LEMOA — A most serious strategic mistake, and Consequences

India has signed the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) with the United States, with Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and Defence Secretary Ashton Carter doing the formalities in Washington. It is, perhaps, the most serious strategic mistake made by the country in its nearly seven decades of independent existence.

The text of the accord has not been made public and is unlikely to be at the request of the Narendra Modi government lest public scrutiny raise a political storm at home, providing ready ammunition to the opposition parties. The two countries, courtesy LEMOA, will use each other’s naval and air bases and facilities, it is said. But because the Indian Navy and and the Indian Air Force rarely stretch their reach beyond the Indian Ocean region in the one case and the western border with Pakistan in the other case, it is mostly the US military that will be reaping the benefits. Indian basing will permit deployed American forces to pull longer, more sustained naval and air operations in the extended region to realize US policy goals.

As repeatedly warned in my writings since Manmohan Singh first signed the deal with George W Bush in July 2005 and in my recent book, ‘Why India is Not a Great Power (Yet)’, there WILL be a heavy foreign and military cost for this loss of strategic autonomy. India’s stepping firmly into a treaty ally role of the US in all but name will mean several things:

1) Russia will necessarily begin distancing itself from India; the military supply relationship will become more attenuated. There will be no incentive for Moscow to treat India and the Indian armed forces as other than a cash-cow. The warmth will be gone but, as likely, so will valued Russian platforms like the Akula-II SSN, which will be withdrawn. Depending upon just how intimate the Indo-US embrace is, it’d be foolish for Moscow to risk Indians handling cutting edge weapons platforms such as the Akula when there’s every likelihood US naval personnel will be able to go over the boat with a fine tooth comb. As it is, Russians have always derated the most advanced Russian equipment before transferring/selling them to India by about 33%. This has been standard Russian practice to minimize the risk of technology theft not so much by Indians as by India’s “friends”.

2) Indian foreign and military policy will have to reorient itself to US policy likes and dislikes. This will strain traditional friendships with Russia and, in the region, Iran, Washington’s current bogey No. 1. So the development of the Chahbahar option as an alternative Indian land route to Central Asia through Afghanistan and to Europe (through Russia’s Northern Distribution Network) will suffer. As will India’s understanding with Tehran about using Chahbahar as naval base and the northeastern Iranian bases for staging IAF attack sorties to augment the Ainee air basing. India’s geostrategic imperatives will thus hit a brick wall. India’s fine balancing act in the Muslim world between the sunnis led by the Saudis and the shia by Tehran will fall down, as the US will insist that New Delhi put its weight on the sunni side of the scale, which will roil domestic politics and internal security.

3) With the special relationship with Russia receding, Moscow will have no compunction not to join up in the China-Pakistan nexus to form a formidable strategic triad as counterweight to the India-US tandem and, in the tactical sense, to cultivate Islamabad and the Pakistan military as its outpost of influence in South Asia and by way if retaining at least negative leverage with India. We can now expect that the Pakistan Air Force will begin to access superior versions of the Su-30, etc., and depending on the run of the play, even SSNs for Pak Navy on lease.

4) The treaty ally status that India had scrupulously avoided all this time — even after signing the Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation with the Soviet Union in Aug 1971, Indira Gandhi resisted President Leonid Brezhnev’s efforts in subsequent years to make this treaty the cornerstone of a Soviet Union-led pan-Asia collective security system — far from preventing, will make it easier for Washington to access India’s sensitive strategic programmes (Agni missile, SSBN, nuclear weapons cell at BARC, etc) and seek to undermine them by offering the usual inducements they offer to most Indians they want to co-opt — green cards, subsidy for children’s education the form of “scholarships”, positions in the US industry, thinktanks, and similar setups, as a means of increasing India’s strategic reliance on the US. Already completely penetrated at the highest levels, MEA and other ministries of the Indian government will soon act as extensions or camp offices of their principal counterpart Departments in Washington.

This is a mere stating of the time tested and proven US modus operandi that has worked elsewhere in the world.

5) But to reiterate the most problematic issue brought up in my earlier posts: LEMOA has within it an embryo the seed of enormous social disruption that the govt has simply not paid heed to — as it has not done to the strategic fallout of getting too close to the US: American military personnel posted in Indian facilities and bases, or on R&R, as is their wont, be socializing all over the place, As has happened elsewhere in Asia — in the Philippines, Okinawa, etc, a whole economy to service the military personnel will spring up, with an unending supply of “booze, drugs, and broads”, the latter procured from the countryside, as happened when the US military was in Vietnam, scarring an entire society for a generation and more. There will be lots children fathered by these often unruly high-spirited American soldiers and a host of attendant problems that the Indian govt and society are unprepared to deal with. The young US officer cadre types will frequent slick watering holes in big cities, take to squiring upper middle class women and leaving them in the same desperate straits as the women servicing the American troops at the lower social end. And there’ll be a surge in the drug traffic that will soon involve ever larger circles of impressionable Indian youth. If you think “udta Punjab” is bad, think “udta Hindustan”. This has been the inevitable pattern wherever there’s US military presence.

How will RSS react? What will RSS make of the social earthquake with massive corrupting of social values and family norms that’s going to come? And to think, one of its own — Pracharak Narendra bhai — triggered this social turmoil with his mindless policy!! Can there be a starker irony?

6) The social interaction between firangi troops and Indian women has all the makings of severe soceital disruption, of course. But it will also bring in its train some very harsh legal problems. For instance, under what jurisdiction will fall the illegal behaviour of US troops? Would American personnel be subjected to Indian laws, if so with what effect on the larger bilateral relations? Because the one thing Washington has always done is sought a different legal dispensation for its citizens. This is a sovereignty issue.

7) The above law & order sovereignty issues will be compounded by the far more significant sovereignty problems seeded by US military personnel guarding sensitive US military stores on portions of Indian air and naval bases sequestered for American use, hence, under nominal US jurisdiction. How’s this acceptable, and how does this mesh with the notion of absolute Indian sovereignty. Did anybody in MEA, in the entire Indian govt, consider such issues before falling behind the PMO’s mindless acceptance of LEMOA, with CISMOA and BECA to soon follow???

8) Whatever the level of intimacy, Washington will NOT tolerate resumption of Indian N-testing, so India will remain stuck between and betwixt, thermonukes-wise. Except now, any slightest move towards testing will be known to the US govt, which will move into snuff it out.

9) And finally the loss of diplomatic and foreign policy leverage is inherent in the situation of loss of autonomy. Balancing power is still the prime motivation of international relations. Power is fungible and always in flux. But balancing as between the various power nodes is what consequential countries do. With LEMOA, India has lost that latitude of foreign policy movement while gaining very little in return. India will still not be able to lay its hands on remotely advanced technology — it can have all the F-16s (and similar obsolete armaments) it wants, even produce them here — to give “Make in India” a regressive twist.

Balancing China, or dealing effectively with this country, India’s main rival in Asia, does not require India to surrender it sovereignty to, or side institutionally with the US. Maximum leverage is derived from maintaining equidistance. This is as an old foreign policy axiom, as old as Suntze and Chanakya, or as relevant as Britain’s ‘continental strategy’ from Marlborough’s time of preventing a dominant power to arise in Europe. All this maneuvring space is now lost to India.

Welcome to the 21st Century AMERINDIA — more American, less Indian. What of an independent-minded, independently acting, India? Forget it.

About Bharat Karnad

Senior Fellow in National Security Studies at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi, he was Member of the (1st) National Security Advisory Board and the Nuclear Doctrine-drafting Group, and author, among other books of, 'Nuclear Weapons and Indian Security: The Realist Foundations of Strategy', 'India's Nuclear Policy' and most recently, 'Why India is Not a Great Power (Yet)'. Educated at the University of California (undergrad and grad), he was Visiting Scholar at Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, the Shanghai Institutes of International Studies, and Henry L. Stimson Center, Washington, DC.
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45 Responses to LEMOA — A most serious strategic mistake, and Consequences

  1. Pratap says:

    Dear Bharat ,

    News reports mention that there shall be no sharing of bases. And that logistics sharing needs to be approved on a case by case basis.
    If this is true,does this have any serious negative impact?
    Does the country also have the option of walking out of the treaty if it wishes in the future?

    • It seems as in many previous occasions India was yet again undermined by myopic leadership and berated interests.

      The text should be made public immediately. I am sure there is possibility of course correction. There always is.

      One hopes there is no automatic base sharing clause. A case by case logistics sharing agreement text which is general, nonbinding & benign enough to be signed between Russia & India, Japan & India etc from perspective of exercises and disaster relief and not for actual troupe basing or logistics during hostilities may still be palatable.

      India’s leadership should be more concerned about supllying it’s NE via Bangladesh and military treaties with in the subcontinent.

      • Painful read.

        http://www.forbes.com/sites/charlestiefer/2016/08/28/china-and-pakistan-beware-this-week-india-and-us-sign-major-war-pact/#640fe20a64e1

        The deal is the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA), a foundational agreement for India and the U.S.. In this instance, the agreement provides for each to use the other globally for supplies, spare parts, services and refueling. Effectively, U.S. armed forces can operate out of Indian bases, and vice versa, on a simple basis.

