Following India’s strong objection to the treaty, the U.S. head of delegation on the treaty, Tom Countryman, said the treaty was “not harmful” to India’s security and would not affect the “very strong bilateral relationship.”
India says it is “not insecure” under the terms of the treaty, since “it is aware that big exporters like the U.S., U.K., China and Russia require purchasers,” says defense expert Ajay Lele of the New Delhi-based Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses.
However, India is worried that certain existing deals could be blocked and exporters could use the terms of the treaty to stop the supply of equipment.
New Delhi is likely to spend approximately $100 billion importing weapons and defense equipment over the next 10 years, but it is concerned that the treaty “might lead to interference by exporters,” Lele says. “India’s fear is that exporters might take undue advantage of some of its terms and delay supply of equipment. . . . India doesn’t want to be bullied by exporters.”
The treaty also would require importers to explain the purpose of their military purchases. “No country will be willing to disclose its military ambitions to the exporters,” Lele says.
AW101 photo: AgustaWestland