Analysis U.S. Senators introduce amendment supporting CAATSA sanctions waiver for India

Parthu

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The move comes head of India’s delivery of the S-400 Triumf missile defence system from Moscow​

Three Republican Senators have introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act FY2022 – an annual defence budget bill – to make it harder for the executive branch of the U.S. government to impose sanctions on members of the Quadrilateral Strategic Dialogue (Quad) for buying Russian arms. The move comes as India is expected to take delivery of the S-400 Triumf missile defence system from Moscow — possibly this month or next, potentially attracting sanctions under U.S. domestic law , the Countering Americas Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) of 2017.

84df3f5b-b1e9-4ef1-b4c2-a45e78b2cb0b-AP_FAA_Senate_Hearing.JPG

Ted Cruz, Republican Senator for Texas

The latest legislation , called the Circumspectly Reducing Unintended Consequences Impairing Alliances and Leadership (CRUCIAL) Act of 2021, requires the U.S. President to certify to “appropriate congressional committees” that a U.S. Quad partner country (India, Australia, Japan) is not cooperating on “security matters critical to the United States strategic interests,” prior to applying CAATSA sanctions on entities from that country. Effectively, this would mean the administration would have to say the Quad is dysfunctional, before imposing invoking CAATSA sanctions on its members.

The amendment is sponsored by Ted Cruz, a Republican Senator from Texas who is part of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and co-sponsored by Republican Senators Todd Young (Indiana) and Roger Marshall (Kansas).

If the amendment goes through, this certification requirement will be in effect for ten years from the date of its passage.

7683ba8f-e2bb-4541-932a-abee41c67fab.jpeg


While it is not certain that the amendment will pass, its introduction is one of several recent signals that some U.S. lawmakers have recently been sending the administration to convey their desire not to see India sanctioned under CAATSA.

“Now would be exactly the wrong time for President Biden to undo all of that progress through the imposition of these sanctions, which were meant to deter Russia. Doing so would accomplish nothing except undermining our shared security goals of combatting China’s aggression and forcing India to become dependent on Russia,” Mr. Cruz said in a statement.

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S-400 'Triumpf' Air & Missile Defence System manufactured by Russia's Almaz-Antey

Speaking to The Hindu, a Senate Republican aide said that lawmakers recognised the security situation India has with China.

India is at the “center” of the Quad countries “cooperating to counter China,” the aide said, and is “the only Quad member that actually shares a border with China, the only Quad member that has actually lost soldiers in combat with China.”

However, the authors’ intent is to also see a change in India’s procurement practices within a ten year time frame. “So I think I the consideration is that 2033-2034 and beyond, if India is still going to Russia, and is not taking steps to deepen ties with the Quad, I think that's when it would be a different conversation,” the aide said. “So I do think there needs to be steps taken over time.”


Other reads on the subject from various points of view, including one from Politico with some insider sources:



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COMMENTS:​

While it's best to reserve comments until after the CAATSA issue with regard to India is decided one way or the other, I currently have two hypotheses about the situation as it stands (in light of the new amendment introduced by Ted Cruz and others, as well as the earlier activities by both Rs & Ds seeking a waiver, including D Sen. Mark Warner, chairman of the India Caucus):

a) the Biden administration was planning to impose some form of watered-down version of CAATSA so as it avoid the spectacle of "double-standards" or "exceptionalism", while continuing to work with India on platforms where it is crucial such as QUAD, and perhaps continuing arms sales & strategic relations. This may have been unacceptable to the Indian Govt as it could still prove to be enough fuel for both the Russian lobby & the so-called "Non-Aligned" lobby to drive a permanent wedge between India & the US on public platforms, which in turn may prove detrimental to the national security interests of both India, the US and even the other two QUAD states.

