OpinionWhy US won't impose CAATSA sanctions on India for purchasing S-400 ?

Why US won’t impose CAATSA sanctions on India for purchasing S-400 ?

Implementing CAATSA sanctions on India will tilt the balance of power in favor of China, which would not be a good sign for America.

Us CAATSA sanctions on India
Courtesy:- TOI

Since the day United States had impose sanctions on Turkey over Ankara acquisition of Russian S-400 air defence system, debates have sparked in India that whether the US will impose CAATSA sanctions on India, once we receive first consignment from Russia.

The Trump administration on 14 December had imposed CAATSA sanctions (Countering America Adversaries through Sanction Act) on Republic of Turkey Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB) for knowingly engaging in a significant transaction with Russia by procuring S-400 surface-to-air missile system.

The Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), is a United States federal law that imposed sanctions on countries that knowingly engage in significant transactions with America Adversaries, that is Iran, North Korea, and Russia.

India has also ordered 5 regiments from Russia and the delivery of these systems will begin from 2021.

Talking on the same, Russian ambassador Nikolay Kudashev said, “As far as sanctions are concerned, it’s hard to predict and let the Biden administration first announce publicly its plans and foreign policy vision. We do not recognise or welcome unilateral sanctions as a tool…of interstate or international relations, sanctions other than those applied by the UN Security Council, this is also the case of Turkey,”

“As far as India is concerned, we share the same platform. India’s position is crystal clear – no sanctions are acknowledged other than those applied by the UN Security Council. Whatever the future is, we believe that our ties will stand the coming challenges,” he added.

CAATSA sanctions on India will depend upon the decision of incoming Biden administration, once India start receiving S-400 from Russia. But according to my interpretation US is not going to impose sanctions on India.

Before heading towards that why US will not sanction India, first lets understand why US imposed sanctions on Turkey ?

America decision to impose CAATSA on Turkey

In the US Department of State press release, it was clearly mentioned that America issued sanction on Turkey because Ankara acquired S-400 from Moscow. But S-400 is not the precipitating factor which drives the US sanctions on Turkeys door.

As Turkey’s economy is deteriorating, President Eardogan has changed his tactics to remain in power. His decision to convert Hagia Sophia museum into mosque and his absurd dream to become leader of the Muslim world.

Also Read: Why US imposed CAATSA sanctions on Turkey ?

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lean towards Islamic extremism and his aggressive stance towards Eastern Mediterranean sea to pursued gas exploration, motivated US to impose sanctions.

Why US will not impose CAATSA sanctions on India ?

As we have already seen that its Turkey aggressive behaviour towards America ally Greece, cause sanctions on Ankara. But on the other hand, no country in the world (including US ally) is currently facing any aggressive action by India, whereas its India who is currently facing aggression from communist China on its borders.

Talking on the aggression by China, Commander of US Pacific Air Force said, “We’ve gotten close with India this year, mainly due to situation occurring on their North Eastern border with China. So we’ve been doing quite a bit of intelligence sharing, as much as we can, with them to help out our great friend India.”

The statement by Commander of US Pacific Air Force is self explanatory that how much India is important for US, specially against China and Imposing CAATSA sanction on India in these times, may provide an undue credit to China, which would not be in America’s favour.

S-400 systems are currently operational with Chinese Army and in order to maintain balance of power in the Sub-continent, India was required to acquire some of these systems.

An imbalance of power, specifically in Indian subcontinent wouldn’t a good option in anyone interest not even for America.

As per the data released by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), India procured arms worth of USD 3.4 billion from United States in 2020, banning India will make US arms manufacturers lose their one of the biggest market.

In coming years, we (India) are going to purchase at least 30 predators drone from American companies, Boeing already trying their level best to sale F/A-18 Super Hornet, deck based fighter jets to India. Sanctions will end the opportunity of American companies.

By 2030 Chinese Navy will outnumbered US Navy in terms of warships and Submarines, major American allies like Japan, Australia and Taiwan facing aggression from China. PRC is more of a threat than a friendly nation for US intelligence agencies.

The United States always believes in allies and they cannot think of stopping China without India.

Most important point is that, America sees India as an ally and they will not take any step against their own ally, unless we harm their interest and currently a strong India is in the interest of United States.

What if US impose CAATSA on India ?

We need to understand here that US didn’t impose sanctions on Turkey, rather they imposed CAATSA on Republic of Turkey Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB).

Just like Turkey, if US moves to imposed CAATSA sanctions on India for acquiring S-400, sanctions will impose on MoD (Ministry of Defence) which will restrict MoD to import and export anything from US, Visa restrictions would come on some MoD officials.

As India didn’t export any arms to United States, this decision will going to affect only American companies.

Indian Armed Forces can easily replace America from European (specially France) & Israeli market. Sanction will definitely impact India’s upcoming fighter jets program like Tejas MK-IA and Tejas MK-II, as american engine is planned in both of the aircraft.

European option for jet engines like Rolls Royce or Safran is still open for India. Indeed the sanction would delay fighter aircraft programs.

Aditya Raj
Writer & Co-founder of InfotOnline.

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