        For the U.S., this is one part of the much larger “pivot” to Asia intended by President Obama to meet a rising China. The U.S. Navy plans to deploy 60 percent of its surface ships in the Indo-Pacific in the near future. Instead of having to build facilities virtually from the ground up, as in Afghanistan and Iraq, the U.S. has the benefit of simple arrangements for the tremendous Indian facilities.

    • That will be departing too much from the standard LSA and is not likely.

  2. Edelbert Badwar says:

    Your are 100 percent right.In one sentence “We are going the Fillipino way”.

    • S3 says:

      Even worse than that.

      The Philippines right now has a president who cut his teeth as mayor of one of the most violent cities in the world, and managed to bring law and order by any means necessary.

      Modi, contrariwise, was chief minister of the most industrially advanced state in the country. He is the tea-seller with a silver spoon. And like everybody else with a silver spoon, he is intent upon throwing the silver away.

  3. mayura says:

    This is the biggest strategic blunder committed by Modi and his government thus far. Very disappointed and hope there are some provisions that enabled India to walk out if there is anything detrimental to its interests. Hope these provisions are built into the treaty.

  4. Punjabi Sardar says:

    Use troops will also be encouraged to commit crimes to cause scandal, which can be used by congress.

    Why they’re so retarded (Modi)?

  5. Vivek says:

    what about 2001 Sino-Russian Treaty of Friendship ? Article 9 of the treaty is seen as an implicit defense pact between two. As this Treaty is in force already , i doubt any Russian help in case china attacks india.

    • KsytriaKhalsa says:

      Well that’s argument for this signing. We have to remember that Kennedy did want to help us in nukes & USSR stayed out till 71 & then sold overpriced crap effectively killing indigenous industry.

      Same time it was also involved in encouraging attack on Akal Takht.

      Nobody is our friend, Russian Tsar wanted to invade us in time of Napoleon.

      We need to develop indigenous capability but I think our leadership is too sensitive ; ie they care more about short term stability & electioneering as we don’t have luxury of autocrat for at least 2-3 decades.

      Especially in nuclear front, international supply would help us & nuclear energy is only way forward. Just finished Upside Down Book on Nuclear Energy highly suggest it to understand that angle.

      I think ultimately this will be of little consequence but is obviously unpreferred.

      BJP, Inc even Indian Republic is irrelevant in longer term Bharat Varsh will outlast them all.

      Vaheguru has given us Gurus & Devas, much more than just that actually.


      Russia is in no position to help us anyway & I think we’ll have to put up with US while we build ip capability for next 15 years. India is too big to stop in my opinion,

      • Kya says:

        Said by a typical sardar traitor.

        Quote ” Brahmins of central India considered that the country of the five rivers is contemptible because there “a bahika or Punjabi born as a Brahmin becomes afterwards a Kshatriya, a Vaishya or Sudra eventually a barber (Crooke, 1999 ).

        —–**************************(**

        the upa govt.was the most corrupt givernment in indian history and all corruption was due to corrupt mm singh who favoured american agents as his payback to them for installing unelectable mmsingh as pm.
        Nuke deal was his trophy to america .for nuke deal he favoyred giving bribes to mps.
        Congress and sonia gandhi did not want nuke deal but mm singh wanted it badly to impress his freind the despucable war cri.inal bush two.
        Mmsongh must be tried for high treason and .must be publicly shot dead.

      • Kya says:

        Punjabi mafia destroyed Hindi film ( by vulgar dualogue undecipherable songs and vulgar acting besides nepotism of kappor, mehra ,khannas, chopras etc) , indian culture and indian defence.
        Mm singh obliged americans with nuclear deal drawn by the americans..
        mm singh saw to it that DRDO is starved of fund and he made sure that ibdua foes not buy advanced weapon gor army or air force.
        This modi is flaterring americans by buying spy infested american junks like he heli and f16 old junk.

        Quote ” Brahmins of central India considered that the country of the five rivers is contemptible because there “a bahika or Punjabi born as a Brahmin becomes afterwards a Kshatriya, a Vaishya or Sudra eventually a barber (Crooke, 1999 ).

        the UPA govt.was the most corrupt givernment in indian history and all corruption was due to corrupt mm singh who favoured american agents as his payback to them for installing unelectable mmsingh as pm.
        .
        Nuke deal was his trophy to america .for nuke deal he favored giving bribes to Jarkhand MPs .
        Congress and sonia gandhi did not want nuke deal but mm singh wanted it badly to impress his freind the despicable war criiminal bush two.
        Mmsongh must be tried for high treason and .must be publicly hanged for treason.
        As an Indian i can say that ever since that sardar mm singh came as unelected prime minister of India he has been bootlicking Americans so much that today any PM who goes to America first bribes Americans with billion dollars worth of contract for junk american hardwares.

  6. ~!@#$%^&*()_+ says:

    “The text of the accord has not been made public and is unlikely to be at the request of the Narendra Modi government lest public scrutiny raise a political storm at home”

    Says it all. Modi and Parrikar have gone down the tube.

    Now the only thing remaining for Modi to up his self-image is to save Doordarshan Cameramen from deluge.

    @BK see this in the light of another American trained plant in RBI, Islamic Banking is back, NPA ka jhootha halla is back. Modi is just a better polished Rahul. Problem is Modi, Kejri, Rahul – all of them are essentially sell outs.

  7. ~!@#$%^&*()_+ says:

    Russian would be fools to cooperate anymore.

    In fact their cooperation will bury us Indians even further into a morass.

    Russian involvement will inspire old timers and hot-heads to side with Russians while on the other hand the nouveau riche sell outs will have money power to influence masses even while they will suck the common wealth out of this country. This will end up furthering the conditions that ultimately Balkanize countries. We already have a heavy presence of people with loyalties outside India (either out of jobs, relations, religions, schooling, green cards, lifestyle issues).

    If the Russians simply leave the way they left China around 1959. That will ultimately force these sell outs to perform which they obviously will not be able to. And all the social turmoil will then have to be handled by these sell outs.

    The second route will only cause social upheavals something a society that is so fast asleep deserves in any case but the flip side is that gulping it will be a poison pill for anybody and the country as such will survive.

  8. ~!@#$%^&*()_+ says:

    It would be foolhardy to have this Great Game played out on Indian soil. Our people have already suffered enough on account of such extra-territorial influences in last 1500 years.

    Just the way Russians leaving China to its fate, ultimately turned China and US into a G-2 so could be another last chance for us too because it will force an Indian vs Outsiders competition within India. Even in China there was a Coastal Chinese vs. Inland Chinese competition which is essential for any country to stand up for its own future. If such a competition does not happen in India then we will have well healed morons lead the haggard agitated morons with both deciding the fate of the country. People must be enabled to search for themselves the cause of their troubles. Currently in India the problem is that even CFOs and CEOs end up supporting Raghuram Rajan type people.

    With US dropping its focus on Taiwan Straits since 1989 and China forcing Philipines back into US arms courtesy a bunch of small man made islands and a fictitious line on water. This G-2 will ultimately eat up the whole world. Modi is dumb to believe that US will side with him when he has to stare down China. Why the hell would US leave its cosy relationship with China. The trade and strategic relationship between the two of these is bigger than even the Discounted Cash Flows of all the Indian GDP. US did not give the Most Favoured Nation status to China because it ultimately wanted to side with India to beat China. They have already sided with each other to cut the cake, sized to their respective appetite.

  9. Karthik says:

    Bharat,
    You are someone, who is used to seeing the big picture chessboard in geopolitics, some of your claims here are disappointingly exaggerated, I will give my opinion as I see it

    1. Russia joining up China, Pak: Tactically anything is possible. Already a sino friendhsip treaty is there. But it beggars belief that India would not have done its HW. If i read right, few years ago, India has given proper assurances to Russia to keep advanced hardware like S 300 segregated. The Russians are providing another Akula and reactor design support for SSN well in the knowledge of Indian intentions to ally closer with the US. Ditto FGFA deal, S400 deal too.

    2. Shia/Sunni thingy: Again geopolitics is not a static framework. The US has swung Iran-Saudi-Iran way twice now since 1953. This chessboard is dynamic. Modi’s Saudi visit and Iran visit precisely underlines the very point that India is very cognizant of these dynamics in the neighborhood. Indian foreign policy is not necessarily insipid always as suggested.

    3 and 4. Again, I do not dispute US/foreign influence can be nefarious sometimes, but given the new dynamics in the neighborhood (Chinese commies/radical jihadis converging broad agenda wise), have not Indian Governments from PV Narasimha Rao onwards slowly but surely hedged bets by making friendships with Israel and the US to get technology, boost growth etc?

    5,6 and 7. Come on Bharat, Udta Punjab? really? the India specific LEMOA I understand addresses this, even setting that aside, no Indian Govt is going to allow what you have hinted at, times are different, countries are different and circumstances are very different. India may be guilty of many omissions and commissions in the past, but this is not one of them.

