COMCASA Signing By India: A Trap or Unshackling?

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pankajs
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Re: COMCASA Signing By India: A Trap or Unshackling?

Postby pankajs » 08 Sep 2018 09:35

arshyam wrote:Fair enough. I should have read it more thoroughly.

Now let's elaborate this a bit. Some P8Is will be equipped with COMCASA equipment, and that will require US access to the plane to install, inspect, etc. (the inspect part also sticks in my craw, but that's not only because of this agreement so I'll let that slide for now). {That they want to inspect actually assures me in a perverse way. Philip had "nearly" figured it out BUT for his ideological way of thinking. Figure that out! } Now, the P8I will share it's picture to other COMCASA gear via the secure links between such gear. A nearby warship has been tasked to deal with it, but it either needs this COMCASA gear, or there needs to be a near-real-time data transfer mechanism so it can have a tactical picture. Needless to say, the latter does not exist as of now, and it's up to us to spend our resources and build such a data transfer system. For it to really work without manual intervention, we need access to some APIs on the COMCASA equipment to read data off it, and somehow I doubt that the Americans will expose their APIs to non-COMCASA equipment. {Only US supplied sensor equipped crafts that "we" want on the American network will need COMCASA gear. Rest will feed off the Indian network. Imagine a communication hub where Indian controllers sit. He has 2 screens on his desptop, one the US supplied end point of US network and the other on the Indian network. He will keep a watch on the US network and manually update the Indian network with the relevant information. Think of them as Air traffic controllers numbering in 100s. No API stuff. I don't think US will permit that as you yourself have observed. There will be an "Air gap" between the two systems even when they will likely terminate in the same COM complex, same building, same desktop in India.}[/color] So the best scenario will be to install the same COMCASA equipment on the ship. Who will perform this installation? Where will such equipment be integrated on board the ship? And since we won't always have a COMCASA equipped ship around when we need it, eventually, more and more of our ships will start carrying such equipment, facilitating easy access for foreign personnel on-board sensitive areas of many ships. {Again no COMCASA gear on Indian ships or Subs or Fighters. The only COMCASA gear will be on the US supplied "sensor" crafts that "We" want on the US network for data fusion purposes Plus one/many in the common COM center to download the tactical picture. Rest all will carry Indian gear that will feed off the Indian netwrok that will get their tactical picture from Indian sensors "supplemented" by manual copy from the US network at the common COM complex.}

Now consider a ship-borne heli, like the MH-60. We are going to embark this on pretty much all our frontline assets. One of the advantages of this heli is that it can now carry COMCASA equipment aboard, but it won't be of much use unless the host ship also has compliant equipment. Once again, who has to come and install, maintain, inspect? Which parts of the said ship will they get access to? I am pretty sure this compliant equipment won't be installed in the galley. I hope you can see where I am going - we are voluntarily signing up to opening the most sensitive parts of our frontline assets for foreign personnel to routinely access, and also display our thinking and priorities to this foreign govt. as they can see what we are seeing. {Not really. We don't need COMCASA gear on the heli or the ship. They are not sensors crafts but users of tactical picture. They will get their input from the Indian network.}

This will be at the cost of investing in growing our own systems and equipment of greater sophistication, which will happen only with sustained investment. Such investment happens only when we don't have alternatives (the engine dev saga shows we aren't really good in growing our capabilities when alternatives exist), so I don't see us investing much in our own tech going forward, as better tech is easily available. {Only if we decide to get COMCASA gear on ALL our machines which I don't see happening. So the drive/need to invest in and improve our system will always be there.}

For all this, what are we getting in return? What is the compelling reason for us to give up so much?

The trade off is fair as far as I can think based on my "speculation" of how I see the deployment of the COMCASA gear. We are trading data generated by US supplied sensors like the P-8I and the Drones in return for a better / a more complete picture of our near abroad.

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Re: COMCASA Signing By India: A Trap or Unshackling?

Postby Rakesh » 08 Sep 2018 09:59

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.

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Re: COMCASA Signing By India: A Trap or Unshackling?

Postby chetak » 08 Sep 2018 10:09

The only thing troubling is, what exactly has changed so much that we have become the recipients of such largesse from the US??. The contempt of their deep state for India is too well known to be ignored or even negated. Under the guise of an intransigent trump and his cooked up mayhem scenario, is the wool being pulled over our eyes??

The contradictions between there being no "free lunch" and never "looking a gift horse in the mouth", why this and why now?? I understand that things have been leading up to this COMCASA thing for some time now but even the normally vocal urban naxals/commies and the pappu brigade which is needlessly spewing venom on the rafale deal, are unusually quiet.

The US always takes much more than what it "gives" away.

What exactly have we given away??

IMVHO, there is much about this deal that is not yet out in the public domain, apart from the usual hoary chestnuts helpfully regurgitated by house nigger presstitutes.

If we become too closely identified with US interests, the very same anti US blowback will soon also begin to include India and would we then have the internal security bandwidth to take on the tender and much increased attention of ISIS like caliphate seeking organisations??and yet we continue to pussyfoot around the chinese and their much weaponized "commercial" interests and they are mounting a fierce pressure to get us on board their CPEC and using duplicitous means to shoehorn their products into India, by hook or by crook, especially using third party countries with whom we have trade treaties.

How easy it is for the chinese to bend a country like SL, beediland or nepal etc to do their bidding, no questions asked??

Are we going to walk a tightrope by trying to foolishly placate both chinese and US interests simultaneously and end up with two voracious wolves prowling about unhindered in our backyard??

How do Modi's many unscheduled meetings with Xi in the recent past and the mysteriously postponed 2+2 talks square away with our own interests??


2-plus-2 dialogue: Make no mistake, signing of COMCASA is no less important than the 2008 civil nuclear deal


2-plus-2 dialogue: Make no mistake, signing of COMCASA is no less important than the 2008 civil nuclear deal

Sreemoy Talukdar Sep 07, 2018.

It is easy to overlook the importance of the military communications accord that India and the United States signed on Thursday during the inaugural 2+2 ministerial talks. It is a landmark deal, pregnant with implications. In some ways, its import mirrors the breakthrough civil-nuclear deal that both nations signed eight years ago. This move, that underwent similar birth pangs and took years in signing, reinforces the key component of bilateral ties — a strategic defence partnership to balance the rise of an assertive and revisionist power in Asia. To quote Salman Rushdie (albeit in a different context), ‘it is the whole thing, the whole ball game’.

From an Indian point of view, the signing of the deal shows that we may be emerging out of Cold War hangover and finally looking at the larger picture.

The deal bolsters India’s defence and enhances its capacity to project power into the Indo-Pacific region, dovetailing the interests of both nations. It broad-bases the relationship into an area of particular interest for the Donald Trump administration — defence trade. It is also a critical area for India as the world’s largest arms importer. These realities will help the relationship survive disruptions or mutual irritants that will inevitably arise.

One such wrinkle is the threat of US sanctions on India over its close military ties with Russia and energy partnership with Iran. Media focus understandably has been on these sanctions and the likely impact on bilateral ties. What Thursday’s high-level engagement told us is this: Important as these issues are, to define the gamut of the partnership through that prism would be missing the wood for the trees. The structural nature of the relationship goes deeper.

En route to New Delhi via Islamabad, US secretary of state Mike Pompeo had told travelling journalists that though India buying missile defence system from Russia or oil from Iran will be “part of the conversation”, the 2+2 dialogue will be about “things that are big and strategic and will go on for 20, 40, 50 years.” It is evident that the summit participants had done their homework.

