United States. Congress. House. Committee on Inter.

U.S. interests in South Asia : hearings before the Subcommittees on International Economic Policy and Trade and Asia and the Pacific of the Committee on International Relations, House of Representatives, One Hundred Fourth Congress, first and second session, December 5, 1995 and April 18, 1996 online

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Online LibraryUnited States. Congress. House. Committee on InterU.S. interests in South Asia : hearings before the Subcommittees on International Economic Policy and Trade and Asia and the Pacific of the Committee on International Relations, House of Representatives, One Hundred Fourth Congress, first and second session, December 5, 1995 and April 18, 1996 → online text (page 2 of 19)
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that we are talking about fundamental solutions. That is what peo-
ple in those countries need to talk about is fundamental solutions.

Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Bereuter. Thank you, Mr. Rohrabacher.

Mr. Brown.

Mr. BROWN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

It is clear our national trade policy more and more every year is
focusing on India. I would like to ask, Mr. Chairman, unanimous
consent to place in the record an article that appeared in the Wall
Street Journal in November of this year, "India and China Take
Far Different Paths".

Mr. Bereuter. Without objection.

[The article appears in the appendix.]

Mr. Brown. The article describes the two different paths of eco-
nomic development taken by the two most populous nations in the
world, China and India.

Among other things, the article notes some Washington officials
think democratic India's long term potential might, in fact, outstrip
authoritarian China's, but former Secretary of State Henry Kissin-
ger is a big fan of China, where he does a lot of consulting.

Nonetheless, Mr. Chairman, I submit that India is a much better
opportunity for American investors, precisely because it is a democ-

The human rights are important in and of themselves and
human rights are important because democracies are more stable,
more predictable obviously than dictatorships.

The Wall Street Journal goes on to say, "Ultimately though what
will determine the economic prospects of the two countries is cul-
ture. China is an authoritarian state. Deliberate. Sometimes bru-
tal. India is a free-for-all democracy, slow moving. Sometimes er-

"On the other hand, India has a large English-speaking univer-
sity trained work force. China, though often university-trained, is
schooled mainly in Chinese.

"India, more importantly, has a strong legal tradition. Its courts
are clogged with cases, as are ours, whereas China is only develop-
ing a rule of law. India's more open tradition lures its investors.
China's decisiveness pleases its backers."

Mr. Chairman, this important article underscores the argument
that India will be one of the U.S.'s strongest economic partners in
the next century.

I yield back, Mr. Chairman. Thank you.

Mr. Bereuter. Mr. Faleomavaega.

Mr. Faleomavaega. Mr. Chairman, just an observation.

I certainly appreciate the comments made by our colleagues here
on the committee. I raise this question and hopefully it will be an-
swered by the members of the panel.

It is all right for the United States and its western allies to sell
military hardware to its friends, but it is not all right for China
and other Southeast Asian countries to do likewise. Where do we
find the sense of equity and fairness in the process?

Another question I have, it is all right also that we make restric-
tions on these countries who we depend upon now as well as for
the future to have tremendous trade relations with them.

So I am at somewhat of a quandary where are we headed for as
far as our policies, both by way of trade and also when we deal
with security issues.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Bereuter. I thank the gentleman.


We will turn now to the first panel of our distinguished wit-
nesses. I appreciate the patience you have had in sitting through
our markup.

Since this marks the first of two overview hearings that we will
have on South Asia, I think that it is appropriate to hear from the
members in some detail as you have so it is a two-way dialog. That
is why this member spoke at length and permitted our colleagues
to do so.

Now, I would appreciate it if you could summarize, with each of
you still taking 10 or 12 minutes if you need it, so that we may
hear from you on the important subject of the day and then have
an opportunity for questions to the two of you.

Secretary Raphel, if you would proceed. Your full statement will
be made a part of the record, as will yours, Secretary Riedel. You
may proceed as you wish.


Ms. Raphel. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I really welcome this opportunity to testify on the security chal-
lenges facing the countries of South Asia. Your willingness to focus
the subcommittee's time and attention on this aspect of U.S. policy
toward this very important region is greatly appreciated.

