South Asia and Beyond

U.S. Recognises “India Can’t Change Russian Horses Midstream While Dealing With China Confrontation”

NEW DELHI: On ‘The Gist‘, Jack Detsch, National Security and Pentagon Reporter at ‘Foreign Policy’ tells StratNews Global Associate Editor Amitabh P. Revi,”In the long term the U.S. would like to have a conversation with India about how to wean themselves off Russian systems. It’s obviously a very difficult sell and U.S. officials still are concerned about what’s going on in the border regions on the Himalayas, with the Chinese sort of ramping up and ramping down that pressure. So, it’s not like you can basically change horses in midstream or walk and chew gum there, whatever metaphor you want to use. There are certain limitations to basically just disposing of a Russian arsenal at this point, when you face such problems on the border.”

Edited transcript:

I think for a few years now as the U.S. has tried to lure India out of its strategic crouch, the years of its non-aligned posture and to its more aggressive footing in confrontation with China, they’ve realised some of the limitations. The enormous amount of Soviet and Russian material that’s still in the Indian arsenal-the S-400s seems like it will still go forward and the U.S. is not going to crack down on India in the same way it cracked down on Turkey for that with severe sanctions would be my guess. And certainly there’s been pushing in the U.S. Congress against that. In the long term the U.S. would like to have a conversation with India about how to wean themselves off those systems. It’s obviously a very difficult sell and U.S. officials still are concerned about what’s going on in the border regions on the Himalayas, with the Chinese sort of ramping up and ramping down that pressure. So, it’s not like you can basically change horses in midstream or walk and chew gum there, whatever metaphor you want to use. There are certain limitations to basically just disposing of a Russian arsenal at this point, when you face such problems on the border.

There’s an even higher cutting edge technology than the S-400s when you talk about the nuclear powered attack submarines(SSN) lease from the Russians as well. That would probably also attract CAATSA or CAATSA waivers. Is that something that is talked about in Washington?

I think the focus has been on the S-400s. Mostly just that system. I think people understand the degree to which you need to upgrade old equipment. The question is just more on the big, major billion dollar purchases of new Russian equipment that basically turn up eyebrows in Washington and don’t square with the American letter of the law since 2017.

Watch the complete context of this discussion here( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eETvZ3T2LGI&t=46s)

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