US, India move towards sharing military logistics

In its dispatch from New Delhi, China’s state-run Xinhua news agency reported that the agreement “will give India and USA armed forces access to each other’s bases, and both the countries have been harping on it for almost a decade”.

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Washington has for years urged New Delhi to sign a Logistics Support Agreement that allows the two militaries to use each other’s land, air and naval bases for resupplies, fix and rest.

With his United States counterpart Ashton Carter standing by his side, defence minister Manohar Parrikar announced on Tuesday that the logistics support agreement was on the cards in the coming weeks but underlined that it does not mean permission for deployment of U.S. troops on Indian soil. “We have agreed on the main clauses, and drafts will soon be exchanged between us”, Parrikar said. India and the U.S. yesterday agreed “in principle” to a series of initiatives, including the logistics exchange agreement, which they hope will strengthen military ties.

But after years of delays, the two sides said an agreement was in hand, although not yet ready for signing.

“Under Modi, we are decidedly aligning towards the United States and, importantly, deepening our defence relations”.

“We will not change our stand on joint patrolling”, he said. Now India is voluntarily offering all help to the US.

“We have a different vision of India; if describing, one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century in which all sorts of things are going to be possible in the future as we share many interests”, said Carter while dispelling apprehensions in India over the USA offer to sell F-16 fighter aircraft to Pakistan. Logistics is a very important part of the operation. Carter emphasized India’s importance to the U.S.by noting that this trip, which will last until Wednesday, is his longest visit to any country – including other close allies – as defense secretary. The two-day visit is yet to be officially announced by either side.

Carter and Parrikar reaffirmed their desire to expeditiously conclude a “white shipping” technical arrangement to improve data sharing on commercial shipping traffic and agreed to commence navy-to-navy discussions on submarine safety and anti-submarine warfare.

Under DTTI, both Parrikar and Carter said they will now focus “more aggressively” on areas such as Jet Engine technology.

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“The agreement would make it more routine for us to operate here logistically so that we don’t need separate agreement for each exercise”, US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said. They also finalised four government-to-government science projects on Atmospheric Sciences for High Energy Lasers, Cognitive Tools for Target Detection, Small Intelligent Unmanned Aerial Systems, and Blast and Blunt Traumatic Brain Injury.

Ashton Carter