India/USA — Mullen Seeks to Continue Good Relations With Indian Military

ABOARD A U.S. AIR FORCE C‑17, July 22, 2010 — The mil­i­tary-to-mil­i­tary rela­tion­ship between the Unit­ed States and India has grown dra­mat­i­cal­ly in the past 20 years, and the chair­man of the Joint Chiefs of Staff wants to keep the process on track.

Navy Adm. Mike Mullen will arrive in New Del­hi short­ly to begin a vis­it that will have him meet­ing a num­ber of Indi­an mil­i­tary offi­cials includ­ing Prime Min­is­ter Man­mo­han Singh. Mullen’s coun­ter­part, Air Chief Mar­shal Pradeep Vas­ant Naik, is host­ing the vis­it. Naik is new at his post. The two men met for the first time when the air chief mar­shal trav­eled to Wash­ing­ton ear­li­er this year. Mullen says he looks for­ward to deep­en­ing the friend­ship and under­stand­ing.

The rela­tion­ship between India and Pak­istan dom­i­nates the region. The two nations have fought five wars since both gained inde­pen­dence from Great Britain in 1947. Both still argue over the par­ti­tion of the state of Kash­mir, and both coun­tries still have a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of troops on the bor­der between them.

Mullen will speak to his coun­ter­part about mil­i­tary exer­cis­es between the nations. The pro­gram has grown in scope and com­plex­i­ty in the past 20 years, the admi­ral said.

Mil­i­tary-to-mil­i­tary coop­er­a­tion is enhanced by a robust and chal­leng­ing exer­cise pro­gram, Mullen said. “It’s not a big new step to the next lev­el, but it has seemed to evolve to more com­pli­cat­ed exer­cis­es,” he said.

Mar­itime exer­cis­es pre­dom­i­nate, but there have been air exer­cis­es and last year saw the first U.S. Army unit train­ing with the Indi­an army in India.

“The Unit­ed States and India have shared inter­ests that are tied specif­i­cal­ly to coun­tert­er­ror­ism,” Mullen said. “We’ve both been attacked and lost pre­cious cit­i­zens.”

Work­ing togeth­er to blunt and to end the ter­ror­ist threat is one impe­tus to work­ing togeth­er. Indi­an mil­i­tary lead­ers “are also very focused on how we share what we have learned,” the chair­man said.

So coun­tert­er­ror­ism will be the main dis­cus­sion with Indi­an lead­ers. Mullen said he was in New Del­hi a few days after the ter­ror attack in Mum­bai in Novem­ber 2008. He said he was impressed by Indi­an restraint dur­ing and imme­di­ate­ly after the attack.

The chair­man wor­ries a great deal about a pos­si­ble repeat of the attack. “One of the things that struck me then and is still a great con­cern is how 10 ter­ror­ists could dri­ve two nuclear-armed nations clos­er to con­flict,” he said. There is the pos­si­bil­i­ty of some kind of mis­cal­cu­la­tion in response to an attack such as the one in Mum­bai.

Laskar‑e Taib is a ter­ror group that con­cerns Mullen. The group oper­ates in Kash­mir and in the fed­er­al­ly admin­is­tered trib­al areas of Pak­istan. “I see them start­ing to emerge as a larg­er, region­al, glob­al threat,” the chair­man said. “One of the things I’ve watched in the FATA, in the region between Pak­istan and in Afghanistan is the merg­ing of these ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions.”

Mullen says that he dis­cuss­es the impor­tance of the cyber domain with every coun­ter­part he meets with, and he expects to do the same with India – a ris­ing cyber pow­er. The chair­man will fol­low his vis­it to India with one to Pak­istan. The Unit­ed States has mil­i­tary-to-mil­i­tary con­tacts with both India and Pak­istan. While the U.S. mil­i­tary is not a bridge between the two nations, “it is impor­tant that we remain engaged,” Mullen said. “Cer­tain­ly there is an oppor­tu­ni­ty to have dis­cus­sions across the region and we will work our way through to a much more sta­ble future.”

Source:
U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)

Team GlobDef

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist GlobalDefence.net im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. GlobalDefenc.net war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →