Procurement: Deal With the Devil


January26, 2007: India has agreed to supply Myanmar (Burma) with weapons and military equipment, as well as refurbishment of Myanmar's aging warplanes (mainly MiG-21s). Myanmar has been ruled by a military dictatorship for over four decades, and has become something of an international pariah. India, however, shares a 1,500 kilometer border with Myanmar. That border is in an area where India has had problems with tribal separatists for decades. So supplying heavy weapons (mortars, rifles and machine-guns), a few helicopters and some repairs and upgrades to their MiG-21s, is a way to getting Myanmar to be more cooperative along the border. Some of the tribal rebel groups have established camps just across the border in Myanmar. A more cooperative Myanmar would shut down all those camps, and more aggressively patrol the area, to prevent the Indian tribals from setting up new ones. There has been some such cooperation in the past, and the new deal is apparently meant to encourage even more.




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