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Thread: The Coming India-Russia Split

  1. #61
    Senior Contributor anil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monash View Post
    So why France as opposed to say Germany
    Because of history

    To the politicians in new delhi, both of them are clear NATO allies but in practice, when US imposed sanctions on India, they acted differently. Germany obeyed the American command but France did not.

    Similarly, when the Americans restricted its allies from transfering urgently needed munitions to India during the Indo-Pak war, the Israeli's disobeyed the american command and proceeded with the transfer.

    Politician's in New Delhi saw this and understood easily that the Americans and their relationship with their allies(poodles) was complex. This is why india follows a bizzare procurement policy which lasts years. Essentially, the indian politicians are trying to spot a state that refuses to be circumvented by the americans in crucial periods.
    Last edited by anil; 10 Mar 18, at 12:13.

  2. #62
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Russia's arms sales to India still make up 62% of the total. They're sitting pretty, for now. US sales to India grew 557% to make up 15%



    China is biggest arms supplier to India’s neighbours, US sales to Pak drop 76% | The Print | Mar 12 2018

  3. #63
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    What is Russia's foreign policy about these days ? Competition with the west

    Though this could be more of Putin thing than a Russia thing. In which case it lasts till 2024

    So who would be suitable partners for Russia ? China is top of that list. This is already plenty.

    To which could be added Iran, Turkey & Pakistan. A motley crowd of quasi to authoritarian

    The India - Russia relationship prospered because they saw us through a cold war lens.

    No more cold war, they've moved on and this changes the way they see bilaterals and by extension the relationship with India


    Questions are

    - at what point does an increasingly anti-west stance by Russia complicate things for India
    - at what point does a closer Russia China relationship mean a diminution of India concerns by Russia

    So you see there are limits to this relationship that are not of our making and over which we might not be able to influence.

    We balance China with the US and the US with Russia and this curves back to China too or used to in the past.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 19 Mar 18, at 23:19.

  4. #64
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    From The Diplomat, more here: https://thediplomat.com/2018/03/diff...ia-india-ties/

    Difficult Times Ahead for Russia-India Ties

    The relationship between New Delhi and Moscow will see simmering challenges come to a head soon.

    As was expected, Vladimir Putin won Russia’s recent presidential elections comfortably and will be leading Russia for another six years. He got more than 76 percent of the vote and now becomes the longest serving Russian leader since Stalin, being at the helm of Russia as either president or prime minister since 1999. Putin wanted to ensure that the scale of victory was higher than the last time, when he had won around 64 percent, and he succeeded in drumming up that support. While Putin has celebrated his victory as a recognition of “the achievements of the last few years,” the elections were stage-managed to a large extent with the main opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, being barred from the race. With the coronation of Xi Jinping as China’s de facto president for life and Putin’s election in Russia, a new form of authoritarian political order is shaping up, challenging the liberal order like never before.

    India, of course, has a long-standing relationship with Russia, but that is undergoing a shift in light of rapidly evolving geopolitical realities. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was prompt in tweeting his wishes for Putin’s new term in office. For India, what should be concerning is Russia’s increasing tilt toward Pakistan as it seeks to curry favor with China. Moscow had historically supported New Delhi at the United Nations Security Council by repeatedly vetoing resolutions on the Kashmir issue. Today, however, there is a change in how Moscow views its regional priorities in South Asia. In a significant development, the joint declaration issued at the end of the first-ever six-nation Speaker’s Conference in Islamabad held in December supported the Pakistani line on Kashmir. This declaration signed by Afghanistan, China, Iran, Pakistan, Russia, and Turkey underscored that “for ensuring global and regional peace and stability, the issue of Jammu and Kashmir needs peaceful resolution by Pakistan and India in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions.” Pakistan’s Kashmir fixation meant that it forced other interlocutors to bring the Kashmir issue to the declaration.

