Mistake upon strategic mistake

Analysts at home and abroad have noted Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s curious efforts to siddle up to the US president Barack Obama at the recent G-20 summit, as if seeking little pats on the back for finally committing India to LEMOA — only the first such agreement with the other two “foundational” accords to follow. Indian commentators, even some former flag-rank officers have by and large welcomed this development almost as a reflex action of those habituated to taking orders who can’t afford to think for themselves or even strategically for a change. Many of these reactions border on the inane when they are not ludicrous. For instance, the view that LEMOA will not eventuate in the posting on Indian territory of American military personnel and that this will in no way create any social and other frisson and lasting cultural disruption (notwithstanding the record of US military presence in whatever guise in Southeast Asia, and Japan)! They also doubt whether Russia will react adversely and add that the military tech level of Russian hardware is not all that high anyway.

This rather innocent view is par for the course for GOI and Indian armed services, of course, and presumes that India will easily obtain other than equally derated stuff from the United States, when the pattern so far from the tech-transfer parleys between the two sides suggests that EMALS apart there’s no movement in any other tech sector that is remotely cutting edge. Unless, these people consider the F-16 top-notch. Besides, EMALS is being offered to the Indian Navy simply because the General Atomics company that produced it is desperate to find foreign customers to amortize its vast investment, now that Pentagon cannot rifle up the funds it once could, in a technology which ultimately will have limited use. This last is so because EMALS can only be incorporated in very large 90,000-100,000 tonne aircraft carriers necessarily powered by two or more nuclear power plants of the kind driving the latest such carrier in the US Navy, USS Gerald Ford.

One had expected the Indian Navy brass to be a bit more tech-savvy and discriminating. Do they really believe that humungous aircraft carriers have even the slightest chance of survival in a hypersonic glide bomb/missile regime? If they do then they must know something the rest of us with a bit of common sense and up on technology advancements don’t. The naval brass seem to be falling in line without so much as demurring with whatever policy trend path is indicated by the PMO. In the post-LEMOA phase, of getting in close with the US. That this US tilt in Indian foreign and defence policies are all wrong has been expounded in extenso in this blog and in my books and writings.

The reason most Indian analysts inside GOI and outside are of this view is because most of them have had no experience of the US policy reality, and hence are vulnerable to inducements of invitations to seminars, conferences, short stints in the US and, lately, offers of appointments in US thinktanks established in Delhi. These are great forums to voice the viewpoint reflective of hardcore Indian national Interests. This they don’t do, choosing instead to support or embroider the Washington perspective in ways acceptable to the Indian establishment of the day. Over the years, I always found myself the lone Indian — and this is not by way of a boast but as a statement of fact — at most such events in the past to consistently and always express an Indian nationalist viewpoint. With so much “ayeing” across the aisle, as it were, small wonder Americans in policy circles, in thinktanks in the US, and in the academia believe that India has climbed on to the American bandwagon. The ranks of these Indians, now bolstered by Modi and his so-called national security advisoriate, all seem to be convinced that “What’s good for Uncle Sam is good for India”.

No surprise then that India is being increasingly reduced to a cipher when not actually earning the status of a Western poodle. Some fall for the country. And to think the Indian people expected so much, and so very different from Modi and the BJP government. The press reports indicating Modi-Parrikar are hard at work ironing out the last few wrinkles in the deal with France for 36 Rafales are thus of a piece.

The American EMALS with the Indian Navy, US F-16s/F-15s and Rafales with the Indian Air Force, and God alone knows what other pieces of unaffordably expensive and useless, inappropriate, or antiquated but expertly “talked up” military hardware will next grace the country’s order-of-battle. Except now the logistics “short reins” will be in Western hands, and woe be to India if it departs from the Washington line, say, on resuming thermonuclear testing, or adopting an independent stance on China, or a too-punitive policy vis a vis Pakistan of the kind many in PMO policy favour, or moving with all speed on Chahbahar and strengthening relations with Iran with railways/roads to Afghanistan and the Central Asian Republics, and gas/oil pipelines, etc., or ….., or….., for then the Indian armed services and New Delhi will soon realize how mercilessly they will be jerked around.

Modi may be a master of politics and politicking in India, but (along with MEA, MOD, and rest of GOI, and the whole lot of the local commentariat on Indian security issues) is a babe in the woods where dealing with the West is concerned.

Sooner or later, India will recall with nostalgia the leverage that a more balanced approach afforded India and, perhaps, the intimacy and interactions with the ham-handed, less “sophisticated” and lovable “Russkies”.

