America conveys impatience over pending defence agreements - Broadsword by Ajai Shukla - Strategy. Economics. Defence.

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Wednesday 20 January 2010

America conveys impatience over pending defence agreements

Before leaving Delhi on Wednesday for the Taj Mahal, Robert Gates declared that India needed to sign the CISMOA, and an agreement on Geo-spatial Cooperation, before the C-130Js being delivered to India could be fitted with cutting-edge equipment

by Ajai Shukla
Business Standard, 21st Jan 2010

The United States, according to credible recent press reports, is training Special Forces to “grab” Pakistan’s nuclear weapons if they seem about to fall into terrorist hands. And if the Indian Army is to play a role in the operations, here is how it might play out.

While US Special Forces are heli-dropped onto known Pakistani nuclear missile sites, and the US Air Force suppresses Pakistan’s air defences, the IAF’s newly acquired C-130J Hercules aircraft take off from Udhampur, flying Indian commandos to an unused airstrip near Kahuta which American Green Berets have temporarily secured. The Hercules’ electronic jammers blind Pakistani radars before entering Pakistani airspace; the Green Berets give the all-clear to the airborne Indian commander on secret frequencies that cannot be intercepted or jammed.

The Hercules lands in pitch darkness, satellite navigation directing the aircraft precisely to the landing site. Indian assault teams spill out to secure and deactivate the endangered nukes.

But there’s a hitch! India will only be eligible to receive key equipment on the Hercules --- electronic jammers; secure communications; and satellite navigation aids --- if New Delhi sheds its reluctance to sign a long-pending agreement that Washington insists upon for safeguarding its technologies: the Communications Interoperability and Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA).

The US is also insisting upon another agreement for protecting its space technology: the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo-spatial Cooperation (AGC).

Visiting US Defence Secretary Robert Gates, has strongly urged India’s government to sign these agreements. MoD sources say that, in his meeting with Defence Minister AK Antony, Gates conveyed Washington’s impatience at New Delhi’s delay. Without a CISMOA, Gates suggested, the C-130J would be just a top-notch transport aircraft; the CISMOA was necessary for fitting the electronics that would transform it into the world’s most formidable Special Forces aircraft.

Addressing the press, Gates explained, “[These agreements] will lead to greater interoperability and a greater capability of our forces to work together whether they are working together to provide Indian Ocean security… or in a disaster relief activity, or any number of other military operations.”

Gates also urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to sign a long-pending Logistics Support Agreement (LSA), which would allow Indian and American forces, ships and aircraft to obtain logistics from each others’ bases. While less immediate than the CISMOA, the LSA is an important step towards deeper military cooperation.

Growing US impatience at India’s inaction was also evident from Gates’ elaboration that, “These agreements have been laying around for quite a while… this is not some new requirement that has just emerged. [These agreements] are preponderantly in India’s benefit, because they give high-tech systems additional high-tech capabilities… are enablers, if you will, to the very highest quality equipment in the Indian armed forces.”

Gates played the diplomat in suggesting, “I think we have not done an adequate job on the American side in spelling out for our Indian partners the benefits to India of signing these agreements…. I promised the PM last night that we (the US) would do a better job of putting on paper, and using concrete examples (to illustrate) the benefits to India of all of these agreements.”

In July 09, India and the US had implemented the crucial End User Monitoring (EUM) Agreement, which safeguards US technology by disallowing India to pass on US military equipment to any third party, without permission from Washington. The EUM Agreement allows Washington to physically verify that equipment sold to India remains in Indian hands.


  1. Apart from EUM Agreement other agreements will befitting india to get high technology,
    india already knows about these agreements should be signed before getting C-130 / C-17 and other equipments.
    India is making every thing delay, i don't understand what we succeeded by delaying everything .

    India hardly and positively needs Longer range bombers like TU-22M3 backfire for Naval and land based attack / Longer range MBRL's , india should try to boost private sector to research and manufacture it with JV from other research concerns.

  2. we need to sign them and get it over with. though they may be supplying pak with weapons, we shouldn't be giving them too much heat because even Russia supplies like crazy to china. atleast the US has checks which monitor sensitive tech from being copied but Russia doesnt have anything like this and the Chiks have copied everything Russian and pose a grave threat to us. And i know for a fact if Paki nukes seem to be in danger the US will be first to act with strikes in order to prevent them falling into wrong hands. The US monitors their nuke sites very carefully any movement will result in a grand attack. The only reason for PAki support is logictical support for Afgan mission and sheer pity. On any given day US will choose to support India incase things turn bad.