Pro-India lobbies across party lines may have been set in motion to prevent this from happening and to grant the waiver, while upping the stakes by making it clear that if CAATSA, in whatever form, were to be imposed, it will have negative effects across the spectrum - including in QUAD as well as the crucial Vaccine collaboration that is forming with the aim of edging out Chinese 'vaccine diplomacy' in South-East Asia & elsewhere.

b) the decision to grant a waiver (which only the President and/or Secy of State can do AFAIK) may have already been reached internally, but in order to avoid the spectacle of this being a "unilateral" foreign policy decision which again brings with it the spectacle of double-standards and/or exceptionalism, there is political gimmickry afoot to make the waiver seem as a Republican proposal, and by accepting it, an image of the waiver decision being reached as a result of bipartisan consensus can be created - alleviating the potential risk of problem actors from both ends of the political spectrum from raking up the issue at a future point to put the Biden administration's foreign policy in a spot.

@Ashwin @randomradio @Nilgiri @BMD @Milspec
 

jetray

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Pro-India lobbies across party lines may have been set in motion to prevent this from happening and to grant the waiver, while upping the stakes by making it clear that if CAATSA, in whatever form, were to be imposed, it will have negative effects across the spectrum - including in QUAD as well as the crucial Vaccine collaboration that is forming with the aim of edging out Chinese 'vaccine diplomacy' in South-East Asia & elsewhere.
Self interest, period. India can dilute chinese attention & deployment in short term.
Indian lobbies are simply over hyped they cannot even take on the islamist lobby which keeps throwing kashmir & human rights every now & then.

Just remember what happened in afghanistan, that stupid cease fire that we agreed with pakistan... ? India is a side player, more of a useful idiots category just like paksitan, its only we think way too high of ourselves.

Second thing is we can always retaliate using non trade barriers ( amazon....eh) just like US does. This waiver drama is such some internal circus we need to ignore , it is just trying to placate us without doing any thing. Ask for a trade deal and see how it goes?
 

randomradio

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However, the authors’ intent is to also see a change in India’s procurement practices within a ten year time frame. “So I think I the consideration is that 2033-2034 and beyond, if India is still going to Russia, and is not taking steps to deepen ties with the Quad, I think that's when it would be a different conversation,” the aide said. “So I do think there needs to be steps taken over time.”

2033-34 is still too early. Although our desire is to use more indigenous tech rather than Russian, European or American tech, we may still be dependent on the Russians for aerospace tech during that time, perhaps even underwater tech, unless the US contributes equivalent or better tech at reasonable costs. Post 2040 is much more reasonable.

Anyway, as long as Pakistan exists, we can't afford to stop dealing with the Russians. Right now the Russians are the cheapest source as a weapons supplier, which makes it the best option for Pak. We ignore the Russians today, 5 years down the line the Pakistanis will order the Su-57/75 and S-500. The same could happen even in 2035. All this when we will still be heavily dependent on Russian supplies at the time. So, unless Pakistan is blacklisted and sanctioned, or eradicated, we need to continue dealing with Russia. It's the same reason why we are planning on lifting the sanctions on Leonardo.

Post 2040, if the Russians sanction India, then we will have both the money and the technology to quickly push the MKI and T-90 out of service within 10 years.
 
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screambowl

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The same could happen even in 2035. All this when we will still be heavily dependent on Russian supplies at the time. So, unless Pakistan is blacklisted and sanctioned, or eradicated, we need to continue dealing with Russia. It's the same reason why we are planning on lifting the sanctions on Leonardo.

Americans wont sanction India now. They are only threatening. If Americans sanction India they know India will move to non democratic bloc of China and Russia and that's game over for the US. And Russians won't sanction you either.
 

randomradio

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Americans wont sanction India now. They are only threatening. If Americans sanction India they know India will move to non democratic bloc of China and Russia and that's game over for the US.

Yeah, but I am talking about after 2033-34.

India won't move towards Russia or China either. We are our own side. All we need is time to get rid of our dependency on Russia.

And Russians won't sanction you either.

It depends on the political situation of the time. And it doesn't have to be direct sanctions. In case we stop buying new stuff from them, then they are going to create problems with the maintenance and support of our old stuff.
 

