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Game of Thrones
Hagel Visits India, Aims to Secure Arms Deal

In the wake of Narendra Modi’s landslide victory in May, U.S. leaders have shown renewed interest in improving ties with India. Just a few days after John Kerry’s visit, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel arrived for a short stay, intent on ensuring that security cooperation continues. The Diplomat reports:

One of Secretary Hagel’s goals is to seek more defense projects between the two countries. There is much scope for this. India is the largest importer of U.S. arms, although it still imports up to 75 percent of its arms from Russia. The two countries are close to finalizing a $1.4 billion deal in which India will buy at least 22 U.S. Apache and 15 Chinook helicopters made by Boeing, as well as other aircraft.

Both India and the United States have made an effort to bring Japan, which is also looking to beef up its military, into a new security alliance. During his visit Hagel said that they “should also converge their partnerships. India and the US should consider expanding their trilateral security cooperation with Japan. We should have trilateral defense cooperation at the ministerial level.”

China can’t be happy to see its two most powerful regional rivals drawing closer to each other—and to the United States as well.

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  • Thirdsyphon

    Helicopters. Interesting. I doubt China is overly concerned about those, since I’m pretty sure New Delhi intends to use them in Kashmir (and I’m absolutely sure that’s what they’re thinking in Islamabad). In recent years, China has been doing a good job of seizing openings like this to make the obvious counterplays (in this case selling the modern Chinese equivalent of Stinger missiles to Pakistan), so it will be interesting to see how long it takes them to jump on this.

  • El Gringo

    The only country with a procurement system more corrupt and inefficient than that of the U.S. is India. Trying to finalize sales of this magnitude is a Herculean task.

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