In the process of defending congressional funding for F-22s last week, Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) accidentally insisted that America needed the oft-criticized fighter jets because of emerging threats from countries like India.
“It’s important to our national security because we’re not just fighting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq,” Cornyn said on Friday. “We’re fighting — we have graver threats and greater threats than that: From a rising India, with increased exercise of their military power.”
It was an embarrassing slip-up, especially for Cornyn, who is known as one of India’s strongest allies in the Senate. Shortly thereafter, the Texas Republican apologized and even took down video of his speech from his website.
All of which was not enough to prevent the statement from reverberating in the Indian press, which on Monday gave significant treatment to the story — though handling it more as a humorous gaffe than an international incident. From The Hindu:
An influential American Senator, known as India’s best friend in the U.S. Senate, apologised on Sunday for “mistakenly” calling India a security threat to the U.S.
While defending the need to continue with the F-22 programme, now being closed down by the Obama administration, Senator John Cornyn said in an interview that the U.S. needed these fighter jets for protecting itself from increasing national security threats from countries such as North Korea, Iran and India.
Just how bad is the economic pain and job loss in the United States? Bad enough for an Indophile Senator to get New Delhi and Beijing mixed up in his mind. ( Watch )
A key US Senator who has extensively supported India, including the passage of the nuclear deal, stunned his Indian and Indian-American supporters this weekend when he identified India as a US national security threat and clubbed it with North Korea and Iran, while arguing for continuing the F-22 fighter jet programme, which would keep up to 100,000 jobs going in the US.
Cornyn apologized for ‘mistakenly’ calling India instead of China a security threat to the United States, according to India’s Zee News network.
This is while New Delhi has refused to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and other treaties that restrict developing or testing of nuclear weapons.