US Wants Deeper Strategic Military Ties With India

The US is seek­ing deep­er mil­i­tary ties with India who is the world largest arms importer. The aim is to win mul­ti-bil­lion dol­lar con­tracts for defence equip­ment and also to fos­ter a clos­er strate­gic rela­tion­ship with New Del­hi.

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One of the major steps in this direc­tion is reform­ing Unit­ed States export con­trol sys­tem for sen­si­tive dual-use tech­nol­o­gy and weapon sys­tems for India.

In a speech in Wash­ing­ton, the US sec­re­tary of Defence Leon Panet­ta said the US admin­is­tra­tion is going to reform its export con­trol sys­tem, which would ben­e­fit coun­tries like India. It is obvi­ous why the US is sud­den­ly mak­ing changes to it’s long stand­ing pol­i­cy of strin­gent export con­trol for sen­si­tive items because the US is loos­ing out on bil­lions of dol­lars of weapon deals from New Del­hi. If it is not the US then it is Rus­sia, Israel or the French who are will­ing to share hi-tech tech­nol­o­gy with a bud­ding super pow­er. India is not lim­it­ed with options.

India is one of the major coun­tries that will ben­e­fit the most from reformed US export rules as the Pen­ta­gon draws up plans to enhance greater coop­er­a­tion with New Del­hi.

The sale of defence equip­ment by the US to India has reached more than US$ 8 bil­lion in recent years. How­ev­er, Wash­ing­ton has lost a US$ 12 bil­lion Indi­an con­tract for 126 Medi­um Mul­ti-Role com­bat Air­craft, after a French com­pa­ny won the deal.

Rus­sia how­ev­er remains India’s major mil­i­tary sup­pli­er and will retain it’s posi­tion as the no. 1 defence part­ner with India. There are bil­lions of dol­lars of con­tracts signed between the two coun­tries. The two coun­tries are also build­ing a stealth fight­er jet togeth­er. The project is val­ued at more than US $35 bil­lion. With Russia’s vast sci­en­tif­ic pool and India’s deep pock­ets, the two coun­tries are forg­ing deep­er rela­tion­ships with each oth­er.

The US and India on the oth­er hand hold more than 50 mil­i­tary exer­cis­es each year. Naval exer­cis­es in India’s ter­ri­to­r­i­al waters have tak­en place almost every year.

Since 2006, India has been fight­ing against mar­itime threats includ­ing pira­cy, smug­gling and traf­fick­ing.

Observers point out that there was a time when the Unit­ed States and India did not trust each oth­er but today things are quite dif­fer­ent. The rela­tion­ship between the US and India is more than of an ally. It remains to be seen how best the two great democ­ra­cies can ben­e­fit out of each oth­er.

Source:
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