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The CIA Owns India
by James Dunnigan
May 1, 2008

Discussion Board on this DLS topic

Throughout the Cold War, India positioned itself as the leader of the unaligned nations. In practice, India leaned to the left, and obtained most of its imported weapons from the Soviet Union. India wanted Western arms, but was unable to get technology transfers. So, in the early 1960s, modernization of the Indian armed forces took place with Russian assistance. By the end of the Cold War, seventy percent of Indian Army tanks and artillery, eighty percent of warplanes and , and eight-five percent of warships were Russian.

In U.S. eyes, India was an ally of Russia, and thus had to be watched carefully. Since most senior Indian government and military officials spoke English, and many were actually pro-American, it was not difficult for the CIA to penetrate Indian intelligence agencies. This soon became known, and those many Indians who were anti-American, became more so.

Since the end of the Cold War, India has also shed its strong support for Palestinians, established diplomatic relations with Israel (in 1991) and become a major importer of Israeli defense equipment and weapons. India also became disenchanted with Russia as a military supplier since the 1990s, as the collapsing Russian economy made the supply of spare parts and warranty service even more undependable. At the same time, the Indian government realized that its socialist attitudes, when it came to economic policy, were not working. Communist China had dumped socialist economic policy in the 1970s, and its economy had been expanding ten percent a year ever since. India's economy, guided by socialist policies, was lucky to grow two percent a year. So the Indians dumped the socialist ideas in the 1990s, and the economy began to grow. With more money, Western weapons now became affordable.

But some things did not change. Many Indian politicians were still communist (despite the collapse of European communism in the 1980s and 90s), and the CIA still had its hooks into the Indian intelligence agencies. But the CIA has spies inside many foreign intelligence organizations. The Indians complain to the U.S., but everything is denied. Unofficially, the Indians are told that if they were true friends of the United States, there would be no need for the CIA to be so involved. And there it all sits, for the moment.

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