Na­tional De­fense Au­tho­riza­tion Act of 2017 and indo-us De­fence Part­ner­ship

The In­dia amend­ment, which forms sec­tion 1292 of the ndaa, re­quires the Us sec­re­taries of de­fense and state to des­ig­nate an of­fi­cial with the spe­cific task of clear­ing road­blocks to greater co­op­er­a­tion

SP's NavalForces - - FRONT PAGE - REAR AD­MI­RAL SUSHIL RAM­SAY (RETD)

In The TWI­LIGHT OF Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion a very cru­cial law re­lat­ing to the Indo-Us de­fence part­ner­ship cleared its fi­nal leg­isla­tive hur­dle and was signed by Pres­i­dent barack Obama be­fore demit­ting the of­fice, mak­ing it manda­tory for Pres­i­dent don­ald Trump and his ad­min­is­tra­tion to be legally bound to treat In­dia as a ma­jor de­fence part­ner. The bill des­ig­nated as en­hanc­ing de­fence and se­cu­rity Co­op­er­a­tion with In­dia has been in­cor­po­rated as an amend­ment to the na­tional de­fense au­tho­riza­tion act (ndaa) of 2017.

ndaa 2017 was passed with an over­whelm­ing ma­jor­ity both by the Us Congress up­per house, the se­nate and the lower house, the house of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives. with such over­whelm­ing con­gres­sional sup­port, the Pres­i­dent is not em­pow­ered to veto the bill.

In the last meeting held in de­cem­ber 2016 between out­go­ing de­fense sec­re­tary ash­ton Carter and de­fence Min­is­ter Manohar Par­rikar a joint state­ment was is­sued which read, The des­ig­na­tion as a Ma­jor de­fence Part­ner is a sta­tus unique to In­dia and in­sti­tu­tion­alises the progress made to fa­cil­i­tate de­fence trade and tech­nol­ogy shar­ing with In­dia to a level at par with that of the United states clos­est al­lies and part­ners, and en­sures en­dur­ing co­op­er­a­tion into the fu­ture.

se­na­tor Mark warner, who drafted the In­dia amend­ment that the se­nate passed had pro­nounced, I wel­come the con­tin­ued ad­vance­ment of our bi­lat­eral de­fence re­la­tion­ship with In­dia, as ev­i­denced by the es­tab­lish­ment of the de­fence Tech­nol­ogy and Trade Ini­tia­tive (DTTI), the sign­ing of the de­fence Frame­work agree­ment, the com­ple­tion of the Lo­gis­tics Ex­change Mem­o­ran­dum of agree­ment (LEMOA) and the des­ig­na­tion of In­dia as a ma­jor de­fence part­ner.

Con­gress­man Ge­orge hold­ing, who steered the In­dia amend­ment through the house of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, pointed out, In­dia plays a crit­i­cal role as a strate­gic part­ner to the Us and as a pil­lar of sta­bil­ity in south asia. I'm proud to work with my col­leagues on both sides of the aisle to so­lid­ify the eco­nomic and de­fence re­la­tion­ship between our coun­tries.

On US ex­tend­ing de­fence co­op­er­a­tion to In­dia, ben schwartz of the Us-In­dia busi­ness Coun­cil, which rep­re­sents nu­mer­ous top-tier Us com­pa­nies do­ing de­fence busi­ness with In­dia, had said, we want the Indian mil­i­tary to be ca­pa­ble of man­ag­ing the grow­ing se­cu­rity threats in the Indian Ocean re­gion. and we want many of those ca­pa­bil­i­ties to come from amer­i­can in­dus­try and Us-In­dia in­dus­trial part­ner­ships.

The In­dia amend­ment, which forms sec­tion 1292 of the ndaa, re­quires the Us sec­re­taries of de­fense and state to des­ig­nate an of­fi­cial with the spe­cific task of clear­ing road­blocks to greater co­op­er­a­tion. In the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion, this func­tion was ear­lier per­formed by ash­ton Carter him­self, as co-chair­man of the DTTI, and is cur­rently be­ing per­formed by Frank Ken­dall, the Un­der sec­re­tary of de­fense for ac­qui­si­tion, Tech­nol­ogy and Lo­gis­tics (AT&L).

It will be in­ter­est­ing to see how the Indian Govern­ment would re­act to the op­er­a­tional clauses of the In­dia amend­ment, which re­quires the Us ad­min­is­tra­tion to co­or­di­nate with their Indian coun­ter­parts on en­gage­ment between the mil­i­taries of the two coun­tries for threat anal­y­sis, mil­i­tary doc­trine, force plan­ning, mutual se­cu­rity in­ter­ests, lo­gis­ti­cal sup­port, in­tel­li­gence, tactics, tech­niques and pro­ce­dures, hu­man­i­tar­ian aid and dis­as­ter relief. ad­her­ence to such vi­tal clauses will be es­sen­tial for upgra­da­tion of bi­lat­eral re­la­tion­ship to strate­gic Part­ner sta­tus. The flip side is that the Indian Gov­ern­ments in the past, as also the present dis­pen­sa­tion, have been very weary and ex­tremely cau­tious to ob­vi­ate the tag of a mil­i­tary ally of the wash­ing­ton.

