Farewell. The Flying Pig Has Left The Building.

Steve Hynd, August 16, 2012

After four years on the Typepad site, eight years total blogging, Newshoggers is closing it's doors today. We've been coasting the last year or so, with many of us moving on to bigger projects (Hey, Eric!) or simply running out of blogging enthusiasm, and it's time to give the old flying pig a rest.

We've done okay over those eight years, although never being quite PC enough to gain wider acceptance from the partisan "party right or wrong" crowds. We like to think we moved political conversations a little, on the ever-present wish to rush to war with Iran, on the need for a real Left that isn't licking corporatist Dem boots every cycle, on America's foreign misadventures in Afghanistan and Iraq. We like to think we made a small difference while writing under that flying pig banner. We did pretty good for a bunch with no ties to big-party apparatuses or think tanks.

Those eight years of blogging will still exist. Because we're ending this typepad account, we've been archiving the typepad blog here. And the original blogger archive is still here. There will still be new content from the old 'hoggers crew too. Ron writes for The Moderate Voice, I post at The Agonist and Eric Martin's lucid foreign policy thoughts can be read at Democracy Arsenal.

I'd like to thank all our regular commenters, readers and the other bloggers who regularly linked to our posts over the years to agree or disagree. You all made writing for 'hoggers an amazingly fun and stimulating experience.

Thank you very much.

Note: This is an archive copy of Newshoggers. Most of the pictures are gone but the words are all here. There may be some occasional new content, John may do some posts and Ron will cross post some of his contributions to The Moderate Voice so check back.


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

India's Technology Windfall And U.S. Myopia

By Steve Hynd

Yesterday brought news that India has selected France's Dassault as the preferred bidder for a hundred or more advanced fighter aircraft, the Rafale, in a deal worth up to $30 billion over ten years. Russia, the US and the Eurofighter consortium had also bid on the deal and the deal was so coveted that President Obama personally pushed the US bids on his last visit to India. The U.S. amabassador to India resigned the day after the U.S. bid was rejected.

But while the public talk from India is of a better airframe, more able to withstand the Indian climate, I strongly suspect that the real reason the Rafale won the bidding war is that French President Nicholas Sarkozy had last year promised an unprecedented technology transfer, including machine tools and military secrets, if the French plane won - a promise he has now said France will keep to. Only the Russian bid offered anything similiar, and india is well aware Russian tech does not meet Euro heights.

So, in ten years time India will have the plants and the know-how to make advanced military aircraft - and the technology will have rapidly filtered into other areas of Indian manufacturing, giving India a massive leg up in its bid for superpowerdom. The deal was too sweet not to take, and the U.S. government was foolish and prideful not to offer something similiar. Indeed, U.S. policy towards India has been extrordinarily myopic for years, perhaps because the major military and foreign policy apparatchiks have been befuddled by General Kayani of Pakistan's Jedi mind tricks and false promises of more complete Pakistani co-operation. Pakistan's primary economic and military ally is and will remain China, not America, and it's about time U.S. administrations recognised this.

India, the natural counter-balance to China, is feeling ignored and unloved by the U.S. after the false spring of Bush's nuclear giveaway and the bipartisan rush to sell India lots of expensive but obsolescent weaponry. And it's trying to create a new strategy that accepts the reality of America and the West's continuing bamboozlement by Pakistan - including through outreach to nations like Iran. India is well aware that war between the regional superpowers is not at all unlikely in the future but like China would prefer economic battles. Technology transfers like the Rafale deal give India a leg up either way, and if America wants a powerful democratic ally in the region it should be offering such transfers at every opportunity rather than leaving it to Europe to become India's preferred future trading partner.

1 comment:

  1. India has also been leading in terms of technology but maybe sometimes it coming into a windfall. You can't really say it's always in the top.