Defence and Security

Does The US Turn A Blind Eye To India’s Nuclear Might?

Sep 23, 2017
By Polina Tikhonova
As India-US military ties soar, a trove of newly-released documents reveal that Washington may have turned a blind eye to India’s nuclear-capable missiles. Some of the documents reveal that the NSA may have known about India’s nuclear-capable Sagarika and Dhanush missiles as early as 2004. The revelations published by The Intercept suggest that U.S. spies possessed “significant intelligence” about the bombs India had in service before its missile tests in 2008 and 2016.
The news comes as India-US relations soar to unprecedented levels following their Yudh Abhyas series of joint military exercises and the U.S. Senate’s approval of a nearly $700 billion defense spending bill that seeks closer India-US military cooperation.
The batch of 294 articles published by The Intercept is said to have been obtained by Edward Snowden, a controversial whistleblower, in 2013. Snowden, whose leave to remain in Russia has been extended for three years, has been called it all: hero, traitor and patriot.
The trove of documents has reportedly been traced back to the National Security Agency’s internal newsletter, the Signal Intelligence Directorate or SIDtoday. The files revealed an NSA facility in Australia code-named RAINFALL which “had successfully geolocated signals of a suspected Indian nuclear weapons storage facility” in October 2004.
U.S. spies then reportedly handed the signals over to a Thailand-based Foreign Satellite collection facility code-named LEMONWOOD. That facility collaborated with the NSA’s Unidentified Signal and Protocol Analysis Branch to “isolate these signals.” The “isolation” process allowed U.S. spies to confirm that the signals were coming from India’s nuclear weaponry. This eventually enabled U.S. spies to obtain data about the nuclear-capable Sagarika and Dhanush missiles years before they were tested in 2008 and 2016, respectively, according to the documents.
Read more:
ValueWalk, Sepetember 23, 2017

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