RISING SUN

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India's S-400 missile system problem​

India’s nearly completed, $5.43 billion purchase of Russian S-400 air-defense systems raises serious obstacles to closer politico-military relations between Washington and New Delhi. It requires rigorous strategic thinking to avoid hampering deeper policy relationships within the Asian “Quad” (the U.S., India, Japan and Australia), compromising America’s stealth technology or jeopardizing seemingly mundane but often critical issues of interoperability among national militaries. Finding mutually acceptable solutions has enormous implications; so does failure.

Undoubtedly, India needs advanced air defenses. It has long, difficult-to-defend borders with China; Beijing’s growing navy is increasingly menacing, as are Pakistan’s nuclear and ballistic-missile programs, fostered by China.

But India’s S-400 purchase, formalized in October 2018, was a mistake, even from its own strategic perspective. New Delhi directly challenged earlier U.S. legislation intended to block significant Russian weapons sales, and which provided very limited presidential waiver authority. Especially unfathomable in why India would acquire the same system China was buying, risking that Beijing’s cyber warriors, perhaps exploiting Moscow-inserted back doors, could cripple their defenses in a crisis. Turkey’s similar purchase of S-400s, and the dynamics among the three transactions, bear particularly on the current campaign to waive sanctions against India.

Washington sanctioned Beijing in September 2018 with broad U.S. domestic support. Turkey’s acquisition provoked considerable controversy, coming as it did from a NATO ally. S-400s are, not surprisingly, completely incompatible with NATO-wide air defense capabilities, leaving the alliance’s southeastern flank potentially vulnerable. (A humorous contemporaneous remark was that Turkish President Recep Erdogan wanted the S-400s to defend himself against Ankara’s own air force.)

In addition, Turkey co-produced components of the stealthy F-35 and had ordered 100 of them. Significant exposure of F-35s to S-400 radars would give the air-defense operator a clear advantage in detecting F-35s despite their stealth, thereby possibly fatally compromising the entire F-35 program. After extended debate, President Trump reluctantly and belatedly ejected Turkey from the F-35 program in 2020 and imposed economic sanctions. To this day, the potential proximity of U.S. F-35s and Russian S-400s in Turkey arouses concern.

Perhaps bolstered by Trump’s evident reluctance to punish Turkey and equally evident divisions among Trump’s advisers, India’s decision to proceed nonetheless reflects a backward-looking dependence on Russia for sophisticated aerospace and weapons technology. Now, with deliveries imminent, Indian sources still argue that the deal shouldn’t be cancelled: The actual agreement was in 2016 (before the sanctions legislation), India is dependent on Russia for spare parts and maintenance under previous weapons-systems contracts and imposing sanctions would push New Delhi back toward Moscow.

These are arguments of inertia and complacency, and they should carry no weight for the U.S. Vague assertions about future conduct, even accompanied by reduced reliance on major purchases from Russia, are insufficient to risk undermining our global efforts to counter the spread of Kremlin arms sales. Having New Delhi and Washington grow closer means just that, not equivocating or reversing field.

In fact, India’s direction in foreign arms purchases is decidedly unclear. Last week, its ambassador to Russia, Bala Venkatesh Varma, said that “there has been a fundamental change in how our defense relationship has moved in the last three years. Russia has moved back again as the top defense partner of India.” Still worse are reports that, even before the initial S-400 purchases are fully deployed, India and China are considering upgrading to the new S-500 system.

Skeptics might say New Delhi is playing Washington. Even viewed benignly, India is sending contradictory signals, likely due to competing views inside its government and body politic. Whatever Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s reasons, the other Quad members have compelling reasons for New Delhi to articulate its future defense-procurement strategies more precisely. No one need commit to a full-blown, politico-military alliance to see the importance of striving for interoperability among like-minded states before things go further, if they ever do. NATO struggled with interoperability problems for decades, thereby leaving the alliance less effective, operationally and as a deterrent. There is no reason to engender potential problems, which prudent planning could avoid.

