New Delhi, 15
continuation of our report on the Joint Statement of the Indo-US
Defence Policy Group (DPG), made by Mr Ajay Prasad and Douglas Feith
in Washington DC over the weekend, we present below a view from USA.
Indian members of the DPG listed below are a powerful team involved
in formulating the Defence Policy and Plans. The Indian media does
not appear to have been told much, but the article below gives us a
US perspective. The strengthening of defence ties between the two
countries ‘is seen by defence experts as the inception of an Asian
Prasad, Defence Secretary
Prasad Rao, Chief Controller, DRDO
Issar, Additional Secretary Defence
Prasad, MEA Representative
Mukhopadhya, Jt Secretary Defence
Adm Ajit Tewari, Naval Headquarters
Gen Dev Raj Singh, Army HQ
Gen DH Sunnerwal, Army HQ
Vice Marshal BN Gokhale, Air Headquarters
Security relations are at a crossroads and this seems to worry the
Russians. There are subtle indicators through media articles, not
to trust the Americans but only Russians who have stood by
India for several years. Pioneer had a nice long piece and a seminar
organised by Russian companies tried to convey the same
message that Russia was India's largest Defence supplier
and could be trusted. The SU 30 MKI deal is worth $3 billion and if
aircraft carrier Gorshkov goes through as many say it will, for around
$600 million, possibly when PM Vajpayee visits Russia later
this year, then Russia will continue to be the largest Defence
supplier to India for some years. SMERCH batteries are also on the
USA is definitely looking for a piece of the Indian Defence pie and
Israel and South Africa are the new kids on the block. For various
reasons the $1.3b deal for 66 AJT Hawk-115s from UK is not moving
forward or is it?
are interesting times for India as the Chinese who intruded into
Arunachal Pradesh may say and HT had a nice center-piece this week
explaining how George Fernandes as a firebrand Socialist had turfed
out Coca Cola and IBM, and now Indian Defence is cosying up to USA.
The Defence Minister's personal views on this matter and commitment
will be crucial and maybe now he will have to embrace
capitalism, as socialism has not able to eradicate India's poverty,
but liberalisation is doing it.
must play its cards well with both Russia and USA and the next
generation will be the gainers. We offer these thoughts on India's
56th Independence Day as we celebrate the beginning of our FOURTH
year on the net. Thank you visitors. JAI HIND.
DEFENSE POLICY AT CROSSROADS
(Talon News) –– The India–U.S. Defense Policy Group (DPG) met
in Washington last week in what was the fifth meeting of the DPG and
the third meeting since December 2001. New proposals were exchanged
to develop a defense technology relationship to include production,
research and development and if possible, joint development.
sides noted successful joint military training exercises held in the
past and agreed to hold larger and more sophisticated exercises in
the future. The strengthening ties between the two countries are
thought by defense experts to signal the inception of an "Asian
NATO" which could drastically alter the balance of power in
the Indian side, the DPG was headed by Defense Secretary Shri Ajay
Prasad and from the U.S. side by the Under Secretary of Defense for
Policy Douglas Feith. In addition to the meeting of the DPG, Mr.
Ajay Prasad also called on the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State
Richard Armitage and General Richard Myers, Chairman of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld also dropped
in at the meeting of the DPG where he spoke of the strategic
significance of India and the value of closer India–U.S. defense
a military perspective, the United States and India are already, for
all intents and purposes, allies and both share a strong military
relationship with Israel. The Bush administration has already given
its approval for Israel to sell India three Phalcon Airborne Warning
and Control Systems aircraft. It is also expected that approval for
the sale of the Israeli Arrow-2 anti-missile system, jointly
developed by Israel and the United States, will soon follow.
combined technologies would strengthen India's defenses against
possible missile attacks from Pakistan or China. The sale of Israeli
military technology to India would also mark a shift away from
India's dependence on Russian military technology. Currently Russia
provides around 70 percent of India's weapons imports.
H. Dehejia, Associate Professor of Economics and International
Affairs at Carleton University in Ottawa, stated in a recent Front
Page Magazine article, "It is time for principle to trump
expediency, and for India to come out of the closet, and declare
itself publicly, and at the highest level, an ally of the United
States and Israel, and fully join the ranks of the international
coalition of the willing, fighting the good fight against global
from the strategic and security advantages to be gained through such
an arrangement, there is a strong moral argument to be made for the
natural alliance of democratic and peace-loving states, who wish to
be assured of the security of their borders, which are threatened by
rogue states, and that of their own citizens, who are threatened by
international, mainly Islamic, terrorists," said Dehejia.
"Such an alliance could rightly be dubbed an 'axis of good,' a
salutary and beneficial counterbalance to one or more axes of evil
that today imperil global peace and prosperity."
development of a strategic India–U.S. military relationship would
also express India's rising continental Asian status as a great
power with interests and capabilities across the continent instead
of being seen as merely a regional leader. This is an issue that
both Indian and foreign observers have labeled as a prerequisite for
a full partnership with the United States.