Saturday, February 18, 2006

The French connection

[The blog is based on some readings and not intuitive]
France was one of the very few countries which did not ban nuclear and other military cooperation with India in the wake of nuclear tests in 1998. For any military a reliable supplier is very important than anything else. Even though India is getting closer and closer by day to the US but the past sanctions on the Indian military establishments and 1971's aggressive and threatning political games are still some of the wounds which time needs to heal. No army wants to get its' supplies dried out in the midst of a confrontation. Even though a distant one now but with the US suppliers vis-a-vis Pakistan its a possibility. Relations with France is important to India. Indian airforce operates a good number of Mirages as one of the frontline fighters. India also needs an interim submarine and French Scorpene is the top contender, till it completes its own nuclear ATV. The relations though have not been very smooth lately. The payouts to the middlemen in the Scorpene deal, scavanging Clamenceau and its recent submarine deliveries to Pakistan have raised some concerns. But more or less India and France need each other and it will take some dramatic and stupid actions for India to start disliking the French fries.

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