Friday, July 23, 2010

They're Both Smiling, But They're Both Pissed Off


Admiral Mike Mullen (left), chairman of the US Joint Chiefs, was in Delhi to (among other things) push forward three stalled bilateral defence agreements that have been stalled with no resolution in sight. His frustration with the status quo emerged at a briefing for journalists that I attended this evening. The three agreements are the politically contentious Logistics Supply Agreement (a euphemism for the ACSA), the Communication Interoperability & Security Memorandum Agreement (CISMOA) -- without which, the US insists, India's C-130Js and P-8Is will be little more than flying hunks of metal -- and the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo-Spatial Cooperation (BECA). Status: no movement. Indian Decence Minister AK Antony reiterated New Delhi's concerns about Washington's continued supply of conventional armaments to Pakistan under the "delusion" that they're being used in the war on terror, but was politely snubbed by the Admiral, who later said, "I don't believe we've sold them anything that imbalances the capability between the two countries. We do believe they are using everything we supply them with against terror in their country. If that changes, we'd have to look at that."

33 comments:

Rahul said...

Strange! contract was signed, money was paid, aircrafts are about to roll out and deal is still not final!!!!

Anonymous said...

What's the point of buying from USA then? Spending billions of dollars on "little more than flying hunks of metal".

Anonymous said...

Lol Mullen Must be sniffing stuff. F-16's to counter Osama flying in his magical carpet? F-16's are against India and Indians. Mullen need to be kicked in the butt.

Anonymous said...

Let them be flying "hunks of metal" and price them accordingly.

Anonymous said...

Trust the Kangress to sell-us out and sign the modern day equivalents of Lord Wellesley's Subsidiary Alliance System.

There it was troops and here it involves the equipment.

Ravi said...

The fact is, our journalists are not trained to ask hard questions, or maybe they are "encouraged" to not ask hard questions??

Why doesn't anyone ask the admiral why it is perfectly reasonable for US to supply free arms to Pakistan, with which India has fought four wars, while US wants India to sever relations with Iran, with which the US has not had a direct war even once?

Will the US agree to Indian military supplies to Cuba or Venezuela, if they don't "greatly imbalance" the capability between US and Cuba/Venezuela?

Why should US push India put pressure on Burma, while the US has a cozy relationship with Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, which have a worse human rights accord?

Why doesn't any of our journalists directly ask these questions to the visiting US dignitaries, whether they be Hillary Clinton or Adm Mullen or Gen Jones, the US NSA?

Are they afraid they will lose free junkets to US and invites to parties at the US embassy? They can't get green cards to US or free education at US universities?

The lapdog approach of the journalists was seen when Musharaff was pulling stuff out of his wazoo at Agra, and no Indian journalist had the guts to ask him the right questions on paki perfidity. Is it any wonder they will ask hard questions to the benovalent US ?

Gautam said...

Why is every body acting like only the US is at fault here?

The agreements they seek are basic cooperation agreements that are accepted by all nations who buy their weapons and intend to perform joint international operations with them like our Navy is doing for anti-piracy. If we are truly intending to become close allies with the US then we at least need to take these first steps.

The sale of US arms to Pakistan, while a significant issue, is in no way related to these and bringing it up as a bargaining chip is a strategically inept move by AK Antony. In any case no country in the world will offer more than verbal support in our disputes with Pakistan(after all it's not their problem; same way we aren't banning arms sales to Myanmar either). As such trying to dissociate ourself from anyone who wants to do business with Pakistan will quickly leave us alone and isolated. Pakistan wants weapons, well, it's a free market and the US, Europe, China, Ukraine and even Russia(RD-93 engines, Mi-17 helos) are free to offer their wares, same as they do for us.

Antony's argument is pointless, and he should drop his overly self-righteous Socialist agenda and sign the agreements already!

Anonymous said...

The U.S can keep the flying metal junk. We will not purchase junk. Either U.S can be losers by not selling to India or be gainers by selling to India things that they need for the dollar they are getting else or better get lost for ever.

