US allays India's defense fears

Discussion in 'International Politics' started by Singh, Mar 12, 2009.

  1. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    US wants to ramp up cooperation with India: Hillary Clinton

    US wants to ramp up cooperation with India: Hillary Clinton

    Washington (IANS):U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has assured that the U.S. really wants "to ramp up its cooperation" with India on a host of issues ranging Afghanistan to climate change to counter-terrorism.

    The assurance came at a "very, very good, a very warm meeting" with Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon as he began India's first high-level interaction with President Barack Obama's administration on Monday.

    As Mr. Menon continued his hectic diplomacy on Tuesday, State Department spokesman Robert Wood said of the Clinton-Menon meeting: "It was a very, very good meeting, a very warm meeting."

    Ms. Clinton, he said, made the point to Mr. Menon "that we really want to ramp up our cooperation in a number of areas, whether that be climate change, whether it be counter-terrorism."

    "There are just a whole host of issues where the United States and India can work together, have been working together, and that, you know, some of these issues are going to require not just US and Indian cooperation, but cooperation of others," he said.

    "I think there was a bit of a discussion on the additional protocol that was just worked out with the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency)," said Mr. Wood without giving any other details.

    "They talked a bit about Afghanistan and what needs to be done," Mr. Wood said adding, Ms. Clinton "was very interested" in hearing Menon's views "on this subject as well as a host of others. But "I don't think it was a question of asking India to do more."

    Asked what the US wants India to do in Afghanistan, the spokesman said: "It wasn't so much that we were asking India to do anything specifically," but Ms. Clinton wanted to hear Menon's views "on the best way forward in Afghanistan from the Indian point of view."

    On climate change, Ms. Clinton and Mr. Menon talked in general about cooperation. Without getting "into a lot of specifics, they did talk in general about the importance of working together to try to deal with the issue of climate change, global warming."

    Sri Lanka issue was also discussed "just in general."

    Mr. Menon discussed the nitty gritty of bilateral issues ranging from the civil nuclear deal to the upcoming G-20 summit in London at a meeting on Tuesday with his counterpart Under Secretary for Political Affairs William Burns.

    Mr. Menon on Tuesday also met influential lawmakers on the Capitol. They included Jim McDermott, founder, Co-Chair of Congressional India and Indian-Americans Caucus, Howard L. Berman, Democratic chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Richard G. Lugar, top Republican member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Gary Ackerman, chairman of the House Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia.

    The foreign secretary also met representatives of leading Washington think tanks. He concludes his four-day visit on Wednesday with talks at the Pentagon with defence officials.

    http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/000200903110932.htm
     
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  3. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    India: America's indispensable ally

    Washington will need New Delhi's cooperation on a host of critical issues, so the Obama administration must not risk neglecting the relationship.

    Cambridge, Mass. - Presidential terms are a marathon of effort, but the Obama administration has started with a full sprint. Between the financial crisis and events in Afghanistan, Iran, Russia, and elsewhere, it's had to. But in rushing ahead to confront one crisis after another, it risks forgetting an crucial friend: India.

    At a time when so much of the broader Middle East and South Asia is in disarray, it may be tempting to put India – an ally and friend of the United States – on the back burner. But it is precisely because India is a friend and ally, and because of the severity of regional and global problems, that the US needs to nurture this relationship. If President Obama is to achieve many of his ambitious foreign-policy objectives, he will need to forge an even stronger relationship with India – and that will take work.

    As things stand, however, Washington's bandwidth for India seems to be overwhelmed by concerns about its neighbors to the west, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    That's understandable. As a candidate, Mr. Obama made clear that more attention and resources needed to be paid to Afghanistan; and on this there is broad consensus not just within the United States, but with friends and allies, and with the Afghans themselves.

    After taking office, both he and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton very quickly affirmed that events in Afghanistan and in Pakistan are, for the moment, resolutely tied together. And so came the appointment of Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, one of America's strongest negotiators and diplomats, to be the special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    Afghanistan and Pakistan have been tied together – they're now known as AfPak – and elevated as a priority at the Defense Department, too. As Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said in his testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee Jan. 27, Afghanistan is the "top military overseas priority."

    Meanwhile, at the National Security Council (NSC), word has it that portfolios are in flux, and geographic responsibilities may shift to reflect the US Combatant Commands. If this holds true, AfPak would be lumped together with Middle East affairs – and India would fall into a Pacific/East Asian category.

    Why does this matter?

    Because if the State Department, Pentagon, and NSC all come to see AfPak as the central issue in South Asia – while moving India into another realm entirely – then Washington will have severed a crucial regional link, one it desperately needs.

    To stabilize Afghanistan, Washington must work to stabilize Pakistan, which some experts warn could become a failed state. And it will be hard to stabilize either one without India. Given the rivalry between India and Pakistan, not least over Kashmir and Afghanistan, India's role is essential.

    India is important for other reasons, too.

