US imposition to India on purchase of weapons causes preoccupation
The United States is imposing on the government of India the purchase of arms and military equipment, something that causes preoccupation not only because of the regional context of tensions with Pakistan, but also because of the way the endeavor is being carried out. For the American war industry, India seems to be a good destination for outdated technologies.
On February 6, Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar testified to the Indian Parliament that the Indian Air Force has no interest in acquiring the F-16 fighters, manufactured by Lockheed Martin, which is accused of practicing aggressive lobbying in that country.
As is well known, the United States weapon and military equipment trade passes through the sieve of the White House and the US Congress. Therefore, if Lockheed Martin works to push 114 F-21s – the new outfit of the old F-16 – to India, it is because these two instances fully endorse the deal.
One of the company's vice presidents of business development has also assured that if India closes the purchase, Lockheed Martin will not sell this model to anyone else. This is perhaps the easiest promise to fulfill, after all the F-16 has long since ceased to be a latest generation aircraft. The Indians are also wary of the US offer to install a plant in the country to manufacture the hundreds of planes offered.
According to the company, the contract will allow India to be part of the global system of fighter projects, a market of about $ 170 billion.
Indian experts understand that forcing the country to sign contracts for the supply of US military weapons and equipment under conditions favorable to the United States has a strong negative impact on Indian defense capability.
There is no doubt that the United States is trying to sell obsolete military weapons and equipment to India, at exaggerated prices, and using economic and political intimidation as a mechanism of pressing the deal.
In addition, large US corporations implant their means of production in Asian countries so to save money on qualified personnel and minimize payments to the victims of emergencies in the companies. Not to mention that the US military usually disrespect the religious canons and traditional values of Asian countries.
It should be noted that in his presentation in Parliament, the Defense Minister stated that "what we need now is the experience of flying against the F-16, because we do not consider the possibility of buying these fighters, at least for now." The F-16 is the fighter used by the Pakistani Air Force. Recently, the United States has approved the sale of eight new F-16s to that country, which has a dispute with India over the border region of Jammu and Kashmir.
Marcelo Rech is a journalist, editor of InfoRel and an expert on International Relations, Strategies and Policies for Defense, Terrorism and Counterinsurgency, Human Rights in Armed Conflicts and Defense Diplomacy. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.