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It’s Time To Formalize An Alliance With India

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It’s Time To Formalize An Alliance With India

by Nikki Haley

(former governor of South Carolina)

In February, U.S. President Joe Biden declared, “diplomacy is back at the centre of our foreign policy” and “we will repair our alliances and engage with the world once again.” Nine months into his presidency, the opposite has happened—and the United States’ adversaries are taking advantage of the situation.

Consider our allies: We witnessed ministers in the British Parliament publicly rebuke Biden in the aftermath of our disastrous Afghanistan withdrawal. France recalled its ambassador in an extraordinary move. We’ve isolated our Eastern European allies by capitulating to Germany over the construction of Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

Meanwhile, our adversaries are growing bolder, especially following the disastrous Afghanistan withdrawal. An axis of terror is forming from Hamas to Iran to the Taliban. Pakistan has stepped up its engagement with Iran. China has increased its incursions into Taiwan’s air identification zone to record levels. Russia is increasing its influence in Belarus and further threatening Ukraine.

Is this really the best “diplomacy” and “engagement” the United States can muster? Of course not. Instead of insulting our friends and ignoring our foes, the United States should prioritize relationships that strengthen our standing in the world.

The place to start is India. It’s time to form an alliance.

As a nuclear power with more than 1 million troops, a growing navy, a top-tier space program, and a proven history of economic and military cooperation with the United States, India would make a strong ally. An alliance with India would allow both countries to maintain and expand their global strength. And together with Japan and Australia, it would enable the United States to form a real deterrent to potential terrorist threats in Afghanistan as well as counter China.

When the Biden administration unconditionally withdrew our military from Afghanistan, the United States ceded tremendous power to our adversaries in Central Asia. Many Americans will find relief in the idea that the United States has ended its longest war, yet the war on terror has not left us. The terrorists who launched attacks on us 20 years ago fully intend to strike us again.

Prior to our withdrawal, the Biden administration failed to secure basing agreements from countries neighbouring Afghanistan to the north. Logistically, we need these bases to conduct counterterrorism missions. The administration also abandoned Bagram Airfield—the only U.S. base in a country that borders China, which is ratcheting up tensions with the rest of the world.

The Biden administration claims the United States retains “over-the-horizon” capabilities to strike terrorists. This is inaccurate. For example, should a U.S. military drone launch from a base in the Persian Gulf, it would consume much of its fuel just getting to Afghanistan, severely limiting our ability to identify and strike targets. With no U.S. bases left in the region, China, Iran, Russia, and even Pakistan will influence the future of these terrorist groups, with little reason to help the United States.

We now only have one partner who can effectively keep a watchful eye on Afghanistan. It’s the same partner that can keep track of China’s southern flank: India

India operates Farkhor Air Base in Tajikistan, the only air base with the proximity to conduct counterterrorism strikes in Afghanistan. With an alliance, India could allow us access to strategic bases to protect U.S. interests in Afghanistan and the broader region.

A U.S.-India alliance would also give us an edge over China. Like the United States, India recognizes that China is a rapidly growing threat. Not only is it attempting to capitalize on our withdrawal from Afghanistan, which goes against both the United States and India’s interests, China is also pressuring India on its own borders.

Last year, Chinese and Indian troops clashed in the contested Himalayan border region of Ladakh, resulting in the deaths of 20 Indian soldiers and four Chinese soldiers, according to the Chinese government. India has since redirected 50,000 troops to its border with China for a total of 200,000 Indian troops now stationed there. Tensions have only escalated since then. In recent days, China has also reinforced its military presence along the Himalayan border with 100 advanced long-range rocket launchers.

A U.S.-India alliance would give China pause before further expanding into Central and Southern Asia. And we’d be building on solid ground. Just this month, the U.S. military held joint exercises with hundreds of Indian soldiers in Alaska to strengthen cooperation and better prepare for cold, mountainous conditions like those in the China-India border region. An alliance would also recognize the region’s shifting geopolitical realities. China’s newly aggressive posture toward India is not by accident. It is part of a broader plan. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is emboldened after shoring up support from India’s long time foe, Pakistan.

