India’s defense spending is justified | HT Editorial – Editorials
India emerged as the world’s third largest defense spender last year. This is good and bad news. The good news is that the country continues to invest in military preparation in a difficult region. The downside is that an expense of $ 71 billion a year, with a similar amount likely to be spent this fiscal year, will be a burden at a time of economic stress.
Any expectation that the Covid-19 pandemic will inspire more peaceful sentiment in the region has been dispelled by the violence India is experiencing along the Line of Control. For Pakistan, it is business as usual when it comes to cross-border infiltration and bombardment. The Sino-Indian border has been a quieter affair, but Beijing’s economic and verbal aggression against other governments indicates that the virus has not tamed the dragon. India cannot afford to lower its defenses.
India’s number three position is as much due to the decline of Russia and Saudi Arabia as New Delhi spends more. With a defense budget that is roughly two percent of GDP, India spends well below the world average and is light years from China’s $ 261 billion. The past decade has seen New Delhi try to squeeze out waste and duplication of the military, a process that should continue. Getting more for the money will be the way of all governments at a time when dollars are far and few.