July 1, 2005Foreign AffairsSecurity

Arming America’s Asian Allies

American restrictions on Israel’s arms sales to India and Singapore will be counter-productive

This is an archived blog post from The Acorn.

Robi Sen drew attention to an op-ed by Caroline Glick in the Jerusalem Post, that suggests that a combination of a change in the United States’ policy attitude and the commercial interests of its defence industry has left Israel in a bind. Since Israeli arms are helping bridge America’s alliances with India and Singapore — America’s strategic allies in Asia — Washington’s recent move to acquire almost total control over Israel’s weapons sales risks undermining America’s relationship with two of its key Asian allies.

Brahma Chellaney, writing in The Japan Times argues that one major irritant in the emerging India-US relationship are technology controls that were imposed on India since the 1970s, when India first announced its nuclear capability. Procurement of high-tech military equipment from Israel, often with Washington’s approval, allowed India to get around America’s export restrictions and also move away from its heavy reliance on Russian hardware. Indeed, in many ways, Israeli technology helped pave the way for the American defence industry to make inroads into India. Disruption of Israel’s arms sales to India, is clearly not in the interests of any of the three parties involved.

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