Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Tag: UN Security Council

Defence purchases

India is a nuclear power and wants to be a permanent member of UN Security Council yet imports warplanes, warships, arms and ammunition.

As per one report there is need of Armoured Piercing Fin-Stabilized Discarding Sabot (APFSDS). Israel Military Industries which used to supply that ammunition is blacklisted and a Russian company has quoted a price that is 400% higher. This is like Commonwealth Games scam where projects were not completed on time and goods were brought at high prices citing urgency. It is not clear whether Israel and Russia are the only countries with that ammunition. What is the urgency? India is not going to war with any country. If any country attacks India we can hit them with missiles and drop nuclear bombs on that country.

As per another report India has ordered 80 Mi-17 V5 helicopters from Russia. The delivery has to be spread over three years and there has been a delay. Previously there has been delay and cost escalation in case of naval ship Admiral Gorshkov.

India should have been self-sufficient in all respects of defence. USA, UK, Russia and France sell weapons. In India many years and thousands of crores of rupees were spent on developing main battle tank and light combat aircraft. There was talk of allowing private sector to manufacture what is required for defence but nothing seems to have happened. May be imports are a lucrative way to get bribes, commissions and kickbacks. Foreign companies may be allowed to manufacture warplanes, warships, arms and ammunition in India and India should buy only what is made in India.

India and balance of power

For centuries England followed the policy of balance of power. When there were wars in Europe it joined a side that was weak. It benefitted from that policy and became a world power.

It is time for India to follow the policy of balance of power. After the end of Warsaw Pact and disintegration of USSR, USA-led NATO has dominated the world. Russia is unlikely to be a superpower. Alcohol and abortions have weakened Russia. Countries attacked by USA or NATO are helpless. India can provide leadership to such countries. India has nothing to gain by supporting NATO except in Afghanistan. However NATO is fighting a losing war in Afghanistan and if NATO withdraws it is best for India not to get involved. It is unlikely that UN Security Council will be expanded soon and India’s chance of getting permanent membership of it is slim.

NATO’s bombing of Libya is the latest example of use of force to impose its will. There was UN authorisation for no fly zone but NATO went for regime change. They bombed cities and killed many civilians. Serbians and Africans are hauled up before International Criminal Court but nothing happens to NATO leaders for their crimes. When there was an uprising in Burma, NATO did nothing. They wanted China and India to do something. Libya has oil and that is the reason for NATO bombing. Libya abandoned its nuclear programme to appease NATO and paid the price.

It is not necessary for India to fight NATO forces. India can oppose and defy sanctions imposed by UN, EU and NATO. India can engage in trade with Iran and other countries. India is unable to buy oil from Iran because of sanctions. India can sell arms, ammunition, warplanes and warships to countries under sanctions. NATO is not concerned with democracy and human rights. If that had been the case they would not have traded with China. There is no reason why India should agree to sanctions because other countries do not like a government or a person. USA, UK and France supported South Africa when there was apartheid. USA helped Israel develop nuclear weapons and did not act when Pakistan developed nuclear weapons. Iran having nuclear weapons is not a problem for India.

In Asia, maintaining balance of power means siding with countries threatened by China which have no defence pact with USA. American forces are in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia do not have American forces. India can support them.

Fall of USA

USA ceased to be a superpower in 2008. American dollar does not deserve to continue as reserve currency. American budget deficit continues to grow. Extension of Bush-era tax cuts means there is no hope of deficit coming down in the next two years. With 600 billion dollars being printed dollar will weaken further. USA may not remain a great power.

For USA to remain a great power it has to cut its expenses. It should stop fighting useless wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia and call back remaining troops in Iraq.

USA should open its borders to Mexicans. That will provide labour and demand for houses will go up.

Troubles in eurozone prevented euro from becoming an option as reserve currency. Russia and China have agreed to accept each other’s currency. Many countries are likely to follow suit and dump dollar.

Brazil is rising as a power. In Security Council it refused to vote against Iran. It has recognized Palestine. It won bids to host Olympics and Football World Cup.

China is a rival to USA. It has large presence in Africa. It supports North Korea.

Military might is not enough to be a superpower or great power. USSR had military might. With disintegration of USSR there was no rival to USA. In 1991 USA went to UN Security Council which voted 12-2 for Gulf War, with China abstaining. In 1999 there was no Security Council vote. USA led NATO in bombing Serbia. In 2003 there was no unanimity in NATO about Iraq War. USA attacked Iraq with few countries supporting it.

Empires rise and fall. No country can remain a superpower for ever. Fall of USA was inevitable.

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