Amid tension with China, India and US enhance military and intel cooperation

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Published: July 22, 2020 12:14 PM

India and the US have quietly intensified information sharing after the recent clash between the Indian and Chinese troops along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh.

India-US tiesOn Monday, Indian and US Navies carried out drills in the Indian Ocean Region. The drill was conducted mainly to hone interoperability between the two navies.

India’s recent border face-off with China and the US’s ongoing trade tension with China have brought India and the US closer. Both India and the US have developed stronger intelligence and military collaboration and cooperation at an unprecedented level, more so in the last month, said a report in The Indian Express. According to the report, India and the US have quietly intensified information sharing after the recent clash between Indian and Chinese troops along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh.

The development took shape after US Secretary of State Michael R Pompeo’s conversation with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar in the third week of June. Since then, they both have spoken to each other at least two times over the phone, which was “key to this cooperation.” and set the stage for stronger cooperation between both the countries.

According to The Indian Express report, in the past few weeks, even National Security Advisor Ajit Doval spoke to his US counterpart Robert C O’Brien; Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat had a conversation with Mark A Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General, the US. These talks help facilitate information-sharing between both the countries in area such as security, military and intelligence.

On Monday, the USS Nimitz and warships of the Indian Navy conducted exercises designed to maximise training and interoperability, including air defence. The drill was conducted mainly to hone interoperability between the two navies.

The phone calls between Jaishankar and Pompeo really set the stage, The Indian Express reported, citing sources. It gave impetus to the already existing security cooperation machinery between the two countries.

According to the sources, both the countries, under this cooperation, are sharing high-end satellite images, telephone intercepts, and data sharing of Chinese troops and weapons deployment along the entire stretch of the Line of Actual Control, reported The India Express. With the help of equipment from the US, the capability of Indian armed forces is growing. According to sources, Indian armed forces are using five American platforms in Ladakh.

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