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Indian All-Out Retaliation Against Pakistan Hindered By France and Russia?

Indian netizens, defence experts demand all-out strikes against Pakistan-backed terror organizations operating in Pakistan-controlled-Kashmir. But how are France and Russia hindering Indian plans?

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Today, as the news of the martyrdom of five Indian soldiers including two senior officials splashed all over the media, netizens started demanding an immediate retaliation against Pakistan and its sponsored terrorists.  

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The demand of retaliation again Pakistan by both experts and netizens was somewhat akin to the 2019 Pulwama attacks when a suicide bomber rammed his car into the CRPF convoy, killing over 40 troopers. The Pulwama was one of the deadliest attacks on the Indian security forces in the Kashmir Valley.

As EurAsian Times reported earlier today, in Handwara, North Kashmir, 5 Indian Army personnel including a Colonel, Major, along with 2 army soldiers and a sub-inspector of Jammu and Kashmir police were killed in an overnight encounter.

This is one of the biggest blows to the Indian Army especially to the Rashtriya Rifles (RR) who lost two very senior officers.

As netizens demand retaliation and Indian agencies seriously contemplating actions against Pakistan, experts talking to the EurAsian Times state that an all-out Indian response is being halted because of France and Russia.

Ever since the deadly Pulwama attack, New Delhi made it very clear to Islamabad that the Indian forces are ready to cross any boundary to hunt-down terrorists and is not bothered by the Pakistani nuclear bluff.

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The attack on Indian soil was condemned by all countries including China, Pakistan’s regional ally. What also became evident was India’s zero-tolerance policy on terrorism as New Delhi, despite losing a fighter jet, made it very clear that it will not back-down on hitting terror launch-pads anywhere on the planet.

France and Russia Hampering Indian Response?

How will India respond this time to the killing of five Indian security personnel in the volatile Kashmir Valley? Defence experts, in conversation with the EurAsian Times, believe that the delays in the procurement of Rafale jets from France and S-400 air defence system from Russia is seriously hampering an all-out strike on terror bases in Pakistan.

As EurAsian Times reported earlier, the first batch of Rafale fighter jets for the Indian Air Force is likely to get delayed by around three months due to the Covid-19  pandemic, as France battles rising infections, deaths, and lockdowns.

India has signed a deal with France to acquire 36 Rafale multi-role fighter jets in fly-away condition with 13 India Specific Enhancements (ISE) under a €7.87 billion Inter-Governmental Agreement signed in September 2016.

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As per the agreement, deliveries begin 36 months from the signing of the contract and will be executed in 67 months. The IAF had resurrected the 17 Squadron ‘Golden arrows’ at Air Force station Ambala (near Pakistan) which will operate the first Rafale squadron.

Another big hindrance that is stopping the Modi-government from an all-out offensive against Pakistan is the Russian S-400 air defence systems.

The S-400 surface-to-air missile is easily considered the most advanced missile defence system on the planet today, far ahead of American equivalents. The S-400s have a strike range of 400km and a radar range of 600km.

Additionally, the S-400 has modular setup and high mobility, meaning it can be set up, fired and moved within minutes and can tract, detect and destroy any ariel targets within split seconds. India does have a deal in place with Moscow for $5B but New Delhi will not receive the advance weapons system till late 2021.

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If placed near the Pakistan border, India could almost control all of Pakistan airspace, experts claim. The S-400s are even considered a big threat to stealth F-35 & F-22 Raptors and Pakistani F-16s and JF-10s would have been sitting ducks for the Russian-origin missiles.

In the absence of the Russian and French origin weapons, experts state that Indian armed forces would have to continue punishing Pakistan-backed militants with precise, unrelenting cross border shellings on terror launch pads with the latest, state-of-art artillery guns while hunting down rats (militants) burrowed in the Kashmir Valley.

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India Bets Big On Nikki Haley To Emerge As Vice Presidential Candidate Under Trump

Nikki Haley has echoed some of the same arguments Donald Trump has made on national topics such as cancel culture, defunding police forces and statue removal, although the tone and frequency between Trump and Haley differ dramatically.  