In such circumstances, any U.S. waiver for India’s S-400 purchases must come with clear conditions and requirements. Pending legislation in Congress says merely that the president may not impose sanctions upon a Quad member unless he “certifies … that that government is not participating in quadrilateral cooperation … on security matters that are critical to the United States’ strategic interests.” That is no condition at all; if those were the facts, it would mean there was no Quad, but merely a Trio.


Developing U.S. conditions for the waiver is an urgent priority. Washington should at least require an agreed-upon timeline and metrics to reduce Indian purchases of sophisticated Russian weapons systems, regular Quad consultations on meeting these targets and more extensive politico-military planning for Indo-Pacific threats, thereby shaping future procurement requirements.

We need not insist that India acquire all its future high-end weapons systems from the U.S., although it would obviously be helpful to see larger purchases than at present. Many Western countries are capable of supplying Indian needs, further highlighting the advantages of breaking the Russian mold. America, Japan, Australia and others also could offer opportunities for defense cooperation with India along the lines of the AUKUS project on nuclear-powered submarines, to enhance India’s own domestic weapons productions.

This model is important not only for the Indo-U.S. relationship but for many others, including Turkey. If sanctions waivers or general lassitude regarding Russian weapons sales and their consequences for regional balances of power become commonplace in Washington, the problem will continue to grow. It is entirely certain that an Indian waiver will trigger instant demands for like treatment from Turkey and other prospective purchasers, while enabling Rosoboronexport, Russia’s foreign-military-sales agency, to exploit our lack of willpower. Ironically, Turkey might warrant a waiver, with appropriate conditions, if the Turks remove Erdogan from office in upcoming elections, so resolving the India problem could well be precedential.

Decisions of this magnitude require Washington to pursue a conscious strategic approach, rather than simply treating an Indian waiver (or any other) as a one-off. Time is short.
 

Ankit Kumar

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Desi substitution is the only way forward. Even without USA, imports from Russia is not a very good thing. We tend to forget todays scenarios and everytime Russia pops us we go into 1971. That was good and well appreciated. But it's time to move on.

We literally bank roll their Mig29K development, their Ka31 development, development of their major shipyards, development of Talwar class, the whole Su30 scene , but in the end it's India getting the stick. Problems with simple items like ToT of tank main gun etc. On the other hand China continues to rip off Russia of worth billions of dollars of revenue and the result is what? Their design bureaus are working together with China for next Gen fighter jets, helicopters and what not.

I am not saying we should go to US. We should strive to replace everything, I repeat everything with desi alternatives. We are big enough to do so.
 
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jetray

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I am not saying we should go to US. We should strive to replace everything, I repeat everything with desi alternatives. We are big enough to do so.
if wishes can be horses .... for a country which took so long to dismantle ordnance board you are asking for too much. Defence is not a necessity for the political class its just a another one of the things that doesnt fetch votes.
 

Ankit Kumar

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if wishes can be horses .... for a country which took so long to dismantle ordnance board you are asking for too much. Defence is not a necessity for the political class its just a another one of the things that doesnt fetch votes.
Lives are circular. There was a time when society as a whole was forced to acknowledge the importance of security, something we ignore today. Our society is bound to face great human losses , nothing is going to stop that. But I hope that will get the remaining population to get educated.
 

randomradio

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But India’s S-400 purchase, formalized in October 2018, was a mistake, even from its own strategic perspective.

Especially unfathomable in why India would acquire the same system China was buying, risking that Beijing’s cyber warriors, perhaps exploiting Moscow-inserted back doors, could cripple their defenses in a crisis

India’s decision to proceed nonetheless reflects a backward-looking dependence on Russia for sophisticated aerospace and weapons technology.

How the hell did an ex-NSA come up with crap like this?