    8 and 9. As a British analyst so aptly pointed out, India will be a like a France in some respects, there will be open areas of disagreement like Iran, allied or not. The proof for your claim, I am afraid has not been cleared up well here.

    Modi, parrikar, XYZ anybody will be imperfect and I am sure there will be some reaction to our moves. But so are our moves, they are a reaction to endless Chinese pricking and Pakistani perfidy…But to make a sweeping claim that all has gone wrong is unbecoming of a person of your stature. Your conservative view is critical but objective pro-con analysis would be more helpful I guess.

  10. ~!@#$%^&*()_+ says:

    Shia/Sunni thingy indeed.

    Here is what is going to happen next. And half the hindu crowd on the net can be found sucking upto these kinds of people.

    timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ahmedabad/Islamic-banking-to-debut-in-Gujarat/articleshow/52409350.cms
    “IDB’s entry into Gujarat and India is likely to boost long-term private finance from its member countries on a large scale. IDB has also shown keen interest in the SME sector of Gujarat,” Sareshwala added.

    IDB is executing a project on Wakf properties in different countries. “There are a number of such properties in Gujarat. The properties stand neglected as Wakf Board or the concerned trusts do not have money to maintain these monuments. IDB is keen to finance projects under which these properties can be maintained and redeveloped,” he said.

    • S3 says:

      As I understand it, Islamic banking forbids lending at interest, which means that the bank shall be repaid exactly the amount it has loaned and no more. Since inflation is rarely zero or negative, over time this would cause the real value of the bank’s assets to diminish. And since it does not charge interest on loans, the bank cannot offer interest on savings either.

      Obviously, this is a business for fools.

      I don’t see why you getting so worked up. Am I missing something here?

      • ~!@#$%^&*()_+ says:

        Yes like me earlier you too are missing one very important point. The social engineering that follows from monetary and financial clout.

        “Islamic banking will be most relevant to SME sector”: Zafar Sareshwala

        So basically the Chinese learnt how to double and triple cross their own little neighbours to gain a hegemon status, this they learnt from the US. The Saudis OTOH are now unfurling in India what they have learnt from US. Just the way Infy people used to say war is bad for India. You will have SMEs saying in future how Saudi money is good for employment generation. Infy people did their duty to whoever they believed was doing good to them. Same would be the case of SMEs.

        And once these SMEs develop Saudi affiliations, will the country ask for another Baba Ramdev style domestication process.

        True all this is not going to be overnight but just the way the FCRA funding has never stopped and just the way beef exports are still a big and ‘understandable’ item of international trade and social mores, so will be the case of SMEs funded by Saudis.

        The problem with our people is that they think about it from a strictly technical POV. Even here it should be pertinent to note that Islamic Bankers too pay consideration for whatever they get as deposits and receive consideration for whatever they finance, only in different names (halal names). Not a dime comes and goes for free. And so Islamic banking too remains profitable despite inflation. Nothing really changes, except loyalties and concepts that flow out of these loyalties.

        Anyhow from a technical POV you are talking about a future scenario. The thing fails just like the western economic model in stage 1 itself. The whole structure of risk vs returns is turned upside down. This vital understanding forces even the largest of large fund houses and lenders of western schools of financial management, to seek out the individual behind the project and seek his personal guarantees, pledges, reps, warranties, indemnities. This is why networking becomes necessary because everybody needs an individual to pin a responsibility or claim or prataap to. Nobody relies solely on the DCF of the project or even on hard collaterals, as security, because no finance manager can ever actually realize the DCF locked in a project. There is a skill deficit housed inside these large fund houses and lenders and they too know this all too well. With this risk vs returns up-ended don’t expect the Kejri of futures to stop at mere muft ki bijli. And at this time who finances whom and controls which individual will become very important if you want to save yourself.

        Just the way Raghuram has functioned to benefit the lender instead of the equity owner. These Saudis too will ask for their own Nominee Director on the Board. What will the then GoI do? Will they again do what they did with RBI?

        Only thing now that can save India from Indian leadership is to save and save it with Indian banks. Make an economy that saves and invests. They already have their eyes on your Gold and the Gold in your temples. If Cow protection and promotion of domestic industry is any indication, then losing your gold and your real SMEs are not unthinkable.

      • ksytriakhalsa says:

        Islamic banking charges a larger fee at the start which is basically a fixed interest.

        U also forget that Zakat or Islamic charity has 8 sections which must be given equal shares. One of them is mujihadeen ie U are letting Mullah bankers in to finance terrorists.

        Inland v Coastal Chinese is going to play out as Saurastra/Maharastra (partly) Baniyas vs Punjab/Rajputana

        or in another way Fake Liberal Hindu RW vs Sikhs/Real Hindu RW

        vaheguru||

        Also, when is e book of Why India is not Great Power launching?

        Have no prob ordering paper but if wait is only short..

      • S3 says:

        ~!@#$%^&*()_+

        I can’t bring myself to take the stupid Saudis as seriously as you do. I mean just look at this:

        To me, Islamic banking sounds like an intelligence godsend. I don’t know enough about the competence of Indian intelligence agencies to know if this is too risky. Perhaps you can clarify.

        And you are too paranoid about Rajan. He is loquacious, surely, but he has also criticised Western and Japanese central bankers far too many times to consider him a cat’s paw. NPAs are a very serious issue, although less in India than in China, that will take a decade to fix.

  11. andy says:

    Well LEMOA was to be expected, what with Modi being so enamoured by the USA,but what’s worrying is that not only the Pentagon but even US newspaper reports can cause the PM to react as the following examples show.On 3-8-16 the editorial in NYT by Ellen Barry criticizes Modi for not condeming cow vigilantes , lo and behold on the 7th comes the tirade against the same group by the PM and the author gleefully reports this condemnation.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/03/opinion/modi-and-indias-dalits.html?rref=collection%2Ftimestopic%2FModi%2C%20Narendra&action=click&contentCollection=timestopics&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=4&pgtype=collection&_r=0

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/08/world/asia/narendra-modi-indias-leader-condemns-vigilante-cow-protection-groups.html?rref=collection%2Ftimestopic%2FModi%2C%20Narendra&action=click&contentCollection=timestopics&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=2&pgtype=collection&react

    The problem with the Americans is their propensity to meddle where they are not wanted.When Obama was in India for Republic Day parade, on January 27, hours before boarding his flight to Saudi Arabia, he walked into territory he had no business to be. “Every person has the right to practice their faith, how they choose or to practice no faith at all, and to do so free from persecution and fear,” he preached to an audience of young Indians.

    Obama was, of course, referring to the ruling BJP’s programme to reconvert Indian Muslims and Christians to Hinduism. It is no doubt a controversial issue but the US has absolutely no locus standi in the matter. Having almost annihilated the Native American race and ghettoised its black population, the US has no moral legitimalcy left. In fact, wouldn’t it be great if Obama spoke about religious tolerance in Saudi Arabia as well? But no US president ever does that. Clearly, such sermonising is directed at soft states such as India.

    Also, it was extremely churlish of a head of state to offer such a parting shot after enjoying Indian hospitality and adulation. Russian President Vladimir Putin has visited India a number of times but when was the last time he embarrassed his hosts like the Americans did?John Kerry was yesterday lecturing Indians in Delhi as to how everyone’s right to protest should be respected. Really?

    The point is how easily Indians are falling for America’s tired lines, believing the US has finally ditched Pakistan and embraced India as their new best friend. All the past episodes of humiliation (the denial of a visa to Modi and the strip search of diplomat Devyani Khobragade being the most glaring) are forgotten.It wasn’t that long ago when US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger viewed Indians as “such bastards” and President Richard Nixon described Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi as “that bitch”. Again, it wasn’t a long time ago that an American diplomat delivering a lecture in India described Indians as “dirty and dark”.

    How times have changed. Making a 180-degree turn, the US now wants to bring India on a par with its NATO allies. A new bill introduced by Congressman George Holding on March 23 2016 proposes to amend the Arms Export Control Act in order to expedite arms trade and technology transfers between the two countries.

    The real aim of the new piece of legislation is, however, to end Russia’s dominant position in India’s defence sector. For, the official explanation that India will be elevated to the same level as America’s closest allies flies in the fact of reality. Three days after the bill was introduced, the US condemned India for testing a new 3500 km range submarine launched ballistic missile (SLBM). Going back to its Cold War script, the US criticized India’s “nuclearisation” of the Indian Ocean. (It’s a different matter that the US itself stations hundreds of nuclear-armed ships and aircraft in the same ocean.)

    An SLBM is a second strike weapon which is critical for India’s survival in a dangerous neighbourhood. It ensures that if India’s land-based missiles and air force are taken out in an enemy first-strike, then India has sufficient firepower – at the bottom of the sea – to retaliate with a devastating second strike. If the US will deny India a legitimate second strike capability, then what sort of ally or friend is it?

    The India-US relationship may have come a long way from the deep freeze of the Cold War, but it is clear America continues to resent India’s rise as a major power. This is because in geostrategic, civilisational and economic terms, both countries are incompatible as allies and unlikely to form a successful strategic partnership.