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.
This entry was posted in Afghanistan, arms exports, Asian geopolitics, Central Asia, China, China military, civil-military relations, corruption, Culture, Defence Industry, disarmament, DRDO, Europe, Geopolitics, Great Power imperatives, India's China Policy, India's Pakistan Policy, India's strategic thinking and policy, Indian Air Force, Indian Army, Indian ecobomic situation, Indian Navy, Indian Ocean, indian policy -- Israel, Iran and West Asia, Iran and West Asia, Military Acquisitions, Missiles, nonproliferation, Nuclear Policy & Strategy, Nuclear Weapons, Pakistan, Pakistan military, Relations with Russia, Russia, russian assistance, SAARC, society, South Asia, South East Asia, Strategic Relations with the US & West, Technology transfer, United States, US., Weapons, Western militaries. Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to Mistake upon strategic mistake

  1. Shaurya says:

    It is indeed a sad strategic trajectory. The number of FP mistakes by this government is nothing but a continuation of MMS government. Arun Shourie rightly said, this govt is Congress + a Cow.

    But, to be fair to Modi, he did not offer a particular program of change, he indeed has said I will make whatever exists and run it better. So, that is what he is doing. People who supported him, should have known that.

    Modi is not a transformative leader. The transformation he talks about is one of execution and insights like let us put solar power panels on canals as it will kill two birds in one stone, generate power and reduce the water evaporation. This is the level he thinks at.

    Many are going ga-ga on the stance on Baluchistan issue. But beyond brownie points, do not think it can go anywhere. Do not think it is thought through and he may have said things before doing anything about it. Empty words if these are will only take the country’s credibility down.

    One last thing Bharat – You are not alone. It may seem lonely but continue the good fight. An unvarnished view of the national interest is what we expect from you. Keep on the good fight and good luck.

    • KsytriaKhalsa says:

      So, what now? They can’t afford to piss off Russia but need western economic ties. What to do?

      • Shaurya says:

        There is not ONE objection to western economic ties. This is about power and interests. Military, political and geo-political. This is about strategic sovereignty, about foreign policy.

        To, spell it out. This is not about FDI, Trade, economic models, social interaction, etc. This is not not about any ideological alignment or opposition. This is raw and pure about interests.

        Most conflate economic interaction with strategic interaction and nothing can be further from the truth. Germany and Britain had a fairly healthy trade interaction but yet met their fate in the first world war. China and US are tied at the him economically today but pursue their own geo-political interests.

        Do not conflate the two aspects. Economic interaction with US is welcome, strategic not yet.

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

    Re. “hypersonic glide bomb/missile regime”

    Why even weight for a hard kill or hit to kill?

    May be an EMP spike attack from 2/4 km away could be made to work?

    Lots of unavoidable gaps and very long lightly insulated wiring in EMALS:

    The thing cannot charge up itself uniformly. Like a Maglev, only sections of the rails are going to get charged. Will be nearly impossible to shield this properly. The amount of power this thing uses will by itself become a headache for some of the subsystems on the aircraft being catapulted. The catapult is expected to be on for 3 seconds while E-1 pulse is usually for 1 to few nanoseconds (about a billionth of a second). E-2 pulse is like thunderbolt strike (few thousand nanoseconds) which is what usual mil equipment is hardened against. E-3 pulse can last for days.

    A super-short spike in E-1 regime properly focused could do the trick.

    If Counter-electronics High-powered Microwave Advanced Missile Project (CHAMP) could do it from inside a cruise missile then a BGRV would necessarily do better, considering all range-payload-velocity-maneuvering playoffs.

  3. MS says:

    At the G20 in Australia, we were a bright star because of the expectations and the potential of our country. Today, the clever Chinese and the experienced Russians have probably formed an assessment of the trajectory.

    Russia would have probably made some quiet moves even before the LEMOA was signed. All you said about possible stop of tech from Russia may come true. And Russia and China will probably accord Indian leaders less respect now because they will not percieve us as powerful as they had started thinking 2 years ago.

    There are no clear signs to alter the trajectory. In addition to what you have said, is something more possible- will this impact the Indian politics-I do not know.

    Will we have as much a big chance to attracing FDI now-it may appear silly to even ask this unconnected thing at present. And, will diverse factors, not apparently connected, play up and become a challenge in meeting developmental goals, I do not know.

    I tried to find photos of our leader with Putin at the G20 in China but did not see any handshakes. You would know more whether something is already cooking that may not taste good to us. Russia will come back to the high table very soon, and China is not leaving.

    All said, Mr Modi can change everything if he wants because this country surely has the potential.

  4. quickboy says:

    Very SAD to know, after all the Lion and Tiger are all reduced to another STRATEGIC SCAM, This time with far reaching consequences. Well what can a Government defend with a force which will not relent and will go to any extent to kill off any indigenous ideas?.

  5. andy says:

    The consequences of signing the LEMOA are already upon us,the Russia,China and Pakistan axis is closer to reality. Wether Russia will now entertain Indian requests for cutting edge military kit like the S400,one more nuclear submarine or even go ahead with the FGFA, will become clear only after the annual summit between Modi and Putin.What’s even more worrying is if things hot up on the LAC or LOC will Russia allow a free flow of spares,ammo etc for the Indian military since an overwhelming percentage of Indian arms is of Russian origin?Jumping onto the American bandwagon has not been thought through at all.

