A New Customer

One of the Bush administration’s signal foreign policy successes was its cultivation of an excellent relationship with India. We and others have criticized the Obama administration for failing to build on this legacy, but Pravda tells us that the pro-US trend continues:

From now on India will be buying American weapons. The USA and India came to such an agreement during Hillary Clinton’s visit to Delhi on July 20. India has been using Russian and Soviet weapons for 50 years.
The relations between Russia and India, including those in the field of military and technical cooperation, have been worsening recently. India turned its attention to other partners and entered into transactions with Israel, France and other manufacturers of military hardware.
Now the USA, Russia’s major competitor in this sphere, completed this list.

I assume the reasons are at least partly ideological, as India has moved emphatically to the right, but Pravda emphasizes the commercial ineptitude of Russia’s manufacturers:

Russian military analysts say that the principal reason for India’s decision to develop defense cooperation with the USA lies in Russia’s numerous violations in execution of contract terms with India. India was outraged when Russia delayed the modernization of the Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier, as Russia did previously with the delivery of warships and submarines.
A new scandal arose several days before Clinton’s visit to Delhi. It proved that Russia had sold India defective air-to-air rockets. Up to 50 percent of the rockets were reportedly defective.

Russia is in deep trouble on a number of fronts, as this story reminds us.


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