The US deployment of troops in Afghanistan has raised much ironic press against Nobel Peace Prize winner, Barack Obama. It has also brought back speculation with regards to the US defense budget, specifically money allocated to private production of defense equipment and the supply of this equipment to other ‘enemy countries’.
Many journalists and documentary makers have begun quoting Dwight Eisenhower’s farewell speech where with much foreboding he spoke of the Military Industrial complex and its many cancer like outcomes.
Interestingly India for the last decade has been speculating on opening up the private sector, in the defense sector. The government founded a Group of Ministers committee that submitted a report titled: “Reforming National Security System”. Based on the recommendations of the report, the defense sector was opened up 100% up to private investment and was given a 26% FDI cap.
This reform was part of an ongoing dialogue, obsessed with increasing India’s strength and research capability in terms of armaments. The country’s armed forces have been subject to poor, imported, and expensive armament technology for some time. India’s research divisions under organizations like the DRDO have seen negligible progress. Bearing these factors in mind, it seems natural that the government might want to look into private investment in defense by awarding Raksha Udyog Ratnas to reliable firms. But, is the RUR enough? And, isn’t the armament industry in America sufficient admonition against private investment?
Desiring government control is all nice and idealistic but when the money starts pouring in, it would be naïve to expect the government not to try and profit from private defense technology production. Maybe they’ll fling a few wars around the world? People will die.
If you were to glance at the decrepit state of the country’s defense technology now, you might neglect the warnings. The question in itself is not a closed one. Perhaps private investment in defense needs a lot more thought.