    There are many who feel that the Americans will provide India with cutting edge defence technology,but little as yet has fructified on this front.The reality is Indian military equipment will continue to be heavily Russia-centric. As well as stealth fighters, India and Russia are working together on high-octane weapons projects such as the Arihant nuclear submarine, BrahMos supersonic cruise missile,FGFA etc. Then there’s the much feared Akula class nuclear attack submarine that Moscow has leased to the Indian Navy. A second strategic submarine is expected to be leased soon.The Kudankulam nuclear plants are off & running while there’s no sight of the Westinghouse reactors. As Russian ambassador Alexander Kadakin says, no country except Russia will offer a nuclear submarine to India.

    And for those ‘experts’ who predicted a massive influx of American military technology into India’s manufacturing sector, here’s news – the US is offering the technology for developing a drone. Yes, they are throwing us a toy.Also DG set technology!!! Come on what’s wrong with us?Or obsolete F16 block 70,wherin probably only the air frame tech would be shared,while the red hot items like next gen avionics,AESA radars,missiles etc would be tightly controlled by the US or EMALS but this is no use unless the INS Vishal is nuclear powered,nothing about nuclear tech is in the offing.

    And finally, why is it that every American president when he comes to India says he, his wife, family, friends, teacher, butler and essentially the whole of the US is inspired by Gandhi? But back home they are inspired by generals such as Alexander the Great, George Patton and George Washington. At any rate, it is a big lie. For, if indeed the US is inspired by Gandhi, it wouldn’t be fighting wars 24/7.

    Unfortunately, no Indian takes offence to it. On the contrary, they seem to love it. This is exactly what the West wants – to box India in the peaceful category and emasculate its warlike spirit. If Indians remain peaceniks, then it would be easier for the West to penetrate it yet again. Obama is sticking to that tired old script.America is not an enemy – at least not in the classic sense. The undeniable truth about the US is that it doesn’t want any country to grow powerful and challenge it. India is no exception. America’s embrace may well be a containment strategy. Now that India’s economy has attained critical mass and the country has outgrown the hyphenation with Pakistan, the US is seeking to hyphenate it yet again – this time with China.

    This constant bracketing with China is clearly meant to spook India. A gaggle of American think tanks is talking about how India and the US, the two “great” democracies, can jointly tackle the “menace” of the undemocratic Dragon. And it seems India is taking the bait.

    Shockingly, New Delhi does not recognise its own strength nor does the country’s leadership aspire for India to be a country with the same status as the US, Russia or China. “Unfortunately, the idea that it need not ‘align’ with anybody does not even occur to India’s mandarins, as a result of an institutionalised inferiority complex,” writes Rajeev Srinivasan in DNA.

    The reason India is moving westward is China. Beijing seems to be holding on to Pakistan for dear life and opposing India in every area – anti-terror, NSG, you name it. Indian warships are now conducting exercises in Beijing’s backyard, in the South China Sea.

    The sticking point is the border dispute. If Russia can get China and India to sign a landmark border agreement and demilitarise the Himalayan border, it would have a bigger impact on the globe than the 1978 Camp David Agreement. That pact took place between two bitter opponents – Israel and Egypt – because US President Jimmy Carter kept the talks going for 14 months.

    So far, Russia – at least on the surface – hasn’t done enough to get China and India to the negotiating table. Perhaps Moscow’s attention is focussed on the crises in Ukraine, Syria and Europe. But it should now concentrate on peace between the world’s two largest nations. Russia has settled its own disputed border with China and that experience could come handy for everyone involved.An alliance with the US would not really be an alliance because the US wants sidekicks, not partners. On the other hand, India is an equal member of the BRICS group which, despite the economic troubles of Russia and China and the alleged infiltration of Brazil by the US, is still a leading global player.

    The alternative is that India and China will continue to drift apart from each other. Beijing is also involved in a major standoff with the US military in the Pacific Ocean and the South China Sea. It’s the perfect recipe for tensions to spill into direct conflict. That would very likely put BRICS on ice – and lead to the collapse of a platform that Russia was instrumental in constructing.

    The constant refrain that India will be the big winner from a close alliance with the US could be a smokescreen for the real beneficiary to sneak through. Says Stephen Cohen of the Brookings Foundation: “The US should bring Indian defence personnel into its system to experience it, and to share India’s best practices. These do exist: India does well in producing more rumble for rupee in space and missile technology, for example. Indian space and nuclear experts believe they can help the US develop missile and even reactor technology, and such offers should be taken seriously, with the US adjusting its own technology restraint regimes to benefit from the high quality and low cost of sourcing from India.”

    India needs to figure out who will gain more from closer India-US ties and whether it is worth going through with such an alliance.

    Then again, in its dealings with the US, India’s leadership may be following the advice offered by Mario Puzo in The Godfather. “Keep your friends close but your enemies closer.

  12. andy says:

    Well LEMOA was to be expected, what with Modi being so enamoured by the USA,but what’s worrying is that not only the Pentagon but even US newspaper reports can cause the PM to react as the following examples show.On 3-8-16 the editorial in NYT by Ellen Barry criticizes Modi for not condeming cow vigilantes , lo and behold on the 7th comes the tirade against the same group by the PM and the author gleefully reports this condemnation.

    The problem with the Americans is their propensity to meddle where they are not wanted.When Obama was in India for Republic Day parade, on January 27, hours before boarding his flight to Saudi Arabia, he walked into territory he had no business to be. “Every person has the right to practice their faith, how they choose or to practice no faith at all, and to do so free from persecution and fear,” he preached to an audience of young Indians.

    Obama was, of course, referring to the ruling BJP’s programme to reconvert Indian Muslims and Christians to Hinduism. It is no doubt a controversial issue but the US has absolutely no locus standi in the matter. Having almost annihilated the Native American race and ghettoised its black population, the US has no moral legitimalcy left. In fact, wouldn’t it be great if Obama spoke about religious tolerance in Saudi Arabia as well? But no US president ever does that. Clearly, such sermonising is directed at soft states such as India.

    Also, it was extremely churlish of a head of state to offer such a parting shot after enjoying Indian hospitality and adulation. Russian President Vladimir Putin has visited India a number of times but when was the last time he embarrassed his hosts like the Americans did?John Kerry was yesterday lecturing Indians in Delhi as to how everyone’s right to protest should be respected. Really?

    The point is how easily Indians are falling for America’s tired lines, believing the US has finally ditched Pakistan and embraced India as their new best friend. All the past episodes of humiliation (the denial of a visa to Modi and the strip search of diplomat Devyani Khobragade being the most glaring) are forgotten.It wasn’t that long ago when US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger viewed Indians as “such bastards” and President Richard Nixon described Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi as “that bitch”. Again, it wasn’t a long time ago that an American diplomat delivering a lecture in India described Indians as “dirty and dark”.

    How times have changed. Making a 180-degree turn, the US now wants to bring India on a par with its NATO allies. A new bill introduced by Congressman George Holding on March 23 2016 proposes to amend the Arms Export Control Act in order to expedite arms trade and technology transfers between the two countries.

    The real aim of the new piece of legislation is, however, to end Russia’s dominant position in India’s defence sector. For, the official explanation that India will be elevated to the same level as America’s closest allies flies in the fact of reality. Three days after the bill was introduced, the US condemned India for testing a new 3500 km range submarine launched ballistic missile (SLBM). Going back to its Cold War script, the US criticized India’s “nuclearisation” of the Indian Ocean. (It’s a different matter that the US itself stations hundreds of nuclear-armed ships and aircraft in the same ocean.)

    An SLBM is a second strike weapon which is critical for India’s survival in a dangerous neighbourhood. It ensures that if India’s land-based missiles and air force are taken out in an enemy first-strike, then India has sufficient firepower – at the bottom of the sea – to retaliate with a devastating second strike. If the US will deny India a legitimate second strike capability, then what sort of ally or friend is it?

    The India-US relationship may have come a long way from the deep freeze of the Cold War, but it is clear America continues to resent India’s rise as a major power. This is because in geostrategic, civilisational and economic terms, both countries are incompatible as allies and unlikely to form a successful strategic partnership.

    There are many who feel that the Americans will provide India with cutting edge defence technology,but little as yet has fructified on this front.The reality is Indian military equipment will continue to be heavily Russia-centric. As well as stealth fighters, India and Russia are working together on high-octane weapons projects such as the Arihant nuclear submarine, BrahMos supersonic cruise missile,FGFA etc. Then there’s the much feared Akula class nuclear attack submarine that Moscow has leased to the Indian Navy. A second strategic submarine is expected to be leased soon.The Kudankulam nuclear plants are off & running while there’s no sight of the Westinghouse reactors. As Russian ambassador Alexander Kadakin says, no country except Russia will offer a nuclear submarine to India.

    And for those ‘experts’ who predicted a massive influx of American military technology into India’s manufacturing sector, here’s news – the US is offering the technology for developing a drone. Yes, they are throwing us a toy.Also DG set technology!!! Come on what’s wrong with us?Or obsolete F16 block 70,wherin probably only the air frame tech would be shared,while the red hot items like next gen avionics,AESA radars,missiles etc would be tightly controlled by the US or EMALS but this is no use unless the INS Vishal is nuclear powered,nothing about nuclear tech is in the offing.