  3. It would be better if the final draft of (CISMOA)(AGC)(LSA) is supplied and discuss before signing anything.

    we (general public) dont know what is their in End User Monitoring (EUM) Agreement, which GOI has signed.

    GOI is answerable to Parliament of India who are answerable to people of India.

    BTW Ajai sahab, great scenarios.

  4. Just fit the plane with oem stuff then. That should be good enough.

  5. Nice scenario! But folks, in my interactions with Pakistani bloggers on the website I've been led to believe that most of Pakistan's nukes are already spread across the Arab world. Can anyone comment on this?

  6. US will act in its own interests allways and at all times... Once they exit Afaganistan and Iraq their forces will not be "at risk" and they will not do anything to secure any Paki nukes.

    Nothing wrong with inter-operability... but let be developed between Indian equipment along with US equipment... We need to rely on our own Space-based assets (GAGAN, GLOSNAS, etc...)

  7. hey ajai,
    apart from all this do u have any news about HAL-UAC MTA .
    nd when is the first flight of LCH there has a lot of delays and is there any final date.

  8. US will never try to seize Pakistan's nukes.

    How is it that a 500,000 army can be run over by terrorists? If push comes to shove Paki's will relocate these troops from the border to protect the nukes.

    Being the ridiculous marketing machine that US is, it is dangling impossible-earth-spins-off-its-axis scenarios in front of us in order to get us to sign CISMOA and other agreements to make us just another one of their poodles.

    If they are signed then forget about all your pride and all your research and everything. US will cut short any effort in that area by providing us with foreign exchange eating machines with which they can control all our actions and all our ours. After which forget about attacking the Paki terrorist camps or ending the Paki non sense once and for all.

  9. israel, THALES can provide similar electronics without any agreement

  10. hi Ajai sir

    from what I can comprehend from your article and whatever youhave written their I can only say its Day-dreaming. Why, the reasons are

    1. The American are only interested in making money.

    2. They will sell weapons both sides of a dispute.

    3. Irrespective of whatever weapons they sell they will have some strings in their hands, like restricting access to designs, software and other hi-tech sub systems, the Communications Interoperability and Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA) is a perfect example. Not to forget End User Monitoring (EUM) Agreements.

    4. As for India whatever US sells to us, be assured they have and will continue to turn a blind eye to whatever Pakistan does, whether its reverse-eng. Harpoon missle, or buying weapons for fighting against Taliban Al-qaeda and ultimately use them against India.

    5. US will continue to share top quality intelligence with Pak but will continue to arm-twist India in that respect.

    6. India's need for longer range bombers like TU-22M3 and longer range MBRL's like Smerch can be full filled with airtight agreement with Russia.

    7. Also for India concentrating on its own satellite based intelligence will be a better idea in the scenarios.

  11. it is in the US's interests to keep the Subcontinent on the edge, so that they can sell their stupid weapons to us. All talk about interoperability is a farce. The Americans only have their economic interests in mind. Peace & harmony in South Asia is the last thing on their agenda. The British used our cultural differences to their advantage, the effects of which are being felt even today. I hope India ,China & Pakistan wake up before history repeats itself

  12. In my opinion..

    This article clearly shows that the US now strategises to take into confidence India's Cooperation, bound by agreements on lucrative military deals (Instead of plain aid) to prevent any major mishap from a volatile Pakistan and and also as a counter of sorts against a growing military threat i.e China.

    It exactly knows the situation in Pak and also the growing influence and military coope with India is its only option.

    I feel India should not fall for the riders and must negotiate hard..else will end up losing a trusted Russia along with our sovereignty and stability.

  13. The rest of Dr. Gates' 2 day visit was dedicated to rehyphenating India with Pakistan. One cannot talk of Pakistani nukes without mentioning Chinas assistance to Pakistan. Dr Gates was careful to avoid alarming China by avoiding any such references.
    The same Dr. Gates sang an entirely different tune when he was Defense Sec under Bush but there is a definite definite change in actions and words coming from the White house and Pentagon under Barrack Obama.

    CISMOA etc are only the legal hurdles to be crossed before Lockheed MArtin, Boeing, Raytheon, FLUKE, and the dozens of companies reap a nice windfall by selling stuff to india. This has nothing to do with the role that USA wishes india to assume in the world. At best, under the current US administration, india can have regional role limited to the South Asia region.


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