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Wednesday, June 29

US, INDIA SIGN HISTORIC DEFENSE PACT - BREAKING NEWS

Pundita's only comment: The US should put all we've learned during the past half century into making this strenghtened relationship with India one that doesn't sour.

"A 10-year military agreement just signed by the defense secretaries of the United States and India is intended to provide for numerous advances in the relationship, including joint weapons production, greater sharing of technology and intelligence as well as an increased trade in arms.

"A statement signed by India's defense minister, Pranab Mukherjee, and the U.S. defense secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, in Washington on Tuesday night said that the United States and India had "entered a new era" and declared that the two countries' defense relationship had advanced to "unprecedented levels of cooperation." [...]

"Mukherjee made a point of stressing in a separate speech to the Carnegie Institute on Tuesday that India would retain its independent foreign policy, rejecting any notions of a "unipolar" world.

"Uday Bhaskar, director of Delhi's Institute for Defense Studies, said this was a crucial element of Indian policy and said that the framework agreement should not be seen as a move by India toward dependence on Washington.

"I don't think that India has the DNA to allow it to become a Japan or a Britain in terms of adopting a subordinate status to the U.S. and allowing them to guarantee the nation's security. India's strategic culture would not allow it," he said.

"Other analysts in Delhi highlighted the ongoing conflict between the U.S. policy of friendship toward Delhi and its continued military support for India's nuclear rival, Pakistan.

"While the U.S. is trying to build this long-term relationship with India, it is also selling weapons systems to Pakistan," said Brahma Chellaney, a defense analyst with the Center for Policy Research. "It is a contradiction which won't be easily resolved." [...]

For the full report:
International Herald Tribune
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