I will make no secret of my respect for the Indians. As we enter a century that is going to be dominated by the Chinese and Indians, I am thankful that we have begun the process of aligning ourselves with the Indians. This is a country that has established a democratic tradition, is filled with human capital, and who I believe recognizes their importance in the 21st century. I think as we move forward, we are all going to thank the Bush administration for one of their more prescient foreign policy moves, the strengthening of ties between our two countries. This ultimately has benefits for the U.S. as we have a strong, democratic global partner, and for our defense industry, if we can yank business away from the Russians, who have a long-term relationship as India's arms supplier.
So, this article discusses briefly the Indian Navy's leader and his worries as the Indian defense budget (though rising, is below 2% of GDP) is less able to sustain the desired ship buildup (sound familiar?). It's heartening to me that the Indians recognize that the quickest way to sea dominance is through the continued building of submarines, and, yes, nuclear ones. India is still planning to lease Akula class subs from the Russians. Of course, since my interest in the Indian Navy is newfound, I didn't realize that India has been trying to complete this Akula lease since 2004 (article and discussion).
Now, the Indians have signed a $2.2B deal to buy 8 P-8's from the U.S.