    During his visit to New Delhi in December, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov publicly called on India to join China’s Belt and Road initiative and hoped that New Delhi will find a way out to benefit from the mega connectivity project without sacrificing its position on the issues flagged by it. Referring to India’s opposition to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor on the grounds of sovereignty, Lavrov underlined that “the specific problem in this regard should not make everything else conditional for resolving political differences.” Lavrov also made his displeasure clear over New Delhi’s warming up to the idea of a quadrilateral engagement involving the United States, India, Japan, and Australia in the Indo-Pacific. He suggested “that sustainable security architecture in the Asia Pacific region cannot be achieved through [a] bloc arrangement and is only possible through an open-ended collective basis.”

  5. #65
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Now what do we do ?

    could might ??

    Russian defense deal could put India in path of U.S. sanctions | Axios | Mar 29 2018

    Cara Abercrombie Mar 29

    India may close a major defense deal with Russia as early as next week, when Indian Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will make her first trip to Moscow. The deal covers two S-400 air defense systems, which include radar, missile launchers and command center technology.

    Why it matters: In August 2017, President Trump signed into law the Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) against Russia. Because the sanctions target any country trading with Russia's defense and intelligence sectors, India's pending deal may put it on a collision course with the U.S.

    The background: Approximately 60% of India’s defense inventory is Russian-made, a legacy of India’s Cold War–era relationship with the Soviet Union. While the U.S. has become its second largest defense supplier — mainly of aircraft and artillery — India still relies heavily on Russian equipment, such as submarines and missiles, that the U.S. has been unwilling to provide.

    India has good reason to want high-end weapons systems: It is the only country in the world that has contested borders with two nuclear neighbors — Pakistan and China — and has fought wars with both. Forcing India to abruptly cut off Russian supplies would create unacceptable risk to India's self-defense. If forced to choose between a robust, well-equipped military and U.S. goodwill, India would likely choose the former.

    What's next: These sanctions, like penalties the U.S. imposed after India's nuclear tests in the 1990s, would sour relations. At worst, they could stoke domestic backlash and close off U.S. defense sales to India for the foreseeable future. Given bipartisan support for the U.S.–India defense relationship, Congress should grant India waiver authority under CAATSA. Without waivers, other important regional partners, like Vietnam and Indonesia, are also likely to trigger sanctions.

    The bottom line: India warrants an exemption from these secondary sanctions, as does any country with which the U.S. is forging new and strategically important defense relations.

    Cara Abercrombie is a visiting scholar in the South Asia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

  6. #66
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    External Affairs minister isn't mincing her words here on the topic of expelling Russian diplomats


  7. #67
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle View Post
    Is turning out slowly to be a PITA for India too w.r.t. Pakistan & China.
    How to keep Russia happy when not enough defence deals available

    Modi to meet Putin on May 21; effort to shore up ties against sanctions by U.S. | Hindu | May 17 2018

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi will travel to the Russian seaside resort of Sochi to meet President Vladimir Putin on Monday for what government sources called an “exchange of views” on various international issues including the US sanctions on Russia and Iran, and India’s commitment to its defence ties with Russia.

    “We are not going to allow our defence requirements to be dictated by any other country. Whatever is in India’s interests in terms of procuring equipment for national security is what will determine how we act with various countries,” a source said, referring to the US’s twin actions of passing the CAATSA law (that provides for sanctions on countries conducting defence and energy trade with its “adversaries”) as well as pulling out of the six-party nuclear agreement with Iran, which will also affect India.

    The government has made it clear that it is also standing by Russia on the latest standoff with western countries over the Salisbury case of chemical poisoning of two Russians in UK,

    as well as alleged Russian support to the Assad regime for chemical attacks in Syria.


    The external affairs ministry’s statements on both cases have demanded evidence of the allegations by the US and European countries before “apportioning blame”, a stand which has been viewed with some concern in Washington.
    So! its like that then .....

