Millennium Post

US to reorient arms sales policy by the DPP

Not many in the ministry of defence know who had thought up the idea how a defence commercial relationship between India and any other entity would be defined: a buyer-seller relationship or a partnership in co-development. The defence minister AK Antony had first talked about the partnership concept two years ago, 2010, while unveiling the Defence Procurement Procedure, 2010.

On Monday, the USA wishes to reorient its arms trade policies according to the requirements of the DPP. The visiting US deputy secretary of defence, Dr Ashton B Carter, told an audience of some industry representatives and an equal number of Indian journalists, that, ‘[I]mportantly, we are prepared to adapt our system to the unique needs of India and its Defence Procurement Procedure, or DPP.’

Clearly, the rules of the game has changed. No longer is India a country searching for its moorings after the demise of the Soviet Union and the missing suppliers of the country’s defence equipment. This is a customer in the arms bazaar who is leveraging strengths to get the best deal possible.

On the other hand, Dr Carter was at pains to explain how the USA would pay for the ‘re-balance’ the American engagement of the world (in projection of power) to the Asia-Pacific region. The formula is simple as he made out to be: American assets freed from the second Iraq war and the second Afghan war would be diverted to the so called ‘rebalancing.’

But crucially he clarified that this ‘re-balancing’ is not about the US interests or Indian engagement or targeted against the Chinese. This realisation has dawned on the Americans on the basis of the status of Sino-US relationship and Indo-US relationship.

For, though the United Kingdom was once called the ‘nation of shopkeepers’ by a Napoleon Bonaparte, the current economic travails of the US may  not have made them to go around ‘hat in hand,’ but it has certainly made the once  only superpower, to a supplicant to revenues generated from the countries, who they call their partners/friends/associates.

The major change in the national security policy of the USA has come about also from the strategic thought that the ocean they should focus on was not the Atlantic but the Pacific, which was where economic strength was being generated for the future. Dr Carter indicated that realisation through the exposition of his country’s positions.

As the character of capital goes, it needs to find profit where they are being generated. A little humility helps.
Pinaki Bhattacharya

Pinaki Bhattacharya

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