What the Singh-Obama meet achieved

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by happy, Sep 28, 2013.

  1. happy

    happy Senior Member Senior Member

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    Hours before his sit-down with Obama, Singh’s challenger within his own party, Rahul Gandhi, embarrassed the prime minister by hitting out at a controversial ordinance aimed at protecting convicted lawmakers. Gandhi rubbished the ordinance passed by the Cabinet as “nonsense,” creating a predictable media titter.

    Singh ignored the brouhaha back home and got down to serious business with Obama. He swept aside India’s skittishness about being identified as a US ally. Both sides have used euphemisms like “natural partners” to get around becoming formal treaty allies. But on Friday they came right out and said they ”share common security interests and place each other at the same level as their closest partners.”

    Co-development of weapon systems

    Both China and Pakistan are likely to sit up and take note that the two sides produced a Joint Declaration on Defence Cooperation, separate from the Joint Statement, to codify and announce their defence relationship.

    Expanding on the 2005 Framework Agreement which first initiated the military relationship, the two sides said the principle of treating each other as “closest partners” will apply with respect to defence technology transfer, trade, research, co-development and co-production for defence articles, and services, ”including the most advanced and sophisticated technology.”

    The declaration said the US supports India’s membership in the four international export control regimes, which would further boost technology sharing.

    “The two sides look forward to the identification of specific opportunities for cooperative and collaborative projects in advanced defence technologies and systems, within the next year,” said the Joint Declaration on Defence Cooperation.

    The US has sold close to $8 billion worth of arms to India in the last five years. “This is the new frontier of Indo-US relations,” said Nirupama Rao, India’s ambassador to Washington. “And it is a very promising one at that.”

    Fighting terrorism together

    America’s military drawdown in Afghanistan has upset the balance in the region. India is concerned that once US troops pull out of Afghanistan by 2014 a resurgent Taliban will allow Afghanistan to become a haven for Islamic jihadists obsessed with Kashmir. Without the American security umbrella Afghanistan could revert to the kind of chaos that beset it in the mid-1990s from which the Taliban grew all-powerful.

    “We both have a shared interest in making sure that Afghanistan continues on its path to a peaceful democratic country,” Obama said in an effort to reassure India.

    Singh said he told the president of the difficulties he faces, given that the “epicenter of terrors still remains focused in Pakistan.”

    Both leaders called for Pakistan to work toward bringing the perpetrators of the November 2008 Mumbai attacks to justice.

    “The leaders decided to significantly expand information sharing and intelligence cooperation to address threats to their respective nations including strengthening the bilateral relationship to exchange information on known and suspected terrorists,” said the joint statement.

    They also looked at the importance of exchanges on megacity policing strategies and anti-counterfeiting efforts. America has been successful in using the advanced XPAK bomb detection system in Iraq and Afghanistan, to quickly detect trace levels of conventional high-explosives, including TNT, DNT, Tetryl, RDX, C-4, PE-4, PETN, Semtex and nitroglycerin. India may be interested in the latest American bomb detection devices for smashing clandestine terrorist bomb-making facilities.

    Good news for Indians travellers to US

    India welcomed the US offer of membership in the US “Global Entry” Trusted Traveler Network Program. This is a US border protection program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers. Though intended for frequent international travelers, there is no minimum number of trips required to qualify for the program.

    Participants can enter the US by using automated kiosks located at airports. This is a big break for Indian travelers as the program is currently open only to US citizens, Netherlands residents, and Mexican and Canadian citizens.

    Nuclear thaw: Westinghouse and NPCIL sign pact

    A big idea unfulfilled can lead to disillusionment as with the two countries’ civil nuclear deal, so both governments are trying to create an impression of progress. Casting a positive light on possibilities for the future, Obama said that in the last few days, the first commercial agreement has been reached between a US company and India on civilian nuclear power. He was alluding to a pre-early works agreement between Westinghouse and Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL).

