* Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have won India’s general election by a landslide, on a platform of infrastructure development, economic efficiency, and better governance. They got a high vote share backed by a high turnout.
* On the defense side though, the BJP doesn’t sound very different from the Congress party they’re about to replace in power:
“First, India needs to cut down its excessive reliance on foreign arms manufacturers and focus its energies on indigenisation and becoming a manufacturer of technologies and equipment that can be used by our military. Not only will this effort save us crucial foreign exchange but also lead to generation of millions of jobs that will act as a booster for the Indian economy.”
Australia’s 2014-15 Defense Budget Inching Back Towards 2% of GDP
* This week Tony Abbott’s Coalition government submitted its first budget since their electoral victory last year. $29.2B are requested for defense, with the explicit intent to roll back some of the funding decreases decided by the previous (Labor) government. They’re bringing spending forward more than they’re really upping spending, but the overall context is one of budget austerity. Portfolio Budget Statement [PDF] (see p.149 for top 30 projects) | The Australian (on the whole budget and political outlook) | Lowly Institute | DID’s Google Drive stores 10 years of Australia’s defense PBS requests.
Learning to Get Along? Or Not.
* Opinions differ on the extent of a rapprochement between Saudi Arabia and Iran, but this week’s invitation by the Saudi foreign minister to his Iranian counterpart does look like tensions are easing between the two countries. Gulf News | National Interest.
* China is tasting its own bitter medicine as protests in Vietnam lead to the temporary closure of Chinese factories. Chinese General Fang Fenghui, while meeting US CJCS Gen. Dempsey in Washington, blamed the American pivot to Asia for the tensions. Dempsey was not pleased. Press conference video.
* RIA Novosti: Kazakhstan Ratifies Joint Air Defense Shield Deal with Russia.
Back to Normal Feels Great
* Today’s video from DARPA celebrates the “triumph of the mundane.” It’s great to be able to peel a carrot if you’ve lost one of your hands: