Friday, May 06, 2011

U.S. turn around on 26/11 and the MMRCA deal

The US state department spokesperson, Mark Toner almost went to say that the terror acts of 9th September 2001 and 26 November 2008 are not comparable. How did he justify Operation Geronimo? He says "What we've said all along is that this was an individual where, when we had actionable intelligence against him, we acted upon that because we believed he was a direct and imminent threat to the United States."

But the United States appeared reluctant to support India, if it chooses to carry out a similar operation against terrorists who have engaged in (proxy-) war against us. So, even if we have concrete information about Dawood Ibrahim's location and decide to carry out a similar operation, US won't support us. Why?

Now, if we try to connect the dots, what emerges is the fact that just last week, India rejected the bids of two American firms, namely Boeing (F/A-18 Hornet) and Lockheed Martin (F-16), from the $126 billion MMRCA deal. Had this deal been through, it would have generated lots of jobs back in the US, besides giving a fillip to either Boeing or Lockheed Martin. Add to that, a continued business in terms of spares, re-fitting, weaponry, etc. Alas, that was not to be. No matter how many times the US repeats that it respects India's decision, they are definitely hurt. There is a growing section that feels that India is ungrateful. They feel that the US has done a huge 'favour' to India by working out the 123 agreement, which ends India's isolation from the nuclear world. In reality, there was no 'favour' but purely business considerations. But, the US still has to see the economic benefits of the deal, as no concrete agreements have yet been signed with any of the American suppliers of nuclear power generation equipment.

So, a sore United States doesn't want to extend any more 'favours' to India. They are definitely hurt. One, the MMRCA deal has gone to Europe, with American businesses losing more than a $ 200 billion business over a long span. Two, the nuclear agreement hasn't led to any economic benefits as yet. Three, India abstained from voting on the UN Security Council resolution against Gaddafi in Libya. And hence, they are trying to distance themselves from being committed to helping India, in case it decides to carry out direct operations on Pakistani soil, in a manner similar to what they did. This denial, would boost Pakistan's confidence and shrink India's to a certain extent. It exposes the double standards of the US, where they are allowed to violate the sovereignty of any country in order to kill a person they call as their enemy, but other nations cannot do so. Of course, a few American citizens too have lost their lives in the terror attacks and the US may pursue the terrorists, to avenge killing of "their citizens", with none in the world questioning its aggression.

Note: This portion added as an afterthought
But, it now makes me wonder, what would America's position have been, had India short-listed either Boeing or Lockheed Martin in the final rounds. Surely, not as cold or opposite to what it appears today in the newspapers. No doubt, they would have further pressurised Pakistan into "taking action" against the perpetrators of  26/11 and then also went on to say that they are parallels between 9/11 and 26/11. At the very least, Mark Toner would not be make these statements in the media today.
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