    For several years, Westinghouse has been in talks with state-run NPCIL that would pave the way for construction of an AP-1000 nuclear power plant in Gujarat. Westinghouse even signed a memorandum of understanding with NPCIL in June last year to work towards a contract for preliminary licensing and site development in Gujarat.

    The preliminary deal with Westinghouse does not involve putting in place nuclear equipment, so will not brush up against the liability issue, Indian officials said. A preliminary contract between Westinghouse and NPCIL would be limited in scope to site assessments.

    A final contract will still take years as both sides still have to resolve the problem that has dogged nuclear negotiations: India’s 2010 Nuclear Liability Act that hands American companies large financial liabilities in the event of an accident.

    Toning down expectations from Sharif meeting

    Obama praised Singh for his “consistent interest in improving cooperation” between India and Pakistan. Singh and Pakistan Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, are expected to meet in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly on Sunday. Singh said he was looking forward to his meeting with Sharif, but recalibrated expectations.

    “The expectations have to be toned down given the terror arm which is still active in our subcontinent,” Singh said.

    The Bharatiya Janata Party has adopted the position that there is no point talking to Sharif if he is unable to prevent attacks like this week’s twin assault in Kashmir by suspected Pakistan-based militants.

    Before Singh’s comments, Sharif addressing the United Nations General Assembly on Friday said he is looking forward to meeting the Indian prime minister to “make a new beginning” in the relationship. Aware of the Indian outcry against Sunday’s talks, Sharif painted Pakistan as a fellow-victim of terrorism.

    “We have lost 40,000 precious lives of men, women and children, which include 8,000 defence and security personnel. There have been colossal damages to social and physical infrastructure as well. Our economy has been denied the opportunity to grow fully,” said Sharif. “This must change now.”

    Sharif then talked of the resources Pakistan and India had wasted in an arms race mostly directed at each other.

    “We stand ready to re-engage with India in a substantive and purposeful dialogue. I am looking forward to meeting Prime Minister Singh here in New York to make a new beginning,” said Sharif.

    “We have a solid basis to do that. We can build on the Lahore Accord signed in 1999, which contained a road map for the resolution of our differences through peaceful negotiations,” he added. The composite dialogue, which has made uneven progress since it was launched in 2004, has added more train and bus links but has been in a long hiatus since the 2008 Mumbai attacks and cross-border terrorism.

    Sharif is likely to keep pushing the Kashmir issue onto any talk’s agenda. On Friday, he pressed the UN to work towards the implementation of the right of self-determination in Kashmir.

    Read more at: Pakistan, defence, nuclear power: What the Singh-Obama meet achieved | Firstpost
     
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  3. jmj_overlord

    jmj_overlord Regular Member

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    what about the defence deals ? will there be any positive results regarding them in this meet ?
     
  4. Neil

    Neil Senior Member Senior Member

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    India, US to identify joint defence projects


    Describing defence relationship as a major pillar of India-US strategic partnership the two countries have agreed to identify specific cooperative and collaborative projects in advanced defence technologies and systems, within the next year.

    The intent to pursue such collaboration as part of efforts “to work toward achieving the full vision of expanded defence cooperation set forth in the 2005 New Framework Agreement,” was announced after Friday’s summit between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Barack Obama.

    “Such opportunities will be pursued by both sides in accordance with their national policies and procedures, in a manner that would reflect the full potential of the relationship,” said a US-India Joint Declaration on Defence

    Cooperation issued after the summit.

    Noting that India-US “defence cooperation and engagement has increased significantly over the past decade, in step with the overall deepening of India-US relations,” the two leaders endorsed several general principles for fulfilling the 2005 vision.

    Topping the list was the principle that the US and India “share common security interests and place each other at the same level as their closest partners.”

    “This principle will apply with respect to defence technology transfer, trade, research, co-development and co-production for defence articles and services, including the most advanced and sophisticated technology,” the declaration said.

    Even as the two countries are committed to protecting each other’s sensitive technology and information, “they will work to improve licensing processes, and, where applicable, follow expedited license approval processes to facilitate this cooperation.”

