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Thread: The Coming India-Russia Split

  1. #46
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle View Post
    Agree. Out of the 4 (NSG, Australia group, MTCR & WA), only NSG eludes us. So I believe there is work going on behind the scenes to gradually uplift India into this exclusive club of which even China is not a member, except the NSG. I find Colonel OOE's assertions too pessimistic sometime, but he speaks from experience.
    Getting into the NSG depends on how we manage China, i would be surprised if there is any positive movement here, we have to work on getting off the american black list for sensitive tech

    And India is buying. That keeps jobs in Russian defense companies and food on the table for Russians. From a security relationship in the 70s, it has become transactional after the 90s. That's pragmatic Indian foreign policy.
    Russian defense is a niche sector. The Russians sell energy, so long as those prices stay down as expected they will take a long time to recover.

    I don't think Russia has said that explicitly, dropped a few hints about military sales to Pak.
    They have never said it, i'm just cutting to the chase. They don't mind how friendly we get with the west, so long as the arms orders keep coming. Those orders will only come if they satisfy our requirements.

    Where you see split, I sense opportunity. The Indian defense market is $250 billion in the next decade, every big defense manufacturer wants a pie. And there are tech that only the Russians are willing to sell us, unless US comes up with a far better proposal.
    We are attractive but i was concerned we'd lose them. It has to be said Russia offers unique advantages. It should not be an either or but both.

  2. #47
    Contributor cataphract's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    Timely article, some think it will happen within the next two years

    The Coming India-Russia Split | The Diplomat | Jan 09 2018
    Nothing in this article explains why there would be an India-Russia split. It's just a collection of facts that are pretty commonly known. Why would India initiate the split with her biggest defence supplier? Why would Russia kill the golden goose just to sell a few Sukhois to Pakistan?

    Beyond the transactional relationship, Russia needs India to counterbalance China in Asia. The Russians are not going to accept a subordinate role to the Chinese if they can help it. India needs Russia to maintain a veneer of independence in her foreign policy.

  3. #48
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cataphract View Post
    Why would India initiate the split with her biggest defence supplier?
    That is the question, it is India that will be doing the moving away not Russia as implied in that article

  4. #49
    Senior Contributor Oracle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cataphract View Post
    Nothing in this article explains why there would be an India-Russia split. It's just a collection of facts that are pretty commonly known. Why would India initiate the split with her biggest defence supplier? Why would Russia kill the golden goose just to sell a few Sukhois to Pakistan?

    Beyond the transactional relationship, Russia needs India to counterbalance China in Asia. The Russians are not going to accept a subordinate role to the Chinese if they can help it. India needs Russia to maintain a veneer of independence in her foreign policy.
    Exactly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    That is the question, it is India that will be doing the moving away not Russia as implied in that article
    And I have said if before that this is not how India conducts its foreign policy.

    Of all the countries in the world, it is only Pak and China that we don't see eye-to-eye, but we talk even to them. IMV, this article ended scaring more Russians, failing in its intended purpose.

  5. #50
    Contributor cataphract's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    That is the question, it is India that will be doing the moving away not Russia as implied in that article
    I can only think of 2 reasons India might move away from Russia:

    1. Russia sells/leases game changing equipment to Pakistan - S-400 or SSNs/SSBNs
    2. Russia ups its support for Afghan Taliban

    1. is very unlikely, simply because Paks would prefer their equipment to be Chinese
    2. could happen if Russia decides Afghanistan is where they want to fight US influence.

  6. #51
    Senior Contributor Oracle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cataphract View Post
    I can only think of 2 reasons India might move away from Russia:

    1. Russia sells/leases game changing equipment to Pakistan - S-400 or SSNs/SSBNs
    2. Russia ups its support for Afghan Taliban

    1. is very unlikely, simply because Paks would prefer their equipment to be Chinese
    2. could happen if Russia decides Afghanistan is where they want to fight US influence.
    1. Where will Pak find money for sophisticated defense buys? China won't give Pak a single dollar, to buy Russian hardware. So, Pak has to contend itself with 3rd gen Chinese military hardware.

    After eating up $2.5b, Pakistan to float another $1b Eurobond
    Pakistan will be among top 25 economies in no time: Ahsan Iqbal, wait, what?

    In some years, they will be eating grass. Oh, wait, we control the waters. Sand it is.

    2. Russian is already supporting the Taliban.

    Is Russia Really Arming the Taliban?

    There is no ISIS in AfPak region. It's ISI.

