Obama mission: Billions to Pakistan, billions from India

Discussion in 'Foreign Relations' started by RAM, Oct 20, 2010.

  1. RAM

    RAM The southern Man Senior Member

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    WASHINGTON: The Obama administration is lining up at least $ 2 billion in fresh, new military aid to Pakistan even as it is lobbying for billions of dollars in defense sales to India ahead of the US President's visit to the region early November.

    Two weeks before the India trip however, the US is all set to shower yet another round of military largesse on its dubious ally, ostensibly to help it fight extremists, who by Washington's own accounts are fostered, protected, and promoted by Pakistan.

    The aid package is set to be announced during the US-Pakistan "strategic dialogue" – the second this year – starting Wednesday in Washington DC.

    The arms bonanza comes just weeks after India's defense minister AK Antony conveyed New Delhi's reservations to Washington about US arms to Pakistan invariably being lined up against India, something even the Obama administration has on occasions recognized.

    It also comes amid stunning disclosures pointing to direct ISI (and therefore the Pakistani state's) involvement in the 26/11 terrorist attacks on Mumbai, which sites President Obama is expected to visit on November 6. Six Americans were among 172 people killed in the carnage.

    On top of this, a top Nato official said this week that Osama bin Laden was living in "relative comfort" in Pakistan, protected by locals and some members of the country's intelligence agencies, following up similar charges earlier by secretary of state Hillary Clinton.

    Despite these developments, the Obama administration evidently places its trust in Pakistan's credentials in the war on terror, and has determined that Islamabad needs to be militarily strengthened to fight extremism.

    It is getting around the Indian protest that it is needlessly arming an adventurous and unrepentant ally that uses terrorism as a state policy by terming the military aid a "security assistance package."

    American officials who have briefed the media on the subject ahead of the "strategic dialogue" say the package, totaling as much as $2 billion over five years, is aimed at helping Pakistan fight extremists on its border with Afghanistan.

    The package will be in the form of financial aid under the American Foreign Military Financing (FMF) program, which in turn will help Pakistan purchase weapons and defense equipment like helicopter gunships and communication equipment produced in the United States.

    It is aimed at addressing Pakistan's insistence it does not have the capability to go after terrorists, and needs more support from the United States, according to the New York Times and CNN, which both reported the development on Monday.

    The latest US largesse for Pakistan, which is separate from the five-year, $ 7.5 billion aid under the Kerry-Lugar-Berman bill, comes even as Washington is lobbying fiercely for greater Indian defense purchases worth billions of dollars as New Delhi seeks to shore up its military.

    India has finalized nearly $ 10 billion worth of military purchases from the US in recent months, including a deal in 2009 for eight Boeing P-81 maritime patrol aircraft worth $2.1 billion and the sale this year of 10 Boeing C-17 Globemaster III Aircrafts worth $5.8 billion, the largest defense deal with India in US history.

    An even bigger piece of action is in the pipeline – a purchase worth more than $ 10 billion for 126 Multi-Role Combat Aircraft that New Delhi is seeking, and for which US companies Boeing and Lockheed Martin are in the race.

    While India's will be paying hard cash for all these transactions, Pakistan, which was already broke before it was overrun by floods of biblical proportions and reduced to begging, will essentially be getting freebie military hardware from the US in the name of fighting terrorism.

    The US aid comes despite criticism from Washington that Pakistan's wealthy, including its political leadership, is ducking from paying taxes, and US tax-payers are having to pick up the tab for Pakistan.

    In fact, ahead of the US-Pakistan strategic dialogue, Pakistan has made no move to reform its tax collection as demanded by secretary of state Hillary Clinton and top European Union officials recently.

    Instead, the Pakistani delegation is coming to Washington with a laundry list of demands, including a nuclear deal that will bring it on par with India, greater US role in resolving the Kashmir issue, and taking into account Pakistan's interests in Afghanistan.


    The Pakistanis are even pressing for a stopover by President Obama in Islamabad during his November visit to India, according to some reports.

    The Pakistani delegation for the "strategic dialogue" this week will be formally led by the country's foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, and will have cabinet ministers of defense and finance, among others. But the real power and influence behind the Pakistani push for greater US aid will be the country's army chief, Pervez Ashfaq Kayani, who is part of the team, notwithstanding Washington's reservations about the military's continuing influence in Islamabad.