These are arguments of inertia and complacency, and they should carry no weight for the U.S. Vague assertions about future conduct, even accompanied by reduced reliance on major purchases from Russia, are insufficient to risk undermining our global efforts to counter the spread of Kremlin arms sales. Having New Delhi and Washington grow closer means just that, not equivocating or reversing field.

Er... yes, but the ball's in your court. You're supposed to be offering India the NGAD as a counter to Russia's Su-57. You're supposed to be offering a Virginia class, or even an LA class in lieu of the Akula class. Our "backward dependence" exists because they are a monopoly.

In such circumstances, any U.S. waiver for India’s S-400 purchases must come with clear conditions and requirements. Pending legislation in Congress says merely that the president may not impose sanctions upon a Quad member unless he “certifies … that that government is not participating in quadrilateral cooperation … on security matters that are critical to the United States’ strategic interests.” That is no condition at all; if those were the facts, it would mean there was no Quad, but merely a Trio.

Good luck with all the blackmail.

Developing U.S. conditions for the waiver is an urgent priority. Washington should at least require an agreed-upon timeline and metrics to reduce Indian purchases of sophisticated Russian weapons systems, regular Quad consultations on meeting these targets and more extensive politico-military planning for Indo-Pacific threats, thereby shaping future procurement requirements.

All I can say for that is... LOL.
 

Lolwa

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How the hell did an ex-NSA come up with crap like this?



Er... yes, but the ball's in your court. You're supposed to be offering India the NGAD as a counter to Russia's Su-57. You're supposed to be offering a Virginia class, or even an LA class in lieu of the Akula class. Our "backward dependence" exists because they are a monopoly.



Good luck with all the blackmail.



All I can say for that is... LOL.
They are saying about selling us western weapons. But I doubt they will do Joint development for a AD system. The s400 deal only happened because of the Americans stoping us from procuring the Israeli Arrow.
 

randomradio

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Desi substitution is the only way forward. Even without USA, imports from Russia is not a very good thing. We tend to forget todays scenarios and everytime Russia pops us we go into 1971. That was good and well appreciated. But it's time to move on.

We literally bank roll their Mig29K development, their Ka31 development, development of their major shipyards, development of Talwar class, the whole Su30 scene , but in the end it's India getting the stick. Problems with simple items like ToT of tank main gun etc. On the other hand China continues to rip off Russia of worth billions of dollars of revenue and the result is what? Their design bureaus are working together with China for next Gen fighter jets, helicopters and what not.

I am not saying we should go to US. We should strive to replace everything, I repeat everything with desi alternatives. We are big enough to do so.

Our goal is desi substitution. But then there's reality as well. Yesterday, we were heavily dependent on the Russians. Today, we are less so. Tomorrow, we won't be, not just the Russians.

But we are still in the "less so" period "today". Getting to "tomorrow" is still a 15-year process. While we have made significant progress in missile technologies, electronics and some other areas, we are still way too dependent on foreign propulsion tech in all areas. Our tanks and IFVs need Russian engines, our ships and aircraft need European and American engines. We have only very recently made some progress on our armoured vehicles, barely some on aircraft, while none at all on ships.

As long as we are in the "today" phase of our indigenisation plan, we are going to have to deal with such bullying tactics from all suppliers.

Anyway, the Russians have offered a lot of JVs to India, we just didn't bite, the latest examples being FGFA and MTA.
 

jetray

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How the hell did an ex-NSA come up with crap like this?



Er... yes, but the ball's in your court. You're supposed to be offering India the NGAD as a counter to Russia's Su-57. You're supposed to be offering a Virginia class, or even an LA class in lieu of the Akula class. Our "backward dependence" exists because they are a monopoly.



Good luck with all the blackmail.



All I can say for that is... LOL.
We are not getting any advanced technology to begin with, as usual they singing paeans about their own law.
Problem with Indian foreign policy makers is that they think being ambivalent or maintaining silence gives them room to balance all the sides. But not being vocal abt our interests will just make us look like push overs. (for west if you dont shout you aint strong enuf) It will reach a state where they think they have leverage over us and start pushing our buttons, then our boys in MEA will spring to action.

