Monday, May 01, 2023

China And India

America’s Bad Bet on India New Delhi Won’t Side With Washington Against Beijing ......... India’s significant weaknesses compared with China, and its inescapable proximity to it, guarantee that New Delhi will never involve itself in any U.S. confrontation with Beijing that does not directly threaten its own security. ....... New Delhi sees things differently. It does not harbor any innate allegiance toward preserving the liberal international order and retains an enduring aversion toward participating in mutual defense. It seeks to acquire advanced technologies from the United States to bolster its own economic and military capabilities and thus facilitate its rise as a great power capable of balancing China independently, but it does not presume that American assistance imposes any further obligations on itself. ........ U.S.-Indian security cooperation today is breathtaking in its intensity and scope. The first and most visible aspect is defense consultations. The two countries’ civilian leaders, as well as their bureaucracies, maintain a regular dialogue on a variety of topics, including China policy, India’s procurement of advanced U.S. military technologies, maritime surveillance, and undersea warfare. These conversations vary in quality and depth but are critical for reviewing strategic assessments, defining the parameters of desired cooperation, and devising tools for policy implementation. As a result, the United States and India work together in ways that would have been unimaginable during the Cold War. ......... they cooperate to monitor China’s economic and military activities throughout the wider Indian Ocean region and have recently invested in mechanisms to share near-real-time information about shipping movements in the Indo-Pacific region with other littoral states. ......... A second area of success has been military-to-military collaboration, much of which takes place outside public view. The programs for senior officer visits, bilateral or multilateral military exercises, and reciprocal military training have all expanded dramatically during the past two decades. ........ the annual Malabar exercises, which bring together the U.S. and Indian navies, have now expanded to permanently include Japan and Australia; the Cope India exercises provide an opportunity for the U.S. and Indian air forces to practice advanced air operations; and the Yudh Abhyas series involves the land forces in both command post and field training activities. .......... India’s military has gone from having virtually no U.S. weapons in its inventory some two decades ago to now featuring American transport and maritime aircraft, utility and combat helicopters, and antiship missiles and artillery guns. U.S.-Indian defense trade, which was negligible around the turn of the century, reached over $20 billion in 2020. .......... U.S. companies remain contenders in several outstanding Indian procurement programs, but it seems unlikely that they will ever enjoy a dominant market share in India’s defense imports. The problems are entirely structural. For all of India’s intensifying security threats, its defense procurement budget is still modest in comparison with the overall Western market. ............ New Delhi’s demand that U.S. companies shift from selling equipment to producing it with local partners in India—requiring the transfer of intellectual property—often proves to be commercially unattractive, given the small Indian defense market. ......... The U.S. goal in military-to-military cooperation is interoperability: the Pentagon wants to be able to integrate a foreign military in combined operations as part of coalition warfare. India, however, rejects the idea that its armed forces will participate in any combined military operation outside of a UN umbrella. Consequently, it has resisted investing in meaningful operational integration, especially with the U.S. armed forces, because it fears jeopardizing its political autonomy or signaling a shift toward a tight political alignment with Washington. As a result, the bilateral military exercises may improve the tactical proficiency of the units involved but do not expand interoperability to the level that would be required in major combined operations against a capable adversary. ........... India treats military exercises more as political symbols than investments in increasing operational proficiency and, as a result, practices with numerous partners at varying levels of sophistication. On the other hand, the United States emphasizes relatively intense military exercises with a smaller set of counterparts. ......... bolstering India’s intelligence capabilities about Chinese military activities along the Himalayan border and in the Indian Ocean region .......... The existing arrangements for intelligence sharing are formally structured for reciprocity, and New Delhi does share whatever it believes to be useful. But because U.S. collection capabilities are so superior, the flow of usable information often ends up being one way. ........ Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India has increasingly focused on defense industrial cooperation as the key driver of its security partnership with the United States. Its underlying objective is to secure technological autonomy: ever since its founding as a modern state, India has sought to achieve mastery over all critical defense, dual-use, and civilian technologies and, toward that end, built up large public sector enterprises that were intended to become global leaders. Because this dream still remains unrealized, New Delhi has now prioritized Washington’s support for its defense industrial ambitions in tandem with similar partnerships forged with France, Israel, Russia, and other friendly states. ............ For over a decade, Washington has attempted to help India improve its defense technology base, but these efforts have often proved futile. ......... The Biden administration is now going to great lengths to reverse the failure of the Defense Trade and Technology Initiative. Last year, it announced the Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology, which aims to fundamentally transform cooperation between the two countries’ governments, businesses, and research entities pertaining to technology development. This endeavor encompasses a wide variety of fields, including semiconductors, space, artificial intelligence, next-generation telecommunications, high-performance computing, and quantum technologies, all of which have defense applications but are not restricted to them. ........ Modi’s “Make in India, Make for World” drive, which aims to transform India into a major global manufacturing hub that could one day compete with, if not supplant, China as the workshop of the world. ........... During the Bush and Obama administrations, U.S. ambitions centered largely on helping build India’s power in order to prevent China from dominating Asia. As U.S.-China relations steadily deteriorated during the Trump administration—when Sino-Indian relations hit rock bottom as well—Washington began to entertain the more expansive notion that its support for New Delhi would gradually induce India to play a greater military role in containing China’s growing power. .......... Although China is clearly India’s most intimidating adversary, New Delhi still seeks to avoid doing anything that results in an irrevocable rupture with Beijing. ............. New Delhi’s relative weakness compels it to avoid provoking Beijing, as joining a U.S.-led military campaign against it certainly would. India also cannot escape its physical proximity to China. The two countries share a long border, so Beijing can threaten Indian security in significant ways—a capability that has only increased in recent years. ............ Should a major conflict between Washington and Beijing erupt in East Asia or the South China Sea, India would certainly want the United States to prevail. But it is unlikely to embroil itself in the fight. ........... Even as this partnership has grown by leaps and bounds, there remains an unbridgeable gap between the two countries, given India’s consistent desire to avoid becoming the junior partner—or even a confederate—of any great power. .

No comments: