It is being assumed in diplomatic circles that India’s purchase of a multibillion dollar Russian S-400 defense system could invite U.S. sanctions against India under CAATSA. But, at the same time questions are being raised whether the US can really afford it. Such a step may endanger America’s own interests in South Asia.
Strategic Analysis on South Asia
Banning India will harm only the US, the world’s largest economy. India is unstoppable now.
The common bilateral sense says that it is neither in America’s interest nor good for world peace for America to impose sanctions on India over the India-Russia S400 deal signed in October 2018.
India is a responsible and peace loving country. India does not fight to take possession of any country or region. India has the ability and courage to put enemies in peace and right where it is. The recent Chinese aggression on India along with the deadly skirmishes between Indian and Chinese troops now seem like a blessing in disguise for India. Japan, Australia, Taiwan, and other South-east Asian countries have seen that India is the only country that can deal with China with an Iron Fist.
India has already made clear to the US military that India has over 90% of military arsenals supplied by Russia. To replace or change weapons all of a sudden is thus ruled out.
Now is the time that the United States has to realise that-
- Indo-Russian Friendship is real,
- Only a militarily strong India can act as an effective deterrence against a rising China even if it requires India seek support from Russia,
- Russia is a super power, but it will most likely play a safe game and stay neutral,
- Any step to ban India will necessarily hinder the US own ambitions to partner with India as a counter-balance to China. and
- Without India, America may not be able to contain China.
Thus it can be safely concluded that India is the best bet for the US to tackle the growing Chinese aggression in the region. China spread covid-19, but India distributed corona vaccines to the world more than any body else. This is why other countries do not want to have bad relations with India.
America’s ban will only help India a bit more to become self-reliant.
India is rising Superpower.
India’s global status as a powerful Nation has grown immensely and very soon the world will need validation from India in any discussion related to foreign affairs. Today, India is longer India of the Congress-ruled period till 2014. Since then, India has a undergone a transformation under the world’s most popular leader, its PM Modi. India is not the old India and similarly the US is no longer a superpower like that in the 1990s. The US needs to come out of its hangover. The US can not afford to assume that it can do whatever it wants. India’s current leadership has the capacity to weather any disruptive action from US. Politically, it will be a loose-loose situation for US if US decides to impose sanctions on India.
If the Biden admin bans India now, then later America will realize its mistake and cut a sorry figure.
As per the Republican Senator from West Virginia, Alex Mooney, the US owes to India almost USD 216 billion as loan.
What the US military sees
There is another indication of differences over policy matters between the US military and the Biden admin. Admiral John Aquilino, the next commander of the US Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) regards India as a friend of the USA. He suggests that the US should offer India a better than S400 product to India. Imposing sanctions is not a plausible way to move forward. Like others Aquilino has also seen the commendable work that India has done to protect its borders with China amid a standoff. China’s intentions to embrace India with economic and military influence is no secret.