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UPDATE 1-Raytheon says bidding for India tank upgrade (T-72)
Reuters ^ | 02/12/2010 | Bappa Majumdar

Posted on 02/12/2010 2:16:35 AM PST by sukhoi-30mki

UPDATE 1-Raytheon says bidding for India tank upgrade

* Partnering Larsen & Toubro for 1,000 tank contract


* Contract value seen at more than $100 mln (Adds detail)

NEW DELHI, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Raytheon Co (RTN.N), the world's biggest missile maker, said on Friday it and partner Larsen & Toubro (LART.BO) have bid for the contract to upgrade 1,000 T-72 battle tanks in India.

Defence ministry officials said India was looking to spend at least $100 million in upgrading the tanks, which India bought from Russia three decades ago.

"The upgrade will increase the lethality of the T-72 tanks," Fritz Treyz, vice president, Raytheon (India operations), told Reuters.

Ratheon has a tie-up with engineering and construction firm Larsen & Toubro in India.

The upgrades will include weapons and computer systems and enhance its operation by night.

India, one of the world's biggest arms importers, wants to spend $50 billion buying and upgrading weapons over the next five years.

Treyz said Raytheon will also launch the "fish hawk", an anti-submarine warfare weapon system next w

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; Russia
KEYWORDS: armor; armsbuildup; defensecontractors; defensespending; india; mbt; raytheon; russia; t72

1 posted on 02/12/2010 2:16:36 AM PST by sukhoi-30mki
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To: sukhoi-30mki

India seems like a strong Democratic counterweight to Chinese Communist expansion. Their ties to the Russians remain questionable however.

2 posted on 02/12/2010 3:09:31 AM PST by RC one (WHAT!!!!)
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To: RC one

India will need Russia for a lot of obvious reasons. One, the vast majority of its military equipment is Russian-you can’t get rid of that within a decade. While the reputation of Russian weaponry has suffered in India in recent years, they are still perceived as reliable strategic partners. Would the US allow a partnership with India to build a supersonic cruise missile, nuclear sub and stealth fighter??

And finally, Russian influence is necessary if you want to have stakes in central Asia and Afghanistan. Especially at this moment in time, where the US seems to wavering over commitments in Afghanistan.

3 posted on 02/12/2010 3:17:20 AM PST by sukhoi-30mki
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To: RC one

India is wise to retain Russia as their primary supplier. Russia has little to no interest in the Indian Ocean region unlike the U.S or China. Moreover, unlike those 2 countries, Russia hasn’t threatened India with nuclear blackmail yet.

4 posted on 02/12/2010 10:10:26 AM PST by artaxerces
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To: artaxerces

we never blackmailed India and our goal was always clearly to interfere with soviet expansion during a particularly tense period in world relations. India’s relationship with Russia back then was even more questionable than it is today.

5 posted on 02/12/2010 10:44:34 AM PST by RC one (WHAT!!!!)
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To: RC one

“The United States supported Pakistan both politically and materially. U.S. President Richard Nixon denied getting involved in the situation, saying that it was an internal matter of Pakistan. But when Pakistan’s defeat seemed certain, Nixon sent the USS Enterprise to the Bay of Bengal, a move deemed by the Indians as a nuclear threat.”

Nuclear blackmail + the support of genocide all in name of national interest.

6 posted on 02/12/2010 11:10:25 AM PST by artaxerces
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To: RC one

Don’t get me wrong, all countries are blatant hypocrites when their national interests are on the line.

7 posted on 02/12/2010 11:11:42 AM PST by artaxerces
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To: artaxerces

Fighting communism was and is in everyone’s national inerest. India should have considered the ramifications of becoming Khrushchev’s pawn. Furthermore, India’s problems with Pakistan were of their own doing. Our only goal was to stop the advance of soviet communism and I believe that most everything done in the name of that goal was justifiable... most. I don’t know about you but I despise communism. having said that, India used the enterprise as an excuse to justify pursuing the bomb as that was in their national interest. there was no nuclear blackmail and the genocide was an India/Pakistan issue. In retrospect, it seemed to all work out for the best once they got the far.

8 posted on 02/12/2010 12:00:31 PM PST by RC one (WHAT!!!!)
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To: RC one

” there was no nuclear blackmail and the genocide was an India/Pakistan issue.”

Right.... so when India invaded Eastern Pakistan to STOP the genocide, why did the U.S send in Carriers with N-Tipped missiles to stop them?

