Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Another day… Another compromise of national interest - End-Use Monitoring Agreement

India has agreed to end user monitoring agreement (EUMA) with the USA . EUMA is under the belief that US Government has a constant obligation (from the time of transfer until eventual disposal) to make certain that its exported defence articles/services are used strictly as per the initially stated intent. Changes, if any, are to be intimated to the US which retains the right to veto the contemplated changes. Additionally and more importantly, the US retains right of ground inspection for physical verification of equipment.

UPS government Spin masters are terming EUMA as big agreement. According to them -

"The choice (of time and place of verification) is ours. It is we who are buying, receiving these things (equipment). It is up to us

This is assuming all these technologies will be used in a small portable application which is highly improbable!!!! How about when its used in a application which is immobile!

The CAG had in a 2008 parliamentary report had called these clauses restrictive.  They noted -

“Restrictive clauses raise doubts about the real advantages from this deal... For example, (there are) restrictions on the offensive deployment of the ship and permission to the (US) government to conduct an inspection and inventory of all articles transferred under the end-use monitoring clause of the LOA (Letter of Offer and Acceptance issued by the US government).”

In 2008, then Navy chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta also spoke disapprovingly about EUMA

“I don’t believe in that. We pay for something and we get some technology. What I do with it is my thing,”

EUMA is not in India's long term interest as

  1. Future upgrades will hinge upon US whim and fancies
  2. India has no guarantee that the US inspectors will not share the data of Indian usage of the equipment with Pakistan or any other country.
  3. Physical inspections will reveal indias strategic locations and intended use of these technologies
  4. US can seek an inspection of equipment that could have some US part/parts in it. This means a large number of deals with Israel - that is now one of the leading suppliers to India - will be covered under this.
  5. Last, each sophisticated equipment has a “source code” that prevents any tampering. It is possible that this “source code” will be used to track movement of Indian forces while they use US-produced planes or ships, said a serving officer, while expressing his reservations on the same. Such inspections have not even been allowed to Russia, India oldest defence ally. The US in past has refused to share the “source code” of F-16 fighters with Israel, its closet defence ally.

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