    India can forget about thermonuclear testing since big brother won’t allow it,in fact the screws will now be slowly tightened for India to sign the CTBT.What if Russia supplies the SU35 to Pakistan? Is the IAF supposed to counter it with obsolete F16s or the dainty Rafale?These aircraft would be ‘swatted like mosquitoes on an August night’ ,to quote Kadakin the Russian Ambassador,by Su35,which is a beast of a fighter.

    What happens if the Russians now leak the acoustic signature of the conventional submarines in the IN or even the Arihant SSBN(built with overwhelming Russian help) to the Chinese,the said submarines of the IN would then easily tracked and blown up in a conflict situation. There goes India’s second strike capability!

    Of course at this point of time one is just speculating but the possibility cannot be discounted.

    • ~!@#$%^&*()_+ says:

      @Andy TIFWIW, but you are ignoring the cultural issues of several parties by saying this. Hope you don’t mind it but earlier you were of the view that Russians could help us with our China problem. While now even Pakis look like a challenge.

      Russians have held on to their interests and played the game fair enough for a period far longer than the typical institutional lifetimes of India, Pakistan and China. If they could balance China and India for so long, there is no reason why Pakistan cannot be balanced. It is another matter that Russian equipment being more relevant/usable than American ones, such a shift would benefit Pakistanis disproportionately more than India. And the worst part is that Russian do not even have to supply the Pakis directly. The Chinese would do it for them ūüėÄ and MEA or MOD can do nothing about it. You see Chinese are master chors. They could steal F-35 so they can steal little things from Russians as well. By promoting this China-Chor meme our people have merely made it acceptable for everybody vis-a-vis our common interests. May be MOD and MEA can pay even more tributes by way of weapons imports – 200 billion USD worth of capital budget in next 10 years. Our MOD/MEA won’t even acknowledge that importing stuff is unjustified, given that contemporaries like China have moved much farther along the route to indigenization.

      Just as a measure of the background, while our people and also those of China and Pakistan were dying for cause of the Europeans, the Russians were dying for their own country. With such a background the institutions take a life of their own.

      It is only with countries like India and Pakistan with lesser institutions housed with even lesser men, that one or two corrupt business deals, a rotten daughter/wife caught in a compromising position, a rotten son dreaming of ‘settling’ in US or personal greed / incompetence / ambition / lifestyle preferences, end up compromising the position of bureaucrats and politicians. And all you need is one or two people compromised and a long jamaat of mediocre kinds. Since as a nation our sacrifice for ourselves is limited only to about 25000 brave souls acting completely individually, so we do not have any worthwhile institutions to fall back on. Net result, lots of bollywood style nauch gana kind of support but no real change. Essentially it is for us to repair our house. With problems like these we will always remain vulnerable to those who have very long cultural histories of committing genocides and enforcing divide & rule.

      In fact accusing Modi is also of very limited use. He did fold up even faster than lame duck Maun Mohan Singh but then it was merely a presumption that he would keep Indian interests above others. Modi’s performance in Gujarat supported only his capacity for general economic governance, not for strategic capacity.

      No hurt meant….

      • andy says:

        So as per your read of the situation Russia cosying up with Pakistan is of no worry?of course this is caused by India signing the Lemoa.As I said earlier the situation is fluid,anything is possible, this joint military exercise between Pakistan and Russia is just another example.Russia has managed to balance India and China and they could add Pakistan to the list,but this is not for Russia’s view point ,how their balancing could effect India is what matters.If you think India can fight and win a war even with Pakistan without a steady stream of supplies from Russia during the course of the war,think again.All this is caused by lack of indigenous arms production capacity, a state of affairs caused by our very own armed forces penchant for foreign arms, a point repeatedly stressed by @Bharat in his writings.

        Which politician in India has strategic capacity?Most politicians have an inflated ego and narcissistic tendencies ,better that they should get some much needed psychiatric help rather than trying to poke their noses into matters which they cannot make head or tail of.All that the so called opposition parties know is to stall the proceedings of Parliament by raising non issues, such that any meaningful discussion is impossible.To expect any strategic sense from them is asking too much.The Agra hospital is a much better place for such retards to be in,no offence intended!

    • &^%$#@! says:

      @Andy: WRT your statement: “[w]hat happens if the Russians now leak the acoustic signature of the conventional submarines in the IN or even the Arihant SSBN(built with overwhelming Russian help) …”, that could well be happening but by Indians and to the West which will then spread to select quarters. Unless I am reading too much in between the lines, a concerted attempt to purge Russian trained officers in the critical aspects of SSBN operations has already commenced:


      A formal CNS of high integrity who was forced out once gave an interview to possibly one of the best journalists India ever produced, stating that around 40% of the mid-senior IN officer cadre were compromised to the West. Naturally, the said article has been pulled out from the net.

