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

Missed call drive for VVPAT verification follows online plea to "pressure" poll panel

By Our Representative
Several political activists have begun a new campaign, asking concerned citizens to give a missed call on 9667655855 to “support the demand that 2019 Loksabha elections must be declared only after verification of 50% electronic voting machines (EVMs) with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) receipts.” The effort, supported by civil society networks across India, is meant to "further pressure" India's election machinery to ensure that the poll outcome becomes more transparent.

Did Modi own, buy digital camera costing Rs 7 lakh in 1987-88, also used email?

Counterview Desk
In an interview to the news channel News Nation, aired on Saturday last, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declaring that he had approved the air strike despite bad weather because he felt the clouds would hide Indian planes from Pakistani radar is known to have become a laughing stock across India.

When a neo-nationalist "invaded" hijab clad ladies, Bengali looking scholar in Delhi metro

By Aditi Kundu*
Travelling in Delhi metro on a daily basis to commute from Mayur Vihar to Dwarka, I see diverse people everyday. One can hear them talk about different aspects of life, from kitchen pilitics to national politics. On the morning of May 13, I witnessed a strange incident; disturbing and amusing at the same time.

Terror attacks: Difference in public reactions in India, those in Colombo, Christchurch

By Battini Rao*
Recently, on April 20 during Easter Sunday, more than 250 people were killed in a series of coordinated terrorist attacks in churches and hotels in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Local Islamic organisations Thawheed Jamath (NJT) and Jamathei Milathu Ibrahim (JMI) are held responsible for the attack. Islamic State has also claimed responsibility.

Women lost 88 lakh jobs in 2018: Why Modi "failed" to address their disempowerment?

Counterview Desk
Five human rights leaders Anjali Bhardwaj, Shabnam Hashmi, Purnima Gupta, Dipta Bhog, and Amrita Johri of the Women March for Change have posed 56 questions (alluding to Modi’s claim of 56 inches chest) to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP against the backdrop of his interview with a Bollywood star, which was allegedly masqueraded as a “non-political” conversation.

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

Disproportionately high death sentences against Dalits, Adivasis, Muslims: UN told

Counterview Desk
In their joint submission to the United Nations Human Rights Committee to meet for the listing of adoption of list of issues at its 126th session, July 1-26, 2019, top Dalit rights organizations have taken strong exception to, among other things, "disproportional application of death sentencing by the judiciary of minorities, such as Muslims, Dalits and Adivasis".

Ex-IAS, IPS, IFS officers tell Modi: Pragya Thakur doesn't represent India's rich heritage

Counterview Desk
In an open statement, a group of former civil servants have said that normally they would have dismissed the candidature of Pragya Thakur, who is BJP’s choice for the Bhopal Lok Sabha constituency, as an act of political expediency. However, they were forced to react to her candidature after none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi termed has as a “symbol of our civilisational heritage.”

India's 80% construction sites "unsafe", deaths 20 times higher than those in Britain

By Rajiv Shah
The Government of India may be seeking to project India’s construction sector as the country’s second-largest employer of the country after agriculture, providing jobs to more than 44 million people, and contributing nearly 9% to the national GDP, yet, ironically, its workforce is more unprotected than any other industrial sector of the country. Data suggest that the possibility of a fatality is five times more likely in the construction industry  than in a manufacturing industry, and the risk of a major injury is 2.5 times higher.

India sans Modi preferable, Congress worthier recipient of Indians’ votes: The Economist

By Our Representative
In a strongly-worded and crucial commentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the electoral political battle is on, influential British weekly “The Economist”, has declared that “Indians, who are in the midst of voting in a fresh election, would be better off with a different leader”, even as pointing out that that under Modi, “India’s ruling party poses a threat to democracy.”