    Climate change, one of President Obama's top priorities, cannot be addressed without it. So far, India has resisted sharp carbon-cutting efforts, which it worries could limit economic growth. The US will need great diplomacy to persuade it otherwise.

    Energy security too, will need India's participation, whether it's in protecting the Strait of Malacca (through which a substantial percentage of world oil flows) or improving efficiencies and developing new technologies in areas such as solar energy.

    Stopping nuclear proliferation, combatting terrorism, protecting sea lanes, and interdicting weapons of mass destruction are four other sensitive global issues that will require Washington's close cooperation with India.

    India has the third-largest Muslim population in the world, and at the same time, it has a burgeoning relationship with Israel. This makes India an especially strong candidate – along with Turkey – to help bring peace to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    With Iran too, India has oft declared its willingness to act as a middleman, given their longstanding relationship. Likewise, if it comes to stronger sanctions against Iran, it will be necessary to bring India on board, a very difficult task given its vast energy and strategic needs.

    India has made it clear that it doesn't wish to be a US counterweight to China. But it is also apparent that India's and America's interests regarding China are quite closely aligned: Both parties are looking to steer China on a positive path. India may not be a counterweight, but it could be a strategic partner to the US.

    It's not an exaggeration to say that, for many of the most vexing problems Washington faces, India has become the indispensable nation. Obama's team would be wise not to forget it.

    • Xenia Dormandy is an associate with the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard Kennedy School and a former director for South Asia with the National Security Council. Her views are her own

    http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/0311/p09s01-coop.html
     
  4. shiv

    shiv Regular Member

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    want to ramp up relations......first lift the embargo on those engines for the INS shivalik,then we will talk
     
  5. pyromaniac

    pyromaniac Founding Member

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    Though it's uncertain how US President Barack Obama will impact the Indian outsourcing business, there is one legacy of the erstwhile George W Bush administration that looks set to continue - defense.

    Last week, the Obama administration approved a US$2.1 billion sale to India of eight Boeing Co P-8I maritime patrol aircraft, the biggest US sale to the country to date.

    The long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft for the Indian navy will replace eight aging and fuel-guzzling Russian-origin


    Tupolev-142Ms. (The P-8I was derived from the commercial Boeing 737 airframe.)

    The US State Department said in a statement that it cleared the direct commercial sale having factored in "political, military, economic, human-rights and arms control considerations".

    It said direct arms-trade "offsets" were expected to include engineering services, manufacturing and integrated logistics-support projects of over $641 million.

    Doubts in certain quarters that the Obama administration may review the strategic depth of India-US relations, an important component of which is defense, have been put to rest.

    In 2005 India and the US signed the Defense Framework Agreement under the aegis of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Bush that blueprinted progress to be made in the next 10 years.

    Ever since it is increasingly becoming clear that the American impact on Indian defense will only grow, posing a tough challenge to traditional partners such as France, Britain, Sweden and - in particular - Israel and Russia.

    India's defense modernization plans are estimated to cost over $50 billion in the next few years and will include a mega-fighter jet deal valued at over $11 billion, for which US firms Boeing and Lockheed are bidding alongside several others.

    For the P-8I, Boeing beat several rivals, including EADS Airbus, in the race to win the contract.

    In January 2008, Washington and New Delhi inked what was at the time India's largest US arms purchase: six Lockheed Martin Corp C-130J Super Hercules military transport planes at a price of $1 billion.

    The US's only substantial (and comparatively less in value) arms deal with India in recent years has been the $190 million contract of 2002 to supply 12 AN/TPQ-37 fire finder weapon-locating radars.

    Last year, India purchased an amphibious transport vessel, the USS Trenton (re-christened Jalashwa), for nearly $50 million with six-UH-3H helicopters to operate alongside it, costing another $49 million.

    The Jalashwa is the first-ever warship acquired by the Indian navy from the US and the second-biggest that India now possesses after the aircraft carrier INS Viraat.

    India has also been looking at joint efforts with the US to build a ballistic missile defense (BMD) system, especially in the wake of the November terror attacks in Mumbai and the threat of non-state players and other loose cannons increasingly gaining ground in Pakistan.

    Officials say that Indian intelligence agencies perceive a potent terror threat from the skies. A missile shield would also provide cover against inter-continental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).

    The BMD system features radar and anti-missile missiles, or interceptors, which are able to destroy incoming and possibly nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles, both of which Pakistan and China possess.

    This month, India successfully conducted a third missile intercept test in Orissa, as part of plans to build the BMD system by 2010. The first exo-atmospheric BMD test was conducted in November 2006, followed by an endo-atmospheric test in December 2007.

    Three countries with operational BMD systems, the US (Patriot Advanced Capability-3), Russia (S-300V) and Israel (Arrow-2) have been looking to hawk their know-how to India, which is now looking at a more advanced version of its Star Wars ambitions that seeks to shoot down ICBMs in the 5,000 kilometer range.