    • MS says:

      Your concern about spares could very well turn out to be the biggest problem.

      If we were located in the antractic, it would not matter but now we have neighbours vying for a peice of land. I think we will see a different year in 2017.

  6. SANKET says:

    What India should have done was to buy 126 Su-35 from Russia under the MMRCA deal, thus bailing out the Russian economy at least in short term. It is a buyer’s market and such a deal would have given us a whiphand over Russia. We could have used this leverage with Russia in cutting down its growing ties with Pakistan. Add to this Russia is much more flexible about transferring technology to India. Then the US could have been placated by signing of these foundational agreements to which Russia would not have protested having bagged the multi billion dollar MMRCA deal from India.
    However MR karnad, as I have previously mentioned in my comments, your anti US stand and over exaggerated love for Russia will always ensure that you remain alone in the seminars and conferences that you mention. To say that anti- west means beign nationalist shows your naivety in international politics which comes from your cold war mentality. Time to grow up MR Karnad!

    • sanket@ — try not to simplify either the international reality or my writings and do please distinguish single posts in my blog from my books and oeuvre of over 30 years. Cannot reiterate in each post the same arguments over and over again that being nationalist is not the same as being pro-Russia or anti-US/West or being old Cold War-ish, and that there is such a thing as a distinct set of national interests the country needs to follow, which last encompasses the imperatives of remaining a global system balancer.

  7. andy says:

    Re:’Do not conflate the two aspects. Economic interaction with US is welcome, strategic not yet.’
    I concur with your statement but the exact opposite is happening in reality.In the more than two years that he has been in office, Modi has gone further than any previous prime minister in positioning India in the strategic orbit of the US.

    The signing of the LEMOA is but a first step. Washington will continue to insist that technology sharing will depend on India‚Äôs signing two more ‚Äúfoundational agreements‚ÄĚ: the Communications, Interoperability and Security Memorandum of Agreement, and the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement on sharing of geo-spatial information.India has desisted so far with good reason ‚Äď not least the potential concerns of a close defence partner like Russia.

    If the strategic side of this relationship is progressing as intended by New Delhi and Washington, the same cannot be said for the economic side. The joint statement after PM Modis latest visit to Washington makes it clear that there has been no significant progress on negotiations of the Totalisation Agreement. There is deathly silence on the Bilateral Investment Treaty ‚Äď an area of priority for American businesses, but a thorny one for the Indian government, especially on taxation and investor state dispute settlement. India also continues to remain on the US government‚Äôs intellectual property rights watchlist.

    As for India‚Äôs wider economic aspirations, the joint statement only says: ‚ÄúThe United States welcomes India‚Äôs interest in joining the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum‚ÄĚ. This is the exact formulation used in the ‚ÄúUS-India Joint Strategic Vision for the Asia-Pacific and the Indian-Ocean Region‚ÄĚ released during Obama‚Äôs visit to India in January 2015. Eighteen months on, India‚Äôs quest for APEC membership remains in the realm of vision.Here’s what it actually means: my neighbour may welcome my interest in his party, but that doesn‚Äôt mean he is inviting me to join.

    Beyond the APEC lies the elephant in the room: the Trans-Pacific Partnership . By pressing ahead with the TPP, the US is not only undermining the WTO (while conveniently blaming India for the impasse there) but effectively cutting India out of the most dynamic economies in the Asia-Pacific. The regulatory requirements of the TPP are well beyond what India can accept in the foreseeable future. The best hope for India may be that the next US president will not pursue TPP so vigorously.

    In short, India’s emerging partnership with the US in the Asia-Pacific will stand on a weak economic leg. This is bound to impose constraints on what the two countries can do together. More importantly, New Delhi needs to think through the limits of such a misshapen relationship. The engagement with the US of every Indian government since 1991 has been based on the idea of leveraging these ties for the internal transformation of India.

    If the current state of bilateral and multilateral economic relations persists, we might end up in a position where India bolsters American hegemony with little to show in return.In short India would get peanuts out of becoming deputy sheriff of the USA.

  8. &^%$#@! says:

    There are two other issues. For over 5 decades, India took for granted the Soviet.Russian veto in the UNSC against Pakistan and the Kashmir issue. Chances are that in future, Russia might abstain. What if the West asks Pakistan to ratchet up the Kashmir matter yet again, and the remaining UNSC members abstain or vote in favor of Pakistan? Recent signs indicate possible movement in this direction. What will India do? Indian leaders and official love to move in useless gatherings, showing that India is a “responsible member of the International community” (whatever that means):. What will/can India do? India and Indians are not made up of the same stuff as strong countries to thumb its nose at the UNSC.

