World View — Positions Harden in US/India Diplomatic Debacle

World View — Positions Harden in US/India Diplomatic Debacle

This morning’s key headlines from

  • Positions harden in U.S. vs India diplomatic debacle
  • Poland surges past the EU in military modernization and growth
  • Poland offers France logistical support in Central African Republic

Positions harden in U.S. vs India diplomatic debacle

Devyani Khobragade
Devyani Khobragade

The diplomatic debacle between the U.S. and India seems to beescalating, as new facts come out and positions harden on both sides.( “18-Dec-13 World View — Arrest in NY of female Indian diplomat raises a major diplomatic altercation”.) 

Devyani Khobragade, an Indian diplomat, was arrested for underpayingher nanny, also an Indian, and for lying about the pay on her visaapplication. Indians are furious because Khobragade was arrested,strip searched, and forced to sit in a lockup with drug users forseveral hours, which the New York City police say is standardprocedure. 

Well where, you might ask, was the nanny in all of this? That’s wherethe new facts are coming out. The nanny’s name is Sageeta Richard.Khobragade says that Richard disappeared on June 24 and thenattempted to blackmail Khobragade for money. Richard also stole fromher, according to Khobragade. Richard’s attorney says thatuntil she left, she was forced to work seven days a week, from earlymorning to late at night for little pay. 

Khobragade is now out of jail on bail, but the U.S. State Dept. isrefusing to grant her diplomatic immunity, saying that diplomaticimmunity applies “only for acts performed in exercise of her consularduties.” A State Dept. spokesman says that there are no plans to dropthe criminal complaint: “We take these allegations veryseriously. We’re not in any way walking back from those allegations orthe charges. Again, this is really a law enforcement issue.” 

Indian reports say that they are working with the State Dept. to finda way to grant Khobragade “retroactive immunity,” so that she can bereturned to India. Washington Post and Indian Express

Poland surges past the EU in military modernization and growth

At a time when Europe appears to be disarming voluntarily, Russia ishaving a resurgence as a military power, raising concerns in Polandabout Russia as a potential threat to its security and sovereignty.The concerns reached a high anxiety level in 2008 following twolandmark developments: Russia’s invasion of Georgia, annexing twoGeorgian provinces, and a NATO summit that ended the prospects of NATO membership for Ukraine and Georgia. These events brought back thespecter of conventional state-on-state conflict along Europe’speriphery. While NATO and the United States remain central toPoland’s security, there has been a reorientation in Poland’s strategytoward regional and traditional territorial defense. 

Poland has doubled its defense spending over the past decade, and theministry of defense has launched an armed forces modernization plan tocost $61 billion by 2022. The hardware shopping list will include newships, helicopters, tanks and armored personnel carriers, additionalaircraft, and, most importantly, new air and missile defenses. Theantiballistic (ABM) system is the most significant of Poland’smilitary modernization efforts and felt to be most needed forprotection from Russia. Poland plans to spend an additional $30billion on equipment modernization across the services on addedinformation technology capabilities and on increasing the overallcombat readiness of the Polish forces. An old Polish saying captureswell the public mood on national defense: “If you can count,ultimately count on yourself.” AEI

Poland offers France logistical support in Central African Republic

France’s president François Hollande has been begging for help inCentral African Republic, where the situation continues to worsendespite the presence of 1600 French soldiers. France is alone inC.A.R., and Hollande would like the help of some other Europeancountries, because then it would be “considered a European operation andthere would be financial aid.” Poland has agreed to help out andwill give France logistical support with a military transport aircraftand a service crew of 50 soldiers starting on February 1, 2014 forthree months. AFP

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, India, Devyani Khobragade, Sageeta Richard,Poland, Russia, Georgia, Ukraine, Nato 

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