In­dia-US Mar­itime Co­op­er­a­tion

Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi has in­di­cated a mar­itime vi­sion for In­dian–pa­cific re­gion and the con­cept of Indo-pa­cific se­cu­rity. he is con­vinced that In­dia’s de­vel­op­ment de­pends upon the free­dom of sea lanes of the In­dian and pa­cific oceans. In his pol­icy

SP's NavalForces - - FRONT PAGE - LT GEN­ERAL NARESH CHAND (RETD)

Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi has in­di­cated a mar­itime vi­sion for In­dian–Pa­cific Re­gion and the con­cept of Indo-Pa­cific se­cu­rity. He is con­vinced that In­dia’s de­vel­op­ment de­pends upon the free­dom of sea lanes of the In­dian and Pa­cific Oceans. In his pol­icy of not only ‘Look East but also act East’, he has reached out to other mar­itime na­tions in the re­gion like Ja­pan, US and Aus­tralia.

Lt Gen­eral Naresh Chand (Retd)

pres­I­DeNt BArACK oBAMA hAD said that the us and In­dia will be one of the “defin­ing part­ner­ships in the 21st cen­tury. the us’ re­la­tion­ship with In­dia has the po­ten­tial to al­ter the power dy­nam­ics in Asia and the world, given the two na­tions com­bined po­lit­i­cal, diplo­matic, eco­nomic, and mil­i­tary ca­pac­i­ties. A key component of this part­ner­ship will be us-In­dia de­fense and se­cu­rity ties”. the us De­part­ment of De­fence, while is­su­ing fresh strate­gic guide­lines dur­ing Jan­uary 2012, stressed on “re­bal­anc­ing” to­ward the Asia-pa­cific re­gion. In the doc­u­ment, al­lies like Ja­pan, south Korea, and Aus­tralia were grouped to­gether as ex­ist­ing al­lies while fo­cus on In­dia was made by stat­ing that the us is also in­vest­ing in a long-term strate­gic part­ner­ship with In­dia to sup­port its abil­ity to serve as a re­gional eco­nomic an­chor and provider of se­cu­rity in the broader In­dian ocean re­gion. the key op­er­a­tive words in this con­text was ‘strate­gic part­ner­ship and se­cu­rity in the broader In­dian ocean re­gion’. this specif­i­cally im­plied mar­itime co­op­er­a­tion with In­dia on a long term ba­sis apart from other ar­eas of co­op­er­a­tion. It was clear that the eco­nomic and se­cu­rity in­ter­ests of us were linked with the de­vel­op­ments in the re­gion ex­tend­ing from the Western pa­cific, east Asia into the In­dian ocean re­gion and south Asia.

since the 90s, In­dia and us have been tak­ing baby steps to­wards each other to es­tab­lish a frame work for de­fence co­op­er­a­tion. In Jan­uary 1995, the Agreed Minute on De­fense re­la­tions be­tween In­dia and the us was signed. the rapidly evolv­ing Geo-po­lit­i­cal en­vi­ron­ment re­sulted in both coun­tries sign­ing dur­ing 2005,the ‘New frame­work for De­fense Co­op­er­a­tion’, which out­lined a num­ber of ar­eas for mil­i­tary co­op­er­a­tion. this was fol­lowed by the ‘ Dis­as­ter re­lief Ini­tia­tive’ in 2005 and the ‘Mar­itime se­cu­rity Co­op­er­a­tion frame­work in 2006’. the foun­da­tion of the New frame­work for the usIn­dia De­fense re­la­tion­ship was based on the ax­iom that the world’s two largest democ­ra­cies agree on the vi­tal im­por­tance of po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic free­dom, demo­cratic in­sti­tu­tions, the rule of law, se­cu­rity, and op­por­tu­nity around the world with de­fence be­ing the key el­e­ment of the broader us-In­dia strate­gic part­ner­ship which also pro­tected the free flow of com­merce through land, sea and air. to fa­cil­i­tate and guide the Indo-us re­la­tion­ship for­ward, De­fense pol­icy Group, De­fense pro­cure­ment and pro­duc­tion Group, Joint tech­ni­cal Group, the Mil­i­tary Co­op­er­a­tion Group and the se­nior tech­nol­ogy se­cu­rity Group were formed. A Joint Work­ing Group for mid-year re­view of work over­seen by the De­fense pol­icy Group was also in­sti­tuted.