Following the same playbook it has used in developing countries around the world, the Chinese Communist Party has created dependence through its Belt and Road Initiative. In exchange for bolstering Pakistan’s faltering electric grid, sending thousands of doses of its COVID-19 vaccine, and giving financial relief to ease Pakistan’s growing national debt, China now has a regional client state willing to do the CCP’s bidding and help bolster its international standing.

The investment has paid important dividends for Beijing. Earlier this year, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan—the leader of a nation with the world’s second largest Muslim population—refused to condemn China’s ongoing genocide of Muslim Uyghurs. Now, China hopes it can rely on Pakistan to help keep Islamist terrorism from spilling over Afghanistan’s border and into western China, where the CCP fears terrorists might find recruits in the mostly Muslim Uyghur province of Xinjiang.

Growing collusion between China and Pakistan poses serious security risks for both India and the United States. For India, a U.S. alliance would be a bulwark against a two-fronted conflict on its borders. For the United States, an alliance would help blunt Pakistan’s influence—a state sponsor of terrorism now propped up by Chinese investments—in Afghanistan. We need a new partner to prevent the creation of a terrorist super state that can attack our country again.

Beyond the security relationship, the United States and India also share economic concerns, including the need for a stable supply chain. India’s enormous workforce offers an opportunity for the United States to alter its supply chain dependence on China. We can rely on India as a major source of pharmaceuticals, technology, and critical minerals, supplementing our own domestic manufacturing capabilities. We should also continue working toward a more comprehensive U.S.-India trade deal.

Then there’s cyberwarfare. As the United States felt the pain of the Colonial Pipeline cyberattack by Russia-linked cybercriminals earlier this year, disrupting Americans’ gasoline supplies, a suspected Chinese state-sponsored group cyberattacked India, causing 20 million residents in Mumbai to lose power last fall. An alliance would enable us to prevent and respond to cyber threats utilizing best practices, technologies, and expertise.

The benefits of a U.S.-India alliance are many. It’s also the case that we share many values. By uniting the world’s strongest and largest democracies in a formal alliance, we can do a better job of defending freedom in an increasingly tyrannical world.

Establishing an alliance is the natural result of recent momentum. The United States and India drew closer together during the Trump administration; one notable achievement was the signing of the 2018 Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement. That deal granted India more advanced communication technology for U.S.-purchased defence equipment to help elevate coordination during conflict. In October 2020, the Trump administration and the Indian government signed another agreement for geospatial cooperation that boosted the Indian military’s weapons systems with advanced navigational tools.

These are the sorts of things that allies do, yet our current diplomatic status with India is described as a “strategic partnership.” An upgrade is urgently needed. Just as our alliances with NATO, Japan, and South Korea transformed U.S. security in the 20th century, an alliance with India would help keep us safe in the 21st century. It’s time to make that happen.

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Indian Defense

INS Arihant’s Nuke-Capable K-4 Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile ‘Ready To Roll’

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INS Arihant’s Nuke-Capable K-4 Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile ‘Ready To Roll’


NEW DELHI: India tested its nuclear capable K-4 submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), designed to have a strike range of 3,500 km, for the second time in six days on Friday. The missile test, as the one conducted on January 19, was undertaken from an undersea platform in the shape of a submersible pontoon off the coast of Andhra Pradesh according to a report by Rajat Pandit of TOI.

The solid-fuelled K-4 missile is being developed by DRDO to arm the country’s nuclear-powered submarines in the shape of INS Arihant and its under-development sister vessels. INS Arihant, which became fully operational in November 2018 to complete India’s nuclear triad, is currently armed with the much shorter K-15 missiles with a 750 km range.

“The K-4 is now virtually ready for its serial production to kick-off. The two tests have demonstrated its capability to emerge straight from underwater and undertake its parabolic trajectory,” said a source.

India has the land-based Agni missiles, with the over 5,000-km Agni-V inter-continental ballistic missile now in the process of being inducted, and fighter jets jury-rigged to deliver nuclear weapons. But INS Arihant gives the country’s deterrence posture much more credibility because nuclear-powered submarines armed with nuclear-tipped missiles are considered the most secure, survivable and potent platforms for retaliatory strikes.