9 posted on 02/12/2010 12:05:41 PM PST by artaxerces
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To: artaxerces

The soviets dispatched two groups of ships armed with nuclear weapons into the bay of Bengal 5 days before the Enterprise arrived which begs the question, who was threatening who here? Yes, the Enterprise group had nukes. So did the Russian ships already there. the Enterprise group was there to facillitate evacuating Pakistani forces. It was only when they realized that soviet nuclear subs were tailing them that they withdrew. Again, who was threatening who here? keep in mind, all of this was to prevent the spread of Soviet Communism which was pretty well recognized as evil by everyone back then. everyone except India I guess.

10 posted on 02/12/2010 12:25:42 PM PST by RC one (WHAT!!!!)
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To: RC one

It boils down to something fairly simple. Pakistan was committing genocide to the tune of roughly 90K civilians a day. Why was the U.S supplying that country with weapons while threatening another country trying to stop the genocide?

A simple question deserves a simple answer. It was in the U.S’s national interest to support Pakistan against Russian backed India. The U.S could care less if it’s ally(or for that matter anyone not affecting U.S interests) was committing Genocide. But if a U.S adversary does the, then one could expect a very different response. Once again, it’s all about national interests.

11 posted on 02/12/2010 12:30:56 PM PST by artaxerces
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To: RC one

No country can base its long term interest on a four year election cycle of the U.S.. Its extraordinarily frustrating to spend years building up close ties with the U.S. only to find a new administration completely disregard your interests simply because they have a opposite point of view of the world. Afghanistan is classic example. The U.S.view of the Taliban has swung 180 degrees in the Obama administration from the previous Bush administration. Countries that supported the U.S.position during Bush feel undermined by the Obama administration which has completely left countries like India to dry while cutting deals which could severely affect India’s security in both the short and the long term.

If the only concern the U.S. shows is for its own interest and completely sideline countries that stood with it then what choices do other countries have but to put some eggs in different baskets?

12 posted on 02/12/2010 10:09:40 PM PST by cold start
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To: cold start

hmmm, I’m not sure I agree with any of that. Obama has authorized a fairly massive offensive against the Taliban which is underway right now. I think India of all countries should be able to understand the importance of our strategic relationship with Pakistan with regards to the WOT as it benefits them as well to not have a bunch of radical islamic jihadis gaining access to pakistan’s nuclear arsenal. Clearly our goals here benefit world stability as well as Indian stability and; furthermore, I think we have gone out of our way to heal the rifts created between us during the cold war. the fact remains, however, there is another threat to US and global security that we’re currently at war with. The world needs to seriously contemplate the possible/probable ramifications of a nuclear armed Jihadi before they condemn us for our struggle to prevent this reality.

13 posted on 02/12/2010 10:33:12 PM PST by RC one (WHAT!!!!)
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To: RC one; swarthyguy; sukhoi-30mki

Pakistan is a country known for its double-face, when it comes to international dealings.

Their clamping down of terror infrastructure is a mere hoax played out to the West, which the latter laps up like a little kid with a lollypop.

What Pakistan has done so far, is depict itself to be waging its “war on terror” on its Baloch and Waziri separatists, while slyly ignoring the real terrorists, and simultaneously advocating reconciliation with the Taliban, their pawns for control of their former playground, Afghanistan. They play the West like a broken record, when they use Western military aid meant for purchasing hardware to fight actual terrorists, on the purchase of arms and ammunition that can only be used against a regular military force, and not the Taliban or their ilk.

What were their latest purchases? F-16s, air-to-air missiles, and the like, to bomb the Taliban flying-carpet force?

Pakistan cannot let go of their terrorists. They are riding a tiger that they chained and leashed, and is a potent arm of their foreign policy which cannot be vanquished by their own effort. It takes supreme ignorance, and a lack of a bearing on reality, to see otherwise.

If Western troops, including those from my homeland, Australia, retreat from Afghanistan without ensuring a prevention of the Taliban or its newer avatars from gaining power again, all the sacrifices made so far, will be for naught. There is no other way of putting forth this bitter, naked truth.

So far, the signs are dismal, with open talk from even Western military officials, about reconciling with the Taliban. “Moderate” Taliban is the oxymoron they have invented, to term them as.


14 posted on 02/13/2010 8:25:23 AM PST by James C. Bennett
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To: James C. Bennett

An interesting perspective. thanks for the insight.

15 posted on 02/13/2010 8:44:10 AM PST by RC one (WHAT!!!!)
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To: RC one

End for Pak Taliban? Not quite

Wilson John

Baitullah Mehsud’s killing will not change matters much because he has left a powerful legacy and in addition you have the Pakistani State which cannot be expected to give up its proxy war strategy

The killing of Baitullah Mehsud, head of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, early this month is undoubtedly a major victory for the Pakistani security forces. However, in the overall context of America’s AfPak strategy, it only merits to be termed as a short ‘operational pause’.

