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Guardian UK: US fuels Asian arms race

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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 09:50 AM
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Guardian UK: US fuels Asian arms race
US fuels Asian arms race
India was once a bulwark against cold war militarism but now, under US influence, it is buying weapons at an alarming rate

Mustafa Qadri, Saturday 8 August 2009

"We both seek a more secure world for our citizens," wrote US secretary of state Hillary Clinton on the eve of her recent visit to India last month.

Clinton made no secret of the prospects of stronger ties between the US and India. With its ever-growing economy and regional clout, large pool of labour and equally massive markets, India is a juicy prospect for American planners, and business.

During the visit, both countries agreed to an annual "strategic dialogue" chaired by the two foreign ministers and attended by a wide range of government and industry representatives from several sectors including agriculture, energy, education and security. The dialogue reflects the most comprehensive integration of India into the US sphere of influence.

It is a far cry from the days when, as founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement, India was a bulwark against cold war militarism. Today, India is very much seeking an American alignment.

While in India, Clinton and her Indian counterpart SM Krishna signed off on the innocuous-sounding end user monitoring agreement. The agreement opens the door to the sale of high-tech American weaponry to the world's second most populous nation. That includes an upgrade of India's air force already the fourth largest in the world estimated to be worth up to $12bn. It's a prize, dubbed "the world's richest fighter aircraft deal in 15 years", that has the world's largest arms manufacturers scrambling for a slice. US mega-corporations Boeing and Lockheed Martin are believed to have the inside running following the agreement. ...........(more)

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