  7. #52
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Going by the Indian experience bonds are generally a safe investment and the returns are higher than banks offer. When we tested in '98, and US sanctions were imposed, GOI floated bonds around the world to build a foreign exchange buffer. So successful was it that a few billion worth was sold in a month and GOI had to discontinue the offer shortly thereafter. A lawsuit was filed in the states as they limited the bonds to Indian nationals only apparently, that's against US law.

    Pakistan will test the international markets days after Fitch – one of the top three global credit rating agencies – downgraded the country’s outlook from stable to negative. According to Fitch’s analysis, Pakistan has been unable to sustain the gains made under the three-year International Monetary Fund (IMF) Extended Fund Facility, which ended in September 2016. The credit rating agency cited a fall in foreign exchange reserves coupled with a widening fiscal deficit as a major indicator of reversals made after the IMF’s programme ended in September 2016.
    Will have to see how these ratings go in the coming years. It could be its down right now as the need for capital is highest at the earliest stages of projects and stabilise later. Too many variables. They are basically under the gun and have to bear whatever brunt comes.

    Watch their foreign reserves, one of few indicators as to how well or not things are going


    Oh, wait, we control the waters. Sand it is.
    Indus you mean ? sources for the Indus are in Pok IIANM. We can't build much on Punjabs rivers entering Pakistan either. The paks oppose everything no matter how benign. Like its a power trip for them.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 03 Feb 18, at 17:13.

  8. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle View Post
    Everything, if you don't mind, but please stress more on Indo-Pak and Indo-China balance.
    Bear with me, my mind is not what it used to be and it takes effort at times.

    1) The Western powers are not selling India anything that can help India swamp Pakistan. B1s and B52s are not for sale. Neither is any SSM technology. And they're not even worry about the Sino-Indo balance, India does not even want to participate in declare-bankruptcy arms race since China already has 2000+ conventional SSMs (aimed at Taiwan but could just as easily moved towards India)

    2) The Chinese J-20 is more about deterrence than anything else. The first squadron has enterred operational service with the Chinese. The point, however, is that India needs an immediate counter if Pakistan does manage to get a hold of a few (no indications as yet the Chinese are willing to give, not sell since Pakistan can afford squat, them any). Not to sweep Pakistani skies but to tell Pakistan, don't do anything stupid.

    3) Battle Management systems is reccee-intel-eval-decision-engagement system. In a nut shell, reccee computers tell CP/HQ computers what they see. CP/HQ decides what to engage and with what and then feed the target specifications to the deciding arms to engage that target

    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle View Post
    Agree. Out of the 4 (NSG, Australia group, MTCR & WA), only NSG eludes us. So I believe there is work going on behind the scenes to gradually uplift India into this exclusive club of which even China is not a member, except the NSG. I find Colonel OOE's assertions too pessimistic sometime, but he speaks from experience.
    You're making too much out of mole hills. CWC and BWC trumps the Australia Group. All the Australia Group allows you to do is to buy pesticides that you promise not to turn into bio-chem weapons. MTCR and WA only means that China can't sell to MTCR and WA members but their customers ain't MTCR and WA members. However, China has abide by MTCR and WA rules.

    And as of now, India can't buy Israeli missile technologies since Israel ain't a member also, meaning missile trade between China and Israel is legal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle View Post
    1. Where will Pak find money for sophisticated defense buys? China won't give Pak a single dollar, to buy Russian hardware. So, Pak has to contend itself with 3rd gen Chinese military hardware.
    Let's not discount Chinese military help. The FC-1/JF-17 is an extremely good example. The CCP at the time committed the PLAAF to buy at least 200+ of this bird in order to make this cost-effective for Pakistan to co-produce this bird. The PLAAF hated this bird and instead of buying it, just gave the money they would have used for purchase straight to Pakistan for them to use to produce the JF-17. In essence, the PLAAF gave Pakistan an entire air force (200+ planes) while saving money that now they don't have to spend on operating and maintaining the JF-17.

    The JF-17 may be a piece of junk but Pakistan is now capable of producing fighter aircrafts. That is extremely militarily significant.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle View Post
    2. Russian is already supporting the Taliban.

    Is Russia Really Arming the Taliban?
    Did you read the article? At best, Moscow is selling the Taliban rusted out AK-47s.

  9. #54
    Contributor cataphract's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle View Post
    2. Russian is already supporting the Taliban.

    Is Russia Really Arming the Taliban?