Indo-US frame­work for Mar­itime Se­cu­rity Co­op­er­a­tion

In­dia and the us have com­mit­ted them­selves to com­pre­hen­sive co­op­er­a­tion in en­sur­ing a se­cure mar­itime do­main which would in­clude pro­tec­tion of free flow of com­merce and to counter threats that could un­der­mine mar­itime se­cu­rity. this in­volved en­hanc­ing se­cu­rity to counter piracy and armed rob­bery at sea; threats to safety of ships, crew, and prop­erty; safety of nav­i­ga­tion; pre­vent transna­tional or­ga­nized crimes in all di­men­sions; the il­licit traf­fick­ing in weapons of mass de­struc­tion, their de­liv­ery sys­tems, and re­lated ma­te­ri­als; en­vi­ron­men­tal degra­da­tion; and nat­u­ral dis­as­ter. Nec­es­sary mech­a­nism was set up to fa­cil­i­tate all as­pects of mar­itime se­cu­rity. An­other key as­pect was co­op­er­a­tion in the field of mar­itime tech­nol­ogy co­op­er­a­tion which In­dia needs badly. the other ar­eas per­tain to oper­a­tions, train­ing, hu­man­i­tar­ian as­sis­tance and dis­as­ter re­lief (hADr), polic­ing du­ties, in­tel­li­gence shar­ing and joint pa­trolling. there are a few im­ped­i­ments in the pur­suance of mar­itime co­op­er­a­tion with us. one of the pri­mary one is that In­dia has been tra­di­tion­ally fol­low­ing a pol­icy of ‘strate­gic Au­ton­omy’ which makes it dif­fi­cult to be­come a very close ally of any coun­try.

Other Joint En­deav­ours

tech­nol­ogy and trade Ini­tia­tive (DttI) was launched in 2012, which is an un­prece­dented joint en­deav­our that brings sus­tained lead­er­ship fo­cus to the bi­lat­eral de­fense trade re­la­tion­ship, cre­ates op­por­tu­ni­ties for us-In­dia co-pro­duc­tion and co-de­vel­op­ment, and fos­ters more sophisticated science and tech­nol­ogy co­opera- tion, all while en­sur­ing that bu­reau­cratic pro­cesses and pro­ce­dures do not stand in the way of the progress. the year 2014 saw the en­dorse­ment of the In­dia-us Dec­la­ra­tion on De­fense Co­op­er­a­tion, a doc­u­ment that re­flects the US’ and In­dia’s com­mit­ment to a long-term strate­gic part­ner­ship, through which both the coun­tries co­op­er­ate to in­crease the se­cu­rity and pros­per­ity of our cit­i­zens and the global com­mu­nity.

pres­i­dent obama was the Chief Guest for In­dia’s 66th republic Day Cel­e­bra­tions dur­ing 2015. the visit re­sulted in key sev­eral de­fense out­comes, in­clud­ing the com­ple­tion of the 2015 frame­work for the us-In­dia De­fense re­la­tion­ship, which will guide and ex­pand both the na­tions’ bi­lat­eral de­fense and strate­gic part­ner­ship over the next 10 years; Agree­ment to pur­sue four pathfinder projects un­der the DTTI as well as co­op­er­a­tion on Air­craft Car­ri­ers and Jet en­gine tech­nol­ogy; and Joint strate­gic Vi­sion for the Asia-Pa­cific and In­dian Ocean Re­gion, which af­firms the shared vi­sion for promis­ing pros­per­ity and sta­bil­ity in the re­gion. prime Naren­dra Modi said it all when he stated , “We have to con­vert a good start into last­ing progress. this re­quires trans­lat­ing our vi­sion into sus­tained ac­tion and con­crete achieve­ments,” while re­spond­ing to pres­i­dent obama. Mar­itime co­op­er­a­tion with us has moved faster than the other two ser­vices.

Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi’s meet­ing with Pres­i­dent Donald Trump

prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi had met pres­i­dent Donald trump dur­ing June 2017 where they vowed to fur­ther In­dia-us de­fence and se­cu­rity part­ner­ship, a highly vis­i­ble sym­bol of which is Mal­abar naval ex­er­cise. At that time us also agreed to sell 22 preda­tor sea Guardian sur­veil­lance drones worth about $2 bil­lion.

