U.S. & India Sign 10-Year Defense Pact
The defense ministers of the United States and India signed a 10-year agreement Tuesday paving the way for stepped up military ties, including joint weapons production and cooperation on missile defense.
Titled the “New Framework for the US-India Defense Relationship” (NFDR) and signed on Monday by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Defense Minister Pranab Mukherjee, the agreement is vastly more expansive that the Next Steps in Strategic Partnership (NSSP) and builds on the January 1995 Agreed Minute on Defense Relations between the two countries.
Under the NFDR, Washington offered to step up a strategic dialogue with India to boost missile defense and other security initiatives as well as high-tech cooperation, expanded economic and energy cooperation, a “defense procurement and production group,” and deals to cooperate on military “research, development, testing and evaluation.”
The agreement also envisages joint and combined exercises and exchanges between both sides, naval pilot training, and even increased cooperation in the areas of worldwide peacekeeping operations and expansion of interaction with other nations “in ways that promote regional and global peace and stability.”
In the area of missile defense, efforts will begin with efforts to secure approval of Patriot PAC-3 missiles for India (previous offers had involved PAC-2s). There was no word on whether the Israeli-American Arrow THAAD missile defense system, which India has previously sought, would also be approved, though Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee did express India’s position that all technology restrictions should be dropped.
As the Times of India notes:
bq. “Indicative of New Delhi’s broader goals is a paragraph in the agreement that talks of the two sides working “to conclude defence transactions, not solely as ends in and of themselves, but as a means to strengthen our countries’ security, reinforce our strategic partnership, achieve greater interaction between our armed forces, and build greater understanding between our defence establishments.”
Additional Readings and Sources
- Agence-France Presse (June 29/05) – U.S. India Sign 10-Year Defense Pact
- Times of India (June 29/05) – India, US Sign Defence Pact
- NewIndiapress.com (June 29/05) – India, US sign 10-year defence pact
- Financial Times.com (June 29/05) – US signs formal defence pact with India. Note the comments re: India, containment of China, and non-alignment, and also this article which comments on some of the divided opinions within India.
- Winds of Change.NET (June 30/05) – The Alliance: U.S. & India Sign Major 10-Year Defense Pact. Warning: contains political analysis, commentary, speculation.