But what exactly does this military communications pact help India? The signing of this foundational agreement provides a legal framework for the US to transfer high-end defence equipment to India that features encrypted communications network and enables optimal use of existing US platforms. Encryption is the first and most important line of defence in military equipment. In absence of such a pact, US had held back several key components from the equipment they sold to India in the past.

These were most prominent, as Shiv Aroor points out Livefist, “in the three large military aircraft purchases that India has made in the last decade: Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules special mission transports, Boeing P-8I long range maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine jets and C-17 Globemaster III heavy transport aircraft.” India had no access to, for instance, encrypted radio network, “secure voice module” that ensures interoperability between military aircraft and other vehicles or “a family of radios for military aircraft that provides two-way voice and data communications across modes.”

Since India was denied these high-end gears, we had to fill the gap with indigenous technology that very often fell short of the mark and hampered the effectiveness of these advanced systems. The signing of Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) opens the door for a range of US defence technologies that are part of a more efficient and secure ecosystem.

News agency Reuters quoted Joseph Felter, US deputy assistant secretary of defence for South and Southeast Asia, as saying: “It (COMCASA) not only allows us to be more interoperable with India, but it allows India to be more interoperable across its own systems.” He indicated that some Indian weapon systems would see an immediate increase in capabilities, including the C-130 and C-17 aircraft, according to the report.

In other words, a key Indian lacuna in modernisation and technological advancement of its military equipment has now been — at least theoretically — addressed. This has major implications, as Institute of Peace & Conflict Studies senior fellow Abhijit Iyer-Mitra points out in Economic Times.

“Right now, even India’s Western sourced equipment don’t talk to each other. So, India’s Israeli airborne radars don’t talk to its US maritime surveillance aircraft, which, in turn, don’t talk to its French-supplied submarines… This (COMCASA) not only improves India’s ability to fight alongside the US Navy better, but also alongside several other global navies with similar equipment that are major players in the Indo-Pacific, such as Japan, South Korea, Australia and Singapore.”

To quote Union defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman during her comments post the dialogue: “The signing of the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) in 2016 and the Helicopter Operations from Ships Other Than Aircraft Carriers (HOSTAC) earlier this year were important steps in this direction. The signing of the COMCASA today will enable India to access advanced technologies from the US and enhance India's defence preparedness.”

What exactly do we mean by “defence preparedness”? The jargon associated with the deal might take away from its significance. COMCASA allows us to utilise US communications core that is among the best in the world. During Doklam standoff, for instance, India benefitted from US intelligence on the placement of Chinese troops on the plateau in the high Himalayas. However, in absence of a foundational agreement on sharing of sensitive intelligence such as the COMCASA, US inputs were subject to a time-lag. It wasn’t ‘real-time’, that can often make all the difference.

“The Dokalam face off was the turning point for the Indian position on the Comcasa when it realised the benefit of US intelligence on Chinese troop deployments in calibrating its approach. This sort of intelligence was not available with India”, writes Pranab Dhal Samanta in Economic Times. Given Chinese capabilities in this area, “access to US data will make qualitatively significant impact on Indian military planning against China,” he writes.

A legitimate question may arise on India’s apprehension that this agreement harms India’s strategic autonomy by making its own communication network vulnerable to US spying. Some critics are concerned that the US will retain control over its equipment sold to India under this pact and may manipulate decision-making.

These concerns are not unwarranted, but they undermine the fact that no Indian government would walk into a deal with its eyes closed, given India’s post-colonial experience. According to a report in The Hindu, the 10-year deal features specific “India-related” adjustments to secure our national interests. “While the text of COMCASA is confidential, we have ensured that we have full access to the relevant equipment and there will be no disruptions. Data acquired through such systems cannot be disclosed or transferred to any person or entity without India’s consent,” the report quotes an official as saying.

Whether or not this deal pushed India into an "Asian NATO" also involving Japan and Australia is a peripheral talk point. The real issue is a stark reality. We may beat around the bush and try to manage our risks (mostly by bending backwards) with China but as long as India does not address own capacity constraints, the balance of power will shift increasingly away. This foundational deal may work as an enabler to address that critical lacuna.

Last edited by chetak on 08 Sep 2018 10:21, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: COMCASA Signing By India: A Trap or Unshackling?

Postby Rakesh » 08 Sep 2018 10:13

Karthik S wrote:So this agreement just for the predator drones and for the hypothetical scenario where we'll buy F 35?

My take from this is Predator drones, NASAMS (both more-or-less confirmed) and quite possibly, even the F-35. I do not believe this is a blanket agreement.

Karthik S wrote:In your second example, the khans will most likely inform pakis that we are snooping over them :lol: looking at our history. Both your scenarios doesn't require any coordination or any such agreement with US.

I answered this very query to arshyam in his post. Please see my post above chetak's.

Karthik S wrote:Doesn't look like words of a self respecting nation. Again all this for predator drones and hypothetical case where we'll buy F-35s? Haven't we learnt anything from the past? How much time it will take for them to take polar opposite position and start cozying up to the pakis (their first love in the sub continent) if govt there changes? what if next khan govt is more inclined towards China? For now our military will become like sentinels into which Khans can warg into sitting in the US as you say and keep an eye on cheen.

Guys, am not going into "No it's not blanket deal", "we can move out buy giving months notice (as if we are some house tenant) etc. It's one thing to buy innocuous equipment such as C-17, C-130 from them, but this kind of sovereignty compromising agreement with someone who is known to be the most unreliable 'partner' and supported India's destruction many times in the past is beyond condemnation

Henry Kissinger once said, "America has no permanent friends or enemies, only interests."

20+ years after Pokharan '98, after the American sanctions and all the negatives that came with it, the Indian political establishment has realized ---> "America has no permanent friends or enemies, only interests." The decision has been made by the GOI.

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Re: COMCASA Signing By India: A Trap or Unshackling?

Postby pankajs » 08 Sep 2018 10:17

chetak wrote:What exactly have we given away??

Effective sau-virginity of the US supplied sensor crafts that "we" loan back to the US network, once the COMCASA module is switched on in return for better tactical picture of our near abroad.

Switch it off and your virginity will be restored in micro-seconds. Do we really need 6 months to switch off a electrically powered gear?

For example, consider a US supplied drone on Indo-China border transmitting its raw data to the US network while its COMCASA gear is on. US can see what India can see as far as that drone is concerned. But once it has completed its patrol and the pilot decides to switches off the COMCASA gear on its return trip, that drone and its feed will disappear from the US network and the tactical picture.

Virginity will be lost and regained almost daily.

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Re: COMCASA Signing By India: A Trap or Unshackling?

Postby chetak » 08 Sep 2018 12:06

COMCASA will help India track China’s Indian Ocean moves better


COMCASA will help India track China’s Indian Ocean moves better

Dinakar Peri NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 07, 2018

Under the COMCASA, the U.S. will transfer communciation equipment to aircraft like P-8I.

Pacts with U.S. will reduce stress on assets, says official
The foundational agreement Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) which India concluded with the U.S. at the 2+2 dialogue will enable Indian military to get a better picture of the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) which is seeing increasing Chinese movements, officials said.


What is COMCASA?

“With CISMOA [COMCASA is an India-specific version of CISMOA], Indian armed forces will get to fully exploit the capability of the military platforms procured from the US. For instance, the P-8I reconnaissance aircraft of the Navy which have emerged as a major force multiplier are currently operating at limited capacity,” a defence official said on Friday.

