Harsh V. Pant
Acquiring a state-of-the-art security system like the S-400 is vital to our security as the balance of power on our Western Front is changing. China is standing there with its state-of-the-art weapons, and the targets of its missiles have also changed. The way it is turning towards targeting India, India needed such a defense system. The importance of taking it from Russia also increases in such a way that Russia has given weapons to very few countries, and its defense system is considered to be the most advanced in the world. No other country has such a system. When the US had talked about imposing sanctions on its purchase, India said the same that there can be no compromise with national security.
balance of powers
If you look at the balance of power on the west or east side of India, then the situation is very bad on both the sides. Enemy countries from both sides are aggressively targeting India. In such a situation, if such an air defense system comes to India, then the work of enemy countries becomes a little difficult. In view of this, it is not only technically important, but it also becomes very important from the political point of view. With this purchase, Russia and India are indicating to the world that both the countries are not undermining their strategic partnership. It has been said many times that in the last few years, the importance of India and Russia for each other is decreasing. To some extent there is truth in this. But by giving the technology of S-400, Russia is telling the world that it is not going to reduce relations with India.
S-400: Russia started supplying ‘Brahmastra’ to India, Modi government not afraid of US threat
On the other hand, India is also increasing relations with America. Due to the way there is an internal dispute and debate about Russia in America, many people will definitely question it. But it seems to me that India has been able to convince America’s top level leadership that this is a very important machine in the conflict that India is having with China. If you look at it, most of the pressure comes from the US Congress. This controversy has been going on for a long time. There was this dispute even during Trump’s time and the Trump administration supported India at that time. Similarly, even today, the Biden administration wants an efficient India in their interest. Such an India which can stand against China is in their interest.
India too has clearly succeeded in explaining the same. We have also seen in the last few months that many Senators and Congress members have written letters to keep India out of the S-400 Act and not to ban it. There is a kind of atmosphere being created that India is an important actor. As far as America’s Indo-Pacific and China policy is concerned, in view of that, if any kind of pressure is made on India, or any kind of sanctions are imposed, then it will not be in America’s interest. Now how America’s internal politics looks at this matter, it will be interesting to see. Earlier it was theoretical, but now it is an operational question, as the delivery of S-400 has started now. In view of this, I think there will be many voices who do not want any action to be taken against India. We will not see much stir against India in the American executives as well.
Russia gives ‘Brahmastra’ to India, 72 missiles will be fired from one hit of S-400
This happened because since the time of the Trump administration, ever since the issue of S-400 has been going on, India has been saying that it cannot ignore it because it is the world’s best technology in missile defense technology. Then we need it. If its technology comes to India, then it will be more able to protect its interests. In view of this, India also said that it will also be good for America, because if India’s military power can stand against a country like China, then it will also reduce the pressure on America. I think India has succeeded to some extent in explaining here.
But it is necessary that the way the political and strategic situation is changing in our region, America will have to make a strategic roadmap about what its role will be? America is simultaneously targeting both Russia and China. It is said time and again that China is America’s most important strategic competitor, but as far as the internal politics of America is concerned, Russia has a very important role there. Those who are Democrats understand that Russia played a very important role in Trump’s election. Therefore, the internal turmoil there is reflected in their foreign policy. There is a dilemma as to how they will be able to break this control if they are challenging both of them.
But it is very clear for India that the biggest challenge for it is at this time limit. China is not only standing, Pakistan has an alliance with it too. In such a situation, the question was how to counter it with modern weapons on its borders, and how to break the technology nexus between China and Pakistan. In such a situation, without a doubt, India needs this technology. Now whether America is upset on this, even if it imposes any sanctions, but India has made its stand very clear.
(Presentation: Akshay Shukla)
Disclaimer: The views expressed above are those of the author.