This article was sent to me by a regular reader here in India, Mr. K.B., and this one, folks, I have to share, for it presages the type of geopolitical reassessments that must be taking place in the wake of the USS Donald Cook incident in the Black Sea. Briefly, for those who do not know of this incident, a Russian Sukhoi fighter bomber, which was unarmed, flew in a mock attack run at the one of the US Navy's Aegis class missile frigates that had been deployed to the Black Sea in the wake of the Ukrainian crisis. According to the story, the Sukhoi approached, was seen on the Donald Cook's radar, when suddenly, the entire system went "down," and the Russian aircraft was no longer seen on the ship's radar. The Donald Cook quickly retired to a port in Romania, which we assume may have been Constanza.
Now, apparently, there is some fallout in India from this incident, as the following analysis from an Indian website outlines:
The article spells out the incident, then goes on to note that the incident was flagged to bring to the attention of India's top leadership. Note also the article's attention to the fact that by concentrating on trying to design an all-in-one stealth jet fighter, that many think America is losing its technological edge in air power. And, as the article also indicates, the new Russian Su35 outperformed its American counterpart at the recent Paris air show, and there is no doubt that Russia was sending another message by unveiling the aircraft.
The real consequence of all of this however, is the growing perception by many western leaders that America's technological edge may be slipping, and with it, its geopolitical influence; the view from India is quite clear:
To cut a long point short, policy makers around the world tuned to geopolitical shifts have been aware of this changing equation. The French decision, for instance, to militarily cooperate with Russia by supplying it with Mistral class amphibious assault ships, as the strategic Russian decision to first unveil (the) Su-35S in Paris, is a concrete reformulation of policy at the ground level aligning with the new geopolitical realities. The Indian policy makers, more than the others, have been actually aware of it, having seen how upgraded MiG-21 Bisons and Su-30MKIs performed against American machines in the various Cope India exercises.
In other words, India's defense experts are simply not impressed with America's air technology, and the Donald Cook incident only emphasized the fact.
What disturbs here is the implications, for inspite of billions of dollars poured into such projects, Russia, which spends nowhere near the same amount on defense, appears to be able to design conventional systems that are both cheaper, and better. And that has to have them thinking their long-term strategic interests in Berlin, Paris, London, Rome, and Madrid, though they will never announce those concerns... at least, not yet.
That's the problem with creating huge hidden systems of finance to finance your special black projects: the return on the dollar declines significantly, as corruption inevitably enters the system.
Oh...and by the way, in case you missed it, India recently overtook Japan as the world's third largest economy(World Bank: India Overtakes Japan as World's Third Largest Economy). Yes, that's right, India, after China, is now the big player in Asia, and its economy is larger than Russia's, and it's looking at that interesting Russian technology.
My bet is, New Delhi and Moscow have lots to talk about, and they won't be inviting Christine Lagard, or Barack Obama.
See you on the flip side...