As a consequence of CISMOA, India will get access to Combined Enterprise Regional Information Exchange System or CENTRIXS for short which is the secure communication system network of the US.
Navy ships with CENTRIXS systems on board can communicate securely with the U.S. Navy when needed and can benefit from the wider situational picture of the region as they have a large number of ships and aircraft deployed.

“This will reduce the stress on our assets and allow us prioritise our deployments more efficiently,” one officer observed.

Even within the system there are also specific codes/keys which have to be verified by both sides to enable communication or access information, the officer said.

According to information on the U.S. Navy website, “CENTRIXS consists of a collection of coalition wide area networks (WAN) known as enclaves” and is a “great enabler, allowing ship-to-ship operational dialogue between the two nations in text and web-based formats.”

However, there are persistent concerns that this would allow U.S. Navy access to India’s own secure communication network and also that the information shared with the U.S. will be accessible by Pakistan. Officials brushed aside these fears as specific measures have been incorporated in the agreement to “have full access to the relevant equipment and there will be no disruptions.”

“Data acquired through such systems cannot be disclosed or transferred to any person or entity without India’s consent,” another official said, adding this is an enabling instrument and does not commit India to acquire U.S. platforms. So far in joint exercises, Indian Navy used to temporarily plug in portable CENTRIXS systems to communicate with U.S. assets.

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Re: COMCASA Signing By India: A Trap or Unshackling?

Postby Manish_P » 08 Sep 2018 12:25

pankajs wrote:
chetak wrote:What exactly have we given away??

Effective sau-virginity of the US supplied sensor crafts that "we" loan back to the US network, once the COMCASA module is switched on in return for better tactical picture of our near abroad.

Switch it off and your virginity will be restored in micro-seconds. Do we really need 6 months to switch off a electrically powered gear?

For example, consider a US supplied drone on Indo-China border transmitting its raw data to the US network while its COMCASA gear is on. US can see what India can see as far as that drone is concerned. But once it has completed its patrol and the pilot decides to switches off the COMCASA gear on its return trip, that drone and its feed will disappear from the US network and the tactical picture.

Virginity will be lost and regained almost daily.


And no remotely activated vicinity snooping ELINT gear onboard right :mrgreen:

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Re: COMCASA Signing By India: A Trap or Unshackling?

Postby suryag » 08 Sep 2018 12:52

Thanks Rakesh and arshyam sir for your enlightening views. You have both set an example on how a discussion should be

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Re: COMCASA Signing By India: A Trap or Unshackling?

Postby pankajs » 08 Sep 2018 13:03

Manish_P wrote:
pankajs wrote:Effective sau-virginity of the US supplied sensor crafts that "we" loan back to the US network, once the COMCASA module is switched on in return for better tactical picture of our near abroad.

Switch it off and your virginity will be restored in micro-seconds. Do we really need 6 months to switch off a electrically powered gear?

For example, consider a US supplied drone on Indo-China border transmitting its raw data to the US network while its COMCASA gear is on. US can see what India can see as far as that drone is concerned. But once it has completed its patrol and the pilot decides to switches off the COMCASA gear on its return trip, that drone and its feed will disappear from the US network and the tactical picture.

Virginity will be lost and regained almost daily.


And no remotely activated vicinity snooping ELINT gear onboard right :mrgreen:

The gear would be on Indian assets deployed in India directly under Indian control and maintained by Indian hands. The US-SoKo agreement also talks of a training a local to handle emergency procedures to rectify faults when the US technician cannot be deployed at short notice.

That is 4 layers of direct control that India will enjoy on those Indian assets of US origin. Once the cord powering the module is pulled out there can be no remote activation. Then of-course there is the hammer as the ultimate option for a more permanent solution. I think that is sufficient garuntee of our interests if it should ever diverge from the US.

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Re: COMCASA Signing By India: A Trap or Unshackling?

Postby saumitra_j » 08 Sep 2018 13:14

I think the US effectively sees this as a Cost Control measure for tracking the Dragon .... basically the Indian assets will "fill" in the gaps and the US will deploy its own assets elsewhere ... that is a clear advantage for the US. This COMCASA thing is quite clearly a way through which US could "cooperate" with Indian assets i.e. reduce the deployment of its own assets and save cost yet get the same situational awareness! For the Indians, it gives us Grade A hardware, and intelligence from he US at the cost of moving completely into the US camp when it comes to China. IMHO it sounds like a win win for everyone and as long as the Indian economy keeps doing well, it seems to be a sensible thing to do at the cost of so called "strategic autonomy".

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Re: COMCASA Signing By India: A Trap or Unshackling?

Postby pankajs » 08 Sep 2018 13:26

^^
Absolutely agree with the first line. I have stated it before in one thread that US want's India to take control of the IOR and free them to focus on the South China sea and the Pacific ocean. To that extent, this is perfect alignment.

It is also a clear and visible shift in the Indian position and it will be read that way in every capital but especially in China. One does not sign an agreement like this on a whim. No two ways about that and the Chinese are not fools. The message to China is that India sees no cost in tilting towards US because China has not offered anything to India except belligerence on our borders and unsettling of our neighborhood. If China is unmindful of our concerns then India will take all necessary steps that it thinks is in its interest.

However, I would still feel that we will retain autonomy but the cost of exercising of that autonomy will increase in proportion to the amount of US sourced hardware that we induct. Right now it is minimal even after signing of the agreement. Nothing has really changed and we could tear up the agreement tomorrow at no cost except some reputational damage, the cost of the visit and the cost of the paper.

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Re: COMCASA Signing By India: A Trap or Unshackling?

Postby chetak » 08 Sep 2018 13:38

Another perspective.....

2+2=more than sum of its parts


2+2=more than sum of its parts

Thursday, 06 September 2018 | Manish Chand

2+2=more than sum of its parts

At the 2+2 dialogue, India and the US will have to focus on twinning of Indian and American dreams by accelerating people-driven engagement and forging an enduring innovation-focused partnership in areas that affects the lives of people

Get your maths right. In the evolving arithmetic and calculus of India-US relations, two plus two could add up to more than just four. The ‘123 moment’, crystallised in the transformational civil nuclear deal, is now already more than a decade old. The defining partnership of the 21st century, as Barack Obama christened it famously, is now itching for a new “Trump-et” and seems poised to move into a higher ‘456’ orbit at the inaugural 2+2 dialogue between Foreign and Defence Ministers of the two countries in New Delhi today (September 6).

Great expectations: The messaging from both sides is distinctly upbeat on the eve of the 2+2 dialogue: Washington has already laid out an ambitious agenda to operationalise India’s status as the US’ major defence partner. Officials and US-friendly strategy gurus in New Delhi are trying to mint a new idiom of special relationship and point out that the US has 2+2 dialogue only with closest allies, like Japan and Australia. In their view, the decision to hold 2+2 dialogue is in itself a big takeaway as it reflects the growing strategic importance India and the US attach to each other.

What’s on the table? What it all adds up to is that there are huge expectations and high stakes as India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman sit down for talks with their American counterparts, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary James Mattis in New Delhi this week.

Taking an informed long view, what can be realistically expected from the much-trumpeted 2+2 talks? First and foremost, the 2+2 dialogue will cement India’s status as the US’ leading strategic and security partner in the region. The US has already signalled rising importance of India by elevating it to Strategic Trade Authorisation-1 (STA-1) list, the third Asian country in this exclusive club, besides Japan and South Korea. The STA-1 status follows from the ‘123 deal’ and enables seamless sale and transfer of high-end defence trade and cutting-edge technologies to India by cutting through bureaucratic labyrinth.