Joint Naval Ex­er­cise

Com­ment­ing on the Mal­abar ex­er­cise, trump said, “our mil­i­taries are work­ing ev­ery day to en­hance co­op­er­a­tion, and next month (July 2017) they will join to­gether with the Ja­pa­nese Navy to take part in the largest mar­itime ex­er­cise ever con­ducted in the vast In­dian ocean.“In­dia de­ployed for the first time its air­craft car­rier INS Vikra­ma­ditya for an ex­er­cise with for­eign coun­tries along with us’ nu­clear-pow­ered air­craft car­rier, apart from many front­line ships, sub­marines and naval air­craft. us also wanted to ex­pand the ex­er­cise to in­clude Ja­pan, Aus­tralia and sin­ga­pore which was viewed by China as a sort of gang­ing up against it. the en­larged scope of ex­er­cise Mal­abar will con­trib­ute to build in­ter­op­er­abil­ity in the Asia-Pa­cific re­gion. Dur­ing 2007,such an en­larged ex­er­cise was held but In­dia shied away from re­peat­ing it af­ter China protested but it is back on the anvil. In­dian Navy has been con­duct­ing four type of ex­er­cises with the us Navy, out of which Mal­abar has the high­est vis­i­bil­ity. Mal­abar se­ries of ex­er­cises be­gan in 1992 and in­cludes di­verse naval ac­tiv­i­ties to in­clude air­craft car­rier, oper­a­tions, mar­itime in­ter­dic­tion etc. three ex­er­cises were con­ducted prior to 1998, when the us sus­pended the ex­er­cises due to In­dia car­ry­ing out nu­clear tests. they were re­sumed af­ter 9/11 attacks in 2002. on Jan­uary26, 2015, prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi and pres­i­dent obama agreed to up­grade ex­er­cise Mal­abar to make it multi-lat­eral.

Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi had met Pres­i­dent Donald Trump dur­ing June 2017 where they vowed to fur­ther In­dia-US de­fence and se­cu­rity part­ner­ship, a highly vis­i­ble sym­bol of which is Mal­abar naval ex­er­cise

Progress on mar­itime Co­op­er­a­tion

8thDTTI In­ter Agency Task Force Meet­ing. As part of lndo-us Bi­lat­eral De­fence Co­op­er­a­tion, the 8thDttI In­ter Agency task force Meet­ing was held on fe­bru­ary 26, 2018 at Delhi. the meet­ing was co-chaired by Deputy Chief of In­te­grated De­fence staff Vice Ad­mi­ral A.K. Jain and Act­ing Di­rec­tor, In­ter­na­tional Co­op­er­a­tion Matthew Warren. A num­ber of Joint Work­ing Groups span­ning var­ied projects have been es­tab­lished un­der DttI on both sides, which have

iden­ti­fied var­i­ous projects for the Armed forces. the fact that the us has de­clared In­dia as a ma­jor de­fence part­ner un­der the Na­tional De­fence Au­tho­ri­sa­tion Act in 2017 has given an im­pe­tus to the DttI. speak­ing on the oc­ca­sion, Vice Ad­mi­ral A K Jain brought out that In­dia’s De­fence In­dus­try was in a grow­ing stage and look­ing to ac­quire niche tech­nol­ogy in man­u­fac­tur­ing De­fence weapons and equip­ment. this will also give a boost to In­dia’s flag­ship ‘Make in In­dia’ ini­tia­tive. the us Co-chair, Matthew Warren high­lighted that de­fence co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the two coun­tries is con­tin­u­ing to make progress.

Visit of Ad­mi­ral Sunil Lanba’s to US

Ad­mi­ral sunil Lanba, Chair­man, Chiefs of staff Com­mit­tee and the CNs was on a bi­lat­eral visit to us from March 10-23, 2018 with the aim of con­sol­i­dat­ing co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the Armed forces of both the coun­tries and also to ex­plore new av­enues of de­fence co­op­er­a­tion. Dur­ing the visit he held dis­cus­sions with James Mat­tis, sec­re­tary De­fence, richard V. spencer, sec­re­tary of the Navy and other other key de­fence naval of­fi­cers. Ad­mi­ral Lanba vis­ited the Pa­cific Com­mand Head­quar­ters at pearl har­bour, hawaii, the Naval sur­face War­fare Cen­tre Dahlgren, the pen­tagon and Arlington Na­tional Ceme­tery in Washington DC. Chief of Naval oper­a­tions Ad­mi­ral John richard­son and Ad­mi­ral sunil Lanba met with sec­re­tary of Navy richard V. spencer at the pen­tagon on March 21 and dis­cussed ways to im­prove in­ter­op­er­abil­ity to in­clude ad­di­tional naval ex­er­cises and staff talks. “the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the us Navy and the In­dian Navy has never been stronger,” said richard­son. “there has been mean­ing­ful progress made in strength­en­ing the co­op­er­a­tion be­tween our two great demo­cratic and mar­itime na­tions. We are ex­plor­ing ev­ery way to ex­pand that part­ner­ship even fur­ther based on our shared in­ter­ests.” this is richard­son’s fourth meet­ing with Lanba.

