arshyam wrote:While this is true, I don't know how practical it is to have two sets of communications equipment everywhere we have COMCASA equipment. Someone from the forces side is bound to write about this, let's see what their take is. One of my objections to this agreement is that I don't see a compelling for us to go to this trouble.
What am I about to say is not meant to belittle you or anyone else who is against this agreement. The GOI feels that it is practical and they have certainly taken the military's view into account. Do not think that the GOI signed this agreement without any feedback from the military. So you and I can think it is impractical to kingdom come, but the GOI holds the purse strings and if they think it is practical and workable, then it is. That is the reality. You just have to jump on board and get ready for the ride
arshyam wrote:Fair enough. But I'd like to see the fine print before concluding anything. Let's also keep in mind that building a system that can bridge both is going to be almost impossible (I mentioned it in my post above). Even if we do, the reliability of such a system will be at the mercy of the Americans.
You and I are likely not going to see any fine print. The Indian-specific CISMOA (aka COMCASA) will be kept confidential for a number of operational reasons. The GOI has already said so as much. You are assuming that a bridge is necessary from a COMCASA-sourced platform to a non-COMCASA-sourced platform. I am telling you Saar, it is not.
arshyam wrote:Somehow, I think it won't pan out like this. American gear is generally good (which is not the reason I oppose this agreement), so I expect we'll put it on all US sourced platforms.
Not necessarily and that remains to be seen. Let us assume they fix it on all US sourced equipment still in the pipeline. What are they going to do with all the US sourced equipment that we currently have? Are they forcibly going to enter Arakkonam to install COMCASA-sourced equipment on the P-8Is stationed there? The same question arises with the C-130 and the C-17s. COMCASA-based equipment are not tiny microchips that are hard to see with the naked eye. These equipment are fairly huge and can easily be spotted in a cockpit. Heck, even the buttons (to turn on/off the comms system) will look different
arshyam wrote:Let's try to understand what happens when the terrorist camp we want to strike (from our PoV, all of our western neighbour is a terrorist camp, isn't it) conflicts with American perception? The fact is, there are still a lot of people in the US establishment who have Pakistan's back for whatever reason, and we cannot assume that the Americans will be okay with whatever we do to secure our interests.
So the Americans know we are tracking Pak terrorist camps. So what? We are doing that right now! How do you think we attacked Pak terrorist camps in Sept 2016? By tracking onlee! But How, When & Where
we attack those camps will always remain with us.
Tracking alone means nothing. What you are doing with that tracking is where the real meat-and-potatoes is.
The Americans tracked Pokharan in 1998. You know what happened
arshyam wrote:More importantly, in such a scenario, what recourse do we have if the CENTRIXS access is suddenly cut off? There is some mumbling about legally-binding agreements, but you and I both know that it means jack-shite in the real world real-time use cases. If the Americans deem it fit, we will get access, else we won't. This agreement ensures that they hold all the cards.
What is CENTRIXS being used for? To track the PLA Navy.
Q. Is China a thorn in America's side in the Pacific region?
Q. Is tracking China's naval movements a necessity for America?
Q. Are multiple allies using the CENTRIXS platform, better than just America using the platform?
Do you feel you can honestly answer YES to all the questions above? The US Navy - while massive - cannot be everywhere. It is not possible. The US Navy is not omnipresent like the Almighty. Thus, the more eyes you have - to track the PLA Navy - the better. Imagine if it is a new PLAN boat out on her first ocean tour. You obviously need the signature of that boat for your threat library. And when you load that signature on CENTRIXS, everyone using the system will know that it is a new boat. All users can now access that signature and when she pops up again somewhere, every user will know because she will match the signature in the library. In the sub community, such info is worth its weight in gold. Signature libraries are like the elixir to submariners
arshyam wrote:This is more work, but doable. Agreed. My point is, what is the killer requirement on our horizon for us to do this extra work? As you say, we are already tracking Chinese boats with our own assets, and if they are not good enough, we should invest in them. This agreement to me seems like an easy way to suck our money and starve funds for investments into improving our own capabilities.
