Published On: Fri, Mar 22nd, 2013

Arms Race & Proliferation adding Regional Instability

20latitude-india-missile-blog480By Zaheerul Hassan

Cold war era though ended after disintegration of Soviet Union, but pilling up of weapons has multiplied the arms race generally all over the globe. The reasons of multiplication of arm race are; capturing markets, power game and desire of getting strong hold over naturally enriched regions with a view to boost the economy. Religious and social discrimination further widens the gap between the civilizations. Incident of 9/11, attack on Iraq, ruthless killing of Palestinians, unending terrorism in Pakistan, ongoing movement of independence in India are the few examples that added up in the regional and global insecurity.

Thus, we can conclude that end of global wars and cold war instead of bringing peace has given the birth to fresh power game for increasing influence in the name of achieving absolute security. The players of power game adopted the policy of containment to mount the pressure while manipulating the geopolitics and simultaneously increase their defence spending. .

Earlier this month, China announced an 11.2% increase in its official defense budget, bringing the total figure to $110 billion (RMB 670 billion). Although this increase did not come as a surprise, the announcement still drew wary responses from India, Japan and Russia, which we examine in this pot.

India has also reviewed its defense budget for 2012-13, which the government announced will be $38.5 billion (1.93 trillion rupees), or about one-third the size of China’s military spending. It was also reported that a high-level defense meeting had a special focus on China and Pakistan, in addition to internal security issues.
The Indian government does not hesitate in pilling up of arms in the name of defence of Hindu State. It is also mentionable here that many Indian high official were found in taking kick back in the arms deals.

Recent case of alleged involvement of former IAF Chief, Air Chief Marshal Shashi P Tyagi for receiving colossal bribes in Augusta Westland VVIP helicopter deal has become focus of attention in domestic and international media. This is the second time that a military chief has been named in a case of alleged manipulation of military contracts against favours received from middlemen.

The first being in 1987 when CBI had raided former Navy Chief Admiral S M Nanda in the HDW scandal. Similarly, Former Navy Chief Admiral Sushill Kumar was named in CBI’s FIR in 2006 into Barak missile purchase.

Indian hegemonic designs and political ambition to dominate the region can well be construed through her plans to spend huge amounts on military buildup and purchase of sophisticated arsenals from all over the world. Indian schemes to stockpile sophisticated weapons from France, Israel, Russia and USA are certainly source of concern for Pakistan and China.

The insane quest for regional hegemony on one hand pushes India into unabated arms procurement race which at times paves way for grand frauds in the forms of money embezzlements through kickbacks involving top military leadership and ministry of Defence.

On the other hand, Indian leadership assertively advocating regional peace misleads the world by cunningly projecting their threat perceptions and security concerns. The aim is to build favorable public opinions about their pledges based on impiety.

Recently Indian Government has started insinuating Pakistan for its involvement in CRPF camp attack in Srinagar through a venomous media campaign. India frequently keeps maligning Pakistan to divert World’s attention from her ever increasing military spending.

This increase, though, is not without strains on other fiscal needs. Before it was announced, the Economic Times had reported that “the symbolic reminder of China’s official military budget crossing $100 billion couldn’t have come at a worse time for India that is seeing a series of steps to curtail defence spending due to mounting fiscal crisis.”

In October 2012 Indian print media has accessed Italian investigation document that detailed a mysterious Indian connection to the scandal. Following the media reports Indian Ministry of Defence had ordered an inquiry and called for information from Italian Government through Ministry of External Affairs. However nothing happened after that. Even Defence Minister AK Antony told the Parliament in 2012 that the Italian investigation had noting to do with Indian deal.

After this arrest of Chief Executive Officer, Indian Ministry of Defence has referred the Chopper deal case to Indian Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Myanmar, however, the opined that the Burmese Army might have attacked the Kachins with the weapon and during the fight lost them to the rebels.

In short, Indian is involved in arms purchasing but proliferation of the arms in the neighbouring countries for fomenting terrorism and supporting militancy. I this regard recently India made an illegal deals with Myanmar and sold or weapons along with other military hardware to Myanmar in a bid to seek support of Myanmar government to fight the ULFA cadres. The deal was exposed when Burmese Army lost them to Kachin rebels during their fight in the North East India and subsequently passed them over to the Kachin Rebels in return of their support. Global community should take note of the situation since pilling up of arms will add in regional and global instability.

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