It would be useful to begin by exploring the importance of Baitullah Mehsud. Till early 2007, this man was an unknown diabetic gym instructor from the Mehsud tribe, one of the two prominent tribes (other being the Waziris) which hold sway over large parts of the tribal areas straddling Pakistan and Afghanistan. Six years after the Talibs were forced to flee from their new-found home in Afghanistan, Mehsud, who had taken part in the Afghan jihad, gave them shelter and protection and in turn became a trusted aide and commander of the Taliban in Pakistan. Mehsud thus became a key facilitator for the transformation of Waziristan and nearby areas into a sanctuary for the Taliban-al Qaeda combine. Not only did he establish Taliban rule in the federally administered tribal areas, he also brought together disparate elements under an umbrella group called Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan or the Pakistan Taliban.

It would be facile to believe that Mehsud could have done this without the covert, if not overt, support of elements in the state, namely ISI and the Pakistani Army. The fraudulent war on terror which the former President and Army chief, Pervez Musharraf, enacted for almost seven years, punctuated with peace deals with Mehsud and his fellow
tribal leaders, was certainly instrumental in the rise of Baitullah and his Taliban franchise which led to the emergences of minor chieftains like Fazlullah, Mullah Nazir, Mullah Haji Pir and others.

It is important to understand how, and not why, Musharraf managed to play this duplicitous game so openly. Three reasons can be cited. One, the hunt for Osama bin Laden which consumed the Bush administration was like the blind leading the blind with Musharraf taking his strategic ally on a merry-go-round across the mountains and valleys of Afghanistan. Second, had Musharraf not blundered into two of its calamitous follies — the sacking of the Supreme Court Chief Justice in March 2007 and the Lal Masjid offensive in July 2007, he would have continued grinning even today. Till these incidents, the Army enjoyed an image of inviolability, a bulwark of sorts, and no one thought terrorists would target home. Third, the series of suicide attacks and bomb explosions across the middle-class urban centres of Pakistan —Lahore, Peshawar, Islamabad and Rawalpindi — brought home the stark truth that terrorists who have been ionised as ‘freedom fighters’ for decades could turn rogue and turn against the creator itself.

The unceremonious ouster of the once-invincible Musharraf last seen on YouTube singing ghazals, has led to discernible changes within Pakistan which need to be studied and understood clinically. In many ways, Mehsud’s death is part of this change.

Some of these changes are not difficult to delineate. The first is that Pakistanis are realising that terrorism is not a problem which happens across the border but has come home with a vengeance.

Second, the Taliban are not always (has never been in fact) the good boys of Islam as projected but can be brutal (the whip-lashing of a young girl played out on TV screens jolted the Taliban empathisers in middle Pakistan) and they almost came close to the doorsteps of Islamabad. Third, the Army is not as invincible as projected. Fourth, if the State of Pakistan has to survive and flourish, it must find an alternative system of governance and not one punctuated by military regimes of dubious distinctions. Fifth, worries of radical brigands threatening the status quo have united the civil society, the civilian leadership and the military leaders to fight the Taliban and other such extremist elements.

In many ways, these are unprecedented changes but they are not just enough to turn back the process of radicalisation and state failure haunting the state of Pakistan caused by historical fault lines and the criminally myopic ruling elite. The State has not given up its strategic option of using instruments of terror for furthering its foreign policy interests in India and Afghanistan in particular and the world in general. The State has merely, under the real possibility of an existential threat from the same instruments, decided to make a distinction between the good, the bad and the ugly.

Baitullah Mehsud fell in the ‘ugly’ category and hence his death is celebrated as a victory; LeT chief Hafiz Saeed is obviously in the ‘good’ books and remains free; Jaish-e-Mohammad leader Maulana Masood Azhar falls in the bad category and hence kept confined to the margins. Another distinction which has become apparent is the one between the Pashtun Taliban and the Punjabi Taliban. The Army, bureaucracy and the political leadership is primarily Punjabi and the Taliban being reviled as the State enemy is Pashtun by nature. The civil society, which is supporting the military operations against the Pakistani citizens, also happens to come from the Punjabi clique mentioned above.

The second implication, no less grave, is the growth of radical and extremist elements in southern Punjab which, in the long run, would have far more serious consequences for the integrity of the state of Pakistan than men like Baitullah. Terrorist groups like LeT and JeM are products of the socio-cultural milieu of southern Punjab, a largely agrarian society drawing its moral and ethical sustenance from triple Ms —madrasas, masjids and maulvis —that have grown in size and influence in the past few decades. For at least two decades, most of the jihadis for Afghanistan and Kashmir have come from towns and villages that abut main cities like Lahore, Jhelum, Multan and Gujranwala.