    I've already tested out this stance here on the board in the relevant thread. Seeking evidence in the sense allowing the russians to do their own tests would allow them to water down the Salisbury case to irrelevancy, clear objective

    The govt has taken its stand keeping our interests in mind. Our western friends will understand given our stance on these two topics means exactly bugger all : D

    I want to see some more corroboration here, Statements is one thing, lets see the actions

    The sources were clear that the Sochi summit would not focus on India-Russia bilateral issues including energy trade, defence purchases including the pending deal for the S-400 weapon systems, as well as nuclear issues, as these would be taken up at the annual summit between the leaders expected to take place in Delhi in October this year. Irritants in the relationship, including Russia’s closer military ties with Pakistan are also not expected to come up as sources said the government has accepted Moscow’s repeated assurances that these would not “impinge on Indian security interests”.
    October this year

    Apart from the meetings in Sochi and Delhi, Mr. Modi and Mr. Putin are expected to also meet at upcoming summits like the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation in China in June, followed by the BRICS summit in South Africa in July and the G-20 summit in Argentina in November. However, PM Modi is understood to be visiting Sochi for the informal meet despite all the other scheduled events as the 20-30 minutes afforded on the sidelines of multilateral events was considered “insubstantial” for the broad conversations he hopes to have with Mr. Putin.

    The format of the meeting in Sochi, as in Wuhan is seen as a template for “future summits” by the Prime Minister, said sources who pointed out similar instances in the recent past when Mr. Modi chose to visit French President Macron in July 2017, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on his return journey from the U.K. in April 2018.
    Very good
    Last edited by Double Edge; 28 May 18, at 00:40.

  8. #68
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Modi-Putin Russia Summit to be Viewed With Optimism and Caution | Quint (op-ed) | May 23 2018

    For India, the main issue will be the slow but sure infiltration of the Pakistan lobby in the Kremlin, spearheaded by Zamir Kabulov, Russia's point-person on Afghanistan, and former ambassador to India Vyacheslav Ivanovich Trubnikov.

    They have been floating ideas like “the solution to Afghanistan lies in Kashmir”. These two it seems, have created a clique involving three other junior ministers in the Kremlin, with the official line that any perceived Indian movement closer to the US must be balanced by a Russian move towards Pakistan.

    India, for its part, can hardly raise this issue, as it amounts to the internal affairs of the Russian government.
    I wonder if this matters at all. If the Russians are miffed we aren't buying as much as we did the Paks are hardly going to be able to bridge the gap

    For starters, India’s engagement with the maritime quad to contain China has raised hackles in Moscow. Much of this doesn’t have to do with the formation itself, but rather with India’s verbal commitment to become more compatible with US military equipment and thereby significantly reduce the market for Russian equipment. It also reduces the possibility of high-value sales of highly classified and sensitive products like nuclear submarines and S-400 anti-aircraft missiles.
    I don't believe our involvement in the quad reduces the possibility of nuclear submarines and S-400. The quad is a discussion forum for now. India is unlikely to get too involved in any defence component because the problem is India wants to concentrate more on the Indian ocean than the western pacific


    India, of course, true to Putin's fears, has done a wonderful job of overselling itself to the Quad with the inevitable disappointment to follow in the coming years. However, this marketing triumph has the Russians worried, irrespective. This fear would only be exacerbated by the upcoming US ‘Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act’ (CAATSA) federal law.

    Though India is lobbying to get an exception to this, it may explain why the upcoming Combat Aircraft and Ground Combat Vehicle tenders were changed in recent months – to apparently cater to Russian concerns – but will mostly be sold to the Russians as a major concession to them.
    Whether we get a waiver will determine how much the Russians can sell us
    Last edited by Double Edge; 01 Jun 18, at 14:12.

  9. #69
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    S-400 deal is expected to be signed in October. The obstacle here isn't the WH, its Congress. The WH has asked for India waivers already. Turks & Saudis also wanted S-400 but had to pull back due to US pressure.

    How is India going to manage this ? between a well equipped military & american goodwill, the former is going to take precedence

    Last month the Americans decided they will give us armed predators.

  10. #70
    Senior Contributor Oracle's Avatar
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  11. #71
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    News Analysis: In S-400 deal, U.S. is the elephant in the room | Hindu | jun 04 2018

    Government sources said New Delhi and Moscow have concluded the negotiations and the CCS note for a $5.5-billion deal is being drafted. However, one Indian Air Force source said he was not sure if New Delhi would defy Washington and sign up for the missile system. “Ideally, the deal should be ready for the annual summit between the PM and President Putin” in October, a senior official said.
    Oh!

