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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

March 03, 2003

The Arrow deal gets a little warmer

The deal for the Indian purchase of the Israeli Arrow missile-defence shield just got a little warmer. The sticking point has always been US reluctance, and the foot-dragging of Foggy Bottom. US resistance appears to be easing somewhat, which is a good sign for both countries in the deal.

The Arrow is a tricky issue. The Israeli-made missile destroyer is the centerpiece of India's planned missile defence shield. As half its components carry US licenses, Washington's green signal is necessary. The US state department has so far resisted the sale of the Arrow.

Nonproliferation hawks at Foggy Bottom believe such a sale would punch a hole in the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), one of the many international agreements designed to stop the spread of weapons technology.
This deal would be the the biggest high-tech weapons sale from Israel to India, and it provide the final incentive for India to break with the cycle of Russian/Soviet-era equipment it's been used to working with, and get weapons platforms that actually work..! For Israel, it would be hard cash, and the furthur cementing of trade ties with the largest emerging free-market in Asia.. As always, first come the swords, then the ploughshares..