    About the EMALS, the US motive is two-fold. First is to get India to amortize the USN’s costs in developing this still unstable piece of machinery. Next, EMALS will take 80 MW to operate, and thus require a N-powered carrier. The enriched uranium for this useless White Elephant will drastically eat into Indian capabilities/assets to generate enriched uranium for the SSBN’s and other purposes. This is in addition to the enormous costs that will be incurred in manufacturing of a ship and buying its a/c and other accompaniments, which a small number of new generation of cruise missiles can send to the bottom without much difficulty. Ask yourselves as to who is the Chief Executive for US and International Strategic Development of General Atomics, and what were his prior affiliations.

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

    Re. “So as per your read of the situation Russia cosying up with Pakistan is of no worry?”


    I would not say that. Because ultimately and as I said before the Russian equipment is inherently a much much better bang for the buck. And having such weaponry, directly or indirectly (through China), in the hands of Pakis while Pakis themselves are dependent on Chinese is actually troublesome for both India and may be even for Russia.

    As you rightly pointed out the situation is fluid.

    An emboldened Islamic state in control of poppy fields and Fidayeens, could be trouble for Russians too. It would be even worse if such an entity is allowed access to Russian weaponry or derivatives of it. Currently the Russians know that they have India to keep these Fidayeen busy while they handle the Chechens. Paki/Islamic attention gets divided by this tack. Some time back some Bandar guy from Saudia, hinted in official talks that Sochi Olympics would be allowed to happen if the Russians play ball. So that shows that currently the Islamic attention is divided at operational level. And these islamists are actually just Sunnis who in turn are thick with the Americans. It is not difficult to observe the hoops that the current ver. of GoI is jumping to keep the Americans and Sunni powers happy.

    Considerations like these must have played on Russian minds when they sought Indian presence in what they believe will be a big thing someday, the SCO. In fact I would say these things are understood even by the Chinese and that is why they will not try to edge India out from Asia. India, if strong is a strong bulwark against Islamists and India if weak is still a great bait for these Islamists. Both ways, the outsiders have a great use for India.

    However from the Indian POV, while we should have aimed for true independence, after our dependence on Russians, we ended up with a new dependence on the Americans. Something enabled by the so called Indian Strategic Community and their swipe-mobile dependent gori chamdi fans. Idiots, made for each other. It is in a way incredible that those claiming to be massiha for Hindus do not even acknowledge, for example, that Americans are the main reason for the problems of Hindus, while those making grandiose claims of being nationalists make sure to avoid acknowledging that DRDO has been kept smaller than even Thales. Goes without saying – India cannot be gifted over by these idiots to their masters (keep track of Modi’s wishlist of single elections for all of India). So again from the Indian POV we have to bring our attention to the operating aspects of making this a sure result. Normally this would have been greatly enabled had DRDO been allowed to function properly, had Indian Armed Forces been kept focused onto Indian independence, had Indian politicians and babudom been planning to set pace for the next stage of Indian evolution. Now that work along these paths have been kept stunted, deliberately, we off course have to find new paths.

    And such paths do exist even within the LEMOA dominated India. We have to understand what our strengths are and play to those strengths. For context:
    1) Russians have vast open spaces and General Winter to bog all invader armies. This they used to become masters of land warfare.
    2) Chinese had institutionalized guile, vast obedient populations and difficult borders to keep their challengers out. This they used to impose Han identity on vast strategic areas.
    3) We have time, populations, stronger cultural fiber, irreverence for rulers of the day and really long memories. Our weapons will be different, our results too will be different.

    So playing the Russia-Paki relationship as a zero sum game for ourselves is not preferable for me, at least. On this front I would say we can wait and watch. The front where we cannot afford to wait and watch and must act is the undermining of Indian capacity, which LEMOA etc. do.

  10. andy says:

    Re:”So playing the Russia-Paki relationship as a zero sum game for ourselves is not preferable for me, at least. On this front I would say we can wait and watch.”¬†

    The waiting and watching has been going on for quiet some time now, actually the Russian drift,as it were,is not such a new phenomena.It was under Andrei Kozyrev’s watch that India diversified away from Russia. Kozyrev (Russian foreign minister from 1990 to 1996), who sought close ties with the West, had declared after the Soviet Union was dissolved that the new Russia would no longer give special importance to India and would in fact treat India and Pakistan as equals. So basically, the country that was indirectly responsible for the deaths of 15,000 Soviet lives during the Afghanistan War was preferred by him over friendly India.

