Imposition of sanctions could have led to the collapse of Quad

With the US House of Representatives amending its law on CAATSA to accommodate India, the India-US military ties are set for an upswing. Would have ended the growing US clout in India. India-US military trade ties would have been jeopardised

Once the US Senate ratifies the amendment, a major hurdle in the thinking process of the Ministry of Defence will be overcome. Internally, a threat of US-imposed sanctions has played on the minds of Indian policymakers.

India has a six-decade-long relationship with Russia related to the purchase of military equipment and the two nations have extended the programme for military technical cooperation from 2021 to 2031. The imposition of sanctions could have led to the collapse of Quad and ended the growing clout of the US in India, besides jeopardising trade relations.

New Delhi is also a “major defence partner” of the US and is looking at collaborative cutting-edge technology. But it was wary of the US as the CAATSA sanctions had been talked about since India signed a $5.4 billion deal with Russia in 2018 for the purchase of S-400 air defence system.

India’s worries got enhanced after Turkey, a NATO ally, faced sanctions for buying the same weapon system. New Delhi, however, worked behind the scenes.

An amendment to the CAATSA would address any concerns originating in India and remove uncertainty of sanctions getting kicked in future too. The US was sensitised that India was not an adversary.

The CAATSA waiver will smoothen the path of collaboration as India and the US are working on expanding the partnership on critical and emerging technologies, spearheaded by the respective National Security Councils. The US plans to join six of India’s technology innovation hubs to support at least 25 joint research projects in 2022 in areas such as artificial intelligence and data science. The United States National Science Foundation and the Department of Science and Technology of India will deepen this cooperation through the new US-India Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology.