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US – India Defence Cooperation

  • Category
    India & world
  • Published
    16th Jul, 2019

The US Senate has passed a legislative provision that brings India on par with Washington’s North Atlantic Treaty Organization (Nato) allies and countries such as Israel and South Korea for increasing defence cooperation.

Context

The US Senate has passed a legislative provision that brings India on par with Washington’s North Atlantic Treaty Organization (Nato) allies and countries such as Israel and South Korea for increasing defence cooperation.

The US Senate has passed a legislative provision that brings India on par with Washington’s North Atlantic Treaty Organization (Nato) allies and countries such as Israel and South Korea for increasing defence cooperation.

Which Legislative Provision?

  • The legislative provision called National Defense Authorisation Act (or NDAA) for fiscal year 2020 was passed by Senate in late June.
  • Purpose: NDAA provides for increased US-India Defence cooperation in Indian Ocean in areas of counter-piracy, counter-terrorism, humanitarian assistance and maritime security. It accords India with a NATO Ally-Like Status.

Significance for India

  • The move of elevating India to non-NATO status is vital towards advancement of US-India strategic partnership and will further boost collaboration between India and US in defence.
  • Unlike the member nations of NATO, who have to contribute from their gross national income to fund the NATO, major Non-NATO allies are only involved in Strategic working partnerships with NATO Countries. India will be under no obligation to support any of the policy endeavours of NATO.
  • The move will enable India to access lot of military and financial advantages which are otherwise not available to non-NATO members.
  • It makes India eligible for entry into cooperative research and development projects with US
  • Allows India to take part in some counter – terrorism initiatives.
  • India will be able to purchase depleted uranium anti-tank rounds.
  • India can also expect to get priority delivery of ships and mitiary rations.
  • India will be able to use American financing for purchase or ease of defence equipment.

Concerns for India

  • Pakistan is one of the major Non-Nato allies of US. But in 2017, a bill was introduced in the US Congress seeking withdrawal of the status from Pakistan. Now, a new legislation has been introduced in the Congress to terminate the status of Pakistan.

US – India Defence Trajectory

During the visit of Prime Minister to the U.S. in June 2016, the U.S. recognised India as a "Major Defence Partner"

  • Agreements Signed Recently
    • Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Association (LEMOA)
    • Fuel Exchange Agreement
    • Technical Agreement (TA) on information sharing on White (merchant) Shipping
    • The Information Exchange Annexe (IEA) Aircraft Carrier Technologies
  • Defence Acquisitions
    • Aggregate worth of defence acquisition from U.S. Defence has crossed over US$ 13 billion.
    • India and the United States have launched a Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) aimed at simplifying technology transfer policies and exploring possibilities of co-development and co-production to invest the defence relationship with strategic value.
  • The two sides are also increasingly engaged in multi-lateral exercises such as the MALABAR, RED FLAG and RIMPAC, covering the broad expanse of the Indo-Pacific.
  • The US has recently renamed its Pacific Command as the US Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM), an acknowledgement of the seamless connectivity that binds the Pacific and Indian Oceans and India’s growing importance.
  • The first-ever 2+2 dialogue was held in 2018 the backdrop of burgeoning joint exercises such as Cope-India (Air Force), Yudh Abhyas (Army) and Vajra Prahar (Special Forces).
  • The Indian Navy and the US Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) are set to deepen their maritime cooperation in the Western Indian Ocean.

ABOUT NATO

  • It is an intergovernmental military and political alliance based on North Atlantic Treaty (also known as Washington Treaty) signed in 4 April 1949. It is also known as North Atlantic Alliance.
  • It consists of 28 independent member countries across North America and Europe.
  • It is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium and Headquarters of its Allied Command Operations in Mons, Belgium.
  • Importance: It constitutes a system of collective defence by which its independent member states agrees for mutual defence in response to any attack on any member by any external party.
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