In February 2018, India quietly passed a milestone. The release of its annual budget showed that defence spending, at $62bn, has swept past that of its former colonial master, Britain. Only America, China, Saudi Arabia and Russia lavish more on their soldiers. For nearly a decade India has also been the world’s top importer of arms. In terms of active manpower and the number of ships and planes, its armed forces are already among the world’s top five.
Some of the weakness may be due not to the size of India’s forces, but to their shape. Despite numerous expert reports, internal military recommendations and committee findings calling for integrating both India’s central and regional commands, its army, navy and air force have maintained rigidly independent structures. Whereas China recently streamlined its operational forces into five broad regional commands, India maintains 17 separate single-service local commands.
Meanwhile the defence ministry, which calls the shots on such vital questions as procurement and promotions, is staffed with career bureaucrats and political appointees who lack not only technical knowledge but also, grumble ex-servicemen, much sympathy for people in uniform.
While India spends billions of dollars on armaments and the military, funds are taken from much needed infrastructure requirements like toilets, sewage and wastewater treatment plants, education, water projects, roads, over-population, etc.
The saddest fact is that every arms manufacturing country in the world would like to supply arms to India, not because they like India, it’s purely for profit purposes, they all follow the practice of “War is good for business” shame on them, especially the US, Russia, Britain and other European countries.
A divided and warring world is what so-called developed would like, so that they can continue profiting from selling arms to so-called third-world countries.