Defence, the next big frontier: Second, a slew of concrete steps and initiatives will be unveiled to operationalise India’s status as the US’ major defence partner, which was granted during the Obama regime and was re-affirmed by the Trump Administration, marking a continuity in robust bipartisan strategic consensus in Washington to promote India’s rise as a major global power.

Defence-related deliverables could include a hotline between Indian and US Ministers for defence and foreign affairs, enhanced collaboration in defence innovations and posting of an Indian Navy liaison officer at the US Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) in Bahrain. The 2+2 dialogue will also mark an upgrade of the US status as a pre-eminent source of weaponry for India, with the planned procurement of a host of high-end platforms estimated to be around five to eight billion dollars. These include, among others, the procurement of 24 MRHs (multi-role helicopters) and the US National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System-II (NASAMS-II), which will protect the National Capital from a nuclear strike.

To COMCASA or not: To fructify the promise of value-added defence partnership, the US is pushing India hard to sign the Communications, Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA), which will enhance inter-operability between the militaries and military systems of India and the US.

The draft text is ready for signing and awaits the Cabinet’s approval. The overarching concern in India is to ensure that the pact is not misused for spying on India, or in any way which will compromise the country’s sovereignty and vital security interests. The US side considers these apprehensions as misplaced and has tried to reassure their Indian interlocutors that foundational agreements like COMCASA are underpinned by trust. However, given that the elections are only a few months away, one is not sure whether the Narendra Modi Government will take the plunge, at least for now, as it could provide extra fodder to the Opposition parties and critics to sharpen their attack on the alleged erosion of India’s strategic autonomy. In such a situation, the signing of COMCASA looks unlikely at the 2+2 dialogue; at best, there could be in principle approval to the crucial pact.

Navigating the Indo-Pacific: Third, the 2+2 dialogue is expected to clarify and enhance the scope of India-US collaboration in the Indo-Pacific through various plurilateral and multilateral options, including the quadrilateral dialogue of democracies. The decision to rename the US Pacific Command as US Indo-Pacific Command, and a vigorous defence of the use of “Indo-Pacific” phrase instead of “Asia Pacific” by the powers that be in Washington underline that India is pivotal to shaping a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific.

In his defining address at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore on June 1, Prime Minister Modi pitched robustly for an inclusive Indo-Pacific. Both India and US have officially denied China containment as the driving force behind their enhanced Indo-Pacific collaboration, but a sceptical Beijing will be closely scanning the 2+2 dialogue, with a touch of paranoia.

Elephants in the room: Going forward, the 2+2 dialogue will not be just about India and the US. In fact, there will be four elephants in the room at the 2+2 talks in New Delhi. The world will be metaphorically on the table, but one can expect special focus on the four countries — China, Russia, Iran and Pakistan —which have been problematic countries for the US, posing a different set of challenges for India.

On Pakistan, Trump, for all his famed unpredictability, has gone much beyond his predecessors to mount unprecedented pressure on Rawalpindi to curb cross-border terrorism. Just ahead of the 2+ 2 dialogue, the US suspended $300 million military aid for Pakistan. As Pompeo arrives in New Delhi after a trip to Islamabad, India will be closely listening in to what he says about Pakistan’s new Prime Minister Imran Khan and his views on relations with India and terrorism.

Creative diplomacy will be tested in finding a way around continuous issues involving the Third countries. There are barely a couple of months to go before the November 4 deadline for the US sanctions and zero imports of Iranian oil kicks in. Given Iran’s criticality to India’s energy security and the strategic significance of the relationship, India is hoping that the US will be more realistic and provide at least a limited waiver to India for importing Iranian oil. India is also expecting the US to ring-fence the Chabahar port from the sanctions on strategic grounds as the port transcends commerce and is critical to stability in Afghanistan.

Similarly, India will expect the US to make an exception for India to allow it to purchase Russian S-400 system to bolster its deterrence. In tricky and fraught situations like these, diplomacy has to live up to its calling as the art of the possible.

The road ahead: Probably, there will be no public announcements on these sensitive issues but one only hopes that the ‘456’ vision of the India-US partnership can inspire Washington and New Delhi to find a middle way around these challenging issues in the long-term interest of nurturing and elevating this mutually empowering partnership of the 21st century to the next level.

In the end, the 456 phase of India-US relations will be underpinned by a concord of liberal democratic values and a convergence between strategic interests of the US and India’s global aspirations. In mapping the way ahead, India and the US will have to focus on twinning of the Indian and American dreams by accelerating people-driven engagement and forging an enduring innovation-focused partnership in areas of education, science, technology, clean energy and public health that visibly impact the lives of ordinary people. It’s only by taking people along that two plus two will add up to more than four.

(The writer is Editor-in-Chief of India and World magazine, and a commentator on international affairs)

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Re: COMCASA Signing By India: A Trap or Unshackling?

Postby pankajs » 08 Sep 2018 14:38

Some potential wrinkle? I think almost everyone is extrapolating bits and pieces of data to paint the whole scene.

chetak wrote:COMCASA will help India track China’s Indian Ocean moves better


“With CISMOA [COMCASA is an India-specific version of CISMOA], Indian armed forces will get to fully exploit the capability of the military platforms procured from the US. For instance, the P-8I reconnaissance aircraft of the Navy which have emerged as a major force multiplier are currently operating at limited capacity,” a defence official said on Friday. {Some gear that needs COMCASA is missing. Not off track at all to my understanding.}

As a consequence of CISMOA, India will get access to Combined Enterprise Regional Information Exchange System or CENTRIXS for short which is the secure communication system network of the US.
Navy ships with CENTRIXS systems on board can communicate securely with the U.S. Navy when needed and can benefit from the wider situational picture of the region as they have a large number of ships and aircraft deployed. {Sounds like a huge red flag but I think this is misplaced understanding.}

“This will reduce the stress on our assets and allow us prioritise our deployments more efficiently,” one officer observed.

Even within the system there are also specific codes/keys which have to be verified by both sides to enable communication or access information, the officer said.

According to information on the U.S. Navy website, “CENTRIXS consists of a collection of coalition wide area networks (WAN) known as enclaves” and is a “great enabler, allowing ship-to-ship operational dialogue between the two nations in text and web-based formats.” {Local area picture based on need to know but not the global access. Reasonable .. our requirement is for our near abroad and IOR. "Ship-to-Ship" can mean a number of different things. Can be a red flag in specific situations.}

However, there are persistent concerns that this would allow U.S. Navy access to India’s own secure communication network and also that the information shared with the U.S. will be accessible by Pakistan. Officials brushed aside these fears as specific measures have been incorporated in the agreement to “have full access to the relevant equipment and there will be no disruptions.” {The enabler of all red flags cited before but I think this is a false flag if one where to pick the analysis done by Phillip earlier and take it to its logical conclusion.}

“Data acquired through such systems cannot be disclosed or transferred to any person or entity without India’s consent,” another official said, adding this is an enabling instrument and does not commit India to acquire U.S. platforms. So far in joint exercises, Indian Navy used to temporarily plug in portable CENTRIXS systems to communicate with U.S. assets. {What platforms will get the COMCASA system is India's call.}

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Re: COMCASA Signing By India: A Trap or Unshackling?

Postby ArjunPandit » 08 Sep 2018 15:24

I was wondering where's our Bhadra-khumar hiding and he's back

https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/geopolit ... tens-leash

The US-Indian defining partnership took a leap forward in the field of defence at the first session of the “2+2” dialogue of the two countries’ foreign and defence ministers in New Delhi this week.

