China’s Worst Nightmare: Is a U.S.- India Military Alliance Brewing?


US aircraft carrier. Image: Flickr/Creative Commons.

US aircraft carrier. Image: Flickr/Creative Commons.

Washington and New Delhi are getting a lot more serious about military-to-military ties. As the United States and India become more wary of an increasingly assertive China, the two countries are gradually edging closer together.

On May 16, American and Indian officials met for a “maritime security dialogue” in New Delhi. “The dialogue covered issues of mutual interest, including exchange of perspectives on maritime security development in the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean Region as well as prospects for further strengthening cooperation between India and the United States in this regard,” stated an Indian Ministry of External Affairs press release.

Washington and New Delhi are also close to formalizing a historic military cooperation agreement hazily called the “Logistics Support Agreement” — or LSA. The agreement would allow the two militaries to use each other’s land, air and naval bases for resupplies, repairs and conducting operations.

American and Indian officials agreed to hold the summit during an April visit by U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter. Despite regular meetings and joint military training, the United States and India are not allies in any formal sense. India was officially unaligned in the Cold War but kept close relations with the Soviet Union — and the United States backed arch-rival Pakistan.

But there is a slow yet historic realignment underway. First of all, the United States and India are both growing warier of China’s rise as a major regional military power. Second, the U.S.-Pakistani relationship has deteriorated during the course of America’s decade-and-a-half-long war in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, Pakistan is the world’s top recipient of Chinese weapons.

In an April profile in The Atlantic, Jeffrey Goldberg wrote that U.S. Pres. Barack Obama “privately questions why Pakistan, which he believes is a disastrously dysfunctional country, should be considered an ally of the U.S. at all.”

Then there’s the LSA, which — if signed — could enhance cooperation between the U.S. and Indian militaries to an unprecedented level.

Adm. Harry Harris, chief of the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Command, told Congress in February that America and India are negotiating the LSA, another agreement called the CISMOA that would allow secure communications when both militaries operate together, and a third agreement regarding the exchange of topographical, nautical and aeronautical data.

“We have not gotten to the point of signing them with India, but I think we’re close,” Harris told the U.S. House Armed Services Committee.

During the last few months, the proposed agreements has come closer to being a reality. “Secretary Carter and I agreed in principle to conclude a logistics exchange memorandum of agreement in the coming months,” Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar said during Carter’s April visit.

These developments build on previous moves between the Indian and U.S. governments. In 2012, then Defense Secretary Leon Panetta directed Carter — at the time his deputy — to head an initiative to widen the scope of mil-to-mil cooperation between the two counties. The result was the U.S.-India Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI).

“The DTTI is not a treaty or a law,” the initiative’s website states. “It is a flexible mechanism to ensure that senior leaders from our nations are persistently focused on the opportunities and challenges associated with growing our defense partnership.”

Through DTTI, American and Indian officials have discussed sharing technology and boosting business ties between the two countries’ defense industries.

During Carter’s April visit, he discussed the possibility of sharing technology to help New Delhi build its first domestically produced aircraft carrier INSVishal — a deal the two countries have been negotiating through DTTI under the auspice of the “Aircraft Carrier Working Group.”

Source: The National Interest “China’s Worst Nightmare: Is a U.S.- India Military Alliance Brewing?”

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8 Comments on “China’s Worst Nightmare: Is a U.S.- India Military Alliance Brewing?”

  1. George says:

    India still under Western colonial conditioning like many other Asians. And surely would be ridiculous for it to enter SCO.

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  2. No21 says:

    My advice on this matter

    Do not believe in this rumor blindly. Continue to explore other opportunities.
    But do prepare for the worst because you never know if it will happen.

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  3. Sentinel says:

    THE INDIAN COBRA BETWIXT ITS US HANDLER AND THE CHINESE MONGOOSE

    New Delhi ought to tread carefully. No one likes a double dealing scum. It needs to move away from its sanctimonius hypocritical, bigoted, megalomaniacal, envIous, greedy, jealous, covetous, and imperious behaviour. India’s neighbours in the SAARC knows her and her attitude and behaviour too well.

    In this now, the bigger state of play, New Delhi need to told in no uncertain terms, it cannot have one leg in the SCO and another with the Amerikans. The SCO was set up primarily as a defence pact against threats, subterfuge, and invasion by a foreign power, specifically Imperial Washington against sovereign and independent Asian countries. Is New Delhi on board the Eurasian Express or it is with the Amerikan Gunboat Armada?

