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

Call to support IIM-Bangalore professor, censured for seeking action against Uniliver

Counterview Desk
Sections of the Indian Institute of Managements (IIMs) across India have strongly reacted to the decision to censure Dr Deepak Malghan, a faulty at IIM-Bangalore. Prabhir Vishnu Poruthiyil, who is faculty at IIM-Tiruchirapalli, has sought wider solidarity with Dr Malghan, saying, "The administration has censured Deepak for merely suggesting a meaningful action against Hindustan Unilever for their abysmal environmental record" by “disinviting” it for campus placement.

Actionable programme for 2019 polls amidst lynch mobs, caste violence, hate mongering

Counterview Desk
Reclaiming the Republic, a civil rights network, has released a document prepared under the chairmanship of Justice AP Shah (retired) -- and backed, among others, by Supreme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan, bureaucrat-turned-human rights activist Harsh Mander, economist Prabhat Patnaik, Right to transparency activist Anjali Bhardwaj and social scientist Yogendra Yadav  (click HERE for full list) -- with the "aim" of putting forth policy and legislative reforms needed to “protect” and “strengthen” the Constitutional safeguards for India’s democratic polity.

Noam Chomsky, top scholars ask NRIs to take stand on human rights violations in India

Counterview Desk
Renowned world scholars, including Noam Chomsky, James Petras, Angela Davis, Fredric Jameson, Bruno Latour, Ilan Pappe, Judith Butler, among others, have issued a statement castigating the Narendra Modi government for allegedly creating an environment of fear through arrests, intimidation and violence.

India under Modi "promoted" crony business, protected financial fraudsters, fueled bigotry

By Sandeep* and Rahul Pandey**
Narendra Modi's ascension to power was accompanied with jubilation and expectation. His supporters were expecting an end to era of corruption and initiation of good governance which was described as Achche Din. His party's adherence to idea of nationalism was believed to make India a vibrant country and guide India to be a world leader. He gave the slogan of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas' conveying that his government was for all.
Corruption The government system is infested with corruption. A minimum of 10% is siphoned off from government schemes and projects, some of which goes back to political party in power and remaining is pocketed by various administrative, executive and political functionaries. This corruption continues and has increased. Now an additional Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) person working as Official on Special Duty or some equivalent position in every government department also has a share in this booty.
The Narendra M…

Inviting Rajapaksa to India "insult" to 1,40,000 Tamils killed by Sri Lankan army

Counterview Desk
In the context of Sri Lankan opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa being invited in India, about 75 human rights activists*, claiming to be concerned about rights violations during the civil war in Sri Lanka, especially in 2009, have joined together to express their dissent through a statement.

A Godse legacy? BJP rulers have "refrained" from calling Gandhi Father of the Nation

By Dr Hari Desai*
What an agony! On one hand, the entire India is celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but on the other side, so-called Hindu Mahasabha members have been found mock-enacting the killing of the Mahatma and celebrating the murder by distributing sweets!

No aadhaar, no ration? Hard blow by Gujarat govt on poor and marginalized

By Pankti Jog*
Only those who have aadhaar registration and linked it with ration card will get ration from a Public Distribution System (PDS) shop. This decision of the Gujarat government has hit very badly thousands of poor and marginalized communities of Gujarat, especially during the drought year.

Not just Indian women engineers, men too face sexual harassment at workplace: US study

By Rajiv Shah
A recent research, carried out jointly by two US-based non-profit organizations, Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and Center for WorkLife Law (WLL), based at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, has found that 45% of women engineers as against 28% of men engineers complained that it was perceived as “inappropriate when women argued at work, even when it was work-related.”

Post-advisory, Govt of India appears reluctant to ban e-cigarettes, "harmful" to kids

By Rajiv Shah
Is the Government of India dilly-dallying over the issue of banning e-cigarettes, which have been declared by anti-tobacco activists across the world as providing “an entryway to nicotine addiction”, especially among the kids? It would seem so, if the latest developments are any guide.

Poser to Modi: Why is Gujarat not fulfilling Constitutional obligations to minorities?

Counterview Desk
In an open letter, Mujahid Nafees, convener, Minority Coordination Committee (MCC), a Gujarat-based civil rights organization, has accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi on infringing upon MCC activists’ constitutional right to protest. Nafees says, they had no other demands except that the Gujarat government should move towards fulfilling the constitutional obligations towards minorities and international treaties to which India is a signatory.