Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Bling Bling vs. Sustainable Development
Via Secret Defense comes the news that India's defense ministry today announced the successful test-firing of an undersea missile, adding India to a very exclusive list of countries that have mastered the challenging technology. That the news coincides with Parag Khanna's WPR article on the challenges facing India's emergence as a modern economy strikes me as a poignant reminder of where so much of the wealth of the "second world" that could go into raising living standards and developing infrastructure will eventually be diverted.
The launch is the latest in a tit for tat sequence of test firings between India and Pakistan, which not surprisingly places a higher priority on countering India's strategic forces than it does on either confronting extremist insurgents on the Afghan border or alleviating a recent nationwide wheat flour shortage. I don't know if there's anything the U.S. can actually do to reduce suspicions between these two countries, but inasmuch as there is, it should really be high up on the priority list for our regional policy.
Cross-posted to World Politics Review.