    There is no ISIS in AfPak region. It's ISI.
    I'm aware that Russia is already supporting the Taliban. As mentioned in the article, the level of support is minimal so far. The day that Russia jumps into the Pakistani camp of providing Taliban political support is when they have truly alienated India. This isn't as far-fetched as you think. Pakistan already has China on-board, and the only other holdout is Iran. Iran has supported Al-Qaeda occassionally despite the Shia-Sunni blood feud. If Russia and Iran decide that accomodating the Taliban is a worthwhile price to curtail American influence in Afghanistan, then the only powers supporting the Afghan govt would be the US and India.

    Btw, ISIS does exist now in Afghanistan, but let's stick to the thread topic.

  10. #55
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cataphract View Post
    The day that Russia jumps into the Pakistani camp of providing Taliban political support is when they have truly alienated India. This isn't as far-fetched as you think. Pakistan already has China on-board, and the only other holdout is Iran. Iran has supported Al-Qaeda occassionally despite the Shia-Sunni blood feud. If Russia and Iran decide that accomodating the Taliban is a worthwhile price to curtail American influence in Afghanistan, then the only powers supporting the Afghan govt would be the US and India.
    Scenario you painted here is more involved. But US - Turk relations are a similar analogy. And these two are treaty allies with the Turks sharing a direct border with kurds on the other side

    Btw, ISIS does exist now in Afghanistan, but let's stick to the thread topic.
    Amrullah thinks ISIS in Afghanistan is just a rebadged Taliban.

  11. #56
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Doesn't have to be just Americans, French works too. To date we've invited them the most times to guest at Republic day. Five times.

    France: India’s new Russia? | IE | Mar 09 2018

    Alliance with Paris promises stability in Eurasia and Indo-Pacific as Delhi recalibrates ties with Moscow.

    Written by C. Raja Mohan | Published: March 9, 2018 12:08 am

    Can France replace Russia as India’s most valuable international partner? For many, this is an outlandish idea. For them, Russia’s place in India’s international relations is unique and unchanging. Some would dismiss the proposition by affirming that the United States has already replaced Russia as India’s privileged partner since the end of the Cold War.

    Dig a little deeper, though, and you will discover why France has begun to loom so large in India’s geopolitical calculus. A peep into that future might be visible this weekend when the visiting French President, Emmanuel Macron, sits down with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. They already have some interesting things in store. For example, the two leaders are expected to lay out a vision for bilateral strategic coordination for the Indian Ocean and back it with measures to facilitate operational cooperation between their security forces in the littoral.

    These steps are welcome and overdue. But they are just the beginning. Modi and Macron are well-placed to turn India and France into long-term partners in shaping the geopolitics of Eurasia and the Indo-Pacific. But first to our claim that France could be “India’s new Russia”. It begs the question: Why has Russia won India’s political affections for so long?

    After India gained independence, it was by no means inevitable that Soviet Russia would become a lasting partner for India. It was Russia’s repeated exercise of the veto to trump the Anglo-American tilt towards Pakistan on the Kashmir dispute that laid the foundation for Delhi’s enduring faith in Moscow.

    It is not that the UN or anyone else can take Kashmir away from an India that is so much stronger than in the 1950s. But it is good to have a reliable friend in the UNSC who can block unfriendly moves by other powers. France, like Russia, is a permanent member of the UNSC and has a veto.

    Until recently, it was Russia alone that made an unambiguous choice between India and Pakistan in favour of the former. As Russia reaches out to Pakistan, that special position now belongs to France. For example, Paris has foregone the opportunity to sell major weapons systems to Pakistan and has focused on a strong defence partnership with India.

    Delhi’s new strategic appreciation of the French connection is also rooted in India’s recent nuclear history. Twenty years ago, when he came to India to announce the strategic partnership, President Jacques Chirac argued that India’s exclusion from the global nuclear order was unacceptable and must be corrected. That was in January 1998, a few months before India conducted its nuclear tests.

    Although it was the US that did all the political heavylifting to generate the international consensus in favour of the nuclear reconciliation with India, Paris does get some credit for thinking through the raison d’Ítre for the nuclear deal. If the Clinton Administration began to erect international sanctions against India immediately after the May 1998 nuclear tests, Yeltsin’s Russia wavered in its support to Delhi. But France did not. Paris did do much to temper the collective great power response to Pokhran II.

    But what about India’s extraordinary military relationship with Russia developed over the decades? When Prime Minister Indira Gandhi decided to diversify India’s defence ties in the early 1980s, she turned to Paris. Since then India’s defence relationship with France has steadily grown; but it is yet to reach the full potential. If and when India goes beyond the accountant’s approach to defence modernisation, the natural synergy between France’s strategic capability and the size of the Indian market would come into play.

