How India beats CAATSA | India’s Geostrategic importance to CAATSA & US

How India beats CAATSA

CAATSA & its Use :

  • It stands for “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act ” CAATSA is a tough US law that authorises the US administration to impose sanctions on countries that purchase major defence hardware from Russia.
  • It was enacted by USA in response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 Its alleged meddling in the 2016 US presidential elections.
  • In 2020, Turkey had faced sanctions for taking delivery of the S400 system which is considered a risk to the NATO alliance. Turkey, being a NATO ally was offered western military equipment but Ankara’s decision to purchase the S-400 had raised tensions with the US.

India and CAATSA :

  • India signed a $5.5 billion order with Russia for five S-400 missile system in October 2018. India plans to deploy these state of the art weapons systems to secure its borders with an unfriendly Pakistan and China.
  • Following the US sanctions on Turkey over the procurement of S-400 missile systems, there were apprehensions that Washington may impose similar punitive measures on India.

Why only S-400 is worrying USA :

  • US officials were only referring to India’s acquisition of the S-400s and ignoring a raft of other equipment that Delhi is acquiring from Moscow.
  • These include: Frigates • Procuring Admiral Grigorovich-class stealth frigates • Leasing a 971 ‘Akula’-class nuclear-powered ottock submarine Submarines • Production of 750,000 Kalashnikov AK-203 assault rifles Ak203 Technically, all these are potentially sanctionable under CAATSA, – but surprisingly only the S-400 is being targeted.

Reason :

  • USA projects that S-400 system is threat for its F-35 fighter jets and other defence systems of NATO. But, the reason behind the issue is USA’s THAAD system.
  • USA wants to sell its own anti-missile system, but S-400 is supposed to be little better than THAAD. • So, S-400 is hampering USA’s weapon market which is the base of its economy.

Despite the fear of sanctions, Why India proceeded :

  • More than 70 per cent of the weapons fielded by India’s armed forces and 60 per cent of the country’s defence imports are of Russian origin.
  • There are significant weapons deals such as the $6 billion Sukhoi Super 30 upgrade, highly successful projects such as the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile. These all point to the deep defence ties between Moscow and New Delhi dating back over 50 years

USA’s response and its reasons :

  • The US House of Representatives has approved an India-specific waiver for CAATSA for its purchase of Russian S-400 missiles. The key amendment that shields US ally India was authored and introduced by Indian-American Congressman Ro Khanna,
  • India has deep pockets and the US need the money to keep its factories running. Applying CAATSA against India could put the US foreign policy and defence establishments in a bind and slow down their expanding cooperation with India.
  • India’s is the world’s second largest weapons importer. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has an ambitious $250 billion plan to modernise India’s military and a hefty chunk of that amount will go to buy advanced weapons. The US – which has been the biggest beneficiary of India’s arms diversification programme in the past two decades – will end up as the biggest loser If it slaps sanctions.
  • China is the biggest threat to USA. And, India’s geostrategic position makes it the only country that can safeguard USA’s interest against China, Moreover, India is also key partner in several groupings, such as QUAD & 1202, that USA has advocated. Sanctioning India would not only weaken it against China but will also make it disoriented from those groupings, which will defeat the very purpose of forming them.
  • US has also learnt from the past.India and US ties deteriorated when latter sanctioned India for its 1998 Pokhran nuclear tests. The punitive action in the last century caused India-US ties to sour and pushed India further into Russia’s orbit, y Russia In 2022, this would be a suicidal strategic move.
Sodhi Gautam

Sodhi Gautam

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