    Deepa Ollapally of George Washington University writes in the paper ‚ÄėIndo-Russian Strategic Relations: New Choices and Constraints‚Äô, ‚ÄúKozyrev relegated India to a secondary role. During this initial phase, which was to last until 1996, India was forced to take the initiative to try to build new bridges to the Duma and utilise earlier Soviet lobbies. India was able to exploit lobbies against Kozyrev’s tilt which had formed in the Russian Federation presidential apparatus. It was aided by figures such as Vladimir Lukin who called for greater attention to be paid to old allies.However, then Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao had no choice but to diversify India’s security links as its most crucial erstwhile ally continued to labour in confusion and anxiety over its economic and political status, with no clear signal regarding its foreign policy preferences.‚ÄĚ

    Kozyrev currently lives in Miami where he has acquired lots of money and a nice tan. He slams Putin to the delight of his American backers. The thing India and Russia must do is sidestep or sideline such actors and keep the phone lines open. For, just as there are a few Indian leaders wanting closer ties with the West at Moscow’s expense, there are some Russian leaders who cannot see the importance of having India on their side.

    According to Sergei Ryabkov, Russian deputy foreign minister in 2015,increasing military cooperation between Islamabad and Moscow would not negatively impact Russia’s ties with India. “I do not think that the contacts under¬†discussion will cause jealousy on¬†the part of¬†any of¬†the two sides,” Ryabkov told journalists.Pakistan is Russia’s closest partner, Ryabkov said, adding that the two countries‚Äô ties are evolving not only militarily but¬†in other sectors,including energy
    See more:

    His statements would vindicate Rao’s decision to wean India away from over-dependence on Russia. Compared with Rao, current Prime Minister Narendra Modi is overtly pro-American. He is unlikely to treat such an issue lightly.

    In this tilt away from India the best case scenario is that Russia is keen to ensure India’s return to its fold. As India enters into an increasing number of defence partnerships with Russia’s rivals, particularly Israel and the US, but also France and the UK, Moscow seemingly believes two can play the game. It could be due to this reason that Russia has entered into a defence cooperation agreement ,is talking about cutting edge arms supply and is now going to conduct a joint military exercise with Pakistan.

    Another reason could be Chinese influence,with Putin keen to nullify degradation of the Russian economy with the aim to “catch the¬†Chinese wind¬†in our economic¬†sail¬†..”.Now Russia has to humour Chinas “Iron friend” Pakistan.

    Another reason could be that the judgement of some Kremlin players is clouded by the pressure of economic sanctions and they would like to grab a larger share of the global arms market in which Russia traditionally has been a leader. However, this possibility can be discounted as western sanctions have not had the intended impact. in 2010-15, Russia accounted for 27 per cent of the global arms market. In fact, Rosoboronexport, Russia’s weapons export cartel,has orders exceeding $40 billion on its books.

    Although Russia was the second largest arms exporter in the world during the period 2010-15, it was less diversified than the US.¬†According to SIPRI,¬†‚ÄúThree countries; India, China and Algeria; accounted for almost 60 per cent of total Russian exports.‚ÄĚ India alone accounted for 39 per cent.

    In contrast, the US which led with 31 per cent of global arms exports, had Korea as its top buyer at just 9 per cent. The US therefore had a better spread than Russia.

    So without India, Russia‚Äôs arms exports will atrophy. And although the likes of Algeria, Indonesia and Malaysia continue to be steady buyers of Russian weapons, the flows to these countries are a trickle rather than a torrent. No country offers Russia such a long-term and vast market as India. Indo- Russian ties might be on shaky ground at present,but not one of them is going to let the other just walk away.It’s for leaders of both countries to weigh all options rationally and ensure that this drift away from each other does not become too wide a chasm to cross.

    • &^%$#@! says:

      @Andy: FYI, in Russia, Kozyrev is about as discredited as Yeltsin, Chubais, and Gaidar. The issue is a lot deeper than what you have stated. By signing the LEMOA, Modi has painted India into a corner which will be very difficult if not impossible to extricate from. For now, Russia will wait and watch, and simply switch off any notions it had for India to balance the PRC. Patience is a virtue they (the Russians) have in plenty.

      It is highly unlikely that Russia will arm Pakistan with Su-35’s. The reason is not India which has amply demonstrated its willingness to remain in the third-class compartment, but Iran. Newly cash rich Iran has placed a very large order to buy and later co-produce the Su-3o/-35’s in addition to the purchase of the S-300, and other hardware.

      • andy says:

        About Iran being the cause of Russia not supplying the Su35 to Pakistan, I’m not so sure.The sheer quantum of weapons( S400,FGFA,second SSN to name a few,not to mention bombers,helicopters,civil nuclear reactors,spares and ammo etc)that India is looking at from Russia I don’t think any other country including Iran can match,Indian imports account for more 35% of all Russian weapons exports, that’s a hell of lot of %age to beat for any other country.The FGFA itself is $30 billion project by some estimates.

        FYI one is certainly aware of Kozyrevs rep in Russia,Of course he is discredited ,as mentioned above he lives in Miami,he was nothing but a US stooge who caused immense damage to Indo- Russian ties,not least of which was India having to diversify security links during Narsimha Raos govt.

