Democracy now! spoke to Arjun Makhijani of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research and journalist Siddharth Varadarajan of The Hindu, India’s leading English-language newspaper.
The Obama administration took major steps this week toward helping several US defense contractors sell sophisticated US arms and nuclear technology to India.
During her visit to India, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton signed an arms deal that could prove a boon to Lockheed Martin and Boeing. Both firms are in the running to sell India 126 fighter jets at an estimated cost of $12 billion. It is the most lucrative fighter aircraft deal in fifteen years. Richard Kirkland, president for Lockheed Martin in South Asia, said, quote, “This signals an era of increased defense cooperation between the United States and India.”
Speaking in India, meanwhile, Clinton hailed the deal as an important step in US-India relations.
“I’m also pleased that Prime Minister Singh told me that sites for two nuclear parks for US companies have been approved by the government. These parks will advance the aims of the US-India civil nuclear agreement, facilitate billions of dollars in US reactor exports, and create jobs in both countries, as well as generate much-needed energy for the Indian people.” Hillary Clinton said.
The significance of these billion-dollar deals, is the escalation of the arms race and the nuclear arms race with Pakistan. You have, this week, Pakistani officials calling for drones, criticizing the escalation of war in Afghanistan, saying they cannot deal with the militants coming over the border in Pakistan as a result, because their troops are on the border with India.