Procurement: France Follows The Money And Safety


June 8, 2011: In order to obtain weapons orders from India, France has agreed to stop sales of major weapons systems to Pakistan. Although France has recently sold Pakistan submarines, it will now refrain from selling any expensive upgrades. This decision recognizes some basic realities about Pakistan (which is perpetually broke) and India (which has a defense budget seven times that of Pakistan and is spending more and more of it importing Western weapons). France will continue to sell Pakistan equipment that they (and the Indians) believe is mainly useful for fighting Islamic terrorism. This would include electronic eavesdropping gear for monitoring terrorist communications, and some weapons and equipment for Pakistani counter-terrorism troops.

India helped France make this decision by stalling on a planned $2.4 billion upgrade of their Mirage 2000 fighters, and hinted that France could help their prospects in the competition to sell India $11 billion worth of modern (like the French Rafale) fighters if the Pakistanis were cut off. Finally, India pointed out that selling major weapons to Pakistan had not resulted in a lot of Pakistani cooperation in helping France fight Islamic terrorism originating from groups based in Pakistan. India is also fighting these groups, and referred France to Israel, Britain and the U.S. for examples of how much more useful India has been. So France is following the money, and safety.



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