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

Banned? Indian ports 'received' 38 US plastic waste containers reexported from Indonesia

By Rajiv Shah
An Indonesia-based international environmental watchdog group has dug out what it has called “a global pollution shell game”, stating how officials in Indonesia approved re-exports of “illegal” US waste shipments containing plastics mainly to India, as also to other Asian countries -- Thailand, South Korea and Vietnam -- instead of returning them to the US “as promised.”

Gujarat refusal to observe Maulana Azad's birthday as Education Day 'discriminatory'

By Our Representative
The Gujarat government decision not to celebrate the National Education Day on !monday has gone controversial. Civil society organizations have particularly wondered whether the state government is shying away from the occasion, especially against the backdrop of "deteriorating" level of education in Gujarat.

Cops' 'inability' to deliver justice? Model Gujarat ranks 12th among 18 major states

By Rajiv Shah
A Tata Trusts study, released in Delhi on Thursday, has ranked “model” Gujarat 12th out of 18 major states it has analysed across India to “assess” the police's capacity to deliver justice. Several of the advanced states such as Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Punjab, Haryana, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana as well as some of the so-called Bimaru states such as Odisha, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh are found to have ranked better than Gujarat.

People's pressure? GPCB mining cancellation 'notice' to top cement unit in Gujarat

By Sagar Rabari*
Environmental Clearance (EC) was given to Ultratech Cement Co Ltd for limestone mining in villages Talli and Bambhor of Talaja taluka in Bhavnagar district of Gujarat on January 5, 2017. EC was issued ignoring, overriding and undermining opposition from local farmers to mining activity in the area. The mining in these two villages covers an area of 193.3268 hectares (ha), while the entire project is spread over an area of 1,715.1311 ha.

Bullet train acquisition: Land holding worth Rs 1.5 crore, Gujarat govt 'offer' Rs 8 lakh

By RK Misra*
Foundation stones laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi litter India’s cities, towns and villages, but there are few projects which he has pursued with such perseverance and tenacity as the Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train one. However, the overwhelming state power notwithstanding, the farmers, whose lands are being acquired for the Modi government’s dream project, have no plans to give up the fight.

Visually challenged lady seeks appointment with Gujarat CM, is 'unofficially' detained

By Pankti Jog*
It was a usual noon of November 10. I got a phone call on our Right to Information (RTI) helpline No 9924085000 from Ranjanben of Khambhat, narrating her “disgraceful” experience after she had requested for an appointment with Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani. She wanted to meet Rupani, on tour of the Khambhat area in Central Gujarat as part of his Janvikas Jumbesh (Campaign for Development).

NHRC notice to Gujarat chief secretary following silicosis deaths in Rajkot

By Our Representative
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has asked the Gujarat chief secretary and the district magistrate, Rajkot, to respond to a complaint filed by health rights activist Jagdish Patel of the People's Training and Research Centre (PTRC), Vadodara, regarding the alleged death of Raju Prakash Parihar and two others reportedly because of silicosis, a fatal occupation disease, in Rajkot, one of Gujarat’s top cities.