More than a lakh of people in today’s Punjab have had some training at terrorist camps run by a whole lot of groups which mushroomed in the name of Jihad. Many more are studying in madrasas and schools run by extremist groups like Jamaat-ud Dawa (JuD), the parent organisation of LeT, and radical political organisations like Jamaat-e-Islami (JI). JI, incidentally, had sent hundreds and thousands of students from its schools and colleges first to support Pakistan Army’s subjugation of the Bengali Pakistanis in east Pakistan and then for Kashmir jihad. JuD runs more than 170 schools and several colleges in Punjab and other provinces where several thousand students learn mathematics and jihad or science and jihad , and are part of the extremist group’s overall plans to further its cause. The Pakistani state’s failure to curb such educational institutions and their radical agenda could prove to be the country’s undoing.

These failures on the part of the State is not because of its inability to carry out measures necessary to prevent the growth of radicalism in schools and colleges but its aversion to do so. This unwillingness is encouraged by the predominance of the Army in the decision-making process in Pakistan which has traditionally viewed extremist groups like JI and JuD as expendable instruments of power to quell internal dissension and promote proxy wars in the neighbourhood.

It is therefore obvious that the death of one Baitullah will not change much in today’s
Pakistan. He is only a manifestation of the disease which has consumed Pakistan since 1947 — a Compulsive Religious Disorder which stripped a people of its social and cultural moorings.

— The writer is Senior Fellow, Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi

16 posted on 02/13/2010 8:56:07 AM PST by James C. Bennett
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To: RC one

You’re welcome, and that newspaper, by the way, was once edited by Rudyard Kipling.

17 posted on 02/13/2010 8:57:09 AM PST by James C. Bennett
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To: RC one

Buddy if you think the Cold-War was a black and white affair of US vs Communism, I’d suggest that you are off the mark. The fact is that many US allies had strong links with Communist states-most prominent of which was Pakistan itself which has been the largest arms buyer of China and North Korea. Besides what was the US relationship with China all about??? The Chicoms didn’t stop exporting their brand of Maoism once they started economic reforms-look at Cambodia and Pol Pot for example.

About India-India was more non-aligned than pro-Soviet. The Indian governments of the 50s and 60s were fearful of domestic communist parties and crushed a nascent armed Maoist movement in the early 70s. Additionally, Indian and Pakistani military aid helped Sri Lanka put down an armed Communist insurgency in the early 70s.

18 posted on 02/14/2010 8:01:58 PM PST by sukhoi-30mki
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To: RC one

Obama’s ant-Taliban offensive is at best a move to give him the breathing space to actually start paring down U.S. troops before the next U.S.presidential election. There are no good Taliban to negotiate with. The Pakistanis who are being given the job of facilitators have their version of a “good Taliban”, i.e. the Haqqani group who will enable them to control Afghanistan. This is the group most responsible for the terrorist acts within Afghanistan especially in the capital Kabul where they have bombed India’s embassy twice as well as attacked the Afghan government offices.

The Pakistanis are masters at the art of nuclear blackmail. It is the only country that negotiates with a gun to its own head threatening to pull the trigger if they aren’t given what they want. You can imagine all you want that there exists a strategic relationship between the U.S. and Pakistan. The only relationship that exists is the one between the blackmailer and the blackmailed. Every Pakistan ruler since the 1990’s has been using one variation or the other of the same threat - “After me, the deluge”.

I am not suggesting that the U.S. has a lot of better options, they don’t. The Pakistanis allow the supply lines to be attacked every now and then to remind the U.S. of its vulnerability. These are no random acts. That’s the tail wagging the dog. The Pakistanis have no intention of helping India or the Americans eliminate the terrorist networks. That is the golden goose which has brought them and they hope will keep bringing them billions of dollars in the form of American aid and with which keep India and Afghanistan in a position where the Pakistani army believes they can call the shots. They are not about to kill that goose. Better to wise up to that fact and fast.

19 posted on 02/14/2010 9:31:35 PM PST by cold start
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To: James C. Bennett

>>They play the West like a broken record

I STRONGLY disagree.

What they do is play the West like YoYoMa with a Stradivarius or Clapton on his guitar!

They are the indisputable Machiavellian Masters in their dealings with China, America and the Saudis. Simply brilliant.

Of course, the West is entirely too willing to go along with their connivances, their usefulness, as in the ColdWar decades, long having disappeared, the AngloUS policy elites, midwives of this deformed post Colonial baby, is now confronted with the equivalent of a bad tempered teenager with nukes hanging with jihadis.

20 posted on 02/15/2010 11:05:13 AM PST by swarthyguy (My toast when imbibing: "Beer hu Akbar" - Riposte - "Inshallah")
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