    Read more: Obama mission: Billions to Pakistan, billions from India - The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...m-India/articleshow/6776948.cms#ixzz12qLZBLFK
     
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  3. maomao

    maomao Veteran Hunter of Maleecha Senior Member

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    Can't we just act smart and reject American products siting issues such as "not fitting requirement" or "cost not fitting the budget" etc, dependence on US is like a two way sword; Firstly, we will be funding their cash starved defense industry at a cost higher than what we can get a product from the market (from other suppliers). Secondly, our own money will be used to fund an islamic terrorist beggar state such as pakistan with a coward mercenary islamic army with their ever demented jihadi population, being a serious terrorist threat for a spineless (sham) sickular nation ruled by Konggie Madam and babas.

    We should always remember one thing, the policy makers in the Capital Hill/White house are short-sighted and they can change their stance with a drop of a hat without realizing the repercussions , they are more politically correct these days, so any day a jihadi Bankrupt nation such as pakistan could become an ally against India. US can never be trusted and I have many doubts that why sickular Kongies are dieing to befriend US (we don't need US for China mumbo-jumbo threat, if we stop doubting our own capabilities).
     
  4. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    India is helping USA pass thru this recession/depression, if USA is still helping Pakistan during this economic collapse, when the economy improves USA will be able to help Pakistan even more. USA will have achieved a brilliant move by being able to get out of the recession, help pakistan and keep India contained. All this with the help of the Indian Govt. If everyone here can see this clearly why can't the people in the Indian Govt?? One day Pakistan may ask for details of the weapons we bought from USA I wonder what would happen in that situation?? Sounds far fetched but a nuclear deal to Pakistan is even more far fetched and Obama is ready to listen to Pakistan's demands for one.
     
  5. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    U.S. didn't warn India despite ‘information & concerns'



     
  6. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Obama's boat to India springs leaks

    By M K Bhadrakumar

    In the world of diplomacy and politics, a "leak" invariably means something and its timing is never accidental. The leak is a form of diplomatic ingenuity. Two leaks in successive weeks, appearing in New York and London in the run-up to the visit by United States President Barack Obama to India in early November, raise tricky questions. They threaten to become the leitmotif of Obama's visit.
    The thrust of the "original leak" on October 15 in ProPublica, a Manhattan-based website that specializes in "investigative journalism", can be summed up as follows:
    The US Federal Bureau of Investigation had advance information relating to the planning of the terrorist strike on Mumbai in 2008 that killed 166 people but didn't share the details with Indian agencies.
    The FBI knew as far back as 2005 that David Coleman Headley, an American national who figures now as a key person in the plot, was an active militant in the Pakistani terrorist organization Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), had trained extensively in Pakistani camps and shopped for night-vision goggles and other equipment, but didn't prosecute him.
    A "complicated relationship" existed between American authorities and Headley stretching over a decade since he began working as an "informant" for the US Drug Enforcement Administration sometime in the late 1990s.
    Headley was probably an American "asset" within the LeT who turned "jihadi" at some point.

    The ProPublica leak was followed four days later by an item in Britain's the Guardian newspaper on October 19, based on a classified report on Indian officials' interrogation of Headley in June in Chicago. It makes out that:
    Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence was "deeply involved" in staging the Mumbai attacks. "The ISI had no ambiguity in understanding the necessity to strike India."
    Pakistani military officers were involved in the conspiracy.
    Headley received US$25,000 from his "ISI handler" to finance one of his eight surveillance missions to Mumbai.

    Look at the deep irony of it. This was to have been a historic visit to Gandhi's land by Obama, who professes admiration for the apostle of non-violence - and the confessions of a terrorist threaten to upstage it.

    The two leaks are joined at the hip. The narrative is that: a) The US is hypocritical while professing to be India's strategic partner; b) The ISI was involved in the Mumbai terrorist strike but there is nothing anybody can do about it now.

    By a bizarre coincidence, the ''leaks" appeared even as the influential think-tank the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), which is wired into the Washington establishment, released a "non-partisan" report on Monday co-authored by Richard Armitage, deputy secretary of state in the previous administration, and Nicholas Burns, formerly undersecretary of state in the previous and the current administrations, titled "Natural Allies", which presents an exciting "blueprint" to "rejuvenate" the US-India strategic partnership and put it on a "more solid foundation".

    Consider the following: Washington's painstaking choreography on Obama's visit reaches its final lap and a hidden hand appears from nowhere to disrupt it. At the very least, to quote a senior Indian editor: "A miasma of suspicion hangs over the role of US agencies in failing to prevent the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks," which in turn has "deepened the doubts and raised questions" about the nature of US-Indian counterterrorism cooperation.

    It is anybody's guess whether a hidden hand is indeed at work to derail Obama's India visit. At any rate, a three-way cat-and-mouse game has begun involving the US, India and Pakistan.

    US officials are in desperate damage-control mode. The point is, now is a critical time in the US-India partnership. Expectations are high that Obama's visit will lift the strategic ties out of the trough of inertia of the past couple of years.