It is a “win-win” for Washington. Highly lucrative multibillion-dollar arms deals sail into view, while Washington also shepherds India towards a US-led alliance system in the Indo-Pacific.

The remarks by India’s Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at the joint press conference regarding the “most productive, positive and purposeful” 2+2 meeting sounded euphoric: “Today’s meeting marks a defining moment … Defence cooperation has emerged as the most significant dimension of our strategic partnership and as a key driver of … the bilateral relationship. The momentum … has imbued a tremendous positive energy that has elevated India-US relations to unprecedented heights … Our leaders recognise that it is no longer viable to address foreign and defence issues in a compartmentalised manner … Our discussions have paved the way for a new era in India-US defence and strategic engagement. Given our shared interests, we are confident that we can work together to promote peace, economic prosperity and security in our region and beyond.”

The Narendra Modi government’s game plan appears to be to placate Trump’s “America First” project by awarding some lucrative multibillion-dollar contracts to American arms vendors. But it is a naive hope that India can get away with cherry-picking. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo insisted that Washington will revisit the vexed issues of trade imbalance and market access, and keep piling pressure on India to roll back its defence ties with Russia and oil imports from Iran. He gave no assurances on a special visa regime for Indian migrants, either.

The Trump administration has brilliantly outwitted the Modi government by making India’s relations with Russia, China, Iran and Pakistan the abiding concerns of the folks in Washington. The “2+2” showed that the leash is getting tighter by the day.


He's woefully short of details/facts and is just spouting his opinions that should have come out of his musharraf but are coming out of his mouth.

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Re: COMCASA Signing By India: A Trap or Unshackling?

Postby pankajs » 08 Sep 2018 15:33

Read the last 4 para. He can give any comedian a run for their money.

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Re: COMCASA Signing By India: A Trap or Unshackling?

Postby ArjunPandit » 08 Sep 2018 15:43

^^standup comedy is the in thing these days...jokes aside

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Re: COMCASA Signing By India: A Trap or Unshackling?

Postby Karthik S » 08 Sep 2018 16:10

Rakesh wrote:
Karthik S wrote:So this agreement just for the predator drones and for the hypothetical scenario where we'll buy F 35?

My take from this is Predator drones, NASAMS (both more-or-less confirmed) and quite possibly, even the F-35. I do not believe this is a blanket agreement.

Karthik S wrote:In your second example, the khans will most likely inform pakis that we are snooping over them :lol: looking at our history. Both your scenarios doesn't require any coordination or any such agreement with US.

I answered this very query to arshyam in his post. Please see my post above chetak's.

Karthik S wrote:Doesn't look like words of a self respecting nation. Again all this for predator drones and hypothetical case where we'll buy F-35s? Haven't we learnt anything from the past? How much time it will take for them to take polar opposite position and start cozying up to the pakis (their first love in the sub continent) if govt there changes? what if next khan govt is more inclined towards China? For now our military will become like sentinels into which Khans can warg into sitting in the US as you say and keep an eye on cheen.

Guys, am not going into "No it's not blanket deal", "we can move out buy giving months notice (as if we are some house tenant) etc. It's one thing to buy innocuous equipment such as C-17, C-130 from them, but this kind of sovereignty compromising agreement with someone who is known to be the most unreliable 'partner' and supported India's destruction many times in the past is beyond condemnation

Henry Kissinger once said, "America has no permanent friends or enemies, only interests."

20+ years after Pokharan '98, after the American sanctions and all the negatives that came with it, the Indian political establishment has realized ---> "America has no permanent friends or enemies, only interests." The decision has been made by the GOI.


I don't quite see how it benefits India in future wars. Other than the fact that khan would know what their equipments are doing. Your last passage echos my last passage. That they are very unreliable still you quote kissinger to make my point.

Regarding monitoring China ships in Indian Ocean. Looks like a marketing term. IOR is huge. We have no interest in far regions of IOR. We should build capability to do so ourselves in the IOR region that we are interested in.

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Re: COMCASA Signing By India: A Trap or Unshackling?

Postby Rakesh » 08 Sep 2018 17:14

Karthik S wrote:I don't quite see how it benefits India in future wars. Other than the fact that khan would know what their equipments are doing. Your last passage echos my last passage. That they are very unreliable still you quote kissinger to make my point.

You answered your own query. Khan would know what *THEIR* COMCASA sourced equipment are doing. What about all the non-COMCASA sourced equipment that we have at our disposal? Expanding the theory that the Americans tell the Pakistanis, that their terrorist camps are being tracked 24-7. Now the Pak Army has to factor that constant tracking into their operational plans in Kashmir. Huge complication headache for them. Over time, this will results in less effective terrorist attacks on the Indian Army. And that is a very good thing, no?

Yes, I quoted Kissinger to *AGREE* with your point. I am on your side :) But you have to be a realist. As I told arshyam ---> 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.

Karthik S wrote:Regarding monitoring China ships in Indian Ocean. Looks like a marketing term. IOR is huge. We have no interest in far regions of IOR. We should build capability to do so ourselves in the IOR region that we are interested in.

But that is the point Saar! IOR is huge and we do not have the assets currently to track it all and the US does it better, but even they cannot achieve 100% coverage. Now if we can use our assets, along with their assets, the coverage network increases for everyone. Again, complicates PLAN sub operations in the IOR. To avoid detection, PLAN subs will have to take remedial measures which will in turn reduce their effectiveness.

Have you heard the saying The enemy of my enemy is my friend?

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Re: COMCASA Signing By India: A Trap or Unshackling?

Postby rsingh » 08 Sep 2018 17:18

Not a specialist in these matters. But do you guys really think that IA will agree to set up a system where US has whole-sale access to IA's communications? That is absurd. I think we are going to make a parallel com system that is used only with US systems and that also on need to know basis. US is outsourcing nigrani of IOR and India is happy to get top quality equipment which can be used other theaters as well.

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Re: COMCASA Signing By India: A Trap or Unshackling?

Postby pankajs » 08 Sep 2018 17:49

I have a reverse question. Will the US *risk* connecting their ultra secure system to an unknown (from their pov) Indian system? This is the key question to answer for all those who are worried about data leakage from the Indian system to the US system.

Folks need to read Philips piece except one has to discard the ideological bit at the end and extend it further in the right direction.

My *theory* is that our US supplied COMCASA enabled sensor package will operate directly on the US network and we will get the download via the US network on to a US supplied endpoint that is still part of their network but housed somewhere in an Indian command center. That is the only way to garuntee end to end security of their data pipe. They will not risk hopping on to our system even for a millimeter of transit.

If that does not clarify the matter ask yourself why would they need periodic inspection on the end points if they control the rest of the network?

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Re: COMCASA Signing By India: A Trap or Unshackling?

Postby rsingh » 08 Sep 2018 19:38

About India-US relations............I am told that democracies are never at war with each other.

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Re: COMCASA Signing By India: A Trap or Unshackling?

Postby Guddu » 08 Sep 2018 20:31

Overall, positive for India.
Downside: we may need to develop our own secure network for life saving devices (Strategic Forces)
Not sure how this will impact our own technology development. It could cause us to spend less on developing our own capabilities, or even enhance our capability development to match American capabilities.

Russia is a sinking ship... they are living on technologies developed in their hey days. Russian GDP cannot compete with the USA or even with India. India made the right move, apologies to comrade Filipov. We should however work with Russia, to the extent it benefits us and we can maintain our independence.

