India will Charter Its Own Path Others Can Keep Trumpeting
Colonel Awadhesh Kumar
It Seems that the Western Media has still not been able to understand the Indian Mind. The majority of Indians are not influenced by newspapers called The New York Times or magazines named Time. And certainly not the prime decision maker at present ….Shri Narendra Modi.
In spite of this the English media in India is full of articles trying to motivate the Indian decision makers to turn pro USA, especially for purchase of latest weaponry for the Indian defence forces.
Trump, the American President has gone so far ahead as to threaten India with several defence, oil-related and trade measures. These are going to be detrimental to India’s interests.
The USA has terminated the US Generalised System of Preferences, which allows India to export some goods to the US under a reduced or zero-tariff regime. So Indian exports of these goods to the US will now cost more thus potentially reducing the quantum of exports.
Washington is also trying to coerce India into terminating its oil imports from Iran and Venezuela, thus increasing its energy import costs. Trump has already taken action against Turkey and may be foolish enough to try these against India also. However The new Government of India too will employ all of experience and diplomatic skills to silence such trumping against India, that is for sure.
India is not bound to any one military supplier or its military systems, and has been diversifying Its military imports from Russia, the US, France and Israel, among other sources, apart from concentrating on MAKE IN INDIA.
Over a period due to technical reasons, India has increased certain kind of purchases from USA. However it will be naïve for any one to think that we are moving away from the Russians or the French or the Israelis. Also no amount of cajoling or threat will make India purchase inferior quality systems like F16 fighters or Patriot missiles.
Reports published in newspapers say that India is taking action to acquire the National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System-2 (NASAMS-2) from the United States.
This system is to be made part of the air defence shield for protection of New Delhi and later on other major Indian cities. The American system will be integrated into an overall, multi-layered, defence anti-missile network that will eventually include indigenous, Israeli and Russian systems.
However it is not understood as to why India should be doing this kind of thing. The indigenous Akash system together with Israeli systems is quite robust for point defence whereas the Russian S400 together with the soon to be inducted Prithvi based PAD system should be a very reliable for Area Defence against any incoming missiles.
So why add another layer of missiles sourced from yet another country and thus make the integration that much more difficult. It certainly cannot be to placate Mr Trump.
India’s decision to purchase Russia’s S-400 missile systems will not be revoked in spite of The US’s ’Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act’.
Washington can go ahead and impose sanctions. The threat itself shows that USA has no concern for India. So then why should not India reciprocate the sentiments.
Russia, on the other hand, has been a all weather friend even when Nixon had dispatched USS ENTERPRISE with a flotilla to coerce India in 1971. Russia has not only leased nuclear powered SSGNs to India but has also helped design its SSBNs.
So such threats do not bother India. Mr Modi will ensure that India has complete control over platforms / systems purchased from suppliers, after all we are paying the money as buyers. So no merchant of whatever variety he is can force us for anything. China is increasingly extending an olive branch for all to see.