In spe­cific terms of Sec­tion 1292 of ndaa 2017, Us sec­re­tary of de­fense and sec­re­tary of state have been jointly au­tho­rised for the fol­low­ing: Recog­nise In­dia as a ma­jor de­fence

part­ner of the Us. Des­ig­nate an of­fi­cial to (i) Pur­sue the Frame­work for the Us-In­dia de­fence Re­la­tion­ship; and (ii) help re­solve is­sues that im­pede de­fence co­op­er­a­tion.

Fa­cil­i­tate the trans­fer of ad­vanced tech­nol­ogy to In­dia, to sup­port com­bined mil­i­tary plan­ning for mis­siles like HADR, counter-piracy, free­dom of nav­i­ga­tion, Mda and to pro­mote weapons in­ter­op­er­abil­ity.

Strengthen the DTTI and the Pen­tagons In­dia Rapid Re­ac­tion Cell. Col­lab­o­rate with the Govern­ment of In­dia to de­velop mu­tu­ally agree­able mech­a­nisms for ver­i­fy­ing se­cu­rity and end-use mon­i­tor­ing.

Sup­port align­ment of In­dia’s ex­port con­trol and pro­cure­ment regimes with those of Us and mul­ti­lat­eral con­trol regimes.

En­hance de­fence and se­cu­rity co­op­er­a­tion with In­dia to ad­vance Us in­ter­ests in South Asia and the Indo-Asia-Pa­cific re­gions.

This act also di­rects the sec­re­taries for de­fense and state to re­port to Congress within 180 days and there­after an­nu­ally on progress made on the above au­tho­ri­sa­tion.

For an ef­fec­tive bi­lat­eral co­or­di­na­tion, sec­re­tary of de­fense has also been au­tho­rised to fa­cil­i­tate ex­changes between se­nior de­fence and civil of­fi­cials of US and In­dia to cover the fol­low­ing as­pects re­lat­ing to the act:

To en­hance mil­i­tary en­gage­ment in threat anal­y­sis, mil­i­tary doc­trine, force plan­ning, mutual se­cu­rity in­ter­ests, lo­gis­ti­cal sup­port, in­tel­li­gence, tactics, tech­niques and pro­ce­dures and HADR.

In­clude ex­changes of se­nior mil­i­tary of­fi­cers.

En­hance mil­i­tary co­op­er­a­tion, in­clud­ing mar­itime se­cu­rity, counter-piracy, counter-ter­ror co­op­er­a­tion and do­main aware­ness in the Indo-Asia-Pa­cific re­gion.

Ac­cel­er­ate com­bined mil­i­tary plan­ning for ( HADR, counter-piracy, free­dom of nav­i­ga­tion, Mda and to pro­mote weapons in­ter­op­er­abil­ity) or (threat anal­y­sis, mil­i­tary doc­trine, force plan­ning, mutual se­cu­rity in­ter­ests, lo­gis­ti­cal sup­port, in­tel­li­gence, tactics, tech­niques and pro­ce­dures, HADR) or other mis­sions in the na­tional se­cu­rity in­ter­ests of both coun­tries.

So­licit ef­forts by In­dia that would al­low Us to treat In­dia as a ma­jor de­fence part­ner.

while sec­tion 1292 of ndaa 2017 pro­vides a most com­pre­hen­sive man­date by the Us ad­min­is­tra­tion and ad­e­quate pro­vi­sions and au­tho­ri­sa­tion to the sec­re­taries of de­fense and the state, the litmus test of its suc­cess would lie in the Indian Gov­ern­ments ac­cep­tance to ad­here to the man­date. Gen­eral James Mat­tis, Sec­re­tary of De­fense, in his first state­ment on US-In­dia ties said that Òthe Us-In­dia [de­fence] re­la­tion­ship has been strength­ened in re­cent years. how­ever, the Govern­ment of In­dia will have to wait and watch the pri­or­ity the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion may as­sign to de­fence co­op­er­a­tion with In­dia.

NDAA 2017 and Air­craft Car­rier Tech­nol­ogy

The Joint Work­ing Group on Air­craft Car­rier Tech­nol­ogy Co­op­er­a­tion (JWGACTC) was formed between In­dia and Us in Fe­bru­ary 2015 un­der the aus­pices of de­fence Trade and Tech­nol­ogy Ini­tia­tive to share in­for­ma­tion in the field of air­craft car­rier tech­nol­ogy. since In­dia seeks to build a fu­ture gen­er­a­tion air­craft car­rier with mod­ern tech­nolo­gies, the Indian Navy stands to ben­e­fit from this co­op­er­a­tive en­gage­ment with the Us.

Con­sid­er­ing that IAC-2 would be the largest and most com­plex plat­form to be built in the coun­try in terms of niche tech­nolo­gies the de­sign and con­struc­tion of the ship is likely to take about 15 years af­ter the govern­ment gives a for­mal go-ahead for the project. Pro­vi­sions of sec­tion 1292 of ndaa 2017 will cer­tainly be a shot in the arm for the JWGACTC to make avail­able the req­ui­site tech­nolo­gies for In­dia's as­pi­ra­tions to build su­per air­craft car­ri­ers in In­dia.

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