Prime Min­is­ter Modi’s vi­sion for Asia Pa­cific re­gion

prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi has in­di­cated a mar­itime vi­sion for In­dian–Pa­cific Re­gion and the con­cept of Indo-Pa­cific se­cu­rity. he is con­vinced that In­dia’s de­vel­op­ment de­pends upon the free­dom of sea lanes of the In­dian and Pa­cific Oceans. In his pol­icy of not only’look east but also act east’ , he has reached out to other mar­itime na­tions in the re­gion like Ja­pan, us and Aus­tralia. he is also try­ing to strengthen ties with all as­so­ci­a­tions and sym­po­siums of the re­gion like As­so­ci­a­tion of south east Asian Na­tions (AseAN), In­dian ocean Naval sym­po­sium (IoNs), In­dian ocean rim As­so­ci­a­tion (IorA), Asia re­gional fo­rum (Arf) and the east Asia sum­mit (eAs). he has also not ne­glected small is­land na­tions in the In­dian Ocean and in the South Pa­cific.

Quadri­lat­eral Ini­tia­tive

the Quadri­lat­eral (QuAD) Ini­tia­tive was the brain­child of Ja­pa­nese prime Min­is­ter shinzo Abe which he un­furled in 2007. It was named Quadri­lat­eral se­cu­rity Di­a­logue (QsD) which was for­mat­ted to be an in­for­mal strate­gic di­a­logue plat­form be­tween the mem­ber coun­tries. to un­der­score the syn­ergy of the QDs, a large scale joint naval ex­er­cise called Mal­abar was also held in 2007. QDs was widely in­ter­preted as a diplo­matic and mil­i­tary counter to China’s grow­ing eco­nomic and mil­i­tary power. As ex­pected, the Chi­nese Govern­ment re­acted strongly by record­ing for­mal protest to all the mem­bers of QuAD. the QsD faded away when Aus­tralia with­drew from it. Ja­pan re­vived the four-way di­a­logue with In­dia, Aus­tralia and the us on the side-lines of the east Asia sum­mit in philip­pines held from Novem­ber 13-14, 2017 with the hope that re­vived QuAD would once again strive to counter China’s ag­gres­sive pro­jec­tion of naval and eco­nomic power in Asia. In New Delhi, it was viewed as In­dia in­ject­ing fresh en­ergy into the de­fence ties with Ja­pan, Aus­tralia and us. the In­dian pol­icy mak­ers are also ready to ac­cept the open­ing of a demo­cratic se­cu­rity-al­liance in Asia. Apart from the mil­i­tary di­men­sion, it is hoped that there will be an eco­nomic al­liance to counter China’s Belt and road Ini­tia­tive. Ja­pa­nese for­eign Min­is­ter taro Kono told the me­dia on Novem­ber 15, 2017 that the idea of QuAD is for the lead­ers of the four na­tions to pro­mote free trade and de­fense co­op­er­a­tion across a stretch of ocean from the south China sea, across the In­dian ocean and all the way to Africa. the re­sponse of us came through Alice Wells, Washington’s act­ing as­sis­tant sec­re­tary of state for south Asia, while ac­com­pa­ny­ing tiller­son on a visit to In­dia on oc­to­ber 28, 2017 that Washington was “look­ing at a work­ing level Quadri­lat­eral meet­ing in the near term. the quadri­lat­eral the Ja­pa­nese for­eign min­is­ter dis­cussed would be build­ing on a very pro­duc­tive tri­lat­eral we have with In­dia and Ja­pan. Wells re­jected the idea that the fo­rum would be aimed at con­tain­ing China. she said it would seek to co­or­di­nate al­ter­na­tives for na­tions seek­ing in­vest­ment in in­fra­struc­ture and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment, “that don’t in­clude preda­tory fi­nanc­ing or un­sus­tain­able debt. “It’s hard to see a meet­ing of diplo­mats from four coun­tries as a plan to con­tain China,” she said. “It’s a nat­u­ral pro­gres­sion and convergence of in­ter­ests be­tween demo­cratic coun­tries in the Indo-Pa­cific re­gion.” It is still work in progress due to In­dia’s pol­icy of strate­gic Au­ton­omy. Also pres­i­dent trump is pre­oc­cu­pied with rus­sia, North Korea and in­tra coun­try trade and tar­iff is­sues. It will all depend upon prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi’s Asia Pa­cific vi­sion and his out­reach to Ja­pan, Aus­tralia and us as to shape the con­tours of QDs.

The Quadri­lat­eral (QUAD) Ini­tia­tive was the brain­child of Ja­pa­nese Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe which he un­furled in 2007. It was named Quadri­lat­eral Se­cu­rity Di­a­logue (QSD) which was for­mat­ted to be an in­for­mal strate­gic di­a­logue plat­form be­tween the mem­ber coun­tries.

PHO­TO­GRAPH: US Navy

Chief of Naval Oper­a­tions (CNO) Ad­mi­ral John Richard­son presents a plaque to Chief of the Naval Staff Ad­mi­ral Sunil Lanba at the Pen­tagon. The two heads of Navy met with Sec­re­tary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer and dis­cussed ways to in­te­grate and im­prove in­ter­op­er­abil­ity.

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