    India’s decision to buy the Mig-21 aircraft in 1961 was a political one forced down the throat of a reluctant defence establishment by Pandit Nehru. Today, with a similar commitment, Modi could begin the construction of a genuine defence industrial base in India in partnership with France.

    But can France give India the special strategic assistance of the kind that Russia has delivered? Consider, for example, the Indian lease of Russian nuclear attack submarines and Moscow’s cooperation in the development of an indigenous line. France, too, builds nuclear submarines and it should not be impossible to imagine cooperation between Delhi and Paris on military nuclear propulsion and other sensitive areas.

    But these types of decisions are not merely industrial or financial. They come out of shared interests and goals. What bound Russia and India together was the need to construct a regional balance of power system in Southern Asia during the second half of the 20th century.

    In the changed context of the 21st, India and France have many reasons to draw closer. The prospects of even limited American retrenchment, the rise of China and its power projection into regions as far away as the South Pacific, Africa and the Mediterranean, the tightening embrace between Moscow and Beijing, the breakdown of the detente between Russia and Europe, and the turbulence in the spaces between India and France demand that Delhi and Paris pool their resources and act together.

    Like with Russia and the US, India’s relationship with France can’t just be bilateral. Much in the manner that Moscow and Washington brought their other partners into their engagement with India, Paris opens the door for stronger strategic ties between India and Europe as a whole. The unfolding maritime cooperation, joint efforts to counter terrorism, and the building of the solar alliance, underline the emerging globalisation of the India-France partnership and eventually that between Delhi and Brussels.

    An alliance with Paris, in pursuit of stability and security in Eurasia and the Indo-Pacific, does not mean Delhi abandons its engagement with Moscow and devalues its strategic partnership with Washington. A recalibration of India’s ties with Russia has been unfolding, slowly but surely, since the end of the Cold War. The US, on its part, can only be pleased that India and France are ready to take larger responsibilities and share the burden for maintaining regional and global order.

    The writer is director, Carnegie India, Delhi and contributing editor on foreign affairs for The Indian Express.
    The last bolded sentence needs to be unpacked further

  12. #57
    Senior Contributor Monash's Avatar
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    So why France as opposed to say Germany or both countries in a tripartite style agreement? (I get why the UK might be left out of the mix for historical reasons) but why not tying up with the two 'big dogs' of Europe rather than just one?

  13. #58
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    We've had longer relations with the French. No objections to Germans or Brits btw either if they have anything we want.

  14. #59
    Senior Contributor Monash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    We've had longer relations with the French. No objections to Germans or Brits btw either if they have anything we want.
    That was (sort of) my point -why would the relationship with France be considered longer/closer than that with Germany? It may not matter in military of business circles but I could understand certain sensitivities around snuggling up to Britain among the political elites, even if only to avoid giving your political opponents a free shot. Germany however would seem an ideal match if you were interested in increasing access to technical/engineering expertise. Not discounting French strengths in that field BTW.

  15. #60
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    If more can done it will be welcome. So far this is what we have with Germany

    Quote Originally Posted by Monash View Post
    Germany however would seem an ideal match if you were interested in increasing access to technical/engineering expertise.
    We did just that in the 50's. Co-developed a jet together.

    The other thing that Nehru did, where arms was concerned, was instead of importing combat aircraft, which is what we have been doing, he imported the best combat aircraft designer in the world at that time in the 1950s. He got Dr Kurt Tank, who designed the Focke-Wulf war planes for Nazi Germany. Can you imagine this? He imported the greatest designer of aircraft. He was commissioned to design the aircraft in 1957. By 1961, the first prototype was flying in the Bangalore skies. The first supersonic jet aircraft to be made outside of Europe and the United States in the world flew over Bangalore. In 1961.

    What does this say to you about the subsequent prime ministers? Not being strategic-minded, not being visionary. Dr Tank had designed the HF-24 Marut. That was the great combat aircraft that flew to Bangalore. It is parked in the HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited) museum. It was then said to be the finest aeroplane in the world.
    We've imported weapons from the Brits as well. I think out first aircraft carrier we got in the 60s was from the British. No historical hangups with the Brits. Bu these relations are in the past, other suppliers cropped up since.

    In some ways your question is ahead of the curve. You could have asked in the past why only UK and not France, as time went on we saw they were dependable so French relations grew.

    "Your classical, historical partner in Europe was the UK. And I want France to become the new partner...the reference partner of the 21st century" - President Macron a few days ago on a trip to India
    Last edited by Double Edge; 10 Mar 18, at 16:10.

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