    Douglas Barrie, Senior Fellow for Military Aerospace at the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies, told The Hindu that concerns over the system were partly technical and partly political.

    “The S-400 (SA-21 Growler), when properly operated, is a potent medium-to-long-range surface-to-air missile system. To be most effective, however, it needs to be integrated with other air defence systems and components — such as radars — operated by the purchasing country. This however, presents problems if some of these have been bought from the U.S. or potentially other Western states, where the required levels of integration will not be possible because of security concerns,” Mr. Barrie said.

    Frank O’Donnell, of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University and the Stimson Center’s South Asia program, however, said New Delhi was unlikely to be deterred from completing this purchase by the threat of U.S. sanctions.

    “Indeed, Washington will likely soon withdraw this threat and quietly acquiesce to the purchase once Indian diplomats have the opportunity to explain to their U.S. counterparts how the S-400 acquisition supports the U.S.-India shared goal of enhancing regional capabilities to deter Chinese aggression,” Mr. O’Donnell said.
    Ah!

    Waiver for India unlikely on Russia sanctions | Hindu | Jun 03 2018

    A clean legislative waiver for India from anti-Russia sanctions looks extremely difficult, if not impossible, several people lobbying lawmakers for changes in the law have told The Hindu.

    But there are other routes and we are hopeful of a resolution,” a business lobbyist working on the issue said, adding that there could be other means of ensuring that India’s defence ties with Russia does do not derail the expanding defence trade between India and the U.S.

    An attempt is being made to have language written into the National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA) for 2019 that would enable the Donald Trump administration to protect India from sanctions. The U.S. House has passed NDAA 2019 already, the rules of which allows for waivers for 180 days, provided the administration certifies that the country in question is scaling back its ties with Russia.

    This formulation in inadequate to resolve the Indian situation, sources familiar with ongoing conversations involving Indian diplomats, U.S. defence companies and business bodies and lawmakers, told The Hindu. “A waiver linked to rolling back ties with Russia won’t be seen as helpful by India,” an executive with a U.S defence company said.

    Efforts are, however, still under way to insert provisions in the NDAA in Senate that might give the Trump administration more leeway in dealing with the situation, short of a clean waiver.


    Last edited by Double Edge; 16 Jun 18, at 03:39.

  12. #72
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Looks like the S-400 is almost done deal, waiting for Trump to sign it

    US congressional conference report paves way for CAATSA waiver for India | TOI | Jul 24, 2018

    WASHINGTON: A US congressional conference report today paved the way for waiver to countries such as India from the punitive Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act or CAATSA, which is primarily aimed at targeting Russian intelligence agencies and other entities engaged in cyberattacks.

    The Senate and House Armed Services Committee in a joint conference report to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)-2019 provided a modified waiver to section 231 of CAATSA.

    Unlike the existing version of the act, the proposed modified waiver requires presidential certifications designed to protect US alliances, military operations, and sensitive technology, said a media release issued by the Senate Armed Services Committee after the two committees announced details of the conference report.

    The John McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019, which authorizes funding for the Department of Defense and the national security programmes of the Department of Energy, encourages US allies and partners to reduce inventory of Russian-produced major defence equipment and advanced conventional weapons.

    At the same time, it excludes the possibility of waivers for Russian intelligence agencies and other entities engaged in cyberattacks.

    The move in this regard comes days after US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis asked the Congress to give the Secretary of State the waiver authority. "Doing so allows nations to build a closer security relationship with the US as they continue to transition from reliance on Russian military equipment," he said.

    "The fundamental question we must ask ourselves is do we wish to strengthen our partners in key regions or leave them with no other option than to turn to Russia, thereby undermining a once-in-a-generation opportunity to more closely align nations with the US vision for global security and stability," Mattis said.

    The Pentagon, the State Department and the Indian Embassy here did not immediately respond to request for their comments on the latest CAATSA development.

    Before the NDAA 2019 is signed into law by US President Donald Trump, the conference report, which aligns the different House and Senate versions of the defense budget, needs to be passed by the two chambers of the US Congress.

    Traditionally, it is considered to be a done deal, as this has the support of leadership of both the ruling Republican party and the opposition Democratic party.

