Situation in Afghanistan, military cooperation to top the agenda of VCOAS in the US

By: |
August 16, 2021 5:02 PM

The visit of the vice chief to the US is expected to further enhance the strategic and operational level of collaboration between the armies of India and the US.

This time the dialogue will take place in Washington DC. (File image: PTI)

Ahead of the 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue later this year, the Vice Chief of the Army Staff (VCOAS) Indian Army Lt Gen CP Mohanty has reached the US on a five day visit.

The visit of the vice chief to the US is expected to further enhance the strategic and operational level of collaboration between the armies of India and the US.

The main aim of the visit, according to the Ministry of Defence, is to strengthen bilateral military cooperation between the armed forces of the two sides as well as to explore more avenues for military-to-military defense partnership.

The Agenda of the Vice Chief

The current situation in Afghanistan post Taliban and regional security issues are going to be part of the talks with the senior military leadership and civilian officials.

Attending the multilateral Chiefs of Defense Conference in Hawaii, where critical issues are to be discussed. These include how COVID-19 will impact the national security forever; challenges and opportunities of technology enabled threats; and most importantly the role of minilateralism in a free and open Indo-Pacific.

Also during his visit, Lt Gen Mohanty will be interacting with the top military leadership of the countries which are attending the Chiefs of Defense Conference.

He will travel to Washington DC and have meetings with senior military leaders and civilian officials which are aimed at deepening the military to military cooperation.

A visit to the Program Executive Office (PEO) Soldier is on the agenda which will give him an opportunity to check out the new innovations related to Precision Targeting and Integrated Visual Augmentation System; Soldier Lethality; Soldier Survivability and more.

The talks with the senior military officials will focus on more procurement from the US, joint development and production of military platforms, joint exercises, capacity building and training in niche domains.

The 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue

This time the dialogue will take place in Washington DC. The dates are in the process of being finalized. However, according to sources it might take place either in October or November.

The Indian side will be represented by defence minister Rajnath Singh and external affairs minister S Jaishankar.

The first two-plus-two dialogue was held in New Delhi in September 2018 after the mechanism was approved by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the former US President Donald Trump. The second took place in Washington in December 2019 and the third had taken place in New Delhi in 2020.

The fourth edition of the dialogue is expected to focus on interoperability amongst the armed forces of the two countries, maritime security, peacekeeping operations, Indo-Pacific Region as well as the current situation in Afghanistan and its fallout.

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