But when will our system be ready? Is there a plan for such a system? Are their funds for such a system?
Let me give you some perspective on Indian military planning in the MoD;
1) Cost of Tejas production line: US $200 - 250 million. That is the cost of a single Tejas production line.
2) Cost of MMRCA 3.0 acquisition: US $20 billion minimum. That is Billion with a B or $2,000 million.
But what is the MoD doing?
You are asking a bureaucracy to plan, develop & FUND
a CENTRIXS type system for India? They can't even fathom Tejas production properly. How do you expect them to think of a system as complex as CENTRIXS?
The Navy wanted a nuclear reactor for the Vishaal. What did the MoD do? The Babu got an asthma attack when he saw the cost for the vessel and told the Navy to go take a hike. The Navy refused to fund the development of the reactor and BARC refused to do the same for the Navy. With this kind of attitude, how do you expect to plan, develop & FUND
a CENTRIXS type system for India?
So it may appear that this will suck our money and starve our funds, but we do it to our own programs. Why blame anyone else?
arshyam wrote:Same point as the above: India and the US deep state have differing perceptions on who is a terrorist, so this will only limit our options. Worse, now we are at risk of divulging who we are tracking, as the gear could be sourced from the Americans.
I answered this above.
arshyam wrote:Do you not see the problem with this?
I answered this above.
arshyam wrote:Just for my understanding, can you elaborate what this Pinocchio answer means?
A fable story of a young boy whose his nose kept growing each time he lied. The point is they will say one thing, but will do what suits them. So if they want to snoop, they will. But the GOI believes the risk of snooping is worth it. They made the call. I personally disagree with it, but what we think on BRF has no bearing on any decision making in the GOI.
arshyam wrote:How we have fallen, saar? Sure, the EUMA started it and not this agreement, but the fact that we are so casually talking about foreign inspections of our frontline assets shows the direction we are going towards. So much for our ambitions of being an independent pole in a multi-polar world.
So they want to inspect a COMCASA communication equipment on a Predator drone to ensure no tampering? So let them. Why are we getting takleef over this? At an annual inspection, line up the drones, let them inspect, give them chai-biscoot and then warmly send them off. And then we continue using the drone to track. I am not being flippant with you or saying this to hurt you, but you have to play with the cards you have been dealt with. Otherwise, you make your card game. Do we have such a card game to play? The reality is, we do not. That is not America's fault, that is our fault onlee.
Ok, look at it this way ---> this is intelligence gathering. We get tangible & actionable intelligence from a Predator drone. How we act on that intelligence is our choice, no? Now lets say the Americans give all our tracking info to the Pakistanis. The Paks already know - especially post Sept 2016 - that we are fully aware where their terrorist camps are. Now with Predator drones, we have even better intelligence. But that changes the ground reality for the Pakistanis how? Are they going to relocate the camp? And then we will find that camp also, like how we found the first one! We can play this game all day long!
How we *ACT* on that intelligence is the key and will remain secure.
arshyam wrote:What CAATSA waiver are you talking about? That so-called waiver requires the USG to certify that we are demonstrably moving away from sourcing Russian equipment, and it not a blanket waiver. So our foreign policy is sought to being influenced in the American direction. Same goes for Iranian oil. Also, there is no guarantee that some day in the future some senator with an itch in the wrong place will propose an amendment to withdraw this as well (or say we have to buy from Timbuktoo), and the US prez will simply posture about Congress doing something and his hands being tied. Net net, this CAATSA waiver is not set in stone. If this sounds far-fetched, please see the past actions of the US: they have a history of saying one thing and doing something else.
Did you read what Mike Pompeo said on the CAATSA waiver? We cannot turn away from Russian hardware, like a switch on a wall. It does not work that way. And even the Americans know this. We are with the Russians for the long haul. Our entire military is Russian dependent. Tanks, Ships, Submarines, Aircraft. Natasha is everywhere.