I will give a short statement here and then we can engage in
some of the very important issues and questions that members of
the committee have put forward.

The greatest potential for instability in South Asia is the under-
lying tension between India and Pakistan and therefore, my testi-
mony will focus primarily on these two countries.

Although there is no immediate threat of war, relations between
the two are bad and showing no sign of improving. There has been
no substantive high level dialog in almost 2 years.

Both governments are under strong domestic political pressure
that makes them reluctant to take the risk of opening to the other.

These political forces, combined with threat perceptions, drive
both countries to continue programs to develop weapons of mass
destruction and ballistic missiles.

Our efforts to dissuade both countries from pursuing and escalat-
ing along this course are unremitting, but regrettably not as suc-
cessful as we would like.

While outsiders may see South Asian countries' fears of their
neighbors as overblown, both India and Pakistan see severe threats
to their national security coming from across their borders.

Many Pakistanis believe that India is intent on pursuing its own
regional hegemony at the price of Pakistan's breakup.

For Pakistan, nuclear weapons represent the ultimate deterrent
to such a loss of national sovereignty, given India's clear conven-
tional military superiority.

Indians see their most immediate threat coming from Pakistan,
which they believe supports terrorists who are trying to undermine
India's territorial integrity.

Indian policymakers also routinely cite a long-term threat from
nuclear-armed China as a rationale for maintaining a nuclear op-

Further, India's vision of itself as a global power underpins secu-
rity arguments for its nuclear and missile programs.

More immediate to many South Asians are internal security
problems which often spill over into interstate tensions.

Most South Asian states face domestic insurgencies or internal
unrest, which sap resources and heighten insecurities.

Often the result of unresolved political differences, these conflicts
can and do fuel escalating violence, human rights violations and

This has been the case in Kashmir for some years. Pakistan also
faces ongoing violence in Karachi, resulting from legitimate politi-
cal grievances, which have been enormously magnified by extre-
mism and lawlessness.

Such an atmosphere can draw in militant groups from outside
the region. The recent bombing of the Egyptian embassy in
Islamabad is a new and ominous development in that regard.

The continued conflict in Afghanistan is a major source of insta-
bility. Afghanistan has become a leading training ground for mili-
tants who carry strife to Pakistan, India, the Middle East, Bosnia
and beyond.

When Kabul was bombed last week, we again publicly deplored
the violence that continues in Afghanistan and particularly the toll
of civilian casualties.

Foreign involvement in Afghanistan has exacerbated the prob-
lem. Afghanistan regrettably is also becoming another theater for
Indo-Pakistani competition.

With regard to Sri Lanka, several weeks ago, Deputy Assistant
Secretary Lanpher discussed our concerns about that country's con-
tinuing internal struggle.

In Bangladesh, the past 19 months have been a period of politi-
cal deadlock, resulting in numerous and frequently violent strikes
and demonstrations.

The U.S. Government has consistently urged both sides to work
together to find a settlement that would ensure peace and stability
during and after the national elections now scheduled for January

These threats to security and stability in South Asia are serious.
While we recognize the United States has limited ability to influ-
ence the core causes of regional instability, the issue must remain
high on our agenda.

To be effective, any U.S. approach has to take into account the
legitimate security needs of the regional states and must look to
measured realistic steps that can help the countries themselves to
enhance internal stability and reduce regional tensions, while fur-
thering our own growing interests in the region.

India, with its large population, growing economy and techno-
logical prowess, has the potential to be among the world powers of
the 21st century. To achieve the status, however, India will need
to show leadership in pursuing good relations with its neighbors.


We realize there is residual suspicion in India of the United
States left over from the cold war when India was generally
aligned with the Soviet Union.

We take these concerns seriously, as they can undermine our ef-
forts to develop the kind of bilateral relationship that both coun-
tries want and need.

We have been working to allay the suspicion through robust dia-
log with Indian decisionmakers and increasing cooperation in a
broad spectrum of fields.

Pakistan has been a valuable friend and ally for nearly five dec-
ades and remains important to the United States in the post cold
war environment.

For this reason, the Administration has favored the easing of
sanctions placed on Pakistan in 1990, as a result of the Pressler

Much has been said about the military equipment in the context
of this effort, but the primary significance is political.

