The rise in U.S. arms sales to India is being widely cited as evidence of the two countries' deepening defense relationship.

But the long-term sustainability of the relationship, in which India is more a client than a partner, remains a deep concern for Indians. Does the recently issued Joint Declaration on Defense Cooperation, which establishes intent to move beyond weapons sales to the co-production of military hardware, mark a turning point, or is it merely a contrivance to placate India?

The factors driving the strategic relationship's development are obvious. Since 2006, bilateral trade has quadrupled, reaching roughly $100 billion this year. And, over the last decade, U.S. defense exports to India have skyrocketed from just $100 million to billions of dollars annually.