    CAATSA waiver though general in nature is intended at preventing US sanctions on India, which is planning to buy five S-400 Triumf air defense systems for around $4.5 billion from Russia. This US officials say that under the existing CAATSA, it could be considered as a significant military purchase.

    The proposed legislative amendments would provide a valid ground to the Trump administration for necessary waiver to India, even if it goes ahead with its decision to buy S-400. This is because, India's dependence on Russia for its military hardware has experienced sustained reduction over the last one decade. At the same time, India's defense trade with the US has increased.

    India is in the process of placing orders worth of billions of dollars to the US - ranging from fighter jets to unmanned drones. Over the past few months, CAATSA had emerged as a major irritant to India-US relationship.

    An India-centric top American business advocacy group today welcomed the Congressional move.

    "The language (of the report) would represent a special carve-out for India on a delicate political issue," Mukesh Aghi, the president of the US-India Strategic and Partnership Forum (USISPF) said.

    "If enacted, the language advanced by the NDAA conference committee demonstrates the US Congress' bipartisan commitment to the US-India relationship," said Aghi.


    "The exemption provides flexibility for strategic partners and allies to move away from the use of Russian military equipment to American equipment, while ensuring that US defence and security interests remain protected," the USISPF said.

    Early this month, influential US lawmakers had indicated that they were working to get this waiver for India. "I'm hopeful that we're gonna get there on something that will advance our country's interests and advance India's interest and build that trust," Senator Dan Sullivan told a Washington audience during the Annual Leadership Summit of the US India Strategic and Partnership Forum (USISPF).


    The Indian Ambassador to the US, Navtej Singh Sarna, said India was not the target of the federal law and it should not become collateral damage of it. The administration has to find a way in which they can find a waiver for the partner on this particular thorny issue, he had then said..
    Last edited by Double Edge; 25 Jul 18, at 21:30.

  13. #73
    Senior Contributor Oracle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    Amrullah thinks ISIS in Afghanistan is just a rebadged Taliban.
    CFair also thinks that.

    But I'd take Saleh's view anyday over CFair.

    Quote Originally Posted by WABs_OOE View Post
    Did you read the article? At best, Moscow is selling the Taliban rusted out AK-47s.
    Yes Sir. It's scary how geo-politics have changed.
    Last edited by Oracle; 12 Aug 18, at 08:02.
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  14. #74
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    How to solve this S-400 thing ?

    How Can U.S.-India Relations Survive the S-400 Deal? | Carnegie | Aug 29 2018

    India’s predicament in these circumstances is not enviable. New Delhi has a long history with Moscow, going back to the high tide of the Cold War. India became dependent on the Soviet Union only after its requests for advanced military equipment had been turned down by the West. And its reliance on Russia for technical assistance with its strategic weapons programs will likely persist for some time to come. Today, India is struggling to maintain a semblance of productive relations with Russia at a time when Putin has tilted toward India’s most consequential adversary, China; Russia has reinserted itself into Afghanistan and Pakistan in ways that are unhelpful to Indian interests; and the warmth has all but evaporated from the ties that still link Moscow to New Delhi. Amid these unfavorable developments, the S-400 deal will enable India to minimize the irritations in relations with Russia.

    So the challenge of resolving the S-400 predicament remains, but there are three possibilities that notionally offer a way out:

    Option 1: Scuttle the S-400 purchase in favor of other alternatives. The Trump administration advocates this course of action for many reasons, and it merits India’s consideration on a couple of counts. For starters, Moscow promised New Delhi that it would not transfer advanced conventional weapons to China that were on par with, or superior to, those sold to India; but with the sale of the S-400 SAM and the Su-35S fighter to China, Moscow has violated both assurances, respectively.

    As a result, the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) offensive and defensive counterair missions will now confront even greater problems if China decides to deploy the S-400 and other similar mobile systems (and their inevitable “indigenously designed” derivatives) within its Western and Southern Theater Commands, where the IAF may be expected to operate in times of conflict. To defeat these threats, the IAF will have to make more expensive investments in electronic warfare, long-range precision-strike missilery, and, above all, stealth strike fighters to protect the freedom of action that would likely be lost if China’s S-400 or other advanced SAMs cloned from previous Russian acquisitions, such as the HQ-9, were used against India.

