Meanwhile, 400 troops from India marched in the Bastille Day military parade in France. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India, was there to watch and celebrate.
So, why? What gives on this one? According to Al Jazeera reporting, much of the purpose could be to get the contracts to supply weapons and nuclear technology and services to India as the country continues to develop. The office of Nicolas Sarkozy, president of France, had this to say:
"India has a primary role on the international scene, and that we support India's candidacy to become a UN Security Council permanent member.”
So France is trying to get India into the UN Security Council, and sell them weapons and provide their nuclear power. Nice work- while the U.S. is busy blowing people up in desert caves and trying to patch back together countries’ governments, draining our cash supply and racking up record deficits, France is out there making business deals and friends for the UN Security Council.
Why isn’t the U.S. trying to make something like this happen? Allies will be the most important thing in the months to come- from Copenhagen agreements to the dramatically changing dynamics of international trade- the U.S. needs friends right now, not control. Interesting to think about the U.S. actually INVITING someone else’s military into our country to march in the 4th of July parade- do we do that? Would that ever be possible?
The last time Indian troops were in France was fighting as part of the British-led Allied divisions that battled the Germans in WWI in 1915.
Sitanshu Kar, an Indian defence ministry spokesman visiting Italy for the G8 summit, also attended the French national holiday celebrating their independence. Sarkozy attended Republic Day in 2008 in India, a similar independence celebration.
In September 2008 Singh was in Paris to sign a nuclear co-operation deal between France and India. Since then French state-controlled group Areva signed a draft to sell up to 6 nuclear reactors to India, taking advantage of the lifted nuclear trade embargo on New Delhi.
Beyond the nuclear supplies, French firm Dassault Aviation is a frontrunner to supply up to $12 Billion in supplies to the Indian air force. All of this is indicative of the strong developing and already developed military ties between France and India.
That sounds like a pretty great deal for France- making money, growing an international political relationship with one of the largest populations on Earth, and building allies for whatever tumultuous future the global political spectrum has in store.