Once the K-4 missiles are inducted, they will help India narrow the gap with countries like the US, Russia and China, which have over 5,000-km range SLBMs. The K-4 missiles are to be followed by the K-5 and K-6 missiles in the 5,000-6,000 km range class.

The 6,000-ton INS Arihant, which is propelled by an 83 MW pressurised light-water reactor at its core, in turn, is to be followed by INS Arighat, which was launched in 2017. The next generation of nuclear submarines, currently called S-4 and S-4*, will be much larger in size.





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After Upgradation, Sukhoi Su-30MKI Indigenisation To Reach 78%

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After Upgradation, Sukhoi Su-30MKI Indigenisation To Reach 78%


India has received clearance to upgrade 84 Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter jets, which will result in 78% indigenization after the upgrade

In a significant step towards bolstering its military might with indigenously developed technology, India is poised to witness its Russian-origin Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter jets evolve into a domestic platform. Speaking at a recent lecture.

The upgrade program is being led by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in partnership with the Indian Air Force and other partners. The upgrade is expected to cost US$7.5 billion.

The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) granted Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for the upgrade. The upgrade is part of India’s efforts to improve the capabilities of its primary fighter aircraft, it refers to as the “Super Sukhoi”.

This initiative is a part of a larger effort by the Indian Air Force to modernize its ageing fleet. Air Chief Marshal Chaudhari asserted the critical role of an offensive air force as demonstrated in current global conflicts and emphasized India’s move towards an indigenized arsenal. To this end, the IAF has been proactive, from upgrading its Mirage 2000 to enhancing its MiG-29 fleet.

In summary, the IAF’s commitment to updating their combat forces with the latest technology, including shifting to fifth-generation fighter jets, ensures operational preparedness and a strong deterrence capability. The gradual indigenization of its air fleet marks a pivotal shift in India’s defence landscape, reducing dependency on foreign imports and fostering technological sovereignty.





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Akash Weapon System Exports For The Armenian Armed Forces Gathers Pace

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Akash Weapon System Exports For The Armenian Armed Forces Gathers Pace


According to unconfirmed reports, Armenia is a top contender for an export order for Akash SAM system manufactured by Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL).

While there is no official confirmation because of the sensitivities involved, documents suggest that the order for the same has already been placed the report further added.
There are nine countries, in turn, which have shown interest in the indigenously-developed Akash missile systems, which can intercept hostile aircraft, helicopters, drones and subsonic cruise missiles at a range of 25-km. They are Kenya, Philippines, Indonesia, UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Vietnam and Algeria reported TOI.

The Akash export version will also be slightly different from the one inducted by the armed forces. The 100-km range air-to-air Astra missiles, now entering production after successful trials from Sukhoi-30MKI fighters, also have “good export potential”, said sources.

Akash is a “tried, tested and successfully inducted systems”. Indian armed forces have ordered Akash systems worth Rs 24,000 crore over the years, and MoD inked a contract in Mar 2023 of over Rs 9,100 crores for improved Akash Weapon System

BDL is a government enterprise under the Ministry of Defence that was established in 1970. BDL manufactures surface-to-air missiles and delivers them to the Indian Army. BDL also offers its products for export.

Akash Weapon System

The AWS is a Short Range Surface to Air Missile (SRSAM) Air Defence System, indigenously designed and developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). In order to meet aerial threats, two additional Regiments of AWS with Upgradation are being procured for Indian Army for the Northern borders. Improved AWS has Seeker Technology, Reduced Foot Print, 360° Engagement Capability and improved environmental parameters.

The project will give a boost to the Indian missile manufacturing industry in particular and the indigenous defence manufacturing ecosystem as a whole. The project has overall indigenous content of 82% which will be increased to 93% by 2026-27.

The induction of the improved AWS into the Indian Army will increase India’s self-reliance in Short Range Missile capability. This project will play a role in boosting the overall economy by avoiding outgo of precious foreign exchange to other countries, increasing employment avenues in India and encouraging Indian MSMEs through components manufacturing. Around 60% of the project cost will be awarded to the private industry, including MSMEs, in maintaining the supply chain of the weapon system, thereby creating large scale of direct and indirect employment.





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