    There is talk of easing of restrictions by the US on "dual-use" technology flow to India, of new vistas of cooperation in space and energy, a multi-billion dollar arms deal for C-17 military transport aircraft and new business opportunities in the burgeoning Indian market that hold the potential to generate tens of thousands of jobs in the US. The Delhi grapevine is that India has all but decided to award to the US a massive contract for 126 multi-purpose fighter aircraft - worth anywhere up to $16 billion.

    Logic prevails over emotion
    Meanwhile, the Indian political establishment has also so far avoided joining in on making an issue over the leaks. New Delhi is genuinely hoping that Obama will publicly and explicitly commit the US to working with India in support of its permanent membership in an enlarged UN Security Council. Thus, in every way, the Headley story introduces a jarring element, as it only goes to highlight that the US and India make strange bedfellows.

    New Delhi will factor in that the Headley disclosures can ratchet up India-Pakistan tensions and that the Pakistani military may seize tensions with India as another alibi for not undertaking operations in North Waziristan. New Delhi tunes into Obama's AfPak symphony very attentively.

    The tough line adopted lately by the US commander in Afghanistan, General David Petraeus, vis-a-vis Pakistan is making things hot for the military leadership in Rawalpindi. The US is in no mood to accede to the Pakistani military leadership's demand to be the key facilitator of any Afghan settlement, and instead has begun explicitly backing Hamid Karzai's "Afghan-led, Afghan-driven" peace plan.

    Meanwhile, NATO cross-border operations on Pakistani territory infuriate the Pakistani military. In short, as the New York Times commented: "General Petraeus seems determined to show progress on achieving American goals in Afghanistan - both military and political - ahead of a December review of the war effort ordered by Obama."

    The Pakistani military establishment is furious with Petraeus. A highly placed Pakistani general has been quoted as threatening: "Petraeus has to lower his goalposts if he wishes to see some semblance of peace in Afghanistan." The Pakistani military is hoping Obama will ultimately rein in Petraeus and sue for peace.

    But, Washington is circling its wagons. In a hard-hitting opinion-piece on Tuesday titled "Petraeus rewrites the playbook in Afghanistan", influential Washington Post columnist David Ignatius rubbished the Pakistani military's orchestrated media campaign to discredit Petraeus. Ignatius wrote:
    Gen David Petraeus appears to be making a strategic pivot in Afghanistan. He is shooting more, increasing special-operations raids and bombings on Taliban commanders. But he is also talking more - endorsing President Hamid Karzai's reconciliation talks with Taliban officials and guaranteeing their safety to and from Kabul as a confidence-building measure.

    With Petraeus in the political-military driver's seat, he can steer a process to push the disparate Taliban groups toward a political settlement. The diplomatic side of this game depends on Petraeus's ability to pound those who resist - with devastating firepower. That's why he has been pushing Pakistan so hard to step up its operations against the Haqqani network, sheltered in the tribal areas of the northwest, and against the Quetta Shura Taliban fighters, who operate from Baluchistan in Pakistan's southwest.
    No doubt, the US is also seeking a regional consensus, as was evident at the special representatives' conference held in Rome this week in which Iran participated for the first time. This political-military approach aims at progressively reducing the US dependence on Pakistan.

    Quite clearly, the Headley controversy pops up at a critical point in the Afghan war. Delhi's comfort level with Obama's AfPak policy is rising and the Pakistani military stands to gain immensely if Headley takes the center stage in the region's security discourse.

    The Indians would be downright stupid to get agitated over the leaks (which reveal nothing startlingly new) instead of optimizing the outcome of Obama's visit. As the CNAS report underscores, US interests in a closer security relationship with India include:

    Ensuring a stable Asian and global balance of power.
    Protecting and preserving access to the global commons.
    Countering terrorism and violent extremism.
    Ensuring access to secure global energy resources.

    Fostering greater stability, security and economic prosperity in South Asia, including in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

    But then, in politics, perceptions matter. Indian public perceptions of the US are going to be of its double standards and its unreliability as a partner. The leaks also make the Indian intelligence agencies look foolish and inept, and spooks are an egotistical lot. The Indian leadership will find it next to impossible to carry them along on a path of "kiss-and-make-up" with Pakistan in a near-term.

    On the other hand, New Delhi can derive satisfaction that Obama's presidential psyche is coming face-to-face with the monstrous security paradigm that Indians are fated to live with in day-to-day life. The "leaks" may be succeeding where Indian demarches haven't. A paradox about good leaks is that like Saddam Hussein's Scud missiles, those who launch them can never be sure of their trajectory.

