India-US defence relationship to reach new heights during PM Modi’s state visit. Ely Ratner, the Pentagon official, affirms strengthened defence ties and cooperation
Image source: Telegraph India
During his upcoming state visit to the United States, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will solidify the India-US defence relationship, setting new benchmarks and fostering unprecedented defence production and development cooperation.
Ely Ratner, the assistant secretary of Indo-Pacific security affairs in the Department of Defence, joined Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin during his recent trip to New Delhi.
Image source: Twitter post by Ely Ratner
Ratner emphasizes the significance of a strong and capable India in defending its interests, promoting regional security, and collaborating with the US and its allies in the Indo-Pacific.
Enhancing Industrial Cooperation:
Ratner highlights the ongoing effort to support India’s military modernization and integrate the defence industrial bases of both countries through co-production and co-development.
Prime Minister Modi has prioritized this aspect of the bilateral defence relationship, with a shared vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific.
Ratner emphasizes the mutual benefits derived from a stronger US-India partnership, which extends to joint operations in the Indian Ocean, the South China Sea, and potentially the western Pacific.
The integration of Japan, Australia, the Philippines, and Southeast Asian partners further enhances regional security.
Transition in Export Controls:
Ratner acknowledges the challenges posed by export control barriers, including the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), which have hindered American defence cooperation with allies and partners.
He highlights a “revolutionary transition” within the US system to ease such barriers and boost defence cooperation. The US government is committed to pushing the boundaries and undertaking necessary changes to facilitate sharing of closely held technologies, considering the imperative of strengthening alliances and regional security.
Anticipation for Historic Announcements:
Ratner expresses confidence in the progress of the defence relationship between India and the US, dispelling scepticism that hindered previous efforts.
He alludes to forthcoming significant announcements regarding specific defence industrial cooperation projects, including the potential green light for a major General Electric (GE) project to manufacture jet engines in India.
Lunch Hosted for PM Modi by Vice President:
Kamala Harris, the first Indian-origin vice president of the United States, will host a lunch for Prime Minister Modi at the State Department on June 23.
Image source: The Hindustan Times
This occasion will provide an opportunity for the leaders to spend time together, fostering personal rapport and strengthening the bilateral relationship.
Vice President Harris’s increased political profile and her involvement in critical policy areas, such as abortion, foreign policy, space, and technology, further contribute to the significance of the lunch.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s state visit to the United States is poised to elevate the India-US defence relationship to new heights.
Both countries are committed to strengthening their partnership with a focus on defence industrial cooperation, mutual interests in regional security, and shared values of a free and open Indo-Pacific.
The visit will witness historic announcements and convergence of strategic priorities, underscoring the immense potential for cooperation between India and the US in defence and beyond.
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