India where more than half of its 1.1 billion population live below the poverty line – has become world’s largest arms buyer (US$32.5 billion).
According to the report from the Stockholms International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), India accounted for 9 percent of all international arms imports in the period from 2006 to 2010, and it is expected to keep the top spot for the foreseeable future. It has surpassed China, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, South Korea, Israel (receives $3 billion military aid/year from the US which is more than half of Iran’s annual military budget), Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.
“India has ambitions to become first a continental and (then) a regional power,” said Rahul Bedi, a South Asia analyst with London-based Jane’s Defense Weekly. “To become a big boy, you need to project your power.”
Yes the ‘big boy’ has annexed its neighboring Sikkim and two-thid of Jammu and Kashmir state. Two of its neighbors, Nepal and Bangladesh are no match to India’s military muscles. However, the remaining other two neighbors, China and Pakistan, are like India are also nuclear powers. The 1960s war with China proved a big disaster for India. India had three major wars with Pakistan without any results with the exception of 1970 war, when with the help of local armed insurgents and United Nations, it was able to separate East Pakistan (Bangladesh) from the center.
India, like the the Israel-Firsters in the US – keeps its public on their toes by scaring them with an imaginary threat from Pakistan and China. But, being an artificial state, India’s greatest threat comes from within.
Since its independence from British Raj on August 15, 1947 – there have been close to one hundred local resistance groups fighting against Hindu upper-class dominated Indian government. Most of these religious and ethnic minority resistance groups beget their violence from the rising Hindu religious terrorism based on racism. These groups operate in Assam (31), Nagaland (21), Meghalaya (5), and Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (34). Two of India’s prime ministers, Indira Gandhi and her son Rajiv Gandhi (d.1984) were assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards and a Tamil Hindu woman.
The latest entry to these rebel groups, is Moists, whom New Delhi has failed to control to this day.
India has a 1.2-million-strong military and an annual defence budget of over US$20-25 billion. Of this, about US$9.2 billion is earmarked for the army, US$5.6 billion for the air force and US$3.4 billion for the navy.
According to Zionist think tank, Brookings, in the 1990s, China was Israel’s most important arms export market. In 2000, Bill Clinton told Ehud Barak to stop selling US technology to China and instead sell it to India. “Clinton made clear the United States would not raise concerns about the arms balance with Pakistan since it has no commitment to the defense of Pakistan”, but committed to defend Israel at all cost.
India has almost nill local arms industry. In addition to the US, Russia, France, Germany and Israel – India also buys some arms from Iran. Israel’s sales to India in 2006 were US$1.5 billion, roughly the same as in each of the preceding three years as well. This from Israel’s total arms sales of US$4.2 billion in 2006; the India market comprised more than one-third. Sales included upgrades for MIG 21 aircraft and T72 tanks originally purchased from Russia, the Barak anti-missile ship defense system, communications equipment, laser-guided munitions and the Phalcon. The first of five Phalcon AWACs were delivered in 2007.