With the Pakistan Army of 1.13 million at one border – ready to pounce – and the Chinese army of 10 million regular and militia on another border, India has little choice but to support Russia, hoping its neighbor to the north will continue supplying it with tanks, guns, helicopters, missiles and airborne early warning systems.
Currently, India boasts the world’s second-largest army, fourth-largest air force, seventh-largest navy, and imports 60% of its $77 billion defense equipment budget from Russia.
In a slight bow to pressure from the U.S. and European Union (EU), India will try to build more weapons domestically. That program will provide only about $5.5 billion annually through 2027, which means Russia will continue to supply more than $40 billion annually to the Indian military.
U.S. President Joseph Biden and advisors are swallowing hard as India irritates our floundering State Department by refusing to take part in the boycotts and financial war against Russia, let alone supply any weapons’ support on behalf of the so-called international Coalition of the Impotent arrayed on behalf of Ukraine.
India stuck with its historic Communist partner after the Ukraine invasion, abstaining in UN votes denouncing Russia. It has also bolstered bilateral trade, including increasing imports of Russian oil (at a discount).
Indians generally consider Russia to be that nation’s oldest partner. After independence from the UK, leaders such as Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first prime minister, turned to the Soviet Union for military support to bolster its forces
EU leaders, aware of the impact of India’s 1.4 billion citizens on world events, are trying to downplay that country’s partnership with Russia.
After the invasion of Ukraine, India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, went on a binge of international diplomacy, still refusing to break ties with Russia. He went to France, Germany and Denmark, following visits to India by UK’s Boris Johnson and EU president Ursula von der Leyen.
A pandering Johnson called Modi his ‘khaas dost’, or special friend, in April, and German chancellor Olaf Scholz called Modi a “super partner” during recent meetings in Berlin.
To counter Russian influence, the UK and France are now negotiating military partnerships and urging talks for free trade deals.
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The United States has approved some $40 billion in military aid to the Ukraine. To evaluate how much Russian weaponry that might buy, for instance, consider that the 454 tanks (pictured above) cost India a total $5 billion.
That means that the U.S. $40 billion should – without political payoffs, overruns and incompetence – be enough taxpayer money to provide Ukraine with 3,532 main battle tanks, equal to more than half the total in service by the U.S., and many more than Russia’s total complement of 2,800.
That $40 billion is also equal to all the income tax on Social Security benefits paid by tens of millions of U.S. seniors last year on their Social Security benefits.