Indo-US Strategic Partnership in Cold War 2.0

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The Indo-US Strategic partnership has grown leaps and bounds in last 5 years as we have noted in our book “The New Global Order” in the year 2016 as well as the latest analysis on our website. The Indo-US Strategic Partnership has further strengthened as US Government on 2nd April 2019, approved sale of 20 MH-60R Seahawk helicopters to India in a deal of about 2.6 billion $ which will boost India’s anti submarine warfare capability with it being the naval variant of UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter. This follows up a series of such measures taken over past few years by US like the designation of India as Major Defence Partner (MDP) on 07th June 2016 by Obama Administration. Further in 2018, Strategic Trade Authorization 1 -(STA) status was given to India to enable transfer of technologies in defence and space sector with Japan & South Korea being the only other countries in Asia having this status.

All this comes in the backdrop of India signing LEMOA & COMCASA i.e. major defense foundational pacts with United States on sharing of logistics and encrypted technology. The Indo-US Strategic Partnership law has also been approved by US Congress and export control exemptions have been accorded to India for transfer of sensitive technology on 19th January 2017. India & US have also recently implemented COMCASA by establishing secured communication lines between Naval Headquarters in Delhi and US Central Command as well US Indo-Pacific command. As a result of signing COMCASA, US has activated Anti Spoofing Module GPS system in C-130 & C-17 Military transport aircraft. It must be noted that the America’s help in decryption of secured Chinese communications during the Doklam crisis in 2017 clinched the deal between India & US on COMCASA agreement.

Meanwhile talks are also on between India & United States to sign the 3rd foundational pact i.e. BECA for sharing of Geo Spatial information which will complete the triad of foundational pacts between India & US. These developments come in the backdrop of unwavering backing of United States to India in the Indo-Pak crisis where it chose to specifically corner China at UNSC with an open debate and voting on sanctioning of Masood Azhar as global terrorist. US has downplayed NASA’s comments on A-SAT test by India in space, while reiterating its strategic partnership with India in Defence & Space and taking note of India’s statement that debris field due to India’s anti satellite test is at low orbit which shall dissipate in 45 days. The growing Indo-US Defence partnership in Indo-Pacific region will perhaps be the most significant development in the region as the world order moves towards Cold War 2.0 with US taking on China and Sino-Pak axis representing a strategic threat to India’s interests in region.

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