Monday, October 13, 2008

The Indo-Us Nuke Deal: a Strategic and Defense Floodgate

Set against the backdrop of American financial Tsunami, the rise of China and Russia, the predicament of the U.S in Iraq, Afghanistan and the U.S policy failures on North Korea and Iran, the Indo-U.S Nuclear deal has profound strategic and defense implications.

The Nuclear deal is going to place India as the de-facto P-6 country in the globe. It is now better placed on the diplomatic plane with excellent relationship with the two strongest military powers of the globe. In the fields of diplomatic, military, trade and technological co-operations, India is to gain the maximum from these rivals. Besides, the agreement has opened up doors of trade, scientific and technological co-operation with the EU countries like France, Germany and Italy. The just concluded agreement with France, for producing medium-range fighter aircraft engine Kaveri, which was under American sanction, points to the immense possibilities. China, rising to the superpower status with a phenomenal speed, must take into account the new-found Indo-US proximity. Pakistan, too, is closely watching the development. The deal has pushed India a step closer to the Permanent Member status of the UN Security Council. Again India’s defense relationship with, Israel, which is already the second largest arms supplier to India is set for a new high. Thus India, long isolated from the world of technologies, can now avail of space, military and dual use technologies and enhance its security, knowledge and skill.

In the field of defense, the critics have asserted the deal has robbed India off the right to test any nuclear device and India has signed the NPT through backdoor by agreeing to maintain moratorium on tests, But the NSG draft has discounted the ‘automatic termination’ option and has agreed to call a meeting of the NSG countries and thereby decide upon consensus the course to be taken if India conducts a test. Therefore if any country like France or Russia vetoes the punitive measures India goes unpunished. However, what the US will do, will most probably depend upon the then administration.

But why should India test?

Every one knows India has nuclear weapons and there is no need to test to declare that. Besides everybody knows a N Bomb is not a grenade.

Again as India has advanced super computers, India can serve the purpose through computer simulation. Many critics cite the necessity of tests by saying that India has conducted only one thermonuclear and four nuclear tests in 1998. Besides as India is trying to operationalise the most powerful leg of N-deterrence, the Nuclear submarine, tests are necessary for Nuke-warheads .But the present situation is not conducive to tests and it would be suicidal on India’s part to invite sanctions at a time when India is rising as an economic, military and knowledge superpower. Besides India have several options as deterrents. India is getting several offensive and defensive platforms which can act as active deterrents.

An exclusive thermonuclear command is enough to rouse fears in the minds of the adversaries.

The nuclear submarines which India plans to deploy are excellent deterrents.

The 5th G Russian T-50 turned Stealth Bomber, to be produced jointly by India and Russia, can be good deterrents.

The futuristic DEWs (Directed Energy Weapons) which can blast enemy missiles at the speed of light will be the best deterrents. The US has already proposed to equip the Indian Navy’s INS Jalashwa (formerly USS Trenton) with this technology. India, in near future, can get hold of this excellent technology from the US. Besides as can be presumed, India is experimenting with this technology too.

The Phalcon AWACS which China failed to acquire from Israel under US pressure and which India is set to get from 2009 onwards, can be potent deterrent too.

Moreover, the anti-missile systems India is developing and the proposed American PAC III anti-missile systems can be excellent too.
The new generation P-8 I Poseidon submarine hunters which India is buying from the US can be fantastic as deterrents as they will provide strategic blue water capability and littoral under sea warfare capability to the Indian Navy.

The F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, already proposed to India by the US for sale, can fly with the air force from a shore base and fly hundreds of kilometers over the sea, then land on aircraft carrier, refuel and proceed onward for a combat mission. This, as the US has confirmed can operate from the yet to be brought Admiral Gorshkov. Thus the aircraft is a mighty deterrent.

The DRDO is trying to develop hypersonic missiles. The Indo-Russian Brahmos supersonic cruise missile is set to be a 1000 km hypersonic by 2010. Thus it can be a dangerous deterrent if nuclear configurations are made and the air force and submarine versions are built.

Above all the space command, if constituted, can act as a deterrent too.

Moreover, it can be said that the deal can contribute to a grater amount of material for building N devices. The homegrown uranium can be utilized for N bombs whereas the imported uranium can be used for electricity.

So, with the completion of the deal the doors to deterrents have not been closed. In fact a greater number of doors have opened for a greater number and variety of deterrents. So along with the Agni 5 missile variants and various options India will be better placed to deal with the current and future threat perception. Again, with the successful completion of End Use Verification agreement with the US, India will find immense opportunity for military technological collaboration. India still has a MasterCard- the 126 multi-role fighters. So India is ready for a great ........great........great take-off.


Noo said...

I spent a year in India recently. One thing which stood out during that experience was the incredible diversity within India. Which raises the question: given the list of big league weapons you enumerate in your article, how likely is it that all these weapons will be controlled by a single unified command? China has a clear, unified command. Indian politics and politicians are all over the place. Is the military in control of the military?

Lisa said...

I think it pakistan that is the big worry regarding it's stability



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