Delhi, 05 October 2002
Bush is hell bent to attack Iraq under his doctrine of ‘pre-emptive strikes. Indian Finance Minister Jaswant Singh during his recent visit to US has said that every country should be able to use pre-emptive strikes as an inherent part of its right to self-defence and it must not remain the prerogative of any one nation. "Pre-emption or prevention is inherent in deterrence. Where there is deterrence there is pre-emption. The same thing is there in Article 51 of the UN Charter, which calls it 'the right of self-defence. Jaswant Singh met US Secretary of State Colin Powell and Director of Policy Planning Richard Haass and discussed the evolving situation in Iraq and the Middle East with the US leaders at length. The minister said he was convinced that the US seeks a strategic partnership with India and pointed out that this was the message US President George W Bush conveyed to Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee when they met in New York during the UN General Assembly’s Annual Session early Sep.
have repeatedly indicated on this site in more than one article that compared to Pakistan, the Indian Armed Forces remain somewhat lulled as far as their nuclear capability is concerned. This could be because the National Security Adviser has enunciated a policy of NO FIRST USE and the three services are vying for control of their own nuclear force. On the other hand Pakistan would appear to be more nuclear ready as they have a ready to attack policy. It is in this context that last week’s statement by Lt Gen Pankaj Joshi, CIDS that India’s nuclear deterrent is not for mere show and the country as well armed forces are quite capable and ready to use it, should a need arise, is most welcome. We also take note of the Air Chief’s disclosure that a Tiger Force of Commandos is being raised to defend airbases which could well be a precursor of the formation of a Strategic Air Command, possible custodian of nuclear deterrent, one of the triad.
a speculated scenario, should India attack Pakistan with some
potency as opposed to some cross border attacks on Terrorist
Training Camps, the situation could well turn into a war. If India
covets some Pakistani soil it is quite possible Pakistan will try to
retaliate in the Kutch region and attempt to gain advantage. If the
Pakistani army does not succeed then there could be desperation and
as predicated in exercises, President Musharraf with nothing to lose
could well attempt to unleash a nuclear counter attack. It is with
this in view that India is attempting to build its own Ballistic
Missile Defence and has asked Israel to consider supplying the Arrow
Missile System to mesh it with the Green Pine radar, Rajendra, Air
Force ADGES and a command system. The Arrow has Raytheon patents and
is a joint Israeli-US project, which will require that USA clears
its sale. (See ‘India and the Arrow’ in "Whats Hot")
is therefore, interesting that Ilan Berman, vice-president for
policy at the American Foreign Policy Council in Washington, DC has
written a piece in Jerusalem Post of Sep. 28, 2002, which recommends
that USA must clear the sale. The piece is posted below:
India Have the Arrow Too"
Ilan Berman, Jerusalem Post 28 Sep 02
another war in Iraq seems to approach, Israelis can feel
considerably more secure from missile attack than they did in 1991,
when 39 Iraqi Scuds landed in Israel. The reason is the substantial
improvement in Israeli missile defenses, an improvement that other
nations understandably are seeking for themselves. Among the first
in line interested in Israel's Arrow Theater Missil Defense system
is, not surprisingly, India. Though the debate over whether to allow
the purchase to go forward has not been given much attention, it
could have momentous consequences for both American missile defense
plans and US strategy in South Asia. The debate first surfaced this
July, when the Indian government citing ongoing tensions with
neighboring Pakistan publicly floated a request to Jerusalem for the
has good reason for its interest. Pakistan, thanks to Chinese and
North Korean assistance, is fast emerging as a major missile power.
According to recent reports, Islamabad's "Shaheen-3"
rocket, touted as one of the world's most advanced missile systems,
is about to enter testing by the country's armed forces. And in
recent months, as tensions with India have escalated, Pakistan has
conducted high-profile tests of its "Hatf-III" short-range
and "Ghauri" nuclear-capable medium-range missile in an
unmistakable signal to its regional rival.
New Delhi, the lack of any comprehensive protection against
Islamabad's burgeoning arsenal has made missile defense a top
priority. Just days before stepping down, outgoing Defense Secretary
Yogendra Narain publicly outlined his government's plans for a
"sharp and visible" acceleration of anti-missile efforts.
Domestically, this has taken the form of an ambitious program to
develop indigenous defenses. And internationally, India has
initiated a serious dialogue with its newest strategic partner
–– Israel. The centerpiece of these discussions is New Delhi's
acquisition of the Arrow, the world's only operational, fielded
theater missile defense system.
the proposed sale of the Arrow is politically contentious. The
system, jointly developed by Israel with the United States, requires
American approval for export to third countries. Pentagon planners,
who view India as a critical component in Washington's planned
international missile defense architecture, are pushing hard for the
sale. Foggy Bottom, however, has other ideas. The State Department
is concerned that a green light for the sale could ratchet up
tensions between New Delhi and Islamabad, and might encourage a
South Asian arms race. So US diplomats are now lobbying New Delhi to
drop its bid to acquire the system. So far, the White House appears
undecided on the Arrow issue. But Washington's wavering could turn
out to have far-reaching consequences.
one thing, other missile defense suitors like Russia are waiting in
the wings. Russian President Vladimir Putin's upcoming December trip
to India is expected to entail a major effort to expand the military
relationship between Moscow and New Delhi. On the agenda are
proposals for the construction of an integrated national
architecture for India based
around Russia's S-300VM air-defense system. Such a development could
decisively take India off the table as an American missile defense
ally. Even more significantly, Indian officials are increasingly
making clear that they view the Arrow issue as a barometer of the
emerging strategic relationship between Washington and New Delhi. As
one Indian policymaker recently put it to the Far Eastern Economic
Review, "What does this new relationship consist of if the US
does not deliver in areas of interest to India?"
good question with important ramifications for the USA. Approval of
the Arrow sale could put New Delhi squarely in Washington's corner,
not only on missile defense, but on larger regional security issues
as well. In addition, arming India with the Arrow given New Delhi's
deepening ties with Jerusalem, could mark the start of just the
international missile defense architecture that the Pentagon is
hoping for. A perceived American ambivalence to Indian defense
needs, on the other hand, could torpedo hopes for a warmer strategic
relationship, much to the detriment of US plans in the Asia-Pacific.
It might also strike a serious blow to the Bush administration's
long-term plans for a layered global missile shield. For President
Bush, arming India with the Arrow would go a long way toward making
his campaign pledge to protect the US and its allies from ballistic
missile attack a reality. With so much at stake, the decision should
be an easy one.