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Re: COMCASA Signing By India: A Trap or Unshackling?

Postby chetak » 08 Sep 2018 20:53

Guddu wrote:Overall, positive for India.
Downside: we may need to develop our own secure network for life saving devices (Strategic Forces)
Not sure how this will impact our own technology development. It could cause us to spend less on developing our own capabilities, or even enhance our capability development to match American capabilities.

Russia is a sinking ship... they are living on technologies developed in their hey days. Russian GDP cannot compete with the USA or even with India. India made the right move, apologies to comrade Filipov. We should however work with Russia, to the extent it benefits us and we can maintain our independence.


A simplistic view, but I will say it, all the same.

They helped us when no one else was willing to do so.

Our ties go back decades.

We owe them much, especially for their unwavering support in the UNSC.

We should stand by them, just as they did with us, and for as long as we can.

We have reached where we are today, partly because they held our hand when we needed the help.

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Re: COMCASA Signing By India: A Trap or Unshackling?

Postby V_Raman » 08 Sep 2018 21:18

American interest is in boxing China to the pacific.They need to block Chinese access to Indian Ocean. America must get out of AFG and they need India in AFG for the next 20 years.

India can not afford China in AFG aligning with Pak and its aftermath on the western front. When those regions split from Pak India needs to be there to maintain our interests.

This will result in Indian boots in AFG.

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Re: COMCASA Signing By India: A Trap or Unshackling?

Postby V_Raman » 08 Sep 2018 21:37

IMO USA does not need India for IOR. They have enough assets there up to Diego Garcia and they have allied presence as well - UK/France - up to
Africa.

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Re: COMCASA Signing By India: A Trap or Unshackling?

Postby V_Raman » 08 Sep 2018 21:47

This does not antagonize Russia in any way. India has found a way to align with USA and Russia again!

This time it is more expensive for us - boots in AFG - but stakes are higher for India - so cost is higher.

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Re: COMCASA Signing By India: A Trap or Unshackling?

Postby Viv S » 08 Sep 2018 22:44

chetak wrote:A simplistic view, but I will say it, all the same.

They helped us when no one else was willing to do so.

Our ties go back decades.

We owe them much, especially for their unwavering support in the UNSC.

We should stand by them, just as they did with us, and for as long as we can.

We were aligned with them, and they did as superpowers in the Cold War were wont to do. They supported us and we supported them; Vietnam, Afghanistan, Arab world. It was partially geopolitics and partially ideological solidarity but what it wasn't, was an act of altruism. To put it in a differently, they were with us at (what was strategically) our highest moment i.e. 1971, but nowhere to be seen when we were at our lowest point i.e 1962.

No different with modern Russia. When we were at our weakest, emerging from a near-bankruptcy in 1991, and posed with a challenge of an emerging PRC, that is when we needed them, nor in the friggin' toothless United Nations. They had a choice - support an old but impoverished friend or befriend a nouveau riche former rival. We didn't need even them to pressure China from the north, we just needed them not to bolster the PLA with arms sales.

What we got was a Russia-China treaty in 1992 that made most top-of-the-line Russian weapon systems available to China. Followed up by subsequent agreements in 1995 & 1999 that made much of the underlying technology available, laying the basis for the modern Chinese military-industrial complex. Which in turn was followed up by the 2001 'defence pact' that formalized the new status quo.

We were told its a new world, and that it was just business without the warm-fuzzy-feeling that they got with India. We could like it or lump it. We lumped it. Not just that we kicked in much of our discretionary budget helping keep Russian defence firms in business (and politicians in office). Bottom-line; we don't owe the post-1991 Russian Federation anything.

As for the US, if our 'alignment' with them, such as it is, works out, it'll work because we have common interests (viz. China) rather than a consequence of any affection created by time or by govt initiatives.

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Re: COMCASA Signing By India: A Trap or Unshackling?

Postby Rakesh » 08 Sep 2018 23:56

V_Raman wrote:This does not antagonize Russia in any way. India has found a way to align with USA and Russia again!

This time it is more expensive for us - boots in AFG - but stakes are higher for India - so cost is higher.

It will be expensive to put boots in AFG, but it will be beneficial for India to open a second front against Pakistan. In addition to boots on the ground, a few IAF squadrons will be a welcome addition as well or perhaps at Fakhror Airbase in Tajikistan.

Image

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Re: COMCASA Signing By India: A Trap or Unshackling?

Postby chetak » 09 Sep 2018 00:33

Viv S wrote:
chetak wrote:A simplistic view, but I will say it, all the same.

They helped us when no one else was willing to do so.

Our ties go back decades.

We owe them much, especially for their unwavering support in the UNSC.

We should stand by them, just as they did with us, and for as long as we can.

We were aligned with them......

Different viewpoints.

I am sticking with mine.

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Re: COMCASA Signing By India: A Trap or Unshackling?

Postby KrishnaK » 09 Sep 2018 00:55

Viv S wrote:
chetak wrote:A simplistic view, but I will say it, all the same.

They helped us when no one else was willing to do so.

Our ties go back decades.

We owe them much, especially for their unwavering support in the UNSC.

We should stand by them, just as they did with us, and for as long as we can.

We were aligned with them.....


The interests not friends argument means nothing, because it can mean anything. The Pak army insists that it is in Pakistan's interests that it have sole custody to define what is in Pakistan's interests.

It is in India's interests to build a strong network of friends based on trade & security. It is hard to build a sustainable relationship based solely on oil, weapons and UNSC vetoes. That Russia's has made that its sole calling is not India's problem. Nor is it India's problem that it has chosen to enter into another confrontational relationship with the west, after getting bested the last time around. As far as Indo-Soviet friendship goes, that entity was more capable of providing the kind of partnership India needed when India was isolationist. Otherwise, India's interests always aligned with the western economies. It only goes to show how easy it is to pull away relationships where trade is not a major factor. Also to explain why it was always very easy for the US and EU to take steps that were detrimental to India's interests.

It is equally absurd to claim the US is unreliable when the largest and most successful treaty alliances are all led by the US. Them along with NAFTA and other economic blocs will all survive the trump shock because they work, even if not as well as all parties want - it is by definition a compromise. Even if one were to assume they ended at the beginning of the trump era that's 70 years, from 1945 - 2015.To compare India cannot get even Nepal, Sri Lanka and Maldives on its side consistently, let alone Bangladesh, the Warsaw pact has been dead for decades, and China's alliances are all based on animosity towards some combination of US, Japan or India. Nobody else seems to get how to build relationships based on the nourishing underpinning of trade.

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Re: COMCASA Signing By India: A Trap or Unshackling?

Postby chetak » 09 Sep 2018 01:52

@KrishnaK,

sometimes you have horses for courses.

Trade with russia is dependant on what they have that we want or need and vice versa.

Oil is something that has come up of late and they seem a reliable source with the economic muscle to maintain a robust supply chain for this commodity. They have already invested quite heavily in refinery and retail infrastructure in India and that shows their thinking and their commitment. They are keen to diversify and increase their long term "large customer" count as they are facing headwinds in the european market

Its ok to have changing needs and chosen alliances based on specific national interests and yet do business with entities outside of that specific grouping.

kissinger wasn't always right about everything or even right most of the time. That he was a hyped up hitman for a president like nixon says a lot by itself.

The US's transactional penchant for frequent vocal and public demonstrations of loyalty by the recipients of its largesse can be very off putting. It betrays a complete lack of cultural sensitivity and also raises the bogey of the ugly american that is a surefire relationship killer.

