The Growing and Fortified Relationship Between India and the United States

By siliconindia   |   Friday, 22 March 2024, 02:29 IST
cmt right
Comment Right
cmt right
cmt right
Printer Print Email Email
The Growing and Fortified Relationship Between India and the United States

US Defence Department officials highlight the importance of the US-India relationship in fostering stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific, emphasizing enhanced cooperation and strategic partnership.

In a hearing with lawmakers, Defence Department officials highlighted the strength of India's relationship with the United States. Assistant Secretary of Defence for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs Ely S. Ratner emphasized strengthening ties across various domains, describing the relationship as crucial for a free and open Indo-Pacific. Ratner underscored the importance of co-production efforts, particularly in defense technologies, to enhance bilateral cooperation and interoperability.

Ranking Member Adam Smith Acknowledged India’s strategic significance and stressed the importance of fostering closer collaboration with India to align interests and address common challenges effectively. Ratner highlighted ongoing efforts to bolster private sector relationships, especially in defense technologies, and highlighted significant defense trade valued at over $20 billion, including India's decision to acquire MQ9B drones.

Navy Adm. John Aquilino, Commander of US Indo-Pacific Command, emphasized the expanding military-to-military cooperation between the two countries, including joint operations and exercises to enhance interoperability. Aquilino underscored the importance of a robust US-India Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership for maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

The discussion also touched upon India's participation in BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) and its strategic calculus regarding Iran. Ratner explained that while India aspires towards multipolarity in the international system, it has been trending towards strategic convergence with the United States, particularly in the Indo-Pacific region. Aquilino reiterated the shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific and emphasized efforts to deepen bilateral cooperation through initiatives such as INDUS-X and the Roadmap for US-India Defence Industrial Cooperation.

Aquilino highlighted specific examples of cooperation, including the proposed deal between G.E. Aerospace and Hindustan Aeronautics for domestic production of F-414 jet engines and the participation of US B-1B Bombers in India's air show AERO INDIA and bilateral air exercise COPE INDIA. He mentioned the largest-ever bilateral joint amphibious exercise, TIGER TRIUMPH, aimed to improve maritime domain awareness and strengthen service-to-service ties.

He outlined plans to deepen cooperation under the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) to enable more regular and flexible engagements in the Indian Ocean Region, including US ship repair in Indian shipyards. These initiatives underscore the commitment of both countries to enhancing bilateral ties and addressing shared security challenges in the Indo-Pacific region.

The testimony of US Defence Department officials underscores the growing significance of the US-India relationship and its critical role in promoting stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region. Through ongoing efforts to enhance cooperation across various domains, both countries are poised to deepen their strategic partnership and effectively address emerging security challenges.