Ranjit B Rai
This IDF post includes two issues that IDF feels portrays what is happening in the world. Indian TV channels have nothing to report 24×7 but Karnataka. Its like the Rape of the Noblewoman Lucretia by Sextus the King’s son which led to the overthrow of the Roman Monarchy and India awaits to know who is overthrown in Karnataka.
As USA changes courses and China rises and adds three warships and an aircraft carrier in record time in the Era of Maritime Power, majority Hindu India has decided a Hindu Rashtra is the key to rise. RSS/BJP were always clear on this and only a truck with USA could help India meet the China challenge, as India’s old emotional friend Russia could not help much as before. USA has pushed Russia with sanctions in to the Chinese camp and created a challenge for India.
India has a strong capable secular military and a good economy but Mother India has been crying for ethical governance which Congress failed to provide and BJP seems to be finding it uphill to provide. It is at this stage PM Modi wings to Sochi to meet President Putin after he met President Xi Jinping in Wuhan. Putin never has a meeting without an agenda, so IDF offers the agenda in this post but two asides first.
FIRST ASIDE:- When the all powerful Republican Rightist President Bush of USA the sole super power was asked why USA attacked Iraq, he said because they had weapons of mass destruction (WMDs)……but when reminded they did not, he said but we made the world believe us ! When Trump was asked why he attacked Syria …He said they had WMDs(chemical) but when told but they did not, he said but we made the world believe us. But when they asked why USA did not attack North Korea……Trump said because that bloody young ‘fatboy’ Kim has nuclear weapons for sure !
MEA Minister Gen VK Singh winged to North Korea secretly and his North Korean interlocutor assured they will not do anything to harm India, but did not say that when they need money they will sell their souls even if it is to Pakistan or Iran that does nuclear biz. Read Navy Diary-2018. It is called Self Interests. Kim decides whom he should talk to. It is called military nuclear power !
SECOND ASIDE:- All power corrupts but all of India’s leaders seem to be losing Conscience and Discretion for National Interests in preference of pursuing self and party interests at the expense of the nation and pandering to whims for power whether it be in Policy, Governance (Smiti Irani’s circular and threats), and even detailed Ceasefire orders for religious needs. Military likes to be apolitical and likes Direct Clear Orders but are being entered into the drama of Politics (Thimmaya) of Aya Rams and Gaya Rams. Money power that Demonet was meant to solve seems to be back media is reporting openly.
DISCRETION is well explained on page 11 of Indian Express 18th May by a Faizan Mutafa as, “a science of understanding to discern between falsity and truth and between right and wrong, between shadows and science” Indian Mythology and Ram’s birth date and place comes to mind. The First Issue cited above shows, nations go through periods of uncertainty by powerful leaders and Indians and it’s military will keep working in the shadows of uncertainty with Ordnances and a judiciary that is in woes till the elections in 2019. It’s called, the call for power !
In all this UAE has become a West Asian maritime power. UAE has developed a string of ports with Berbera as its latest acquisition through its DP World explained in an earlier post, to guard one of the world’s busiest shipping routes in the Bab El Mandap which leads from the Indian Ocean to the Red Sea and Suez Canal and vice versa. Economies may fall but Shipping will continue and UAE has grabbed the void in its proximity and taken the mantle in the Western Indian Ocean.
India as a maritime power must note UAE looks to have a maritime say in the Western Indian Ocean Region with support from France and Saudi Arabia. Indian Navy needs to be seen more in the Gulf and in partnership with UAE, which is admittedly close to Pakistan, but knows the butter is in India. This aspect is being neglected with fewer sea legs in the Navy explained in posts due to budget constraints and our strategists seem to have lost “Discretion for Navy’s expansion”. In the Anti Piracy patrol Indian Navy did well but could just station one warship in 26 turnovers to the Horn of Africa in the past decade. Chinese sent three ship task forces from far away and opened a base at Djibouti. Navy needs sea legs and Douqm in Oman for the Navy is good news and must seek 24×7 presence and press for a promised strategic base in Assumption Island in Seychelles! FS Gokhale visited their President as Navy is mending fences for India with Maldives. It’s India’s diplomatic tool.
UAE was fearful of the impact of Iran’s nuclear deal with USA- EU Russia and China. It moved fast fearing Iran’s Shia jihadists might get going in the area like in Syria at a time when the region’s Arab heavyweights, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, and USA seemed to flounder to dethrone Assad’s rule. UAE’s strategists decided that if they waited to prevent these threats at their borders, they might be overrun with terrorism. The UAE also worried that rivals might tempt legal and illegal trade away from Jebel Ali and Dubai in Dhows though awkwardly situated deep inside the Gulf. The rapid port expansion at Chabahar in Iran where India is a partner and Duqm in Oman where Indian Navy has a say all posed a threat and a challenge in competition for trade. President Trump’s negating of the Nuclear deal with Iran is silently welcomed in UAE.
UAE stealthily lords the seas from the ports of Dubai’s Jebel Ali and Fujairah, as it extends its reach along Yemen from the Horn of Africa to Eritrea to Saudi Arabia’s delight. Saudi Navy takes over from Jeddah. UAE’s corvettes and a squadron of Mirage with Saudi bombers showed how it could take on the Iran supplied missiles and arms of the Houthis to gain Aden , and is on to Limassol and Benghazi in the Mediterranean with DP’s necklace of ports.
UAE’s expansion will accelerate with oil price rising to $ 80 per barrel. UAE is bent to “ pursue regional influence with its economy and military” for its own sake. Back to PM Modi who flies for a Sunday outing to the holiday resort of Sochi on the Black Sea that the former Indian crew of INS Rajput know well.
MOD may have completed the file work ( as MOD does on orders from Top as it did for Scorpenes or 36 Rafales over night ) for 4 Gregorovich (follow on of Krivacks) frigates that PM Modi promised to President Putin in September 2016 at BRICs at Goa. Two warships or hulls are to be built at Yantar in Kalingrad, which is Putin’s mother in law’s state geographically cutaway from Russia that Indian Navy knows well, like Sochi and two Gergoroviches are to be built at Goa Shipyard Ltd which has capacity as MCMVs from Korea that RM Parrikar pushed for Goa have been cancelled.
Defence Secretary Misra with senior Navy flew in to Italy and may have discussed the ‘going nowhere’ AW-101 Westland Helicopter legal case and the RFI on GRP MCMVs from Inter-Marine that the Indian Navy needs badly, but Vikrant will get the Italian Selex 40 L air radar and Israel’s MF-Star.
Indian Navy is also supposed to get one more nuclear Akula submarine which contract is always kept under the radar and few batteries of S-400 anti ballistic missiles and Phalcon IL-76 AWACs and continued supplies of CKDs of SU-30MKI and BrahMos NG missiles and support to Russian supplied submarines and planes. But USA’s CAATSA to stop business with nations like Russia and Iran which are on sanctions and USA considers adverse to USA’s interest and applies to India unless exempted could be discussed.
Between Karnataka, BJP/RSS strategy for a Hindu Rashtra and challenges posed by USA and China and emotional bond with Russia and Pakistan challenging the Cease Fire , PM Modi is cool to face the challenge of self made chaos !Shan Na Varuna.