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India has pinned hopes on Nikki Haley to become the US Vice President (VP) should Donald Trump get re-elected this November. Haley, a first-generation Indian American, is expected to strengthen Indo-American relation and also attract a lot of voters including women and minorities.

According to the reports, there is speculation that Trump might switch out Vice-President Mike Pence for Nikki Haley as his running mate in the hopes of boosting his lagging approval numbers among the broader electorate.

Despite resigning as US Ambassador to the United Nations, Haley has been active in politics. She has been fundraising for Republican congressional candidates as well as in the Senate and gubernatorial arena.

She has set up a non-profit organization to boost her policy priorities and has continued to pen editorials on foreign policy. And Hailey has retained a small, tightly knit orbit of advisers.

The former governor of South Carolina, Haley is one of the people who left the Trump Administration on good terms. She has even promised to campaign for the President for his re-election bid.

Haley has echoed some of the same arguments Donald Trump has made on national topics such as cancel culture, defunding police forces and statue removal, although the tone and frequency between Trump and Haley differ dramatically.

According to experts at EurAsian Times, Haley’s recent moves can be seen as a carefully executed plan to stay involved in key Republican policy circles and the national discourse. Haley has fundraised for almost a dozen Republican Senate candidates, many of them in tough re-election races, and has been a special guest at Republican Governors Association (RGA) events.

While Haley has dismissed reports about her running for VP, her being an influential person of colour could help Trump win constituencies he is currently losing.

India pinning hopes on Nikki Haley

The US Presidential elections are a spectacle observed globally and India would be hoping Trump wins and Haley gets elected as the VP. Haley enjoys nationwide popularity amongst Indian-Americans and her election as VP could lead to stronger ties between Washington and New Delhi.

She has natural links to India with her parents having emigrated to the US in the 1960s from Punjab. Haley has often pointed out that India is an example of a free government and recently even applauded New Delhi’s decision to ban 59 Chinese applications and for standing up to China.

With an Indian-American at the helm of affairs, New Delhi would see it as an opportunity to get closer to Washington. It could lead to India benefitting in the areas of trade, defence and investment and would be a huge blow to neighbours China and Pakistan.

US Presidential elections are scheduled to take place in November and will be contested between Donald Trump and Joe Biden. While Biden’s re-election does not mean that India and the United States will have weak relations, having Trump in the White House and Haley as VP would definitely lead to stronger Indo-American ties.

Armaan Srivastava. Views Personal

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Americas

Russian T-14 Armata Tanks Now On Sale; Hopes To Challenge US’ M1 Abrams

The T-14 is part of the Armata’s heavily tracked standardized platform, which serves as the basis to develop the main battle tank, an infantry fighting vehicle, an armoured personnel carrier and other armoured vehicles.

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Russia’s T-14 Armata tank will be up for sale from 2021. This was announced by Denis Manturov – Industry and Trade Minister of Russia. He said that they are already receiving requests for the deadly T-14 Armata tanks from several foreign customers.

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The T-14 is part of the Armata’s heavily tracked standardized platform, which serves as the basis to develop the main battle tank, an infantry fighting vehicle, an armoured personnel carrier and other armoured vehicles. It has fully digitized equipment, an unmanned turret and an isolated armoured capsule for the crew.

“Russian producers are ready to offer potential buyers both air defence systems, such as the S-300 and the S-400 and advanced aircraft and helicopters,” explained Dmitry Shugayev, Head of Russia’s Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation.

“We are preparing the MiG-35 light fighter for sale and are promoting the latest T-14 ‘Armata’ tank,” he added.

The Armata T-14 was first demonstrated during the Victory Day Parade in May 2015 in Moscow. The actual production of the tanks was delayed. The first nine T-14 Armatas were originally planned to be handed over to the Russian Ground Forces (RGF) in 2018. This date then got pushed to 2019 and then to 2020.