    And finally, why is it that every American president when he comes to India says he, his wife, family, friends, teacher, butler and essentially the whole of the US is inspired by Gandhi? But back home they are inspired by generals such as Alexander the Great, George Patton and George Washington. At any rate, it is a big lie. For, if indeed the US is inspired by Gandhi, it wouldn’t be fighting wars 24/7.

    Unfortunately, no Indian takes offence to it. On the contrary, they seem to love it. This is exactly what the West wants – to box India in the peaceful category and emasculate its warlike spirit. If Indians remain peaceniks, then it would be easier for the West to penetrate it yet again. Obama is sticking to that tired old script.America is not an enemy – at least not in the classic sense. The undeniable truth about the US is that it doesn’t want any country to grow powerful and challenge it. India is no exception. America’s embrace may well be a containment strategy. Now that India’s economy has attained critical mass and the country has outgrown the hyphenation with Pakistan, the US is seeking to hyphenate it yet again – this time with China.

    This constant bracketing with China is clearly meant to spook India. A gaggle of American think tanks is talking about how India and the US, the two “great” democracies, can jointly tackle the “menace” of the undemocratic Dragon. And it seems India is taking the bait.

    Shockingly, New Delhi does not recognise its own strength nor does the country’s leadership aspire for India to be a country with the same status as the US, Russia or China. “Unfortunately, the idea that it need not ‘align’ with anybody does not even occur to India’s mandarins, as a result of an institutionalised inferiority complex,” writes Rajeev Srinivasan in DNA.

    The reason India is moving westward is China. Beijing seems to be holding on to Pakistan for dear life and opposing India in every area – anti-terror, NSG, you name it. Indian warships are now conducting exercises in Beijing’s backyard, in the South China Sea.

    The sticking point is the border dispute. If Russia can get China and India to sign a landmark border agreement and demilitarise the Himalayan border, it would have a bigger impact on the globe than the 1978 Camp David Agreement. That pact took place between two bitter opponents – Israel and Egypt – because US President Jimmy Carter kept the talks going for 14 months.

    So far, Russia – at least on the surface – hasn’t done enough to get China and India to the negotiating table. Perhaps Moscow’s attention is focussed on the crises in Ukraine, Syria and Europe. But it should now concentrate on peace between the world’s two largest nations. Russia has settled its own disputed border with China and that experience could come handy for everyone involved.An alliance with the US would not really be an alliance because the US wants sidekicks, not partners. On the other hand, India is an equal member of the BRICS group which, despite the economic troubles of Russia and China and the alleged infiltration of Brazil by the US, is still a leading global player.

    The alternative is that India and China will continue to drift apart from each other. Beijing is also involved in a major standoff with the US military in the Pacific Ocean and the South China Sea. It’s the perfect recipe for tensions to spill into direct conflict. That would very likely put BRICS on ice – and lead to the collapse of a platform that Russia was instrumental in constructing.

    The constant refrain that India will be the big winner from a close alliance with the US could be a smokescreen for the real beneficiary to sneak through. Says Stephen Cohen of the Brookings Foundation: “The US should bring Indian defence personnel into its system to experience it, and to share India’s best practices. These do exist: India does well in producing more rumble for rupee in space and missile technology, for example. Indian space and nuclear experts believe they can help the US develop missile and even reactor technology, and such offers should be taken seriously, with the US adjusting its own technology restraint regimes to benefit from the high quality and low cost of sourcing from India.”

    India needs to figure out who will gain more from closer India-US ties and whether it is worth going through with such an alliance.

    Then again, in its dealings with the US, India’s leadership may be following the advice offered by Mario Puzo in The Godfather. “Keep your friends close but your enemies closer.

    • S3 says:

      You seem to have cooled down considerably since our last conversation about China.

      • andy says:

        @S3
        Your suggestions for India to not do anything or turn the other cheek in reply to Chinese actions is not feasible.Ultimately the LAC will have to be resolved through negotiation but China stalls all such attempts by India in order to keep India off balance.All it’s actions at the UN,NSG, not granting more access to Indian produts,it’s string of pearls in the IOR etc are designed to keep India boxed in South Asia which is unreasonable to say the least.Unless India retaliates strongly to all anti Indian actions by China they are going to be all over us a la SCS.If China won’t negotiate a border settlement, India needs to use whatever means available including, but not limited to Russian intervention.

        Problem with China is it wont listen to reason,therefore India will have to coerce China into being reasonable vis a vis India or face the consequences this is the only language they understand. Pussilanimity as a China policy has only brought India a whole lot of trouble, it’s no more an option.

      • S3 says:

        @andy

        Actually, I am quite content to let China drag themselves into an economic morass. Since when has any country needed help to destroy itself? So let me reverse your last sentence: what was a bad policy yesterday is a good policy now.

      • andy says:

        @S3
        And what about the damage they cause to Indian interests till they take a leisurely walk into the ‘economic morass’ as you term it?

      • S3 says:

        @andy

        NSG – what they did was a favour
        IOR – can’t outbid them
        Vietnam – sell them missiles by all means, we need the money
        Border claims – set up defence infrastructure and politely ignore all protests
        Trade – are you suggesting setting up Mandarin-speaking call centres?
        Pak – This is the most interesting area. I have in our previous conversation cautioned against supporting Balochistan. Since then I have come to know that apparently Balochistan is a base for Saudi supported terrorists against Iran. That makes it Iran’s problem. We could divert all our oil supplies from Saudi Arabia to Iran, persuade them to execute an East Pakistan, and still stay at a safe distance in case something goes wrong.

        And oh, it is not going to be a lesiurely walk for China at all.

        https://thegoldstandardsite.wordpress.com/2016/08/29/an-extraordinary-confession/

  13. andy says:

    @s3
    And you think all this will help in the border negotiation with China ? Basically you want India to keep getting its butt kicked and slink around the world with its tail between its legs,sorry I don’t concur at all!

    If you think India can offer only call centres to world I really don’t have anything more to say to you.

    Oh about Balochistan,its divided between 3 countries, largest part is in Pakistan and smaller parts in Iran and Afghanistan, the Saudis are funding the Iranian Baloch people,how the Iranian Baloch can create another East Pakistan is rather mystifying to say the least!

  14. andy says:

    @s3
    And you think the Iranian will help the Pakistani Baloch get independence, with Saudi funding,really?which will ultimately lead to the same thing happening in Iran, what sort of LA-LA Land do you live in?Are you aware of the Shia – Sunni divide in the Muslim world? Iran is a Shia country and Saudi Arabia is not nor is pakistan,I think that says it all,so stop day dreaming. You want India to sit tight and not to do everything it can to solve it’s own problems, expecting other countries to do it for us is just too much.

    Ever hear of generic drugs or anti dumping duties?Look them up,there are other ways, even if make in India has not taken off yet.

    Look I don’t want to waste anymore time arguing about fairy tale scenarios, one has got better things to do, plus I don’t think @Bharat approves of this sort of pointless argument.If you agree with what I have said it’s fine if you don’t and want to indulge your fantasies by arguing till the cows come home,I am not game for it.Sayonara.

  15. Venkat says:

    In all this we need to think of india alone, not any other nation.
    We are a strange nation , we as a nation ( babus, politicos …..) oppose US.
    Then a lot of parent wants their children to be settled in US.
    We have one of the highest number students doing high level engineering courses out there, Settling down without returning ! What do these PIOs think ?

    • Inferiority complex of Indian parents is legendary. They all want their children to become what they are not.

      If our babus are indeed selling India’s interest for sending their children to US as Bharat seems to suggest then some service rules about foreign connection of immediate family is needed for babus in sensitive positions at center and state.

      I am sure present government can be persuaded to do this. People of India deserve honesty from decision makers what PM Midi keeps harping on “न खाउंगा न खाने दूंगा”. If they make a mistake at least it should be an honest one.

      • ~!@#$%^&*()_+ says:

        That some Babus and Military Leadership has their wards as prime concern should not then be allowed to become the prime concern of the nation. People should have freedom but that freedom cannot be used to lock up the future of other 120 crore people. What future do these 120 crore have with Americans?

        That K. Subramanyam is a Rockefellar graduate was known since 1966. That Jaisankar is son of Subu was known since Jaisankar’s birth and that Jaisankar’s son is in US peddling the greatness of Amerindia on Brookings launch pad and that all three had only one thing in common (USA), was known to Modi since before May 2014. Point is what the hell was done by the PMO and the vaunted NSA. Earlier NSA ended up in Carnegie and the new NSA is busy sucking upto the very people who were responsible for the general mess India is in. What the hell! Didn’t the K Subbarao and Vikram Buddhi Subbarao make them learn anything. Don’t these people understand already that people who have left of their own volition should be kept/allowed/encouraged/respected, on their way out. Why did these elected representatives keep these people on the job in the first place.

