Instead of selling $3 billion in weapons to enrich Raytheon, Boeing and Lockheed, the United States should be partnering with India to fight climate change, Sanders said in a tweet, the first by a Democratic presidential candidate on Trump's India visit.
We can work together to cut air pollution, create good renewable energy jobs, and save our planet, he said.
However, a former White House official defended the US' decision to sell arms and weapons to India.
I'm proud of my service in the White House, in which we poured enormous energy into deepening climate and green tech cooperation w/ India... and also advancing security cooperation and defense sales. I'd like to think both can be part of a strong, values-based partnership, Joshua White said.
According to the US State Department, India plays a vital role in the US vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific.
In 2016, the US designated India as a Major Defence Partner. Commensurate with this designation, India in 2018 was granted Strategic Trade Authorization tier 1 status, which allows New Delhi to receive license-free access to a wide range of military and dual-use technologies that are regulated by the Department of Commerce.
Bilateral defence trade with India in a little over a decade has increased from near zero in 2008 to $20 billion.
Among some of the key foreign military sales notified to Congress include MH-60R Seahawk helicopters ($2.6 billion), Apache helicopters ($2.3 billion), P-8I maritime patrol aircraft ($3 billion), and M777 howitzers ($737 million).
India was the first non-treaty partner to be offered a Missile Technology Control Regime Category-1 Unmanned Aerial System the Sea Guardian UAS manufactured by General Atomics.
The State Department is also advocating for the Lockheed Martin F-21 and Boeing F/A-18 two state of the art fighter aircraft that India is currently evaluating.
These platforms provide critical opportunities to enhance India's military capabilities and protect shared security interests in the Indo-Pacific region, it argued.
Since 2008, the US has also sold to India over $6.6 billion in defence articles via the direct commercial sales process, which licenses the export of the defense equipment, services, and related manufacturing technologies controlled under the 21 categories of the US Munitions List (USML). The top categories of DCS to India include aircraft, electronics and gas turbine engines.
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