The Growing Independence of India’s Defense Industry Will Strengthen the Israel-India Alliance

July 22 2020

In recent years, the government of Narendra Modi has been trying to build up India’s own defense industry, so that the country can become less reliant on imports. While it may seem counterintuitive, this move will only enhance the already robust cooperation between New Delhi and Jerusalem in the area of military technology, since Israeli companies can help India learn to make advanced equipment by itself. Moreover, the two can work together to develop new technology. Such collaboration is part and parcel of the growing bond between the two nations, writes Alvite Ningthoujam:

For the last good five years, India has remained the second largest importer of arms in the world. . . . As it is, Israel’s share in India’s defense market began to increase significantly from 2014 on. During the period past five years, India’s arms imports from Israel increased by 175 percent, making the latter New Delhi’s second largest supplier of major arms.

It is evident, [however] that the growing strategic partnership between India and Israel increasingly involves long-term co-development and defense-production programs as well as technical support. These aspects are crucial from the standpoint of India’s current military-modernization initiatives and the drive for localized production of armaments. Both countries consider the collaboration between Indian and Israeli defense firms on sophisticated defense technologies to be a success.

The strengthening of ties in this specific domain has come at this juncture when the two countries are facing both traditional and non-traditional security threats. Increasing demand for defense items due to these emerging security challenges, the quest for technological advancement in defense industries, and Israel’s readiness to meet some of the requirements of India, will lead to further expansion of defense cooperation. As Israel continues to design and develop a wide range of state-of-the-art weapons systems, it will remain an important source of defense equipment and technology for India. And Israel’s technological expertise is sure to be a key source in India’s drive to develop a self-reliant defense industry.

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Read more at Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security

More about: India, Israel diplomacy, Israel-India relations, Israeli technology

UN Peacekeepers in Lebanon Risk Their Lives, but Still May Do More Harm Than Good

Jan. 27 2023

Last month an Irish member of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) was killed by Hizballah guerrillas who opened fire on his vehicle. To David Schenker, it is likely the peacekeeper was “assassinated” to send “a clear message of Hizballah’s growing hostility toward UNIFIL.” The peacekeeping force has had a presence in south Lebanon since 1978, serving first to maintain calm between Israel and the PLO, and later between Israel and Hizballah. But, Schenker explains, it seems to be accomplishing little in that regard:

In its biannual reports to the Security Council, UNIFIL openly concedes its failure to interdict weapons destined for Hizballah. While the contingent acknowledges allegations of “arms transfers to non-state actors” in Lebanon, i.e., Hizballah, UNIFIL says it’s “not in a position to substantiate” them. Given how ubiquitous UN peacekeepers are in the Hizballah heartland, this perennial failure to observe—let alone appropriate—even a single weapons delivery is a fair measure of the utter failure of UNIFIL’s mission. Regardless, Washington continues to pour hundreds of millions of dollars into this failed enterprise, and its local partner, the Lebanese Armed Forces.

Since 2006, UNIFIL patrols have periodically been subjected to Hizballah roadside bombs in what quickly proved to be a successful effort to discourage the organization proactively from executing its charge. In recent years, though, UN peacekeepers have increasingly been targeted by the terror organization that runs Lebanon, and which tightly controls the region that UNIFIL was set up to secure. The latest UN reports tell a harrowing story of a spike in the pattern of harassment and assaults on the force. . . .

Four decades on, UNIFIL’s mission has clearly become untenable. Not only is the organization ineffective, its deployment serves as a key driver of the economy in south Lebanon, employing and sustaining Hizballah’s supporters and constituents. At $500 million a year—$125 million of which is paid by Washington—the deployment is also expensive. Already, the force is in harm’s way, and during the inevitable next war between Israel and Hizballah, this 10,000-strong contingent will provide the militia with an impressive human shield.

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Read more at Tablet

More about: Hizballah, Lebanon, Peacekeepers, U.S. Foreign policy