        LEMOA has firmly pushed Russia away.If Russian flirting with Pakistan is causing so much angst in India one can well imagine what India’s deepening strategic relations with the USA is doing to the Russians ,they are certainly not happy to say the least.What shape this unhappiness will take is in the future, but the upcoming military exercise with Pakistan just a few weeks before the annual Putin -Modi summit is certainly a warning shot across the bow for India.Also showing that patience is running thin in Russia.

        Anyways we too have to wait and watch what happens during the said bilateral annual summit to see what trajectory Indo- Russian ties will take.At the moment it’s certainly not a very happy scenario.

      • &^%$#@! says:

        @Andy: WRT your statement: “[t]he sheer quantum of weapons( S400,FGFA,second SSN to name a few,not to mention bombers,helicopters,civil nuclear reactors,spares and ammo etc) that India is looking at from Russia”, this is the reason why Russia will sit quiet like a sniper and watch Indian seriousness, and the progress of these deals. However, there was apparently much more in the pipeline which is now in all probability lost because of LEMOA.

      • &^%$#@! says:

        @Andy: BTW, don’t be too sure that India will get a second Akula.

      • andy says:

        That’s the crux of the matter,nothing is sure anymore in Indo- Russian ties!That’s why one is looking for reasons that could keep them together in future.

    • andy says:

      &^%$#@! @
      Re:”BTW don’t too sure that India wil get a second Akula
      I’m not sure about a second Akula but a more capable Yassen class sub is probably in the works.
      See more:

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


    Re. “His statements would vindicate Rao‚Äôs decision to wean India away from over-dependence on Russia.”

    – Rao was an altogether different breed. You can always be specific about dead people who cannot now end up betraying you by their new deeds. It may be that Modi even tries to emulate him but if he is then its ameturish only. Rao could even when in difficulties, repluse the IMF and plan his own Nuke tests. Such a man will have littile to do with what imbeciles like Kozyrev have to say or end up doing.
    Prior to 1970 Kissinger used to address his correspondence to Kozygin. The same Kozygin who was the inspiration behind the Tashkent Samjauta. You can check out what happened to Kozygin in the Russian system. We lost a great PM because of this fanboy. Such people have always been there in the Russian system and they have been at times tolerated too. Such people become tools to allow foreigners, the inside track of what the main leadership is thinking. Kozyrev was another. As you rightly pointed out Kozyrev is in US now. We too have had a lot of such people. Part of game. Only that in India these people are the only game now whether its Congress or BJP.
    Rao was an astute observer too. No way he would have missed out such basic facts to be deciding about Look East Policy or multiple suppliers policy.
    Modi OTOH had all the chances that Rao never had and still he failed.

    Re. “In contrast, the US which led with 31 per cent of global arms exports, had Korea as its top buyer at just 9 per cent. The US therefore had a better spread than Russia.”

    – See Russians will always have orders because of many reasons. Its not like only India has the capacity to be a great power. Besides there are a lot of countries that will be left out in the Great Game and they will seek Russian weaponry again for multiple reasons. Chief among those reasons being that the only way the Westerners (esp. US) relax the various kinds of denial regimes when they know that subject country has options. It has been the case of India also. We did go to west for nearly everything nearly always (Nehru was a western plant after all). But only today we are allowed to import because essentially we can make all these ourselves or import even cheaper from Russia. Russian weapons create choice and options. So they will always find takers for their weapons. This has been so with China too. In future the Viets, Malayasians, Indonesians, Iranians, may be even Pakis will join them.
    OTOH as I said DRDO has been delibrately kept at this SME level because that way they fit into the negotiation model of the Selected Few. Model is simple – Buy where you get some quid pro quo ie. the West, if the west is unwilling to supply then approach the Russians and DRDO to get a scaled down version and again approach the West. Increment letter dikha ke Appointment Letter lo aur Appointment letter dikha ke increment letter lo. Such stupid model is best meant for losers out to sell they own women. It cannot work for a country the size of 130 Crores. And knowing this I support a full divorce with the Russians. Untill now the 25000 soldiers we have lost have unintendedly ended up supporting a super structure which avoides the difficult task in favour of paid for whiskey sessions. Is it any wonder that Disaster Relief hs been kept stunted in India for so long. It is obvious somebody is simply too keen to seek publicity.