        You can take a PM out of a Chaiwala (India just showed that) but how do you take the Chaiwala from out of a PM. If the whole world is watching that the POK and Baluchistan are agitated by the NSA+PMO only after they sign the LEMOA, do you think your opponent will take you seriously or will he laugh at the NSA and PMO? Hell even now PM is going to visit China only after a visit to Vietnam. What options does he have with this clever move. What will he say – look I have Vietnam supporting me, so you chinese either listen up or else! And if they don’t, then what? Or if the chinese simply go ahead and trade the PMO’s concerns over with the Americans? What idiot would like to deal with an Abhishek Yadav when he already knows that he ultimately has to appease Mulayam Yadav.

        There used to be a rule for Brahmins to not travel overseas. There must be some good reason to it due to which Brahmins kept their faith in that requirement for long. There should be some such rule for Indian rulers and leadership of military industrial complex.

  16. Ashley Tellis on LEMOA.

    http://carnegieendowment.org/2016/08/30/not-military-alliance-pact-pub-64444

    it does not make India either a de jure or a de facto ally. All the LEMOA does is that it allows both countries to seamlessly pay for military goods, services, and supplies consumed during their exercises and other interactions. The decision to engage in any of these activities remains a sovereign decision of each government — nothing in the LEMOA changes that.

    The LEMOA will permit the costs of the repairs to be defrayed against any comparable debts the U.S. may owe India for supplies and services received in other circumstances through a simple “balancing of the books” at the end of the fiscal year.

  17. ~!@#$%^&*()_+ says:

    @Andy,

    Your wish that the Russians help mediate a Sino-India rapprochement is not based on reality. Soviets in 1960s were challenged by the Chinese to basically rein in India and Soviets had point blank told the Chinese that the rest of the world cannot be saddled with the inter-se rivalry of Chinese and Indians.

    That ‘unfair’ equality later became one of the ‘reasons’ for Chinese tilt towards USA. Russians have for long treated India and China at par and their actions have shown things as such. It falls now on our leadership to see if we actually are at par. Unfortunately our leadership itself is at fault because they want to follow Chinese example in tilting towards USA. Probably some Sun Tuz or Chanakya strategy at work here per the perspective of successive Indian leadership (Congress or BJP or Third Front) but the Americans have the second mover advantage now. Americans need not fall into the kind of trap again that the Chinese had laid for them after 1960s, by making India another challenge for itself. Even while the Indian strategic leadership thinks they can outsmart everybody by serially sucking upto and paying tributes (weapons imports) to everybody.

    ……………………………….
    Refer: digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/112989
    ABOUT THE VISIT OF THE SOVIET PARTY-GOVERNMENTAL DELEGATION TO THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA:
    “One must admit that the Chinese comrades reacted to the remarks of comrade Khrushchev painfully. They claimed that their policy with regard to Taiwan and the off-shore straits has been fully justified and is conducted with skill, that their line toward the Nehru government is correct. At times the tone of our discussion became quite sharp. It came to the point when a member of the Politburo CC Communist Party of China, minister of foreign affairs Chen Yi, claimed that our line on Nehru is allegedly opportunistic [prisposoblencheskaia], and the policy of China is more firm and correct. Naturally, we gave a resolute rebuff to these pronouncements.

    In connection with the remarks of the Chinese leaders one cannot help wondering how they understand the Leninist principle of peaceful coexistence, whether they see it as a general line of foreign policy of the socialist camp, whether they think it is necessary to struggle for relaxation of international tension and for securing general peace.

    We are getting an impression that, while recognizing formally the principle of peaceful coexistence between the two global systems, the Chinese comrades tend to regard this principle just as a temporary tactical maneuver.

    [ed. note: after additional critical remarks and recounting of discussion of other matters at the meeting, Suslov noted:]

    One should say that at the end of the conversation on 2 October Mao Zedong and other Chinese comrades declared that they did not want war; that they would resolve the Taiwan issue by peaceful means and would settle the conflict with India through negotiations. They confirmed again that the Communist party of China has a common line and common goals with us. We expressed our satisfaction in this regard.

    [noting that Khrushchev had pointed out the Chinese leadership’s “nervousness and touchiness” at being criticized, Suslov harshly criticized the “atmosphere of the cult of personality” surrounding Mao, which he likened to that of Stalin; recalling that during a 1958 conversation with Khrushchev, Mao had compared Soviet-Chinese relations to two hands in which nine fingers were fully unified “and only in one, little finger we have disagreements,” Suslov ended his report on an optimistic note, vowing that the Soviet leadership would do its utmost to promote strong ties and friendship between Moscow and Beijing]”

  18. andy says:

    @~!@#$%^&*()_+
    Petr Topychkanov Associate at Carnegie Moscow writes in his paper”Russia cannot be a mere spectator in India China disputes.”

    “Russias military technical co-operation with both New Delhi and Beijing does not allow Russia to stand apart from Indian-Chinese disagreements. Russia is actually exerting an influence on the balance of power between India and China. This influence is far from being resolved, but it must be reckoned with in both New Delhi and Beijing. Furthermore, Beijing might have many more reasons to worry than New Delhi. After all, the volume of military-technical cooperation between Russia and India is significantly larger than the volume of weapons trade between Russia and China.”

    “Russia’s status as a supplier of military products and services to both India and China could be something other than just a reason for the anxiety of New Delhi (regarding Russian-Chinese ties) and Beijing (regarding Russian-Indian ties). This status gives Russia the potential to play a more visible role in stabilizing relations between India and China.” 

    With China looking more and more towards Russia for its energy needs this imparts more clout to Russia.Also all three ie India,China and Russia are part of R.I.C,B.R.I.C.S and SCO,so don’t discount anything yet,plus times have changed and the geopolitical situation is nothing like what it was in the 1960s.The reality of 2016 is different from that of the 1960s.The biggest reality is the Soviet Union doesn’t exist anymore!

    As for India paying tribute in the form of weapons imports, that’s only to be expected with the Indian armed forces running down almost 80% of indigenous efforts.But the flip side is India can afford this now (remember the rupee-rouble trade?)better to be in this position than say the one of pakistan always begging from the USA and whining like a whipped cur when they don’t respond, pathetic to say the least!

    But of course nothing like indigenous weapons production as repeatedly stressed by @Bharat,to make India immune to pressure tactics and to fruictify it’s great power ambitions.

    • ~!@#$%^&*()_+ says:

      Russia is economically smaller than India & China. Militarily China will eventually overtake Russia too in near future. Now that LEMOA is signed USA will allow India to be stronger than Russia too :D. Ok that last one was in jest but there is very little leeway or even mutual interest that these three countries have which can provide the basis for any kind of rapprochement.

      Moreover, as I said earlier the Chinese too have little to gain from better relationship with India. Their main worry was their part of Far East (Taiwan, Japan, South Korea) and in the world focus is on the Philippines part of the Far East now. Confrontation in SCS actually helps them keep the world focus away from the unification voices in Taiwan. Japan has folded up earlier so they too have limits and Koreans are the ones who are ever willing to walk against their own people for benefit of outsiders. The Chinese are secure in this confrontation.

      Russians, for themselves, have nearly all they need to not get mauled and yet keep challenging nearly forever the whole bloody system of internationalism. They have already said no to China vis a vis India and they will say no to Modi vis a vis China. They know their limitations too. Had they had the capacity to get this done they would have done it already. Not like they don’t want to. Its just that an India China rivalry is written in the fate of this world. How can you stop two groups constituting nearly half the world from not clashing even while they follow completely different cultures. All said and done the Russians have already done more than enough for ensuring peace and Asia. Millions of Hindus of East Bengal origins and Vietnamese and Shittes owe their existence to the Russians. Russians can call it a day, any day. Nothing goes of their father so long as they continue to hold their Nukes and Intel architecture which is simply too easy for them.

      Having said that, I don’t deny that Modi will try to egg Russia on along this task in exactly the manner and for exactly the reasons the Chinese were in 1959-62. Prodded by his moneybags our PM will do as directed. His principle needs him to confront Putin so that India can be given a ‘reason’ to go back the EIC way. So actually even the Indian leadership is really not interested in any peace with China. They see more ‘benefits’ in firmly ensconcing themselves in the western security architecture.

      The economic czars that rule India are already proposing / studying / propaganding / implementing every single thing that will eventually enable a turning of Indian population into a sharecropper one (Gold monetization, Temple Gold, Islamic Banking, high interest rates, cornering of better security). Our industry is paying 16%-28% interest rates (after 26 years of liberalization), in white, after giving hard and soft security. This system is rigged against India and being for USA. I think you are an NRI and probably send money into India for your dependents which is basically what most of the lay NRI population is doing. And those kinds of transactions colour the way NRI’s think about economic interactions between foreigners and Indians. It is not that simple however, and I am sure deeper down you too have enough inputs about it.

      Today Modi is in Vietnam giving 500+100 million USD of LC facility (non revolving!!!???) and his Vietnamese counterpart instead of feeling any confident says immediately after :
      “And should we allow instability to take place, especially in the case of armed conflicts, there will be neither winners or losers but rather all will lose,” he warned.
      Read more at:
      economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/defence/vietnam-says-all-will-lose-in-any-south-china-sea-war/articleshow/53928704.cms

      China basically has already won more than half the battle. And the prime reason was the Indian flip-flop. From a flipping and flopping MEA to a begged/borrowed strength is the sum total of the mental journey by the Indian strategic community. I may be prejudiced but is Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang too.