Sankara Menon said...

Can we not fit our material into the "flying junk" without backdoor entrys and trojans?

Sankara Menon said...

Can we not fit our material into the "flying junk" without backdoor entrys and trojans?

Sankara Menon said...

My dear Gautam:
We will not sign something that will have americans running around in our defence establishments. Have you ever dealt with the inepts who act high and mighty? I think Antony is doing right!!!

Sankara Menon said...

Dear Ravi:
I support you 400%. Let us ordinary aam admis ask these questions loud and clear

Sankara Menon said...

Dear Ravi:
I support you 400%. Let us ordinary aam admis ask these questions loud and clear

Sankara Menon said...

Dear Ravi:
I support you 400%. Let us ordinary aam admis ask these questions loud and clear

Anonymous said...

Gautam, you are missing the point. No one is opposing sale of arms to pakistan. Problem is, pakistan is getting them free of charge, and that too close to $1 billion worth per year. Check out todays news papers.

Now, if Pakistan had to spend that much amount itself, it would soon go belly up, given that it is begging IMF for billions in loan.

The other question is also the double standards of US. US won't allow anyone to sell arms to Iran, Cuba, Venezuela etc as Ravi has pointed out earlier, and given the massive superiority enjoyed by US. US cares for each one of its soldiers. But it has no issues giving away arms to Pakistan, as we don't care if in a a war, the US weapons kills hundreds of our soldiers.

Antony is doing the right thing. We shouldn't also purchase from US. We give them billions for arms, and they use it to give away free arms to Pakistan? Let the US companies not get orders. Let C-17 production close down, so that their workers are laid off. Let the US too feel some economic pressure, for that is all we can do to show our displeasure.

With Euro exchange rates coming down, let us buy from Europe if required.

How do you show you unhappiness to US otherwise?

Gautam said...

Or we can be losers by not buying from anyone solely on the grounds that they sell to Pakistan. There goes US, France, Germany, Sweden, Ukraine and Russia...

R N said...

Frankly Antony is the best DF we had in a long time.

Anonymous said...

If the Admiral slips and falls, AK Antony will say,"your shoes are made in Pakistan". One more reason not to supply them with F-16s.

Gautam said...

Antony's main achievement is that we have had hardly any no major defence deals cleared in his tenure. No MMRCA, no artillery guns, no T-90 full-scale production, no second submarine production line, not even proper ballistic helmets and night-vision gear for our troops.

Of course, dragging every purchase by 5 years, cancelling and repeating means there are no scams(except the hushed-up Scorpene bribes). Because there are no deals! Well, done AK!

praneetbajpaie said...

Dear Goutam,
Do you know what the end user agreement is? If we sign it, the Americans can come whenever they please to inspect the weapons that they have sold to us. The Russians have been selling us weapons since a long time, Do you remember even one instance that they said they are going to inspect the weapons. Take the example of INS Jhalsawa(USS Trenton). A 202 crore piece of junk which was decommissioned from the US Navy and bought by us. The Us has said that the ship cannot be used in any offensive capabilities.

Ra said...

F-16s and F-18s look best only when they are donated free to Pakistan to replace their ageing JF-17s. Lol...

Anonymous said...

kindly decision makers do not sacrifice or hard fought independence and surrender it to US.agreed there is a lot to win but we need still to be on our guards and am utterly against the permission for US vessels/planes to be able to land or refuel at indian airports or ports

national interest first JAI HIND

Anonymous said...

@praneet is it true bout trnton i thought it was remodeled for us...anyways we hav a russian support system in our defence integration plan as half of our stuffs r russian,,,we should try n integrate them wit the c 130 js wit them or we shud come up wit somethin new to get russian and american systams together which is vry necessary if we hav to achieve a triad..

Gautam said...

At least we got Trenton cheap unlike Gorshkov. And at least there are no problems like lack of spares and service unlike most of our Russian-made equipment that our armed forces are unhappy with.

