India and america signed an agreement regulating the mutual use of military assets air and each other’s land for repair, a step toward building defense ties as they seek to counter the growing marine assertiveness of China.
The deal, a comparatively ordinary one concerning day to day military logistics, is still a landmark in the US-India defense relationship due to the outsizes political significance it’d taken on in India, where it’d touched on national susceptibility, specialists said.
The signing of the deal will make the logistics “make the logistics of joint operations so much easier and so much more efficient,” US Defense Secretary Ash Carter said.
The deal allows the US and Indian navies to have a less difficult time supporting each other in combined operations and exercises and Parrikar said when supplying humanitarian assistance.
The arrangements are considered routine between its other defense associates and America.
But India has had concerns it would be committed by such an arrangement to hosting US troops or draw on it into a military alliance with America and sabotage its traditional autonomy. Parrikar and Carter reached an understanding “in principle” in previous April but had yet to finalize the details.
Carter created a special unit within the Pentagon a year ago to boost co-operation with that nation, and has made closer military ties with India a precedence.
“For years, there has been tremendous misinformation put out into the Indian press about these agreements,” said Schwartz.
“What the signing of this shows is that the Modi government is willing to take and suffer the short-term political criticism of signing these things for the longer-term benefit of building the defense relationship with the United States.”
Both Parrikar and Carter went to make clear the logistics arrangement failed to allow for basing of US troops. “It’s not a basing agreement of any kind,” Carter said.
The argument over the logistics arrangement had functioned as a vehicle for the doubt some of India’s political class has toward America, said a research associate at the Stimson Center, Shane Mason. Although the sanctions were facilitated after the Usa had formerly imposed sanctions on India related to its 1998 nuclear test.
“From the US perspective this was kind of a low hanging fruit,” Mason said. “We have logistic support agreements with many, many other countries and in most cases it’s a relatively uncontroversial thing.”
“we’ve arrangements with many, many other states and generally it’s a matter that is comparatively uncontroversial to logistic support.”