Armar al elefante

NUEVA DELHI – Se está citando de forma generalizada el aumento de la venta de armas de los Estados Unidos a la India como prueba de que la relación en materia de defensa de esos dos países se está volviendo más estrecha, pero la sostenibilidad a largo plazo de dicha relación, en la que la India es más un cliente que un socio, sigue siendo un motivo de profunda preocupación para los indios. ¿Señala un punto de inflexión la recién publicada Declaración conjunta sobre la cooperación en materia de defensa, en la que se expresa el propósito de pasar de las ventas de armas a la coproducción de equipo militar, o es simplemente una estratagema para aplacar a la India?

Los factores que impulsan el desarrollo de la relación estratégica resultan evidentes. Desde 2006, el comercio bilateral se ha cuadruplicado hasta ascender a 100.000 millones de dólares, aproximadamente, al año y, en el último decenio, las exportaciones de material para la defensa han aumentado vertiginosamente, desde tan sólo 100 millones de dólares hasta miles de millones al año.

Como se ha desacelerado el gasto militar de los EE.UU. y otros mercados de exportación siguen flojos, las empresas americanas del sector de la defensa están deseosas de aumentar las ventas a la India, que ahora es el mayor importador de armas del mundo, y el ambiente político es propicio para sus planes: ahora la India lleva a cabo más ejercicios militares conjuntos con los EE.UU. que con ningún otro país.

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