Defense Pact Within Reach", the article says, the "new legislation signals the US wants to partner with India’s military", yet wonders, " Can Delhi justify the collaboration?" Even it does not fulfill all of what the legislation wants, the expert says, India can at least engage "in combined military planning with US officers."
"Developing combined military plans of mutual interest, such as humanitarian and disaster-relief contingency plans, counterpiracy operations and maritime domain awareness missions, would be a major step toward sharing the burden in the Indo-Pacific", Shwartz says.
Insisting that India should "sign basic bilateral defense agreements that facilitate military-to-military interactions, and implement mechanisms that verify the security of US-origin technology and defense equipment against third-party diversion", Shwartz says, "The US has a national security interest in a stronger Indian military. It doesn’t have an interest in strengthening the Russian military, which collaborates closely with India."
"New Delhi doesn’t have to choose between sovereignty and dependency. Countries such as Singapore have maintained their full sovereignty while cooperating with the US on advanced technology", the expert opines, adding, "The next few months could be consequential for the US and India", with the Indian military "considering purchasing major weapons systems from American companies."
Wanting the US Congress to get back George Holding's (Republican, North Carolina) legislation and raise the "bar for the defense partnership", the expert says, this is particularly important because "China’s growing military assertiveness demands international action, and India and the US are uniquely positioned to respond."
Pointing out that US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, who returns to New Delhi next month, "has vigorously pursued the development of an effective defense partnership over the past eight years", the expert, however, warns of hurdles in India.
While Modi "recognizes that a robust defense partnership with the US offers India benefits that no other country or country grouping can provide", he faces "a defense establishment filled with people who personally struggled through the era of U.S. sanctions."
India should remember, says Shwartz, the legislation would "elevate" the country to the "same status as America’s allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, as well as its other treaty partners and Israel, for the purpose of arms-sales notifications."
"It communicates an important message. India is special not because of its past contributions as a US military partner, but because of what the country can contribute in the future. Many countries have sought and been denied this status", he notes, pointing towards the emphasis laid on "defense-technology collaboration" in the legislation.

Comments

TRENDING

Nirma varsity demand for higher fees 'illegal', violates Article 14: Letter to Gujarat HC

Counterview Desk
Students of Gujarat’s top private institute, Nirma University, situated in the outskirts of Ahmedabad, in a letter to the Chief Justice the state High Court, have complained that the authorities are demanding “full fees” from students, without taking into account the “disproportionate impact” the lockdown has on the livelihood of students and families.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

By Our Representative
Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book, "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Vulnerable to Covid-19, sharp rise in murder of Indian journalists during pandemic

By Nava Thakuria*
Vulnerability of working journalists in India is no way an alien issue as the populous country loses a number of working journalists to assailants as also medical emergencies. Even though there was only one casualty in the Indian media fraternity during the first half of 2020, who was targeted for journalistic work, India has begun witnessing an alarming number of media casualties during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Govt 'assures' Gujarat HC no action against MBBS students defying corona sahayak order

By Our Representative
The Gujarat government has assured the High Court that no action would be taken against Part-I and Part-II MBBS students of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC)-controlled NHL Medical College and LG Hospital and Medical College. The assurance follows the direction by Justice SH Vora to the State government not to prosecute or initiate action against the students who were defying the college authorities’ order to work as corona sahayaks (helpers).

Renounced US citizenship to serve workers, tribals, Sudha Bharadwaj 'odiously' in jail

By Atul, Sandeep Pandey*
Professor Sudha Bharadwaj has been in jail since August 2018. She was taken into police custody on August 26, 2018 on suspicion of being involved in Maoist terror activities after Republic TV claimed that she had allegedly written a letter to Maoists and was conspiring to create public disorder and unrest in India.

Cruel legacy of Green Revolution? Covid-19 underscores 'risky, fragile' food system

By Moin Qazi*  The Covid-19 crisis has highlighted the risks of an unhealthy diet and the extreme fragility of food systems. The economic reconstruction that will follow the pandemic is the perfect opportunity to provide better nutrition and health to all. The pandemic should spur us to redefine how we feed ourselves, and agricultural research can play a vital role in making our food systems more sustainable and resilient.

Plant organic, eat fresh: Emlen Bage's journey from migrant labour to agri-entrepreneur

By Chandrashekar and Kriti*
Who is a farmer? Type this question in the google search and check out the images? You can see men thronging the screen. This is the popular perception around the globe. Well one can understand how difficult it would be for a woman to defy this perception.

High youth unemployment: India 'fails' to take advantage of demographic dividend

By Varun Kumar
As coronavirus pandemic continues amplifying challenges among youth with regard to employment opportunities, government policies have further resulted in economic slowdown, leading to mass unemployment and loss jobs. According to the International Labour Organisation report “Covid-19 and the World of Work” (May 27, 2020), around 94 percent of the world’s workers are living in countries with some sort of workplace closure measures in place.

Dichotomy? US Hindutva groups oppose racism, mum on Modi's 'anti-minority' stance

By Our Representative
The Hindus for Human Rights (HHR), a US-based advocacy group, has noticed a major dichotomy between the stance taken by RSS’ US arm, Hindu Swayamsewak Sangh (HSS), expressing “shock” at the “painful killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others”, all of which suggest “the tragic tale of racial injustice” in US, and HSS’ “hatred” for India’s religious minorities and Dalits.