Monday April 11, 2016
US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter has outlined in some detail the purpose of his mission to India next week. Principally he hopes to discuss arms deals and explore the parameters of co-production of weapons feasible under American laws prohibiting technology transfer. His focus is on the “potential production of fighter aircraft.”
American diplomacy makes it a point to envelop arms deals with rhetoric couched in the idiom of "shared values" – even when the US wraps up highly lucrative multi-billion dollar deals with countries such as Saudi Arabia. Thus, it comes as no surprise that in an address at the Council of Foreign Relations in New York on Friday, entitled "America’s Growing Security Network in the Asia-Pacific," Carter endeavoured to habitate the upcoming “exciting new projects” with India within an proposed regional security architecture under US leadership.
From the US perspective, the growing “interoperability” involving the two militaries serves the purpose of anchoring India as a key non-NATO ally, which of course demands a fundamental shift by India away from its non-aligned policies and its aversion to military blocs.