Procurement: India Deals With The Dark Side

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March 18,2008: Iran, North Korea and China are not the only countries smuggling military equipment and technology out of the United States. Recently, an Indian resident of Singapore pled guilty, in a U.S. court, to smuggling electronic components for missile guidance systems to India. The man, Parthasarathy Sudarshan, did business out of Singapore, and ran a company with branches in the U.S. and India. While many key military electronic items are now manufactured outside the United States, American firms still produce critical items. Many of these are dual use, and these usually require permission from the U.S. government before being shipped overseas. Sudarshan bought and shipped electronic components to Indian missile manufacturers, but told the U.S. government that the items were going to foreign firms for civilian use. India could probably have gotten these items legally, but that would have required applying to the U.S. government, and permission might have been denied. This provided an opportunity for a smuggler like Sudarshan, and he took it.

The U.S. export restrictions are often criticized as futile, but they do, in fact, make it more difficult, and often impossible, for foreign nations to get key components.

 


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