    Ambassador M K Bhadrakumar was a career diplomat in the Indian Foreign Service. His assignments included the Soviet Union, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Germany, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Kuwait and Turkey.
     
  7. RAM

    RAM The southern Man Senior Member

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    Obama visit: Mega deals in defence, railways on the table


    An American company is set to bag a Rs 30,000-crore project to build locomotives for the Indian Railways, a much-delayed mega-deal that is likely to be catalysed by the visit of President Barack Obama next month. The Obama visit is also expected to see the signing of the largest ever defence agreement between India and the US.On the basis of technical bids, two US firms, General Electric (GE) and Electro Motive Diesel (EMD), have been shortlisted to set up the Diesel Electric Locomotive Factory at Marhowra in Bihar’s Saran district, one of which will bag the multi-billion dollar contract when financial bids are opened in December.





    The factory is estimated to cost around Rs 2,052 crore to build, with the cost of producing 1,000 locos and their maintenance likely to add up to another Rs 15,000 crore and Rs 10,000-odd crore respectively, said railway sources.The Railways will provide the land, leasing it to the joint-venture company for around 50 years. The government had originally fixed November 30 as the deadline for selecting the joint-venture partner, and December 31 for signing the contract.Diesel Locomotive Works (DLW), Varanasi, is currently the only supplier of diesel electric locos to the Railways. DLW manufactures around 150 locos annually, even as increased freight and passenger operations have been pushing up demand.



    On the defence front, despite India’s reluctance to sign three ‘foundation agreements’ being pushed by the US, decks have been cleared for the signing of a mega contract to procure 10 C17 Globemaster III heavy transport aircraft through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) route.While the value of the deal will be revealed only after the formal signing, an official notification to the US Congress has revealed its potential value to be a massive $5.8 billion — well over double the value of the $2.2 billion deal that has been signed to procure eight P8I maritime reconnaissance aircraft, also under FMS, the government-to-government method for selling US defence equipment.


    India is also likely to order an additional four P8I aircraft during Obama’s visit, pegged at $ 1.1 billion.Another ‘feelgood’ deal that will be discussed during the visit is the procurement of nearly 100 GE 414 engines built by the US giant GE Aviation, to power the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA).
    The company will build 1,000 mainline diesel electric locos — engines in which diesel is the prime mover — over 10 years, and provide maintenance support over a period of time in a public-private partnership with Indian Railways, with the latter holding 26 per cent stake.

    Defence Ministry sources, however, said there was no change of stance on the two defence agreements the US is pushing — CISMOA (Communications and Information Security Memorandum of Agreement) and BECA (Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo-spatial Cooperation).


    While Defence Minister A K Antony told his US counterpart during his recent Washington visit that the agreements are being studied by various agencies, sources said there is stiff resistance from the armed forces, who see the agreements as being restrictive.CISMOA is being sold as an agreement that will give access to high-end communications technology to India. “But the armed forces do not see any benefit in procuring all communications equipment from a single source. They want to diversify and not be dependent on a particular source for equipment that can be easily procured from a variety of nations,” said a top defence ministry source. BECA is seen as being intrusive — signing the agreement would mean allowing US officials access to map sensitive terrain. While satellite mapping is not a concern, BECA would entitle US officials to use ground-based equipment to map out terrain.

    http://www.indianexpress.com/news/obama-visit-mega-deals-in-defence-railways-on-the-table/700502/3
     
  8. proud_hindustani

    proud_hindustani Regular Member

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    If i was a powerful leader of India, I would have cut all ties with USA, eliminate him from MMRCA deal, cancel nuclear deal, start supporting Iran. this would be a straight forward answers to Ameereeka.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2010
  9. proud_hindustani

    proud_hindustani Regular Member

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    and think another way to avoid India from making losses after breaking tie with Uncle Sam
     
  10. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

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    whether we love USA or hate USA fact is that we both need each other.USA is still number one power and can bring numerous advantages to us . Only thing that we need to be careful of is to protect our intrest and donot follow them blindly.
     
  11. proud_hindustani

    proud_hindustani Regular Member

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    If USA plays card with us like this, then why can't we. It will show USA that we are not weak.

    I think Obama has less chance of winning next election *thinking*
     
  12. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Does india need usa????

    I dont think so..
     
  13. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

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    AJTR I am not american fanboy but I am a realist. Americans are one of biggest source of business of almost all IT and ITES companies and there is still a huge untapped market for us . We need American political support and access to certain critical technologies to tackle China. We are tough bargainers so we will definitely be on loosing side. We will give something but we will get much more in return.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2010
  14. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

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    Think sensibly. Terminate Nuclear deal and then what?
     
  15. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    As soon as obama lands we should escort him back, turn his plane around and tell him to run along.
     

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