    The US “continues to fully support India’s full membership in the four international export control regimes, which would further facilitate technology sharing,” the declaration said.

    The two sides also agreed to “continue their efforts to strengthen mutual understanding of their respective procurement systems and approval processes, and to address process-related difficulties in defence trade, technology transfer, and collaboration.”

    A separate factsheet issued by the White House said “both governments are committed to reduce impediments, ease commercial transactions, and pursue co-production and co-development opportunities to expand this relationship.”

    Since launch of Commerce department’s High Technology Cooperation Group in 2002, US strategic trade exports have increased significantly, exceeding $5.8 billion in 2012, it said noting only 0.02 percent of US exports to India require a license today, compared with 24 percent in 1999.

    India-US defence trade has reached nearly $9 billion and US-sourced defence articles have enhanced the capabilities of the Indian armed forces, demonstrated by the use of C-130J and C-17 transport aircraft to support flood relief operations and Indian peacekeeping operations, the declaration said.

    “US companies look forward to concluding additional transactions to bring new capabilities to India’s services in the near future,” it said noting “India is also the first nation to deploy the P8-I Poseidon, a state of the art maritime surveillance aircraft.”

    “US and Indian services participate in a range of bilateral exercises, including: “Malabar, “Yudh Abhyas”, and “Red Flag”.

    India has also accepted an invitation to participate in the 2014 Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC) in Hawaii, a multilateral exercise that is expected to involve nearly two dozen nations.

    The US and India also discussed joint principles for bilateral cooperation on training peacekeepers and plan to conclude a memorandum of understanding between the US Army Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute and the

    Centre for United Nations Peacekeeping India.

    For six decades, India has been among the largest troop contributors to peacekeeping missions around the globe, and the US remains the largest financial supporter of UN peacekeeping, the Fact Sheet noted.

    India, US to identify joint defence projects | idrw.org
     
  5. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    Barely mentioned in US press and I saw no TV news coverage.
     
  6. aerokan

    aerokan Regular Member

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    First after US or simply the first nation? Is P8-I Poseidon stripped down version or fully equipped as to how the US would use?
     
  7. Neil

    Neil Senior Member Senior Member

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    first export customer...

    yup. kind of. but whatever was stripped down has been replaced by Indian made. but as a whole system obviously US keeps certain sensitive goodies to itself ... its standard all over.
     
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  8. jmj_overlord

    jmj_overlord Regular Member

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    any news on apache deal ? is it fixed ?
     
  9. prohumanity

    prohumanity Regular Member

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    Today, on Sept27,2013, watching ManMohan Singh talking in Gen assembly of United Nations was a pleasant surprise. He spoke like a singh (lion) his true coor could be seen when he asserted ("J&K is an integral part of India and not negotiable...Pakistan is the epicenter of terrorism...unless state sponsored terrorism is stopped..talk can not be fruitful and so on") Singh sounded like Vajpai...I had to rub my eyes to believe it.
    As for Pakistan, Pak is becoming a BOTTOMLESS PIT OF FINANCIAL NEEDS....any major power who wants to use it,
    will ,now have to keep throwing a lot of money to keep this bottomless pit afloat and thus, it will be harder to use its "military for hire" to cause problems for its neighbors. China has no financial means or desire to use Paki mily, Putin's Russia is blunt and forthright, USA is truly "confused" as it is stuck between rock and a hard place..(can't be friends with Taliban's again...suffered a lot due to this blunder in the past) and pak mily can not balance a united front of Russia,China,India and Iran. Why will US make so many big adversaries,,,,for the old time, lovely little poodle called Paki Mily. Suffering and poverty will open eyes of average Pakistani and make him/her realize that "India Hate" has caused too much pain and agony. Hopefully, they would like to discard proxy wars and support for terrorism and become good citizens of the World. Folks ! A multipolar, more democratic World is on the horizon...sooner than you think.
     

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