The F-16 theory of conflict prevention

Move over, Big Mac

Richard Aboulafia, an aircraft analyst with the Teal Group in Fairfax, called the sale of two dozen fighter planes to Pakistan “a happy juxtaposition of the wants and needs” of an ally in the war on terrorism and Lockheed’s troubled F-16 line. The bigger issue for Lockheed, he said, is the chance to sell another 100 or more F-16s to India, Pakistan’s rival in the Asian subcontinent…

Despite the concerns Indian officials expressed yesterday about news of the sale to Pakistan, the analyst said the prospect of both countries buying F-16s is a positive. “Two countries that have F-16s have never fought a war.” [WP]

Just like Tom Friedman’s hypothesis, this theory does not quite hold up in the subcontinent — for it is a proxy war that Pakistan has been waging against India.

Nice one Richard, but if your theory fails, there’s always a nice State Department travel advisory that’ll save you.

6 thoughts on “The F-16 theory of conflict prevention”

  1. You had linked prior to my post on the US-IAF COPE India 2004 exercise, where the US lost to the IAF. I believe the US media is completely missing the larger US objective on the sale of F-16s to Pakistan. The reason is that it is an opening gambit in a US bid to strengthen its ties with India, promote India as a 21st Century Major World Power and ultimately to contain China. Sounds crazy doesn’t it.

    Read the post and see my reasoning behind it and let me know if you think I am wrong.

    Thanks for your prior link to DEL.

    Kind regards,

    Bill Rice
    Dawn’s Early Light Blog

  2. I guess the Pakistanis can use the F-16s to help in their military action against the Balochis who are unhappy at their treatment. This is, after all, what they are doing with the helicopters sold to them in the name of “fighting” “Al Qaeda”.

    Bill Rice,
    The US may want to build India up as a counterweight to China, but this sort of a strategy depends on India going along with this plan. India is unlikely to do so, as she does not want to be used as a counterweight to anybody.

  3. India is unlikely to do so, as she does not want to be used as a counterweight to anybody.

    Perhaps not, but China has long been in the business of using Pakistan, and to a lesser extent Burma, as counterweights to India. And with some success, I might add. Their ongoing plans to gain access to ports along the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea suggest that their Indian “containment policy” remains in full swing. Forming alliances with the US and Japan, and perhaps also Vietnam, would allow India to turn the tables on Beijing.

  4. Bill Rice, I think you are being naive here.. you are comparing a credible real-time arm sale with a general comment about a possible co-operation in the distant futute.

    USA has learnt that you could get away with with anything anti-Indian, as long as you use some magic words “you are a great power, we will help you become a world power” cheap words that don’t cost you a dime..

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