Mark Collins – Pentagon Continues to Woo India

Further to this post,

US SecDef Carter’s Wooing Passage to India (with the Dragon in mind)

the India defence minister reciprocates with an extensive US visit:

US, India Boost Security Ties in Defense Minister Visit 


India’s minister of defense, Manohar Parrikar, paid an official visit to the United States this week, beginning with a visit to U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM [website here]) in Hawaii and ending with an inspection of a U.S. nuclear-power aircraft carrier in Virginia.

Parrikar started his trip off in Hawaii, where he became the first Indian defense minister to ever visit PACOM headquarters in what PACOM called a “milestone event.” Also while in Hawaii, Parrikar participated in the Pearl Harbor Commemoration Ceremony on December 7…

Later, at a press conference at the Pentagon, Parrikar said that U.S.-India “cooperation in the area of maritime security is also becoming stronger, especially in the Indian Ocean region.”

Back at PACOM, Parrikar and Harris also touched on the various military exercises both sides participate in, including “Exercises Malabar, Yudh Abhyas, Red Flag, Vajra Prahar, and RIMPAC.” Red Flag is particularly noteworthy — India has only participated once in the air-to-air combat exercise, in 2008. India will join the exercises again next year, according to the Pentagon.

PACOM noted that “the United States is still India’s partner of choice for exercises and military-to-military engagements.” Parrikar later announced that India “is conducting more military exercises with U.S. than any other country.”

After visiting Hawaii, Parrikar traveled to Washington, D.C., where he met with U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter for the third time, after hosting Carter in New Delhi in June 2015 and meeting again on the sidelines of the ASEAN Defense Minister’s Meeting Plus in Kuala Lumpur…

According to a joint statement issued after the meeting, Parrikar and Carter devoted special attention to the Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI). Carter has described that project as an attempt “to create cooperative technology and industrial relationships which are not just the buyer-seller kind.” Parrikar and Carter “committed to identifying additional projects for possible co-development and co-production of high technology items that meet the transformational intent of DTTI,” according to the statement.

They specifically noted positive progress at the Joint Working Group on Aircraft Carrier Technology Cooperation and Jet Engine Technology Joint Working Group. The two sides are in discussion to have the U.S. allow India access to technology to be used in construction of India’s second indigenous aircraft carrier, including nuclear propulsion and electromagnetic aircraft launch systems (EMALS). India and the United States are also looking into tech transfers involving jet engine technology, although the Pentagon is reluctant to provide the latest tech on that front…

In addition to technology cooperation and maritime security, the two sides discussed concerns over terrorism, from Islamic State and al-Qaeda to regional groups like Lashkar-e-Tayibba and the Haqqani Network. “The issue of terrorism was a key topic discussion in all engagements,” Parrikar said in remarks to reporters, although there were no details on how the two sides would cooperate on counterterrorism…

Related:

US, Japan, India: Triple Entente? Guess Who’s in the Background

But keep in mind:

That “International Community” Cant: Russia Sanctions and India Section

India’s Tous Azimuts Foreign Policy, Russia Section

And in the background remains that pesky question of human rights in India (especially Kashmir):

Modi’s India: Towards Hindustan?
[note links at end]

Mark Collins, a prolific Ottawa blogger, is a Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute; he tweets @Mark3Ds

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7 thoughts on “Mark Collins – Pentagon Continues to Woo India”

  1. And recent Indo-Japanese developments that will not please China:

    “India, Japan Strengthen Ties With Industrial, Military Agreements

    Japan and India strengthened their military and economic ties Saturday [Dec. 12], signing a high-speed-rail agreement and pledging joint exercises for their navies, as countries across Asia seek to counterbalance China’s growing assertiveness in the region.

    Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Shinzo Abe, his Japanese counterpart, signed the $15 billion rail pact, agreed to transfer technology to increase arms production in India and said Japan will be a stable guest at Indian-U. S. naval exercises. They also took a step toward an agreement on the use of civil nuclear energy.

    Mr. Modi offered Mr. Abe—a fellow nationalist—support for his concerns over China’s land reclamation around small reefs in the South China Sea, which are also claimed by other countries in the region. Japan is also concerned that if China’s territorial ambitions go unchecked it could face more pressure in the East China Sea…

    India’s strong support for Japan and the stress in the two countries’ joint statement Saturday on the “critical importance” of the sea lanes in the South China Sea for regional security and trade, underscore the vital importance of the waters for Indian business: over half of all its exports travel across it

    Mr. Modi and Mr. Abe announced Japan will become a stable guest in the India-U. S. Malabar naval exercises off the coast of the South Asian country, as the countries seek to develop stronger capabilities to deal with maritime challenges in the Indo-Pacific region….”
    https://www.google.ca/search?q=%22India,+Japan+Strengthen+Ties+With+Industrial,+Military+Agreements+%22&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&gws_rd=cr&ei=fcxtVpe4GMbQjgTjgIKoAQ

    Note though that the WSJ article as a whole interprets India rather too much through American anti-China eyes.

    Mark Collins

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