US, India agree to improve military cooperation

Discussion in 'Central & South Asia' started by Falcon, Apr 22, 2016.

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  1. Falcon

    Falcon Major Staff Member Social Media Team

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    NEW DELHI (AP) - The U.S and India are working to make it easier for the two countries’ militaries to coordinate during disasters or other emergencies, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Tuesday.

    During a joint news conference with Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar, Carter said the two countries have “agreed in principle” on a logistics agreement, and it could be finalized in weeks. U.S. defense officials said it will help the two militaries coordinate better, including in exercises, and also allow the U.S. to more easily sell fuel or provide spare parts to the Indians.


    Carter said the U.S. and India also expect to soon reach a second pact to improve the sharing of information on commercial shipping, in a move to beef up security on the seas.

    Carter said that while sharing logistical assets may seem like it should be automatic, it isn’t.

    Although some of that can be done now, through what officials called “workarounds,” the agreement will help expedite such transactions.

    While officials touted the signing as an important step, there was less progress on other programs the U.S. would like to partner with India on.

    Those would include cooperation on the development of jet engines and aircraft carrier technologies.

    Carter on Monday noted that India wants to move to a flat-deck design of its aircraft carriers, he said the U.S. is “more than willing” to share its catapult technology used to launch fighter jets off carriers.

    Defense officials said that if India begins using the catapult technology, then there could be opportunities for India to buy U.S.-made FA-18 fighter jets or other aircraft that use that launching system.

    Last June, during a visit to India, Carter and Parrikar signed a defense agreement, as part of a broader U.S. effort to improve what has been a rocky relationship between the two countries.

    And he announced two $1 million joint research ventures. While small, defense officials say the two-year projects will set the groundwork for future collaboration.

    At the time, Carter acknowledged the difficulties on both sides in breaking through the red tape to achieve more development cooperation, but said things are moving forward.

    U.S. leaders have long hoped to partner more with India as it modernizes its military, but Indian leaders have been more interested in co-development opportunities than in simply buying American-made weapons.

    India has also been courting a strong business relationship with China. Beijing sees India as a market for its increasingly high-tech goods, from high-speed trains to nuclear power plants, while India wants to attract Chinese investment in manufacturing and infrastructure.

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news...oordinati/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS
     
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  2. Spectre

    Spectre 2nd Lieutenant

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    1. There is a lot of debate on signing foundation agreements in India, while in reality there is little downside to it but perceptionally it is a political hot potato. The argument being made by the detractors and supported with liberal sprinkling of half truths and straight out lies is that signing LSA, CISMOA and BECA is akin to surrendering sovereignty. GoI right now does not have enough majority in upper house (sort of like your senate but more accurately British house of lords) to push though it without significant back-lash from left and centre-left parties.

    2. While the offer for Advanced Super Hornets was made by Boeing execs and pushed by Mr. Carter, India was already in advanced stages of negotiation with France (DA) to buy Rafales. The door though is still open for Boeing and LM as India will be placing order for 200+ jets to be made in India with foreign collaboration and ToT.

    3. In conclusion, the only trajectory of Indo-US relationship is forward given the geo-politics but the pace of the alignment would be decided by mutual comfort bureaucracies of each country have with each other. US State Dept has a hot-cold relation with Indian Foreign Service and MEA during a democratic administration in US while republicans tend to be more consistent and fruitful. CENTCOM likewise has much more involvement with Pakistan and looks at India through a Pakistani prism while PACIFIC COMMAND is more dogged in pursuit of better relation with India due to China factor.

    Regards
     
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  3. Falcon

    Falcon Major Staff Member Social Media Team

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    So, what has pushed India’s hand to agree to the LEMOA now?

    For one, both India and the United States have concerns about Beijing’s growing aggressiveness in the South China Sea and beyond. New Delhi has not been very happy with Beijing of late. China has put a “technical hold” on India’s attempts to designate the Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed’s chief Maulana Masood Azhar as a terrorist at the United Nations. At the same time, China has been going all out to woo countries in India’s neighborhood like Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Maldives. Beijing’s island building activities in the South China Sea and its deployment of missile batteries on Woody Island in the South China Sea have set it on a collision course with the United States and its allies in the region, like Japan and the Philippines.

    Second, relations between India and the United States have dramatically improved since the end of the Cold War. In 2015, U.S. President Barack Obama became the first U.S. president to visit India twice during his presidency when he was the chief guest at India’s Republic Day celebrations on January 26. During his visit, the two sides released a joint statement where they affirmed “the importance of safeguarding maritime security and ensuring freedom of navigation and over flight throughout the region, especially in the South China Sea.” This in itself is very significant since New Delhi had studiously avoided getting entangled in the South China Sea imbroglio. In the recent years, India has become one of the biggest purchasers of U.S. military hardware, a sea change from the times when the country used to source the majority of its defense needs from Russia.

    Third, maritime collaboration between India and the United States has been increasing. The commander of U.S. Pacific Command, Admiral Harry B Harris, went on record to say that that Beijing was building “a great wall of sand” in the South China Sea. At the Raisina Dialogue in India in March this year, Harris floated the idea of cooperation between India, Japan, Australia, and Japan in the maritime realm. This could be a throwback to the times when these four countries had come together to form what was dubbed the “Quadrilateral Initiative,” thought the project was rolled back in the light of protests from Beijing, in a classic case of the baby being thrown out along with the bath water. Besides, India’s ties with U.S. allies in the region, like Japan and Australia, have also improved by leaps and bounds since then.

    Fourth, India now aspires to play a greater role in international affairs. New Delhi is angling to be a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). In addition, India, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has rapidly moved away from its traditional stance of non-alignment to one of multi-alignment. By signing the logistics support agreement, New Delhi also stands to gain by gaining access to U.S. military facilities.

    http://thediplomat.com/2016/05/5-re...a-logistics-agreement-with-the-united-states/
     
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