Archive for February, 2012

Eurofighter Typhoon Rejected by Indian Military

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

For some time now the Indian military has been keeping their eyes open for a new set of modern jet fighters. A few weeks ago India announced that the French aerospace firm Dassault (specifically the Rafale jet) won the bid over the Eurofighter Typhoon in a deal worth over $10 billion. This decision came as somewhat of a surprise to observers who believed that the Typhoon would probably have won out in the end. Production has not yet started and Eurofighter GmbH, the German holding company pushing the aircraft is still pushing for a deal. The Indian government cited expense as the reason for siding with Dassault.

The Typhoon was jointly developed by the United Kingdom, Italy and Germany and is the spiritual successor of the very capable Panavia Tornado. (The Tornado and Typhoon were developed and manufactured by different firms but are both managed by NATO Eurofighter and Tornado Management Agency.)

Though the Germans are the primary negotiators much of the focus regarding the deal has been on the United Kingdom. (The involvement of Italy in all aspects of both Tornado and Typhoon affairs is effectively incidental.) Observers noted that BEA, the primary manufactures, should have been able to secure a deal. It is possible, though equally unlikely, that India is trying to play aerospace firms off of one another.

Though articles regarding the deal have been appearing with some regularity for some time the most recent (yesterday) stated that BAE plans to cut 1,400 jobs. The overarching message is that the giant British aerospace and defence industries becoming less competitive. Furthermore trade with India has been slipping in the past several years and that the collapse of the Eurofighter deal, which initially seemed so promising is symptomatic of British inability to penetrate markets in India and other middle powers.


Bangladeshi coup plot against pro- India government

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

By: Priyanka Bajaj

Religious radicals within the Bangladeshi army were behind recent coup attempts to unseat Sheikh Hasina the Prime Minister of Bangladesh.  Hasina’s governments’ pro-India stance and recent step of secularizing the state angered fundamental Islamists. This dissenting army group wishes to turn Bangladesh into an “Islamic Caliphate” and views India skeptically. In recent years India has not always done well by Bangladesh.  In the past year alone, they made a dam that deprived Bangladesh of water.  This event and others caused Hasina’s pro-India intentions to take a hit.

The take over of Bangladesh by religious radicals would not be in India’s favor.  With Pakistan on one side of the country and Bangladesh on a portion of the other, India should take heed.  From a geographic point of view India is surrounded more by enemies than friends.  With China and Pakistan becoming cozier and cozier Bangladesh could help India balance against them.  India’s non-alignment theory is a disservice to the country in this situation.  Not only are they not actively making Bangladesh an ally, but they are also weakening the country’s conviction in its P. M.  If Hasina continues a pro-India stance, it is possible that another coup will take place or in recent elections someone less in favor of India will come to power.  Keeping both these factors in mind, it would be in India’s best interest to be more keen on maintenance of a good relationship with the Bangladeshi government. If India helps Bangladesh, Bangladesh may in turn come to the service of India.



India wants an expanded UN Security Council to include Africa

Saturday, February 4th, 2012

By Zach Feinstein

Recently, India called for the enlargement of the UN Security Council to include a seat for African nations.  India’s Permanent Representative, Hardeep Singh Puri, pointed out that currently two-thirds of the items on the Council’s agenda involve Africa and roughly three-fourths of the Council’s time is spent on African issues.  Pari believes that giving a seat to an African nation will make the Council more representative and help its ability to tackle international problems.

This decision came about for a variety of reasons.  There is an economic rationale for this decision because India sees Africa as place for investment and trading, while Africa needs Indian investment to help it develop economically and create jobs.  As a result of this decision, Africa and India will continue to develop closer economic and political ties.  Over the last twenty years, Chinese investment in Africa has skyrocketed.  Many African nations, however, are looking for an adequate counter-balance to China’s lopsided influence and as a result, look to India.  Additionally, India’s decision might be a result of it fusing together the ideas of non-alignment to a more realist foreign policy.  By advocating for a seat for developing nations, India is targeting former non-aligned nations and relying on these states to support a permanent seat for India.  India’s rationale is that if India and Africa work together, then both will gain power in the Security Council.