India US Partnership At an All-Time High: Pentagon Officials

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New Delhi: Top Pentagon officials on Wednesday (local time) said that the partnership between India and the United States is stronger than ever before. This statement was made during a session with American Lawmakers where it was said that India holds a pivotal position due to its relations with Russia.

Assistant Secretary of Defence for Indo-Pacific security affairs Ely S Ratner told members of Indo Pacific House committee on Wednesday that he would describe the US-India relationship as growing and stronger than it ever has been and is essential for their vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific.

Ratner stated that initiatives are being made to improve cooperation in several fields, including the joint manufacturing of military and defence hardware. He observed notable advancements in the development of jet engines and armoured vehicles, which are intended to support the defence industrial bases of the United States and India. Ratner recognized India’s geopolitical significance, as well as its alignment with the US and its connections with Russia.

The commander of the US Indo-Pacific Command, Navy Admiral John Aquilino emphasised deepening Indo-US military cooperation. He highlighted the increasing interoperability between the two countries, with joint operations and exercises contributing to enhanced cooperation, coordination and mutual capabilities. When the subject of India’s membership in BRICS—Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa—came up during the conversation, Ratner explained how the country’s strategic identity involves a multipolar international structure that reflects its goals in foreign policy. India is advancing militarily and strategically with the US in the Indo-Pacific area, notwithstanding its affiliation with the BRICS.

He emphasised the participation of US Bombers in the Aero India show and bilateral exercises like ‘Cope India’ as an example of enhanced cooperation. Joint exercises like ‘Tiger Triumph’ in the land domain have strengthened maritime domain awareness and service-to-service ties between the two countries. The focus remains on deepening cooperation under the Logistics Exchange Memorandum (LEMOA) to facilitate regular engagements in the Indian Ocean region.

The testimony from officials underscores a shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific region and the ongoing efforts to nurture and advance the strategic partnership between India and the US. Both countries continue to collaborate in defence and security realms and contribute to stability and security in the Indo-Pacific.

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