The revisions embodied in the foreign operations appropriations
bill will provide the opportunity for us to build a sounder, more
mature relationship with Pakistan.

We must be realistic. Progress toward reestablishing a steady,
predictable relationship will take time and continued attention.

Central to Indo-Pakistani tensions is Kashmir, where insurgency
and counterinsurgency flourish and innocent civilians pay the price
for continuing strife.

The situation cries out for dialog between India and Pakistan,
between India and Kashmiri leaders and among Kashmiris. We
have repeatedly said we stand ready to help, but only if all parties
agree that our assistance is welcome.

We have urged India to engage Kashmiris in a genuine political
dialog and to further curb security force abuses. We have urged
Pakistan to end material support for Kashmiri militants as a step
toward lowering tensions. We have engaged Kashmiri leaders in an
effort to get them to think creatively about political solutions.

But without a re-opening of communications between India and
Pakistan, there can be no growth of trust. Without a lowering of
the excessive rhetoric on both sides, the opportunities to seek ra-
tional solutions will remain limited.

We are also concerned about the perfunctory use of existing con-
fidence building measures between India and Pakistan. Without
functioning confidence building measures there is a greater danger
that a future crisis between the two nuclear capable states could
flare out of control.

We have urged India and Pakistan to take simple steps to reduce
tensions, such as withdrawing troops from the Siachen Glacier,
where hundreds have died over the years for the sake of positions
of questionable strategic value.

India and Pakistan negotiated an agreement for such withdrawal
in 1990, but it was never signed. It could now be dusted off and

There are no quick fixes to the security problems of South Asia.
I would reiterate that both countries perceive grave threats to their
vital national security interests. They believe that this requires
that they maintain a nuclear option.


Building a mature, thoughtful dialog between India and Pakistan
will take patience, increasingly confident democratic leaderships
and the political will and imagination to look ahead instead of

Increasingly strong and friendly U.S. relations with each of the
countries in the region can help this process and we intend to con-
tinue to develop those relations.

I think I will stop there, Mr. Chairman.

[The prepared statement of Ms. Raphel appears in the appendix.]

Mr. Bereuter. Thank you very much, Madam Secretary.

Secretary Riedel, if you would proceed now in the same fashion
or any manner which you choose.


Mr. Riedel. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the sub-
committee. I am also pleased to be here today with Assistant Sec-
retary Raphel to testify on U.S. security interests in South Asia. In
doing so, I would like to build on Secretary Raphel's overview of
U.S. security interests and concerns in this increasingly important
region by addressing the Department of Defense's efforts to support
those larger interests through our engagement with the defense es-
tablishments of the various countries in South Asia.

Given the very prominent role of Indo-Pakistani relations and
our security concerns, the preponderance of my remarks will deal
with those two countries. Obviously a key factor, as we look into
the future of the Indo-Pakistani relationship, will be the potential
impact of the pending revision of the Pressler Amendment, an
issue I hope to put into somewhat sharper focus.

I would like to start by discussing the Defense Department's par-
ticular prospective as to the importance of South Asia.

With the end of the cold war, operational considerations have
caused us to broaden our traditional focus on Europe and North-
east Asia to include concerns elsewhere. So far in this decade, U.S.
forces have been committed to operations in the Persian Gulf area
on four occasions: Operation Desert Storm, Operation Vigilant
Warrior and the still ongoing operations Provide Comfort and
Southern Watch. In 1991, our forces were committed to Operation
Sea Angel, in which they rescued tens of thousands of cyclone vic-
tims in Bangladesh. In 1992, they were committed to U.N. peace-
keeping operations in Somalia and 2 years later to U.N. operations
in Rwanda. Common to all these operations was their proximity to
the Indian Ocean, a body of water whose strategic significance is
only increased as the world's dependence on oil from the Persian
Gulf has grown.

A second factor affecting our perception of the geographic signifi-
cance of South Asia is the location of the second major military
power in the region, Pakistan, at the intersection of three often un-
stable regions, South Asia, Southwest Asia and Central Asia. Paki-
stan has long been a friend of the United States in this area, where
we sometimes have not had an abundance of friends. Given the
troubled condition of many states in this region, we have valued
Pakistan's efforts to develop democracy and a market economy.