    Yet New Delhi’s ability to acquire stealth strike fighters from the United States—the only country that currently produces advanced fifth-generation fighters such as the F-35—would be undermined by its possession of the S-400 because Washington understandably fears that the F-35’s stealth characteristics, information management systems, and electronic warfare capabilities might be compromised by any synergistic operations that would inevitably occur if India had already integrated the S-400 into its air defense network. These concerns arise from the apprehension that any operator deploying both the S-400 and the F-35 in close and continuous proximity would be able to use the S-400’s high resolution radars to map the F-35’s low observability characteristics and its electronic protection and attack capabilities in ways that could ultimately compromise U.S. operational advantages.

    After all, the F-35 is the principal next-generation combat aircraft that will be operated by the U.S. Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps, with close to 2,500 fighters slated to be acquired by the United States alone and hundreds more purchased by its allies. The administration can, therefore, be forgiven if it is a trifle anxious about protecting the puissant capabilities residing in its largest procurement program. two respected Turkish analysts, Sinan Ülgen and Can Kasapoğlu, have already concluded that “operating the F-35 and the S-400 together, technically, would . . . pose important risks not only to Turkey, but also to the entire current and future operators of the aircraft.”

    Whether or not India can be persuaded by such an assessment, it merits reflection. As long as the United States is convinced that its F-35 stealth fighters are at risk because of inevitable integration with the S-400 system, Washington will be reluctant to sell the aircraft to New Delhi. And this comes at a time when India is exploring the acquisition of a U.S. fifth-generation fighter capable of “kick-down-the-door” penetrations of enemy airspace on day one of a war—a requirement of some urgency given that China is already developing similar aircraft and Indian cooperation with Russia has failed to produce an acceptable competitor.

    The Trump administration’s solution to the S-400 complication has, therefore encouraged New Delhi to consider acquiring several advanced, and previously unavailable, defensive systems such as the Patriot, complemented either by the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system or the Aegis area defense system. Unfortunately, none of these alternatives are likely to prove appealing to India for both operational and political reasons.

    Operationally, what India seeks most from the S-400 is a long-range surface-to-air capability aimed at neutralizing air-breathing rather than ballistic threats. The IAF prefers the S-400 because its long maximum slant range (~400 kilometers) and high maximum altitude (~98,000 feet) make it the ideal weapon to destroy Chinese high-value platforms, such as airborne warning and aerial refueling aircraft, as well as advanced fighters, at great distances behind the front. The United States does not currently possess any comparable system to the S-400. This is primarily because the country has not invested in strategic SAMs since the early Cold War, given that the technological and operational superiority of the U.S. Air Force has permitted its manned combat aircraft to neutralize all airborne threats at great distances either from the homeland or, where expeditionary operations are concerned, from the front line.

    Buying a U.S. system at this juncture would also not satisfy India’s political needs. New Delhi seeks to maintain some semblance of partnership with Moscow when Russian sensitivity to Indian interests must be protected and when continued access to Russia’s military wares and technical assistance must be assured—with both goals to be advanced if necessary by commercial means.
    Option 1 does not seem feasible at all

    Option 2: Defer payment for the S-400 until circumstances change. The upshot of the discussion thus far implies that India is unlikely to abandon the S-400 acquisition—no matter how much the Trump administration may prefer this course of action. But what about a less appealing but possibly more productive alternative, such as simply slow rolling the conclusion of the S-400 deal with Russia until conditions change for the better? This strategy offers some intriguing possibilities and, even if it does not guarantee success, is worth considering.

    If India were to pursue Option 2 as a way of circumventing the current problems posed by CAATSA, it could sign the S-400 agreement but delay its implementation. Indian policymakers, at least publicly, have haughtily dismissed any possibility of being deterred by U.S. action, but, unless Trump decides to provide sanctions relief to India before the October summit, both India and Russia could actually benefit from the respite offered by Option 2.
    How long for ?