    Lest New Delhi forgets, colonial India was saved from being transferred from their British master to the Japanese imperialist by the Chinese in World War II. The under-equipped Chinese armed forces fought the Japanese to a standstill in Burma. Had it failed, India would had been open to Japanese invasion and occupation. Recall, the Indian battalions in the British army had been soundly beaten by the Japanese imperial army in Malaya, Singapore, Sarawak, Sabah, and Burma. Should New Delhi now wants to play an ingrate, it should open its eyes now and understand it will now have to face off with a modern, well equipped, well-trained, and well organized and well co-ordinated Chinese army now as an enemy. That is its decision.

    It can decide if it wants to be used by Imperial Washington as its puppet and vassal to divide Asia and bring further tension and conflicts to Asia, or it can decide otherwise. If it is the latter, the conclusion will be that its already massively corrupt politicians have been both bribed by the US coupled with their low life value system. Their brag about being the world’s biggest “democracy” will no longer have any bragging rights since such “democracy” is nothing since such “democracy” is nothing but just a camouflage political system for corruption and greed. A useful tool for Imperial Washington takeover and control of the country by buying its political, financial and media elites. A regime change act without physical invasion.

    The Indian cobra can either remain sovereign and progressive, or it can allow itself to be used by the Amerikans – who would love to be its handler – to fight against the Chinese mongoose. Chances are, if India slackens and allows Imperial Washington to get its way, it won’t survive to join the 21st century as a modern developed country. The Empire of Chaos will feel most smug and satisfied that it has succeeded in dividing and ruling the world as India and China descends into conflicts and tensions; if not destruction.

    India needs to tread warily to ensure the members of its ruling elites do not become traitors to India or become fifth columnists to Imperial Washington. Imperial Washington would love nothing more than see New Delhi and Beijing at war.

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  4. Jose Rafael Guzman says:

    THE INDIAN COBRA : BETWIXT THE US STIRRER & THE CHINESE MONGOOSE

    If India wants to move from its untrustworthy reputation, it has to start displaying statesmanship and cease displaying bigotry, greed, envy, covetousness, hubris and imperialism. It should stop exhibiting double face; playing noth sides; which is one of the most disgusting attributes of humankind.

    The Chinese stopped the millions of Japanese imperial troops in Burma and thereby their entry and invasion of India. The Japanese imperial troops kicked the butts if the Indian forces in the British army in Malaya, Singapore, Sarawak, Sabah and Burma. There is no reason why the new modern well trained, well equipped and well organized Chinese armed forces cannot beat the Imperious Indian forces if it comes to a fight.

    New Delhi should rethink their set game and attitude.

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  5. Steve says:

    The most important partnership and military alliance for China is Russia and vice versa. Both nations possess absolute capacities to research and develop their joint military doctrine to the highest level possible. The US must have offered sophisticated military equipment and transfer of technologies to help the Indians in R & D.. India’s airforce is under equipped, lacking fighter jets, need to modernise naval assets and infrastructure. Pakistan has only one direction, i.e., both China and Russian alliances.

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  6. Simon says:

    Highly unlikely. India is not breaking its de facto military alliance with Russia, also it recently joined the SCO after years of hard won effort doing so. All America is intrested is making India a client state. India already witness how America treated Pakistan when they allied with the yanks and does not want to risk being humiliated by American drones strikes in their own country. There is nothing to be gained and a lot to lose for India. The biggest disaster would be Russia who could join China in switching support to Pakistan and supply weaponry that can defeat Russian made military hardware bought by India and it will make India being encircled because America would not be able to protect them.

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    • James says:

      India has to tread very, very cautiously about American so called co-operation. American have proven time n time again to be a fair-weathered friend. Perhaps India is playing a double hedged game with US. As you rightly said, a Sino-Russian-Pakistan tri-alliance would be a disaster for India.

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    • Steve says:

      There is a fair gain for the Indians in terms of transfer of military technologies depending on the type of procurement from the US. The Indians will act smarter than Pakistan and avoid humiliation. By allowing the use of Indian Ports and land base, the US would have proposed an offer to the Indians that is too good to refuse. The Indian military doctrine on R& D is far behind China and will not gain much transfer of technologies from Russia. At this stage SCO is not a military alliance. If successful, The US has a lot of military bases in Asia. The US seems eager in spreading their hegemonic dominance. If war breaks out, the Asian region will easily turn into a ring of hellfire.

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