In addition to the region's geographic significance, the Depart-
ment of Defense must consider the military potential of the South
Asian countries, particularly India and Pakistan, which possess re-
spectively the world's second and eighth largest armies, based on
the total number of men and women in their respective ground
forces. To put that into perspective, the U.S. Army would rank No.
6 by this criterion, much smaller than India's 1.2-million man
army, but not that much larger than the 500,000-man Pakistani
Army. While we would not consider either of these to be a likely
opponent, the downsizing of U.S. forces requires us to think in
terms of coalitions, especially for peacekeeping missions. Accord-
ingly, the willingness of these two countries to commit their forces
to causes we support makes them particularly important in our
strategic calculations.

In that regard, the Department of Defense has found itself inter-
acting operationally and cooperatively with the armed forces of
these two countries more in the last 5 years than at any time in
their 48-year histories. Pakistan contributed two brigades to the
Desert Storm coalition. It was the first in and among the very last
out of Somalia, an operation I might add in which it participated
at the express request of Presidents Bush and Clinton, and in
which its forces sustained more casualties than the United States
or any other contingent and to which it ultimately committed over
7,000 troops. Pakistan currently has an infantry battalion partici-
pating in the U.N. mission in Haiti and has asked for one of its
two battalions assigned to UNPROFOR to be transferred to the
International Force (IFOR) in Bosnia.

My written testimony details the contributions of the other South
Asian states to U.N. peacekeeping operations.

Obviously, the willingness of all of these countries, particularly
India and Pakistan, to commit their militaries in significant num-
bers to peacekeeping and other operational missions is an impor-
tant factor in our assessment of the importance of South Asia.

A final factor influencing our perspective on the area is the po-
tential for conflict between India and Pakistan, which Assistant
Secretary Raphel has already outlined, and the consequences that
such a conflict would have for the United States. There is no need
to repeat the history of the bitter animosity that has characterized
these relations. Suffice it to say that these two states have fought
three wars in less than 50 years, share a border along which both
sides have deployed the majority of their ground forces and must
contend with the potential flash point of Kashmir.

Given this difficult environment, it is not surprising that we view
the nuclear capabilities and the associated ballistic missile pro-
grams of India and Pakistan with considerable concern and as the
regional issue of greatest importance. Accordingly, we do not and
will not hesitate to caution Pakistan and India in regard to their
nuclear and missile programs.

While India and Pakistan's geographic and conventional military
importance argue for closer defense ties, some argue their nuclear
and missile programs demand that we should keep them at arm's

I would answer that with a comment by Secretary Perry in a
speech earlier this year: "We believe that a strong defense relation-


ship and increased cooperation with India and Pakistan will allow
us to better pursue our common security interests, but at the same
time they will provide a better basis for working out the policy dif-
ferences which we have with each of these countries."

He went on, "We find India and Pakistan's position on nuclear
proliferation unpalatable. But to use this as a reason to disengage
from the region or to avoid deepening our security ties with these
nations could undermine efforts to cap their destructive capability.
It could even help push them toward an unfettered arms race. That
would be disastrous. I believe that we can best help to avoid the
disaster by building bridges of trust between the United States and
India and between the United States and Pakistan."

With that as our guidance, we in the Department of Defense
have attempted to build bridges of trust through the strengthening
of our bilateral defense relationships and by increasing our military
cooperation within established legal limitations.

Let me now review briefly our ongoing activities in various South
Asian countries. In India, within the last year, the Department of
Defense has worked to establish an expanded security dialog and
a more cooperative defense relationship. In January, 1995, in New
Delhi, Secretary Perry signed our first ever security agreement
with India, which provides a framework for three levels of defense
cooperation. A Defense Policy Group, chaired by the Assistant Sec-
retary of Defense for International Security Affairs, first met this
September to discuss security policy and other strategic issues of
common interests. Subsequently, a Joint Technical Group, chaired
by the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Dual
Use Technology, met to discuss the potential for technology and
production cooperation. At a third level, we are fostering greater
service-to-service cooperation by having the Army, Navy and Air
Force component commands of Pacific Command meet with the vice
chiefs of their respective Indian Services to promote exercises,
training and other areas of interest.