I also think that the US's non white relationships (with some notable exceptions like japan etc) are mostly tactical while their white skin relationships (like NATO) is strategic. I would not actually use the term racist but as sure as hell, the possibility is out there.

India falls in the tactical basket like pakistan and no reason why we would not expect to suffer a similar fate, in the fullness of time and the uncertainty of shifting stratagems.

Today we seem to be the flavor of the month but one day soon, we will cease to be such and then the axe will fall. COMCASA is a ploy for the US to save/redeploy ship engine hours and cut back/redeploy their aircraft flight hours while using the locally available Indian platforms to monitor and/or even relay data to their command centres via the secure COMCASA links.

It would be interesting to know exactly how fat this secure data link actually is??

The US and India are in very similar positions in their own respective regions and with their ever grubbing neighbours who all expect the free ride and the free lunch to continue ad nauseam.

Trump has vocalized it and we haven't (yet) and both countries are affected by the same illegal immigration and unbalanced tariff regimes.

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Re: COMCASA Signing By India: A Trap or Unshackling?

Postby souravB » 09 Sep 2018 03:10

^^ to add to your point.
US needs a lackey or 2nd in command in Asia. It already has Two in Europe, one in South America, Africa will be in war till it has that lackey. For Asia it tried with Japan after WW2 and SoKo after Korean war but they were too small to be consequential.
Then came the Chinese who by all means and purposes were slimy foxes and backstabbed the US.
Now it is India's turn.
What will be the purpose of the said lackey? to keep others in your region in check by flexing financial or military muscle and spread the word of the Supreme leader around.
Now to reach the position, they will help us with everything we need but we'll have to toe the line set by them.

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Re: COMCASA Signing By India: A Trap or Unshackling?

Postby KrishnaK » 09 Sep 2018 04:13

chetak wrote:The US's transactional penchant for frequent vocal and public demonstrations of loyalty by the recipients of its largesse can be very off putting. It betrays a complete lack of cultural sensitivity and also raises the bogey of the ugly american that is a surefire relationship killer.
.....
The US and India are in very similar positions in their own respective regions and with their ever grubbing neighbours who all expect the free ride and the free lunch to continue ad nauseam.

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Re: COMCASA Signing By India: A Trap or Unshackling?

Postby ArjunPandit » 09 Sep 2018 09:59

^^Indian boots in Afghanistan will not be before an US-Iran rapprochement. Chabahar may be active, but it will still need US nod to
1. Military logistics Business with Iran
2. Possibly future split up of Pakistan. Indian planes in Afghanistan do not do much apart from being targets

Fakhror air base did not happen when India was firmly in Russian camp, it is not likely to happen when India is overtly dating the US. Presence in the Fakhror airbase will mean that Russia has decided to kick China.
If history is any indicator, Russia will do that after taking China to the edge of a cliff, like they did to Germany (we may debate who attacked first or who made the first move). Russia and India are similar in the sense that they will work with both sides till it is not possible. That's a separate discussion altogether.

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Re: COMCASA Signing By India: A Trap or Unshackling?

Postby SaraLax » 09 Sep 2018 12:34

Hope our decision makers have thought about the below

[1] The Russians & Chinese (or even North Korean's) will always try to hack into the CENTRIXS system and attempt to listen in a silent mode and reap massive advantages if they can breach into the system (WAN based systems ? ... Hmm ... Huawei + ZTE > Cisco + Ciena ?. ) Remember - how the Nazi Enigma encryption system was hacked pretty much mid-way into WW2 by the Allies but the 3rd Reich was blissfully unaware & unsuspecting of the same & the info on this communication breach was not revealed to the world for decades after end of WW2 and there have been many similar instances of breach into Soviet systems by US during cold war times.

We are going to be working closer with the US via COMCASA & we should expect the US to attempt to breach further into our working environment & embed long standing spies admist our organizations (if they are not already present).

On the technical intelligence front - there will be many critical bugs (some even deliberately introduced) in both the processor h/w design & OS implementation's - for ex like the recently detected meltdown & spectre vulnerabilities and many more bugs in crypto operations related s/w, in many open source s/w programs and these vulnerabilities can be exploited to breach into this CENTRIXS system (as well as Indian Army specific encrypted network).

On the Human intelligence front - we already have seen that many of our spies switched sides to foreign spy organizations (For ex :- Rabinder, a certain PA of founder of RAW and many other RAW folks based in capitals of western nations).Folks in RAW & Indian Foreign Diplomacy and Indian Governments of similar ilk as M.K.Bhadrakumar & Digvijay Singh - may already be present & working in a silent manner against India by revealing national secrets. Also there have been other cases like Snowden, WikiLeaks, Manning and etc - through which Indian security & Army operational scenarios and plans could get revealed to outside world.

It's a cliche - but eternal vigilance will as usual be the key for India to ward of these "internal-to-CENTRIXS" as well as "external" threat agents.Never allow any lower level employees in these collaborations to sit in same work responsibilities for long periods in our co-operation with the US (an analogy can be how some of the branch level folks ,who were never transferred out to other places, in PNB's Mumbai based branch - helped Nirav Modi & co to run big scams and all this to the detriment of our nation's PSU banking sector). I wish that we will be attentive and efficient on this aspect of our collaboration with every Western country ?

[2] The US has never been a reliable partner for any country (as the Western European 'partners' & North American neighbours are discovering now) and we in India have also felt that many times. The US ,in present times, is not as powerful as the US just after WW-2 (Japanese Nuke bombing, Bretton Woods, First Man to Moon & sending 'explorer' to other planets, Cold War victor & etc). The current focus of the US seems to be shifting more towards containing China's rise and it seems to be replacing whatever other efforts were being mounted on the various other fronts in the post-Cold war world. The US is finding India as an useful entity that can be added to the team of countries that will help contain China.

The US under Trump has vigorously jolted its main Cold war allies & NATO allies by asking them to pay more for the defence support related operations with in NATO, has slapped more trade tariffs in its business dealings with EU & some other G7/G20 countries too. Basically the US helped these European countries recover from WW-2 & strengthened them (as well as Japan, Australia, South Korea & few more nations) on the defence front - to stave off their possible takeover by erstwhile Communist Soviet (or present Russian) state. It looks like the US is well on its way to initially temper down its Cold War engagements/support for these European nations as well as the trade concessions given to them (along with NAFTA countries) & etc & in a decade or so - possibly wind it down in a big way (barring some very serious major global or geopolitical incident happening in the interim). UK is in its own slow downward spiral with additional confusion due to Brexit muddle and more. Russia is still re-building and regaining its strength. It's sanctioned economy seems to be more tied up currently with acting as a main energy & raw material supplier to neighbour China & some interested European countries like Germany. But Russia is so much more experienced in playing geopolitical games & may never give up on its independent decision making by siding with China. IMHO - states like Germany & France seem to be in a confused mode as are organizations like EU & NATO as to how to react to this new world situation where their close relationship with US is starting to weaken. Japan and South Korea are completely dependent on the US to ward of North Korea (let alone China) on their national security front.