      Modi ji let a hue and cry about POK and Baluchistan, even got security dependent countries like BD and Afghanistan (equally troubled by Pakistan emboldened by Chinese support) to repeat his wishes but did the new found LEMOA friends do anything? In next 6 months there would be another installment of GWOT reimbursement due to Pakistan and our bold Sena Adhyakshas will stand in line for their share of reimbursement for ‘temporary bases’, bills and logsheets in hand. At least the Pakis will threaten and extract their ill deserved share, while our Sena Adhyaksha would be more than happy at being allowed inside Pentagon. Even Americans do not care one lousy bit for an India-China rapprochement. Their main agenda is to set Afghanistan behind Pakistan, Pakistan behind India, India behind China and China behind Russia. And they are getting successful.

  19. ~!@#$%^&*()_+ says:

    @Andy,
    Sen. John McCain is often times treated as an American Rahul Gandhi. But here’s he doing what all Americans have done since ages. MEA and MOD think they will get cooperation of Vietnam and form a front more formidable than the China+Pakistan one. While here’s the Chairman of US Senate Committee on Armed Services doing what is designed to make sure that the big talk by MoD and MEA is still born to begin with.

    Also notice the addressee and the expected methods involved.

    news.usni.org/2016/05/24/mccain-pushing-u-s-naval-engagement-vietnam –
    according to a copy of a May 20 letter to Vietnamese Secretary General Nguyen Phu Trong obtained by USNI News.
    In the letter, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) told Trong he was “committed to helping build the maritime capacity of the Vietnamese Coast Guard and Navy”
    “As we continue to enhance our security partnership, the United States expects Vietnam to continue its progress on human rights and respect for civil society, including its respect for advocates of religious freedom, press freedom, and labor rights who seek to use peaceful means to build a strong and prosperous Vietnam,” McCain wrote

    • andy says:

      Hmmmm,you certainly have brought in a wide spectrum of things into the narrative, personally I prefer to comment on one thing at a time. But anyway, all I want to say is Balochistan is center stage,LEMOA has happened, Vietnam is being drawn into the Indian orbit ,if anything Modis maneuvers have made India a bit more engaged in geo strategy and geopolitics, wether this is right, only time will tell,the old inward looking reticence is missing in India’s foreign policy.

      Basically I feel we can look at things in two ways, pessimistically or optimistically, whatever ones point of view, the opposite is also true in India, one can either look at the glass as half full or half empty.High interest rates also translate into lower fiscal deficit and inflation this leads to FDI in India.Is!amic banking was anyways there in India,just like black money, this might bring things more into the open(with some tax returns for GOI).Russia is a true friend but it also supplies weapons to China.The USA is a hegemon,hell bent on doing netagiri but if you are powerful this happens, to wit: India’s status and dadagiri in the ICC.As for the Vietnamese statement it can be taken as a vieled threat to China if there is war!As for MCain,he’s never recovered from his cataclysmic Presidential bid,there were some idiotic statements about Pakistan as well some time back.

      One can look at Mumbai as ‘Maximum City’ or as the slum capital of India ,both are true!The demography of India can be looked at as a dividend or catastrophy(remains to be seen),therefore it’s upto the individual what is his own personal take of India,its such a vast and varied country that whatever point of view one expresses the opposite is also true.

      Wether Russia will commit itself to the quagmire of Indo- Chinese relations remains to be seen!But don’t discount anything as yet,for the situation is pretty fluid.

  20. Kunal Raval says:

    My concern is what happens when we have a weak coalition govt at the center? What if US troops never leave – like Japan? If there is a war between US vs China/Russia and US ships use Indian navel bases. Would not China or Russia be compelled to attack India? I am a BJP supporter but I too think this is a strategic mistake. It will force India to take part in future world war. I think everyone in Modi govt thinks that they will be in power forever!

  21. ~!@#$%^&*()_+ says:

    Here is the link to Major Gen. Mrinal Suman’s write up supporting LSA/LEMOA and criticizing BK’s write up:
    http://mrinalsuman.blogspot.in/2016/09/logistics-exchange-agreement-and.html
    His blog will not allow a long reply so replying here and linking there. All the quotes are from his blog with my requests to him after his quotes.

    Dear Major Gen,

    Here is the US Department of Defense DIRECTIVE NUMBER 2010.9 (April 28, 2003)
    “4.1 ACSA provides two distinct legal authorities as follows:
    4.1.1. Acquisition-only authority.
    4.1.2. Cross-servicing Agreement authority (which includes both an acquisition and transfer authority).”

    “4.3. Under cross-servicing agreement authority:
    4.3.2.2. Designation of a non-NATO country for cross-servicing agreement eligibility shall be in the interest of the national security of the United States.”

    – Does it state words to the effect that it shall ‘in the interst of the national security of India or even of other US NATO and GWOT partners’? So what exactly will the US do if India needs Diego Garcia against China but US needs Chinese financial support for its own markets? Will it be in “in the interest of the national security of the United States” in such a case to have Indian Navy in Diego Garcia?

    “4.3.3. The negotiation and conclusion of multiple cross-servicing agreements with a given country or international organization is discouraged. Accordingly, the DoD Components shall use, whenever practical, a single cross-servicing agreement when acquiring or transferring logistics support, supplies, and services under section 2342 of reference (b).”

    – Kindly advise how Indian forces in Bhutan or even Bhutan itself figure in all this. What about cases like IPKF and Maldives intervention that our forces carried out? Will that get any kind of support from USA? Will that support be subject to US interests or to ours? And what if our interests are in conflict with US interests? Will the billions of USD spend on ‘logistics’ be forgotten and the mutual consent come into play? Is it that we have reached a situation where such a conflict can never happen?

    “4.3.4. Cross-servicing agreements and implementing arrangements that are not themselves acquisition agreements or contracts shall be negotiated and concluded in accordance with DoD Directive 5530.3 (reference (d)).”

    – Kindly advise how the support functions of Indian armed forces help in such requirements/expectations?

    “4.3.5. Except as payment for logistics support, supplies, and services acquired by the United States under an acquisition-only agreement, logistics support, supplies, and services may only be provided to a foreign government as a transfer under a crossservicing agreement. ACSA authority should be used during wartime, combined exercises, training, deployments, contingency operations, humanitarian or foreign disaster relief operations, peace operations conducted under Chapter VI or VII of the United Nations Charter (reference (e)), or for unforeseen or exigent circumstances. Crossservicing agreements shall, to the maximum extent possible, include applicable provisions to ensure that transfers may occur in these circumstances.”

    – Now 4.3.5 mentions that logistics support, supplies, and services may only be provided to a foreign government as a transfer under a crossservicing agreement. Did the recent drop in critical war reserves and the later, even more recent, fulfillment of war reserves, have anything to do with bringing into effect a circumstance that would force the country to look at this requirement as a possible route to fulfillment of those reserves?

    4.3.5 also mentions that such authority shall be used during wartime. Is it possible to go to war with a logistic trail that is based on the consent of another country. And if it is not possible, then how will the consent be made forthcoming? Alternatively can there be a situation where the base was established when the interests of both parties coincided but is later sought to be used against a friendly country like Iran?

    Re. LEMOA is an India-specific version of the standard Logistics Support Agreement that the US signs with all its military allies.
    – And all these allies only provide logistics support? Or are their general populations subverted, converted and destructed? Is that the ultimate goal for Indians?

    Re. “LEMOA is a logistic agreement and not a military pact. It provides for logistic help only”
    – If its so simple why did not the Indian strategic community not come with its own draft of these agreements? Was EULA also a harmless little pact? We were told at the time of purchase of INS Jalashwa that the EULA was one off and that INS Jalashwa will never go to war that is not in the interest of US. Pakistan signed many a pacts with the US including like the LSA ones, Turkey too, Greece too, Philippines, weren’t these countries subverted by US. Sweden had a long working relationship with US all through the Cold War – Please tell the Indian public through your blog when exactly Sweden signed the LSA? What about France? Or why not the case of duplicitous Chinese? At one point the whole cold war revolved around the Chinese. Did they have to sign the LSA?

    Re. “Both parties have the right to ensure compliance of their respective laws, regulations and policies.”
    – What has happened in the Italian Marine case? Can that serve as a template for what we can expect in future too? Have we gotten the Khobargade case and the Prez. Kalam case resolved? What laws are you talking about exactly when the Indian negotiators, negotiated on a foreign text?

    Re. “India is seeking US help for designing aircraft carriers with catapults based on the revolutionary Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System.”
    – EMALS, yes the one sure technology that will enhance the sortie rate by 100%. Ok I exaggerated. 20% is it? And the related arresting gear has a 20% lesser recovery rate. And while in the earlier technology the waste heat was used to power catapults, now we have to install much bigger reactors to make enough power for these glorified linear induction motors. And all this at what cost? The Ford class costed 10 billion USD.

