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May 07, 2005


Amit Kulkarni

The US is a fickle arms supplier, although most Indians (like me) would like to see closer co-operation between the two nations, India always seem to be at the short end of the stick.

I hope that the current Indian administration weighs this carefully. Although going forward like you say, only the US has the money to be serious about developing new weapons systems. Pretty much everybody has dropped out of the race.


Majority of the Indians view the growing US-India relations very favorably. India knows that India & US are natural allies. However, our past experience with US has been full of sanctions & embargoes. For all the right & wrong reasons, India was always at the receiving end, be it sanctions or the Pro-Pakistan stance by US. Indians also understand that US action was a part of the cold-war game. But, this fear of US sanctions or turning its back will not go away soon, as this perception was built over years.We live in a very hostile neighbourhood, and no sensible country would want to see its military capability being held hostage to the threat of sanctions. Hence, expecting India to turn its back on a old & time-tested friend like Russia and opt for massive purchase of arms from US would be a mistake. For, India drastically improving its relations with US while still maintaining its strong ties with Russia would be the best option. And, I am sure that the Americans will understand this rationale. The best part is that this can work as i don't foresee much of a fight between Russia & US in the future. Let the confidence be built over a period of time,whereby India is encouraged to buy US arms as they deem fit. Over a period of time, big ticket purchases and strategic tie-ups would automaticaly emerge.


India-USA history has always been full of controversies,where the Americans have always viewed India as one among the enemy camp. There is no right or wrong to this, as this was during the cold war. But, even post-cold war, this treatment continued. India, which faced cross border terrorism was still seen through the prism of cold war. The US sanctions regime continued, with a deign to hamper all our nuclear, military, scientific & space missions. But, India did succesfully manage to continue with all its national missions inspite of this. While terrorism was breeding in the neighbourhood, arms were still being sold to our neighbour. Inspite of all this, if majority of the Indians still have favourable opinion of the Americans, the it should atleast show the Americans that they should never ever go back to the old policy of treating India as an enemy.

Bill Rice

Sandeep and Indian,

Very thoughtful and heartfelt comments about the past of US-Indian relations. The cold war is over now, and the US has determined, wisely, that its interest lies in supporting democracy throughout the world.

In the past, the US has not approached its foreign policy in this light, but rather to focus on shorter term goals with other nations it deemed allies.

September 11 changed America's thinking. There are larger threats to America's security, including Islamic Radicalism and potentially a growing unchecked and unfree China (though time will tell the goals the Chinese are pursuing).

It makes sense for both India and the US to work together for their interests are aligned and aligned in such a way that they make sense beyond the current horizon.

Russian military technology is good, but is growing sorely outdated and the US offers India a better opportunity for high end defensive equipment.

The US wants to see India succeed as an Asian democracy, especially given China's current economic lead.

Reforms undertaken by India to root out corruption will hopefully allow India to catch up and surpass China.

Thank you for your comments. I truly would like to see better US-Indian relations. Granted that will take steps of condfidence on both sides, but the relationship is too logical for both nations, that it is important to forgive the past, though not forget it.

Kind regards,

Bill Rice
Dawn's Early Light


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