Ranjit B Rai
The object of this post is to analyse a major strategic sea change that has stealthily taken place in the last five years in the Western Indian Ocean Region (IOR) where United Arab Emirates (UAE) with a modern military flying potent planes and sailing warships (many trained by India and Pakistan), with deep pockets and as India’s largest trading partner (Indian investments and workers) has quietly become a MARITIME Power in Western IOR with bases in Socotra and Aden in Yemen, and Berbera and Djibouti and Assab in Somaliland/Eritrea Ethiopia and an air base in Somaliland. Indian Navy OR media has not commented.
Now UAE may offer a partnership for its base in Socotra as its FM visits India.
In an informal meeting in NY to discuss India one heard FM Piyush Goyal has pleaded USA to invest Pension and other funds to capitalize the Indian banks huge NPAs and offered sovereign guarantees. But many said its just like sale of Air India, or how India puts clauses which are not business friendly ! Macdonalds was another quote and many such, like duties on Harley Davidson. The list is long but all agreed India is a Gold Mine for consumption by 1.4 billion people lacking manufacturing and even praised Vietnam as cost of production is lower there and much improved.
So this post must end with a quote by Henry Kissinger which has stood the test of time , “India and USA will have troubled relations like a married couple of two big democracies, who can neither divorce nor get along.” IDF adds they will have to bed each other from time to time like the Nuclear deal in lieu of defence purchase showed and more now, as China has risen with its partnership with Pakistan. Shan Na Varuna.