    Apart from defense, another Bush legacy that should endure is the recognition of India as a nuclear exception despite not being a signatory of international agreements such as the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

    It has been a slow and arduous path to the removal of the three-and-a-half decade international nuclear trade embargo on India, since the process began in July 2005 when India and the US signed a landmark agreement.

    India is now looking to import at least eight new nuclear reactors by 2012. At least five to seven possible sites for big nuclear power plants are being blueprinted to execute nuclear capacity additions by 2020. Meanwhile, American businesses will put an estimated foreign direct investment of over US$100 billion into India's nuclear power sector over the next decade.

    All of this underlines the fact that Washington will continue to make decisions that obviously benefit American firms, which means that the outsourcing of US work to low-cost countries such as India is likely to suffer.

    Obama's stimulus plans for the US economy make it increasingly difficult for American companies to hire foreigners on temporary skilled worker permits and visas. Washington's protectionist intentions are also making it harder for US companies that send jobs overseas to avail tax benefits, though observers say that cost savings due to outsourcing will keep its appeal alive.

    http://atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/KC24Df04.html
     
  6. Soham

    Soham DFI TEAM Senior Member

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    I see this as a pure dose of flattery.
    I have no idea since when India is America's indispensable ally..

    We have found their opposition at every step, and now that they know that their beloved Pakistan is a heap on uncontrolled extremists, they turn to cozy with us.
     
  7. Soham

    Soham DFI TEAM Senior Member

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  8. johnee

    johnee Elite Member Elite Member

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    well said. infact, even now all they care for is those terrorists that hit their interests. pak still gets its dose of unkil's weapons and $$$.:sad:
     
  9. K Factor

    K Factor A Concerned Indian Senior Member

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    Well it is a fact that US will need India's support/cooperation in a lot of issues.

    1. Afghanistan - Need support from India in A-stan. Americans are seen as a occupation force, and the troops don't understand the local mentality that well. India has had close ties with Afghans, and the Afghans trust India.

    2. Iran - India is one of the rational countries that have a good relation with Iran and can play peace broker/mediator between the America and Iran.

    3. China - With China ramping up its military, and being the fastest growing economy, India can counter-balance China's regional clout to some extent.

    4. Russia - Having traditionally good ties with Russia are of great help as India can play mediator in disputes like the ABM deployment in Poland.
     
  10. johnee

    johnee Elite Member Elite Member

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    but in the process of 'helping', india gains nothing. no US pressure on their ally to stop the proxy-war. india doesnt need that kind of 'imp'.
     
  11. Soham

    Soham DFI TEAM Senior Member

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    1. I agree that we can play a decisive role in A'stan, but Pakistan's cribbing about being surrounded will make sure we don't get the international support to do so.

    2. Yes. Very true, but not important enough for all the flattery.

    3. For this, we need "unconditional" US support. I'm not sure if they are ready to provide that.
     
  12. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    You are absolutely right Soham.
     
  13. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    This might just all be sweet talk to get India to send troops into Afghanistan? No official partnership or alliance has been formalized.
     
  14. K Factor

    K Factor A Concerned Indian Senior Member

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    The point remains that US needs lots of Indian cooperation and support in many issues. Fact remains that it is upto Indian politicians, and foreign policy makers, regarding what and how much they can extract from the US in return.
     
  15. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    India needs to extract the maximum out of USA if Pakistan can extract 50-100 billion over the course of the phantom war on terror than we should be able to extract a lot lot more, USA has no friends they only have interest and if they want help in their interest they have to payout big time, than they probably go back to propping up pakistan against India.
     
  16. johnee

    johnee Elite Member Elite Member

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    not really, the india is 'imp' precisely because we dont extract much. if we try to extract then our 'imp' decreses proportionately.
     
  17. EnlightenedMonk

    EnlightenedMonk Member of The Month JULY 2009 Senior Member

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    Yep, it all depends on the negotiating skills of our politicians... They ought to bargain hard as if everything depended on it...

    They ought to think of it as a "seat sharing discussion" between rivals and they'll get into the proper mood and spirit and should be able to maximise the returns for us... :2guns::2guns::2guns:
     
  18. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Johnee if we don't extract than concessions can be made in other areas such being lax in allowing India to reprocess in the nuclear agreement one good point to start.
     
  19. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    One area they can bargain is the nuclear agreement allowing reprocessing to start.
     
  20. K Factor

    K Factor A Concerned Indian Senior Member

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    Exactly the point I was trying to make. :)

    Lol, so true mate. :D
     
  21. EnlightenedMonk

    EnlightenedMonk Member of The Month JULY 2009 Senior Member

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    Easier than that at this stage would be a permanent seat... Lets get the Permanent Seat first... and, after a few years we can start tantrums about reprocessing...

    Anyways, Obama is unlikely to yield on reprocessing so no use throwing tantrums now... for now, lets ask for that Permanent Seat and after we get it, we can move onto reprocessing...
     

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