    Re. “It has also asked for help in designing aero-engines.”
    – What has happened in the Italian Marine case? Can that serve as a template for what we can expect in future too?

    Re. “The list is endless.”
    – Please, educate us.

    Re. “India wanted the latest transport/maritime aircraft and helicopters, the US has sold them. Now, India is asking for drones with cutting edge technologies andWestinghouse reactors of the latest genre with unmatched safety designs.”
    – US will sell everything we don’t really need at a cost that we cannot and should not really pay. Interestingly about the Maritime aircraft sold to India, they do not carry the high resolution ISAR capability. But XV-2004 (I-Band or Ku-Band with high resolution ISAR with interleaved or staring modes) has that capability. Did anybody from our side negotiate for putting the XV-2004 on the P-8I? Was it deliberate from our side or was it asked for and declined?

    And about the reactors, was there something wrong with the designs that we have right now? And what about the CHTR that BARC is making? Will that continue or will that progress as fast as the Thorium route has since the 123 agreement?

    Re. “On the geo-strategic front, the US has helped Indian entry into Missile Technology Control Regime. It is supporting Indian membership of the the Security Council and the Nuclear Club. The US is also supportive of Indian fight against terrorism. India is also acutely aware of the fact that US technologies and investments are indispensable for India’s sustained economic and military growth.”
    – US I thought denied us these technologies. It used to be called ‘tech denial’. These clubs were essentially made to keep countries like India out. So essentially you are saying that we should feel thankful for what was denied by a protection racketeer now that we are being allowed in. Does a man become friends with a street criminal who was molesting his wife, because the criminal now has a pint of beer with that man.
    And how is US is supportive of Indian fight against terrorism. By keeping Headley safe? Or by arming Pakistanis for several decades. Or by financing Chinese growth who somehow are never found to be behind any terrorist act in north east. What coincidence!

    And please don’t even talk about economic growth. Blackstone is today the biggest property owner in India while ICICI is doing its home financing at 9% p.a. and Indian HNI are financing the high risk businesses from their pockets. Have you seen a Blackstone financing home finance sector. Is it not strange that the 9% pa is not lucrative enough for Blackstone even though the RBI governors successively being chosen have kept the interest rates high to ‘stem inflationary trends’. Is that a strategy to stem inflation or to hamper productive activity to enable distress sale of Indian businesses.

    Re. Therefore, It stands to reason that if India can be the beneficiary of US support on multiple fronts/counts, there is nothing wrong in India’s acceptance of the logistic agreement which may be more beneficial to the US. The principle of quid-pro-quo rules every bilateral relationship. It cannot be a one way traffic.
    – Let US benefit what it does. What did we benefit out of it?

    Re. “None of the above contentions holds water. Russia does not sell state of the art equipment to India. It holds back on the crunch technologies.”
    – And USA will supply state of the art technologies? Like F-16 and F-18 or like the F-35? But kindly tell us why does India still have to import while China starting from even lesser base does not. Did China ever need to sign any LEMOA or LSA. After all at one point just before GoI and GoU discovered love the GoU and GoC were very much in love with each other. But I cannot remember US soldiers and Chinese soldiers in the same base ever. Why is the case of Indian armed forces different?

    Re. “Russia has mastered the art of exploiting small print in the contracts.”
    – And still neither MEA nor MOD had its own draft of policies and agreements ready while going to LSA talks? Did any single officer, serving or retired, suggest to any of these ministries if that was an advisable step

    Re. “An agreement for the joint development of a Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft was signed between India and Russia in 2007 with both sides planning to invest USD 6 billion each. The project has been marred by trust deficit, delays and cost-overruns.”
    – Yes and buying the F-35 has been suggested. Surprisingly enough Ashley Tellis of Rand Corp had mentioned 150 F-35 for India several years back. And since then the FGFA never took off in negotiations. See if the Indian armed forces do not want to say yes to FGFA or MTA why don’t they say so clearly? What is wrong with the leadership of Indian armed forces? Why do reports regarding FADEC enabled engines for transporters keeps getting reported by anonymous officials or ex-armed forces people? Is a FADEC engine a dire need for a transporter?
    – Didn’t the armed forces buy the C-17. Apparently this is what happened bharatkarnad.com/2016/08/19/boeing-c-17s-shashikant-sharma-accountability/

    Re. “Russia offered the 44,500 ton decommissioned ship as a free gift from ‘one friend to another’. India had to pay USD 947 million for the refurbishment. The deal was signed in Jan 04 with the delivery date of August 2008. In November 2007, Russia revised the price tag to USD 2.9 billion and sought deferment of delivery by additional 52 weeks. The ship was finally handed over in November 2013 at a negotiated cost of USD 2.35 billion. In short, INS Vikramaditya is anything but a symbol of friendship.”
    – This report gives an idea of just how much it has costed the country in merely one commodity to tow the US line

    in.reuters.com/article/india-iran-oil-idINKBN0KP0EB20150116
    “India imported 42 percent more Iranian oil last year over 2013 levels as its refiners increased purchases to take advantage of an easing in sanctions targeting Tehran’s nuclear programme.”

    Isn’t US supposed to be a ‘friend’? Do friends prevent cheaper imports by friends when they are on a growth curve?

    How come Russian must supply for free to be ‘friends’ but Americans can just have the whole of GoI and its subsidiaries stand up in line to be served on its interests?
    Sir, have you ever attempted to enlist in back of the envelop calculations as to what India has gotten in return for its various ‘friendship’.
    Have you forgotten that US was already showing Siachin as Pakistan before 1984 operation Meghdoot? While the Army chief in 1971 specifically refused orders to march in May 1971 because he needed additional guarantees to cover his back?

    Re. “India is the largest importer of conventional weapons in the world with 14 percent share of the world trade. India is expected to spend nearly USD 200 billion on new weaponry.”
    – So how does that make you feel? I feel ashamed about it.

    Re. “As a matter of fact, it is in India’s interests to expedite Pak break-up.”
    – Can you please elaborate how the LEMOA is supposed to help the GoI achieve that? Or even what steps have been taken by the Indian strategic community to make that happen.

    Re. “Most bizarrely, a critic of LEMOA foresees US soldiers socialising with Indian women and fathering children, indulging in unruly behaviour and boosting drug trafficking. As is apparent, this forecast is based on the premise that US soldiers will be based in India.”

    newindianexpress.com/cities/delhi/High-profile-Delhi-sex-racket-catering-to-MPs-army-officers-busted/2016/07/21/article3540746.ece

    Retired Colonel Ajay Ahlawat was arrested in this case and the report notes “Investigation conducted so far, has revealed that Sanyal has sent messages to government officials and other senior functionaries, posing as Member of Parliament and other senior functionaries in the government for getting favour in certain business deals. “The analysis of his phone record is being done to find out the details of other associates and victims,” the officer said.”

    Does this suggest that there could be some quid pro quo, acknowledged or unacknowledged, known or unknown, that is always involved.
    Also do these things sound familiar:
    1) globalresearch.ca/stunning-alcohol-abuse-revealed-at-u-s-embassy-in-afghanistan/30316
    wired.com/2009/09/party-ends-for-kabul-embassys-booze-soaked-guard-force/
    2) hiphopwired.com/2009/09/03/u-s-guards-throw-naked-booze-parties-at-afghanistan-embassy/
    3) en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prostitutes_in_South_Korea_for_the_U.S._military
    4) heraldsun.com.au/news/world/two-female-us-army-officers-provided-nude-pictures-to-brigadier-general-jeffrey-sinclair-on-request/story-fnd134gw-1226512941074
    5) ft.com/cms/s/0/21154022-2456-11e6-9d4d-c11776a5124d.html#axzz4JZCnd8gH
    “a wealthy Malaysian whose real name is Leonard Glenn Francis and who was caught in a sting in California in 2013, had cultivated senior officers in the seventh fleet which operates in the Pacific.”
    6) dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/article-2535453/Partys-US-embassy-External-Affairs-Ministry-orders-US-mission-shut-cafes-gym-salon-cracks-duty-free-alcohol.html

    Last one is about Indian MEA, may be, during Khobragade case. Also while I have pasted links that show various types of behavior by US personnel, I have not pasted the links that actually end up showing the worst people of Indian armed forces, since the institutions still purports to be proud of the several of my countrymen still give their lives for me and my people.

    But would it suit our pragmatic national interest if we make a soldier in Siachin stand besides these people
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tailhook_scandal

    wsj.com/articles/japans-shinzo-abe-defends-u-s-alliance-warns-against-nationalism-1459870098
    TOKYO—Prime Minister Shinzo Abe offered a stout defense of the U.S.-Japan alliance and warned against “naked nationalism”

    I wonder will the Indian system also travel and talk this line in near future?

    regards
    ~!@#$%^&*()_+

  22. Pingback: Why Maritime Logistics Pacts are Vital for Asia’s Strategic Balance

  23. Kya says:

    Just luke mmsingh the traitir did with indo us nuje deal this modi has done with the rest of what ever free fireign policy of indua was left over.

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