Russia hopes that the T-14 Armata tank will give a tough competition to America’s M1 Abrams that destroyed thirty-seven of the Soviet-designed T-72s during the 1991 Gulf War.

T-72s remain Russia’s primary battle tank, supplemented by turbine-engine T-80s and four hundred more advanced T-90s. According to Sébastien Roblin, an expert on security and militarywhile Russia may finally have a 125-millimetre sabot round that can threaten Western main battle tanks at the range, only its handful of new T-14s tank are capable of actually using it.

Experts claim that the 2A82 gun could be retrofitted to numerous older T-90s and T-72s so far appear not to have materialized.

Despite Russia’s defence spending, the Russian military has continued with the production of the new tank. The production is overseen by Rostec Corporation, the Moscow conglomerate that specializes in consolidating strategically important companies in Russia’s defence sector.

It has undergone field testing in Syria. Although the extent of testing and the results are still unclear, a Russian media outlet suggested that “one Armata was completely destroyed.” There’s no confirmation on that but it might not look good to its buyers.

“It [the T-14 Armata tank] is expensive because it is still undergoing extra trials and modernization after the defence ministry requested additional technical solutions in order to begin serial supplies starting from the next year under the existing contract,” said Manturov in April this year.

He further said that next year, when serial supplies of these tanks to the defence ministry are launched and an export certificate is obtained, they will begin to work with foreign clients. “Preliminarily, bearing in mind that we cannot provide all the documentation to our foreign clients. We do have preliminary orders,” he added.

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Americas

US-China Tensions: US Wants India To ‘Match Its Weight By Actions’ In The South China Sea – Experts

Tensions between the US and China increased when the US deployed two aircraft carriers in the South China Sea with a clear message to Beijing that it doesn’t welcome China’s belligerence in the region.

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Amid inflating tension between the US and China, the US administration is keen that India should play a vital role in the South China Sea and match its weight by actions.

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Recently, the US deployed two aircraft carriers in the South China Sea with a clear message to Beijing that it doesn’t welcome China’s belligerence with its neighbours and increasing the regional tensions.

Chinese Foreign Ministry, in response, accused the US of deliberately sending its ships to the South China Sea so that it can demonstrate its strength and accused the US of trying to create a rift between the regional countries.

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This is not the first time that the US and China have been engaged in muscle-flexing in the region. Experts say that the situation is slightly different this time as the coronavirus epidemic has drastically increased tension between the two nations.

The South China Sea which lies between Indonesia and Vietnam is spread over about 3.5 million square kilometers. China, Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei have claims over the waters which is believed to be high on natural resources.

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After the vicious India-China border dispute, there have been talks that India could play an active role in the South China Sea. India considers the South China Sea as a neutral place and believes that this neutrality should be maintained as these waters do not belong to any particular country.

Experts believe that India has come close to the US due to degenerating ties with China, but it is not correct to assume that India will play a very big role in the South China Sea. Experts say that – the US views India as a massive regional force and wants New Delhi to challenge the Chinese aggressively, something the Indian government is not too interested in.

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Experts recall that when Obama came to India in 2015, New Delhi said that it was committed to maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea and Beijing was quick to denounce the Indian statement.

After that, India never directly mentioned the issue by taking the name of China. On various occasions, India has talked about China’s expansionism but without naming it directly, which clearly suggests that New Delhi does not want to offend Beijing.

Russian Technicians Keeping INS Vikramaditya Battle Ready Amid Flaring Regional Tensions

Recently as EurAsian Times reported, India permitted Australia to join the annual trilateral Malabar naval exercise involving India-Japan-USA. With Australia joining in, this could cement the QUAD alliance which Beijing considers as an anti-China grouping.

The decision to allow Australia to be a part of exercise comes at the heels of Chinese hostility in Galwan Valley, South China Sea (SCS) and the Strait of Taiwan. According to experts, the addition of Australia could re-activate the Quadrilateral Alliance (QUAD) between Australia, India, Japan and the US, which New Delhi had been avoiding so far.

OpED By Nitin J Ticku. Views Personal

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