The US agreements don't involve anything overly intrusive like inspections and so on. And what's wrong with allowing a friendly country to refuel and restock its ships and planes here?

Ra said...

In such matters any permission granted to US is as good as granted to Papistan.

praneetbajpaie said...

Full indigenous production of weapons systems is the need of the hour. We have no option but to develop our defence systems ourselves. We can never trust the Americans. In the past they supported Pakistan but now that has changed. Remember 1971, when they sent their destroyers to the Arabian Sea during the Bangladesh Liberation War. Now they want good relations with us because their economic stakes in Pakistan is nothing compared to their economic interests in India.

Gautam said...

We were not on friendly terms with the US in the Cold War because we were clients of the Soviet Union. But why the hell should that policy be retained for eternity? What purpose would it serve to us? The Russians aren't going to give us more oil, discounts or ToT just because we rejected US arms. Grow up, people!

praneetbajpaie said...

Goutam,
A few instances:
1) Access to David Headley was not given at first. After a lot of negotiations, Indian investigators were finally given access.
2) The only permanent member of the UNSC to veto Shashi Tharoor's candidature for secretary general post was America.
3) America is the only country who has not come out with support for India's permanent seat at the Security Council. They are non committal. Even China has supported our claim.
4) American company refusing to accept liability for Bhopal.(Dow Chemicals)
5) water found on the moon by Chandrayan was revealed by the Americans as their own discovery instead of it being a joint effort.
These are instances that have happened in the past 2-3 years.
i am not even going into what happened 20-30 years ago.
As I said, they are being friendly now because their economic stakes in India is much more than their economic stakes in Pakistan.
The Japanese who are one of their biggest allies are starting to have problems with them. So are the English.
Before you call America a "friendly country', know facts first.

Gautam said...

1)I don't think it was a matter of them not wanting to help India stop terror from their soil; they are actually more severe than us in dealing with that issue(Patriot act, detentions etc.). It was probably a question of jurisdiction and US anti-terror laws and investigations taking precedence, but point taken.

2)Under the Obama administration which has been soundly bashed for its foreign policy, in particular its apparent coolness towards India. Under Bush this was not the case. It should be rectified by the next election.

3)Same as above, and they're very likely to agree when the vote comes, if we have already gained the consensus of the other 4. Especially given our candidature is interlinked with allies like Japan and Germany.

4)Is that company a PSU? What does that have to do with the US government?

Also, it was Union Carbide which was behind the disaster, which no longer exists as a company. Dow can't exactly be blamed directly, and they have a good legal(not moral) reason for not responding; from their POV they have nothing to do with the matter.

5)Wasn't it discovered by a NASA instrument? What's wrong in praising that? It's not like they didn't acknowledge that it was part of Chandrayaan. Same as us boasting about sending cosmonaut Rakesh Sharma to space and giving him freeze-dried Indian food... on Russian spacecraft with Russian facilities.

RAT said...

GOOD ANALYSIS praneetbajpaie

I AM NOT AGAINST THE US BUT FOR ME INDIA'S LONG TERM AND SHORT TERM INTRESTS COME FIRST AND SO IT SHOULD FOR EVERY INDIAN

RAT said...

GOOD ANALYSIS praneetbajpaie

I AM NOT AGAINST THE US BUT FOR ME INDIA'S LONG TERM AND SHORT TERM INTRESTS COME FIRST AND SO IT SHOULD FOR EVERY INDIAN

MPatel said...

Compare the two men...does the short fat one look like he can compete...you should see the comments americans and paks are making?

Anonymous said...

The CISMOA means that they have right to put any software hardware on US weaponary for communication and other portability between the two countries. (they say its for co-operation between the two)

Now this is what India has objection why do we have to allow them to put their stuff on Weapons which we have Purchased with our hard earned money. what if they use spying stuff(software / hardware)we can't even oppose that once we have signed it.
I personally believe its better to have weapons which are 100% in Indian controll even if its not as good as american technology.
Hope the government doesnt succumb to American pressure.