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...Moreover, there is a lot of ignorance of history. As things stand, President Trump’s announcement simply acknowledges reality, buries the false shibboleths of the old peace process, and kick-starts a new approach, exactly as he claimed. The first thing to note here is that the land allocated for the future US embassy building in Jerusalem is in West Jerusalem. And Israeli control over West Jerusalem was sanctified first by the 1949 armistice agreement and then formalized in 1967, thereby forming the baseline for the Oslo accords and the UN resolutions. This line demarcates the “State of Israel”, recognition of which was the precondition to the Israeli-Palestinian accords. ...Live Mint on Dec. 7, 2017, 11:16 p.m.
...The wording of the deal which was signed at the Paris Air Show is very clear—it states only the “intent to partner together to meet India’s Make-in-India requirement through the establishment of an F-16 production line in India”. The most obvious takeaway from this is that the deal is not a firm agreement to manufacture the F-16 in India, but only a letter of intent to assemble the plane in India if and when the Indian Air Force (IAF) chooses that platform. ...Live Mint on June 23, 2017, 12:39 a.m.
...However, given that India’s capital acquisition budget will remain plateaued for the foreseeable future, the whole rationale of aircraft carriers for middle-power navies like India needs to be re-examined in the interests of fiscal prudence and the creation of a navy that realistically serves India’s interests, rather than ending up subsidizing dangerous delusions of grandeur. Naval build-ups, because of their capital-intensive nature, are frequently more fatal to the originator than they are to the opposition. Admiral Tirpitz’s build-up of the Imperial German Navy, for example, contributed to the German defeat in World War I, with no significant returns on the massive investment. Similarly, Admiral Gorshkov’s expansion of the Soviet navy directly contributed to the fall of the USSR. ...Live Mint on March 15, 2017, 12:23 a.m.
...Defence minister Manohar Parrikar responded that this was the “best deal” and one that had not been offered to any other country. On Sunday, Bhushan shot back. He said that the Rafale deal will prove to be another “Bofors” for the Narendra Modi government. The truth, as is usually the case, lies somewhere in the middle. The Rafale is a great plane and its induction will do a lot for the air force. However, as the dust settles on the excitement over the Indian Air Force’s purchase of the plane, it is becoming increasingly evident that the numbers are very complex and throw up more questions than answers. As of now the deal for 36 aircraft is valued at a total of $8.9 billion. This translates into a per-unit price of $247 million. The actual planes are valued at $3.78 billion or $105 million per plane. By itself this does not seem like a particularly large blowout of the initial Rafale offer in the 2007 MMRCA tender, where the cost hovered around the $90 million mark. ...Live Mint on Oct. 25, 2016, 11:37 p.m.