Our key security assistance programs with India are IMET and
the provision of engineering support to the Light Combat Aircraft
project. Given the importance we attach to IMET as a vehicle for
building military ties on a personal, as well as institutional level,
we are seeking to increase the level of IMET funding for India from
about 200,000 in 1995 to 364,000 in 1996.

The bottom line is that U.S. -Indian defense ties are better now
than at any time in the past 30 years.

Turning to Pakistan. Despite the cutoff of foreign military sales
under the Pressler Amendment in October, 1990, U.S. -Pakistani
military-to-military relations have remained cordial. During the
Secretary's visit to Pakistan last January, a decision was made to
reestablish the U.S. -Pakistan Consultative Group as a forum for
DOD/MOD level discussions on security issues. The first meeting
of the reestablished Consultative Group was held in Washington in
May 1995. In addition to an exchange of threat perceptions and for-
eign policy perspectives, the agenda included discussions of mil-to-
mil activities, including exercises and presentations on peacekeep-
ing, counternarcotics and counterterrorism. We expect the Consult-
ative Group to meet again next fall in Islamabad.


The U.S. Central Command's combined military exercise pro-
gram with Pakistan involves approximately eight exercises each
year and includes naval surface, naval air, ground force and special
operations exercises.

Each year, U.S. officers attend the Pakistan Army Staff College
and the Pakistan National Defense College, and Pakistani officers
attend similar U.S. installations.

The enactment of the Brown Amendment will provide an oppor-
tunity to broaden certain aspects of the U.S. -Pakistani security re-
lationship. Under this legislation, restrictions on assistance to
Pakistan contained in the Pressler Amendment have been clarified
to commit greater cooperation with Pakistani military forces in
counternarcotics, counterterrorism and peacekeeping activities. Ad-
ditionally, the Brown Amendment permits assistance of purposes of
facilitation mil-to-mil contacts, training and humanitarian and civic
assistance projects.

Turning to Bangladesh. While it is not as robust a relationship,
U.S. and Bangladesh forces have positively interacted for a number
of years, most visibly during Operation Sea Angel.

Our security assistance program for Bangladesh seeks to train
about 15 students a year under IMET, for which Bangladesh re-
ceived approximately 200,000 in 1995 and 258,000 has been re-
quested for 1996.

Military equipment provided through FMS is limited to material
with direct application for civic action and disaster relief. In that
regard, some $14,000,000 worth of excess equipment was delivered
by DOD in the wake of the 1991 cyclone.

The U.S. Pacific Command and the Bangladesh military partici-
pate in several exercises each year. The U.S. defense ties with
Nepal, Sri Lanka and the Maldives are even more limited, pri-
marily to small IMET programs.

Due to the ongoing civil war in Afghanistan, the Department of
Defense participation and involvement there is quite limited.

Let me note that one traditional aspect of military cooperation,
which DOD is not pursuing in South Asia, is the area of arms
sales. Arms sales to Pakistan, of course, continue to be prohibited
under the Pressler Amendment.

In the case of India, we have abstained from major arms sales
that might alter the existing military balance of forces and have
made clear to quote Secretary Perry, That this will not be an area
for immediate bold steps."

In the balance of my presentation, I would like to offer my views
on the impact on U.S. security assistance in South Asia on the
pending revision of the Pressler Amendment. From reading the In-
dian and Pakistani press, it appears that there is a considerable
misunderstanding of the legislation on both sides. In that regard,
we realize that the Brown Amendment has been viewed with con-
siderable concern and suspicion in India. I would hope that this

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Online LibraryUnited States. Congress. House. Committee on InterU.S. interests in South Asia : hearings before the Subcommittees on International Economic Policy and Trade and Asia and the Pacific of the Committee on International Relations, House of Representatives, One Hundred Fourth Congress, first and second session, December 5, 1995 and April 18, 1996 → online text (page 2 of 19)