    Re. “So basically, the country that was indirectly responsible for the deaths of 15,000 Soviet lives during the Afghanistan War was preferred by him over friendly India.”
    – See the Russian claim is that they are losing close to 30000 people p.a. due to narcotics. A patch up with Pakis will help them immediately divert all the narcotics out from their borders. Currently the American presence in Afghanistan prevents the Russians from achieving this. And by now the Russians to have learnt well that messing around in other countries should best be done in Bangladesh ops manner. You can see the difference in the manner they have handled – Georgia, Ukraine, Syria. Their new found learnings have become a net security provider in Asia. Pakis too see and understand this. So I would say these people too have a lot to gain if they cooperate. Pakis do not have to end up becoming Chinese bitch after having been the American bitch for so long and lost nearly every single big project they needed.
    Moreover the 15000 deads have also left them with a further good learnings. They will never ever try to save a country that is determined to turn itself into a vassal. Afghans fought to become an American bitch and turned their own country into a cesspool of rarefied islamism. Moreover they too understand that it was their foolishness to have gotten their own people killed in unjustifiable wars. This is a learning process that several countries have gone through. India too – in fact in reverse order – we executed it perfectly under Indira Gandhi only to agaiin have ourselves trapped, just like the Soviets in Afghanistan. We got ourselves trapped in IPKF expedition. And our idiots are again imagining themselves in the same expeditionary mode. Americans too have learnt this important lesson and that is why Iraq, Libya, Syria, Ukraine, India have not been attacked the way Vietnam was. In all these cases the Americans have used multiple methods to subvert the subject countries.

    Much much more importantly, in our case we lost 25000 soldiers in absolutely justifiable wars – within our borders or within our Near-Abroad. On top of that absolutely none of these 250000 would have liked the country to turn itself into a vassal which we now are being sought to made. A vassalhood is not worth dying for – simple. Is it any wonder that Modi refuses to release LEMOA text. He knows that just the way people have begun seeing the goings on in RBI, so will the families of these 25000 soldiers begin to see what is now being done. No sir he would rather wait for the OROP to be properly paid up so he can save his nationalist ‘credentials’ with at least some of these people. What he forgets is that this country has never lacked in such man power. There willl be more such people and since they will not now be dying as fast, they will end up questioning ever more. On top of that the 25000 who have already died and been betrayed by their bosses have already seeded unintended consequences – love for independence and these unintended consequences will never allow this knavery to go on for long.

    • ~!@#$%^&*()_+ says:

      Small addition to above post:

      Click to access Galeotti-Russia-final.pdf

      “The first is increasing mortality. Although the official
      figures for some time held at 30,000-40,000 drug-related
      deaths, in 2013 these shot up to 100,000.8
      sharp increase‚ÄĒup 270 percent from 2012‚Äôs numbers‚ÄĒto
      a considerable extent probably reflected
      the release of more accurate and honest data rather
      than the actual scale of the increase. Nonetheless, the
      underlying trend continues to rise steadily, with a
      particular and alarming continued increase in HIV
      infections largely contracted through needle-sharing,
      as well as in the terrible damage caused by the spread
      of krokodil, used by an estimated 100,000 addicts,
      which ultimately rots users’ skin away.9
      With some 70
      percent of the inmates in Russian prisons being drug
      users, they are also especially prone to the resistant
      strains of TB, which are endemic within the corrections

      So you get an idea why Russian need to get the Pakis onto their side. So long as Americans have any say in Pakistan, there is no way the 90% of world narcotics supply is going to stop and no way again that Russians will be able to keep themselves safe. So Pakis have great give for every take.

  12. andy says:

    ~!@#$%^&*()_+ @
    “Such a man will have littile to do with what imbeciles like Kozyrev have to say or end up doing.”

    The statements I referred to as vindication for Raos weaning India away from Russia were the ones by Sergie Ryabkov deputy foreign minister about Pakistan in 2015 and not Kozyrevs as inferred by you,but anyway Rao of course was a different person than Modi no doubts regarding this fact.The dilemma and confusion that ensued post the demise of the Soviet union, with most Indian defence equipment of Russian origin, rendered redundant due to lack of spares and other supplies plus the attitude of the likes of Kozyrevs had India scrambling to diversify arms imports lest India’s war fighting capacity be undermined, but as the SU30 deal in 1996 shows things were mostly back on track pretty soon.But no one can deny the damage done to Indo -Russian ties by the likes of Kozyrev.

    “A patch up with Pakis will help them immediately divert all the narcotics out from their borders. Currently the American presence in Afghanistan prevents the Russians from achieving this.”

    Could be ,but one certainly doubts wether the Pakistanis would be such easy meat, as the USA has found out to its chagrin, over the last so many decades.The Pakistanis took American money and weapons but pretty much did their own thing,to wit:their non performance in the war against terror and refusal to act against the Haqqani network inspite of taking billions of dollars from the US.The Russians are going to discover that inspite of what the Pak leaders would certainly promise them, the narcotics trade will not cease,this much is certain.

    “Russians will always have orders because of many reasons. Its not like only India has the capacity to be a great power.”

    No one is denying that Russia will always be a major player in the global arms market.As I mentioned above it accounts for 27% of the market and has almost $40 billion worth of orders, but India accounts for more than 35% of these exports by Russia ,can’t see any other single country match the sheer scale of Indian requirements anytime soon.

    “love for independence and these unintended consequences will never allow this knavery to go on for long.”

    Hope this statement comes true sooner rather than later!

Leave a Reply to &^%$#@! Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.