Since the current focus of US is on China - the US seems to be teaming up with nations surrounding China. It already has South Korea, Japan to look at China from the Eastern side and there are others like i believe Taiwan, Australia, Singapore to look upon China from the southern side. But the US doesn't seem to have any similar partner country on the western side of China. India is China's western neighbour & we are capable of standing on our own foot against China. We can also look upon Chinese activities in the Indian ocean front. While we are not as closely embracing of US like how the before mentioned APAC countries are ( & loosing their ability to take independent actions) - still we are a strong candidate to stand up to China when it tries to browbeat us. So the US is trying to engage us in certain different (if not special) ways to help contain the rise of China. We have recently got through into MTCR, Wassenaar agreement bodies with some amount of help from the US and now we have this COMCASA agreement. Nobody can predict how this US-China tussle is going to come out finally and we don't know over how many decades it will play out. China is starting to be looked at in a suspicion due to its Belt & Road Initiative antics ( & US is already being looked at in the same manner) - in many leading nations.

I don't think we will gain anything by taking up an high-morals, non-aligned position in this US attempt to contain China's raise.
So we should also work with the US in it's 'contain China' arrangement with our primary aim being to grow stronger & continue to stave off any challenges/provocations from China as well as its poodle - Pakistan. Our additional aims should be to gather as much strength as we can on the science, technology & business fronts (like how South Korea & Taiwan got from US) & on the defence front (like Israel ?) from the US without compromising on both our economic growth as well as importantly the ability to take independently decisions (with the future well-being & interests of the country being the sole reason).

If this US-China tussle ends in favour of the US aligned group - then the US will have 'used' us ( & at same time we should have used the US to gain some advantages too) & may well try to throw us away (like how the current Western European countries, in a post-Cold War world, are being treated by Trump's US on the defence payments and trade tariffs front). So we should be aware that the US could subject us 'non-white' Indians to the 'use & throw' ploy too.

I am not sure how India should shape up to tackle the alternative scenario where China is able to tackle the US and weaken the US even as it gets stronger. I guess - our strong ties with Russia, France, Israel may be helpful in such a scenario and we sure have to be stronger then than what we are now.

[3] I wish that - we should hold on to the strong ties on the defence front that we have with Russia & (& also in space technology collaborations) France . We already have good ties with SK and Japan and it should continue further. We should work on weakening Pakistan further and use Iran (or dump Iran) without any emotional baggage as per our requirements (and that is how Iran treats us). We should simply not support the US (like how its poodle - the UK does) in its wanton provocations & self-damaging wars across various continents. But this shouldn't be done in a vehement manner and should be done in a softer, firmer way. We should continue to differentiate ourself as a benign, dependable & often times helpful entity in comparison to China & make this visible to the whole world (and this has already been happening).

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Re: COMCASA Signing By India: A Trap or Unshackling?

Postby V_Raman » 09 Sep 2018 12:39

In 1991 - both India and Russia were beggars!! I recall posts in another thread where it was revealed that Russians were more comfortable offering sensitive tech to India than China during that time frame and we just did not have the money!! Beggars cant complain !!!!

India got what it wanted from Russia - quality of the goods notwithstanding.

We got many of what we wanted from western powers including reactors, rockets, guns, advanced radars, skilled labor export and even tech transfer in many instances. Heck the LCA program, regardless of sanctions, is a western supported program.

We are no ones enemy!!!!! But for the 2 neighbors of course.

We have maintained status quo as we wanted all this time.

USA supported Pakistan due to its own interests. Evidently that is not the case anymore.

Holding on to the past may not do us any good this time around. We need to step up our game if we want to protect our backyard.

Looks like Indian and American interests align now in AFG/Pak. Looks like USA will keep Iran busy as well if we are willing to work with them on this. I will not be surprised if India becomes the largest customer of USA shale oil.

I believe we will see Indian boots in AFG in the next decade.

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Re: COMCASA Signing By India: A Trap or Unshackling?

Postby pankajs » 09 Sep 2018 12:57

V_Raman wrote:Looks like Indian and American interests align now in AFG/Pak. Looks like USA will keep Iran busy as well if we are willing to work with them on this. I will not be surprised if India becomes the largest customer of USA shale oil.

I believe we will see Indian boots in AFG in the next decade.
Without a assured route for resupply? There are other issues but let us just focus on logistics for the moment.

Which country in your opinion offer us that route?
1. If we are to align with the US in AFG the it can be assumed that this 3rd countries objective not only has to align with ours but also with Americas.
2. This 3rd country should have access to the sea else we would need alignment with a 4th county and so on and so forth.

Now we can rule out the following
1. Based on the above point 1, Bakistan, Iran, Russia and China. First because of misalignment with Indian objective and the last 3 because of misalignment with American objective. China for misalignment with both.
2. Based on the above point 2, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan.

That leaves us with Turkmenistan via Caspian sea via Azerbaijan via Georgia via Black Sea via Mediterranean Sea and so on and so forth. This assuming that Turkmenistan will align with US rather than Russia or China. That logic applies with Azerbaijan and Georgia too.

The above analysis leads me to think that this looks highly unlikely as things stand today. Not impossible but unlikely. Something will have to change big time for the proper alignments to line up.

OTOH, there is no such hurdle on the Indo-China border/Tibet or the extended IOR region, at least as far as the water body is concerned.

Added Later: Once America is out who so ever remain will become the enemy/target of all its neighbors including Iran and Russia. Why would Russia or Iran tolerate an Indian presence in Afghanistan when they themselves are vying for influence. Rather, China, Russia, Iran and Bakistan will link up to oust the Indians from Afghanistan. No amount of Gandhian/Ahimsa talk will sway its neighbors to tolerate the visible presence of a non-neighbor.

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Re: COMCASA Signing By India: A Trap or Unshackling?

Postby ArjunPandit » 09 Sep 2018 15:13

Hacking centrix wont be new to US, it would have been done with US, UK, SoKo, Taiwan, Sauds

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Re: COMCASA Signing By India: A Trap or Unshackling?

Postby ArjunPandit » 09 Sep 2018 15:16

One point that I havent seen being discussed is do Pakis also have a CISMOA? Otherwise, how do they operate the US equipment like F16 etc. Agreed the beggars dont have any significant US assets, but Block 52 is not stone age either. If they have been able to operate against India for so long right under US eyes, in Kargil, 26/11 then we should have our own ways too.

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Re: COMCASA Signing By India: A Trap or Unshackling?

Postby Philip » 09 Sep 2018 17:37

Trump has just said that the US must not subsidise China and India's development and economy as the US too was a " developing" economy.He threatens over $250B trade duties on Chin hoods.India is sure to be next.

The Jekyll and Hyde attitude of the US is going to plague our relations with it no matter how many agreements wd sign with it.I can't fathom why India appears so desperate to run after an irresponsible, unreliable " strat. partner", that is in full retreat from global hotspots which it created in the first place at huge financial cost worth trillions in the process.

The US policy in Af- Pak is doomed.India tying up with the US cannot achieve stability when Russia, China and Pakistan are unwilling to go along with it and neighbours like Iran and the Cent.Asian states care a fig. for the US.
In fact it is a great blessing to India that we have no direct border with Afg.Pak is a splendid buffer state absorbing Afg.fecal matter.Remember that during the British Raj., umpteen Afghan wars with great loss of men and pride afflicted the Brits. .There was continuous conflict with Afg. Kipling wrote one of his finest poems about the soldier dying in the dust in Afg's dusty plains, "waiting for the women to cut up his remains",telling him to "roll on his rifle and blow out his brains and go to his god like a soldier"!

I predict that in the fullness of time disillusionment with the US will set in as it retreats around the globe expecting regional allies to pick up the pieces ...and the tab!
China too will realise that mutual, equal cooperation will earn it more friends and respect than behaving like a hegemon.At that point there will be an opportunity for Russia, China and India- and a few other Asian nations to work together in setting up their own version of the EU, in a less tightly controlled system than Brussels.


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