India Agrees to Let US Access its Military Bases
Approval reverses a long-standing Indian position against such an agreement
New Delhi: India has ‘in principle’ agreed on a pact to share military logistics with the US, giving easier access to visiting aircraft and warships to resources like fuel and water, marking a major gearing up on the bilateral security relationship. The two sides have also agreed to expand technology sharing to jointly develop military equipment.
Whilethedealonsharinglogistics — Indian military assets would get easiersuppliesatUSbasesandvice versa — is to be firmed up with defence minister Manohar Parrikar saying that a final draft will be ready over the next few weeks, the approval reverses a long-standing Indian position against the pact. Despite being proposed over a decade ago to enable a s mo o t h mechanism to share resources, ex-defence minister AK Antony had taken a strong stand against it citing concerns of armed forces.
In a joint presser with the visiting US secretary for defence Ashton Carter, Parrikar sought to downplay concerns that the agreement would end up in US troops being based in India, saying that it pertains only to sharing of resources like fuel, water and food and is needed as bilateral engagements are on the rise. “As our engagement deepens, we need to develop mechanisms to facilitate such exchanges. In this context, Carter and I agreed i n pri nciple to conclude a Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement in the coming months,” he said.
Parrikar said the finer points of
Ex-defence minister AK Antony had taken a strong stand against it citing concerns of armed forces
the agreement have been worked out and a final draft could be ready in a few weeks, possibly stretching to a month. The US side was more positive on the timeline, saying it could be finalised in two to three weeks.
This is not the first time that American military has been given accesstoIndianresources.
Post the conflict with China, US aircraft were used to maintain and supply troops in Leh and in the northeast. In return, secret US spy missions on China were launched from India with then PM Jawaharlal Nehru giving permission for the overflying and stationing of U-2 aircraft at the Charbatia airbase in Odisha.
DECEMBER 21, 2015 What is LSA?