US must focus on joint defence agreement with India, says think tank

By: | Published: January 18, 2018 6:35 PM

Stressing on India's role as a major defence partner, a US think-tank has said that the United States should launch a government-wide strategic advantage initiative focused on developing India's defence capabilities as a premier security contributor in the Indo-Pacific region.

joint defence agreement, india US defence agreement, narendra modi, donald trump, US think tank, cap task forceStressing on India’s role as a major defence partner, a US think-tank has said that the United States should launch a government-wide strategic advantage initiative focused on developing India’s defence capabilities as a premier security contributor in the Indo-Pacific region.

Stressing on India’s role as a major defence partner, a US think-tank has said that the United States should launch a government-wide strategic advantage initiative focused on developing India’s defence capabilities as a premier security contributor in the Indo-Pacific region. According to The Indian Express, the think tank- CAP task force’s report added that the move will ensure that India has the capabilities to prevail in contested domains.

The report by CAP task force on US-India relations said that India and the United States should finalise a joint defence implementation agreement that facilitates information sharing, interoperability, and technology transfers within the two countries’ comfort zones. The report titled “United States and India: Forging an Indispensable Democratic Partnership” stated that Indian leaders need to make a strong public case for a more efficient, transparent, and effective defence procurement process. It also called for creating a US-India Indo-Pacific Humanitarian Assistance Disaster Relief (HADR) cell to undertake joint humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions in the Indian Ocean region.

The CAP team recommended strengthening ties between Indians and Americans, as that is the backbone of the US-India relationship. The think tank stressed on the fact that India and US must look not just at areas like hi-tech, but also at infrastructure, to expand the benefits of investment and trade to all sectors of societies. The recommendations also included holding summits to educate institutional investors about the Indian infrastructure market, and hosting conferences and exchanges to share lessons about developing digital infrastructure.

“The two nations cannot divorce the future of the bilateral economic relationship from what each country does at home. Both India and the United States must invest in the building blocks of their own economies and middle classes — including health care and education — and continue to innovate new domestic policy solutions if they are to benefit from the bilateral economic relationship,” the report said.

The report has been prepared under the aegis of Center for American Progress (CAP) led by former Foreign Secretary and India’s ambassador to the US Nirupama Rao and former US ambassador to India Richard Verma. This report assumes significance as New Delhi and Washington are collaborating on “free and open Indo-Pacific” more closely in the wake of Chinese activities in the region.

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