Foreign ministry has to categorically state that US has failed to live up to expectations wrt trade, technology ..etc and ties are below par. Afghanistan is a good case where we should we given them some stick.

Its high time India started looking out for replacement for GE engines for LCA.
 

randomradio

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They are saying about selling us western weapons. But I doubt they will do Joint development for a AD system. The s400 deal only happened because of the Americans stoping us from procuring the Israeli Arrow.

Nah, the Arrow happened back in the early 2000s. During that time the Americans offered the PAC-3 and they didn't want the Israelis as competitors. The Russians offered the S-300PMU-2 then. Instead the Americans allowed the Israelis to export the Greenpine and Phalcon to India. The S-300 beat the PAC-3, but we only bought some of their surveillance radars.

After our S-400 deal was done, they offered the PAC-3 and THAAD. We rejected both. PAC-3 couldn't beat the S-300, how on earth would it beat the S-400? And the THAAD, while duplicating the abilities of our own BMD, only rich countries can afford it.

But yeah, they don't wanna help us with our own BMD program, they just want us to buy what they already have.

The Americans are only talking big, as usual.
 

Lolwa

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Nah, the Arrow happened back in the early 2000s. During that time the Americans offered the PAC-3 and they didn't want the Israelis as competitors. The Russians offered the S-300PMU-2 then. Instead the Americans allowed the Israelis to export the Greenpine and Phalcon to India. The S-300 beat the PAC-3, but we only bought some of their surveillance radars.

After our S-400 deal was done, they offered the PAC-3 and THAAD. We rejected both. PAC-3 couldn't beat the S-300, how on earth would it beat the S-400? And the THAAD, while duplicating the abilities of our own BMD, only rich countries can afford it.

But yeah, they don't wanna help us with our own BMD program, they just want us to buy what they already have.

The Americans are only talking big, as usual.
Even if we ignore the "big talk" in which program can we do a realistic JV program with them??
Infantry modernisation-maybe we could standardise around the 6.8 but highly doubtful
C-17 replacement- We will be a junior partner in that by a huge margin
NGMBT- we most probably will buy the armata
5th 6th gen planes- F-35 and NGAD is too important to be exported and is off the table for us anyway
At best we could make AEGIS class destroyers with them but even that is crown jewel tech for the Americans.
I realistically don't know any place where we could have realistic JV with them apart from some small non-serious projects like ALUAV and maybe swarm drones..
 

randomradio

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We are not getting any advanced technology to begin with, as usual they singing paeans about their own law.
Problem with Indian foreign policy makers is that they think being ambivalent or maintaining silence gives them room to balance all the sides. But not being vocal abt our interests will just make us look like push overs. (for west if you dont shout you aint strong enuf) It will reach a state where they think they have leverage over us and start pushing our buttons, then our boys in MEA will spring to action.

Foreign ministry has to categorically state that US has failed to live up to expectations wrt trade, technology ..etc and ties are below par. Afghanistan is a good case where we should we given them some stick.

Its high time India started looking out for replacement for GE engines for LCA.

India's high export tech status came only by the end of 2019 and 2020 was lost to COVID. We are depending on them for some kinds of technologies anyway, like the Apaches and P-8Is, so it's not in our interest to rock the boat that's already sailing with a timebomb on it. India-US military trade is already on the clock. Unless they offer really high end tech, our relationship has no future. In the meantime, the forces are happy with what we are getting from the US and Russia right now.

The GE engines are necessary. Everybody's gonna come out a loser if we go looking for a replacement. We need GE for our future ships too, not just the frigates and LCA. Plus GE is open to transferring tech, as long as the US Congress approves. It's too late for LCA, 2019 was the last potential date for finding a replacement.

The ranting bit should be left for post-2025, when we will begin making a decision for the import of Su-57 and S-500.