    Option 3: Make a deal with Trump. The contingency inherent in Option 2 underscores why it is necessary for India to reach an understanding with the Trump administration so that a sanctions waiver for the S-400 deal may be realized. Although there are advocates within the U.S. government who see the value of affording such relief for India on strategic grounds—Mattis being the most prominent—the individual to be ultimately persuaded is Trump. Given his worldview and his prevailing convictions about the S-400, it is unlikely that the articulation of pro-waiver arguments alone will move him substantially in that direction.

    The final approach worth contemplating, therefore, is offering Trump a deal. It would probably require India to move forward on one of the several major defense acquisition programs it has discussed with the United States over the years, thus enabling New Delhi to secure the capabilities it has always wanted while giving Trump an incentive to speedily issue the waiver that India needs. Both sides could thus come out ahead. For such a workaround to attract Trump’s attention, however, India’s proposal must be lucrative enough to the United States and remarkable in its potential geostrategic impact.

    There are many reasons why India ordinarily would be resistant to such an approach, not least of which is its aversion to anything that smacks of bargaining or transactionalism. But India does both extraordinarily well when it needs to. Without such a solution, New Delhi will be left only with the hope that the United States, recognizing India’s importance for the success of its long-term strategy in Asia, will come to the right conclusion about issuing the S-400 waiver in its own self-interest. If Trump comports with such an expectation, India’s problems will undoubtedly disappear. But India cannot simply assume, or even expect, this outcome if the president believes that all New Delhi wants is to get more from the United States without offering even a modicum of reciprocity in return. On this count, Trump is emphatically not George W. Bush. Given this fact, expectations of persistent U.S. magnanimity will be a thin reed on which to hang India’s hopes for resolving the thorniest problem that currently bedevils its strategic partnership with the United States.
    There is talk around this one

    I'm thinking option 2

    Thought i'd include Bharat's rebuttal in the comments for fun.. : ))

    No surprise that Ashley Tellis' "options" for India to escape CAATSA provisions are based on three basic premises. That

    (1) : India needs the US more for its security than the US needs India for advancing its strategic objective in the "Indo-Pacific" region;

    (2) the one-time waiver on the S-400 issue will keep the Damocles' sword of Sections 231 and 235 of this Act in play and shape Delhi's future policy choices regarding Russia, Iran, etc;

    (3) a Trump concession on the S-400 will fetch the US high-value Indian contracts for advanced military hardware and, in time, realize the meta-strategic goal of replacing Russia as the main supplier of military goods.

    Except all these premises are flawed.

    (i) Does Vietnam or Indonesia or any other Asian state for that matter have the geostrategic location, the resources, and the economic and territorial heft to match India? No.

    (ii) The argument that a one-time waiver will retain for CAATSA the ability to manipulate the Indian government's thinking is contingent mainly on two factors -- Narendra Modi's retaining power, post-2019 elections and staying with his policy of overtilt to the US, and a still colonial-era minded 'Industrial Age' Indian military hankering for American and Western hardware at any cost . If Modi goes or returns to power, this time in a coalition government or with a much reduced majority, as is likely, this premise falls down. And

    (iii) Will the US lease a nuclear-powered attack submarine and otherwise permit India access to cutting-edge military systems as Russia does? No, considering the historical record of US' paranoia and restrictiveness about its technology. Whence the Indo-US Defense Trade and Technology Initiative, for instance, is preoccupied with relatively trivial 'pathfinder' projects. The fact is Tellis is essentially banking on the Modi regime's malleability and the belief that India, once trapped in the CAATSA jam, will have progressively to give more and still more to get as little or as much as Washington decides India should have at any moment in time.

    This could turn out to be a serious miscalculation on America's part.

  15. #75
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    About those S-400's

    Chinese anger at US sanctions for Russian weapons purchases | BBC | Sept 21 2018

    After the cold war, what happened in Europe had no bearing on Asia. Seems like that is changing

    China recently bought 10 Russian Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets and S-400 missiles.

    US officials have said the sanctions are aimed at Russia, and are not intended to undermine other countries' defence capabilities and similar action against other countries could be considered.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 21 Sep 18, at 12:41.

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