We all have heard the story of two cats quarrelling for some food. To resolve their dispute, they go to a monkey, who while pretending to help them out finishes off all the food. Moral of this story is that whenever a third party is involved in a matter, original parties always lose out while third party reaps all the benefits. This story came to my mind while reading a news article about Lockheed Martin handing over of F-16C/D Block 52 fighters to Pakistan Air Force (PAF). Ironically, Lockheed Martin is the same company which refused to hand back FBW (Fly By Wire) system of LCA (Tejas) sent to its lab for testing. It is also the same company that is eager to sell latest version of F-16 to Indian Air Force (IAF). This explains how serious USA is in engaging India. I am no expert in diplomacy, but I know for sure that you can’t expect to have a tango with someone while you supply weapons to his/her adversary. Surprisingly this seems to be USA’s standard policy.
If you take a look at Middle-East, conflict between Arabs and state of Israel makes it a keg of gunpowder, ready to blow up any second. Both sides have latest weapons and a will to use them at smallest provocation. Now if you take a look at those weapons, you’ll be surprised to see that latest and most lethal of them are from USA. Surprised? Don’t be. Please keep in mind that selling military equipment is THE biggest business of USA and it is not going to change in near future. Every conflict that USA has started or is involved in serves as live-fire demonstration of their weapons. Costs incurred in such wars are overcome many times over by lucrative profits generated from weapons sales in aftermath of these wars. USA takes weapons business very seriously as its primary business and ensures that they always have the best to offer. US weapons systems, although the best, come with strings attached. There are lot of restrictions in terms of usage, regular inspections by US inspectors and a lot more. Heck UAE funded the development of F-16 Block 60 and purchased a good number of those aircrafts. In order to use these aircrafts, they need to enter codes sent from USA. Every day. Isn’t that lovely? First you pay through your nose to develop better weapons, you buy them and finally you have to take permission from someone else to use them. Wouldn’t it be better if UAE just agreed to paint their aircrafts in US Air Force (USAF) colours?
While most of my readers might think that I am on an anti-USA rhetoric over here, I am not. I don’t have anything against USA playing these games with others. After all it is due to these tactics that USA has been able to retain its ‘superpower’ status in terms of military and economy. USA is doing what is best for its national interests without worrying about the plight of its client states. This is how it should be done. ‘Country first’ should always be the motto of diplomats and politicians. Any means necessary to stay ahead of our adversaries should be practiced. After all interests of our country are more important than lofty morals and ethics – that have ZERO value – in international politics/diplomacy. And similarly due care must be taken while dealing with a country as unreliable as the USA.