HEADLINES:
India, Cyprus sign 4 agreements including one on Air Service Agreement । Agreements signed during Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades’s visit to India April 28 । Cyprus President called on President Mukherjee, Prime Minister Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in New Delhi । The visiting President and PM Modi agreed on urgent need for all countries to decisively act against the states supporting factories of terrorism । PM Modi also thanked the Cyprus President for his support to India’s claim of Permanent Membership in UNSC । North Korea test fires a ballistic missile which landed in the Sea of Japan । India, Sri Lanka ink pacts on economic cooperation and road infrastructure development । The agreements signed during Sri Lankan PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s visit to India । Prime Minister Modi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj called on him । Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar accompanied Sushma Swaraj when the latter called on the visiting Sri Lankan PM । India-Russia defence engagement will continue to grow, says Defence Minister Arun Jaitley । He was speaking at the 6th Moscow Conference on International Security in Moscow । India, Russia are celebrating 70 years of Diplomatic Relationship । China launches its first indigenous aircraft carrier । The new carrier will accommodate 36 aircraft and will be commissioned in 2020 after sea trials । It’s a 50000 ton platform with a ski jump deck modeled on Soviet carriers but has many design innovations । India, South Korea Sign Inter-Governmental MoU for Defence Industry Co-Operation in Shipbuilding । The MoU signed by Secretary (Defence Production), India, Ashok Kumar Gupta and Minister of Defence Acquisition and Programme Administration (DAPA), South Korea, Chang Myoung-Jin । The Inter-Governmental MoU was conceived under the overall umbrella of the ‘Special Strategic Partnership’ between both countries । The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) accorded its approval for signing the MoU । The CCS also gave a go ahead for nominating Hindustan Shipyard Ltd, Visakhapatnam for collaboration । Indian Navy successfully test-fires land attack version of Brahmos supersonic cruise missile । Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari calls on President, Vice President, Prime Minister, Home Minister and Defence Minister in New Delhi Apr 18 । Nepalese President is on a State visit to India April 17-21 । This is her first ever visit to India since taking over in 2015 । She was given a ceremonial Guard of Honour on her arrival at Rashtrapati Bhawan । Canada’s Minister of National Defence, Harjit Singh Sajjan, called on Defence Minister Arun Jaitley Tuesday । He was presented a Tri-Services Guard of Honour on his arrival at South Block । 12 killed in Saudi military helicopter in Yemen । Unconfined reports say the Blackhawk was accidentally shot down by a Saudi Patriot missile। US NSA Gen HR McMaster meets Prime Minister Modi in New Delhi । Gen McMaster also exchanged views on Indo-US relations with Indian counterpart Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar । Happy Easter । US drops its biggest 21,000 pound bomb on ISIS in Afghanistan April 13 । Designated GBU 43, the Mother of All Bombs is designed to hit deep caves and tunnels in hardy mountains । GBU 43 is the biggest non-nuclear bomb, carried by the US Air Force (USAF) and the British Royal Air Force (RAF) । White House Press Secretyary Sean Spricer confirmed the night bombing but there was no immediate word from Taliban । Spicer said the ISIS terroists were targeted as they used the caves and tunnels to hit the US forces । GBU 43 is a concussion bomb carrying an explosive charge of 8,500 kg, equal to 11 tons of TNT । India, Australia sign 6 MoUs including on Combating Terrorism and Civil Aviation Security । Agreements signed during Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull’s Visit to India April 10 । He calls on President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari and Prime Minister Narendra Modi । This is the first ever visit of Turnbull after taking over as Australian PM in 2015 । The Australian PM along with his Indian counterpart took a Delhi metro ride to visit city-based Akshardham Temple । India, Bangladesh signed 22 agreements April 8 including key pacts on defence cooperation and civil nuclear cooperation । India announced an additional $4.5-billion concessional line of credit for infrastructure projects in Bangladesh, and another $500 million for Dhaka to procure defence equipment from New Delhi । A joint India-Bangladesh event saw both PMs honour the 1,661 Indian soldiers who sacrificed their lives during the 1971 war for Bangladesh’s independence । Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina arrives in New Delhi for 4-day State visit to India । Prime Minister Modi himself goes to the airport to greet the Bangladesh PM on her arrival । External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj calls on Sheikh Hasina at Rashtrapati Bhawan । She is the special guest of President Pranab Mukherjee during her State visit to India । The Bangladesh PM has a full day of bilateral discussions with her Indian counterpart on Saturday (April 8) । 20 agreements are expected to be signed between India and Bangladesh । India, Malaysia sign 7 agreements । The agreements signed during Malaysian PM Najib Razak’s visit to India from March 30 to April 4 । Malaysian PM calls on President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari and Prime Minister Narendra Modi । India and Malaysia joint statement, issued after Modi, Razak meeting, calls for a deeper ties between the two nations । Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is free from jail after six year । Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who holds additional charge of Defence, elected President of the Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis (IDSA) । He succeeds Mr Manohar Parikkar who resigned to take over as Chief Minister of Goa recently। Hardeep Singh Puri appointed Chairman of the Research and Information System for Developing Countries । Mr Puri is former Indian Envoy to the UN in New York and Geneva । FBI investigating possible Russian interference in 2016 US presidential election, Director Comey confirms । He told House Intelligence Committee there is no evidence of President Obama ordering wiretap of Trump during the election campaign । President Trump has made several allegations against his predecessor, which the powerful heads of FBI and NSA have denied । Finance Minister Arun Jaitley assumes additional charge as Defence Minster । Jaitley replaces Manohar Parrikar who has moved to Goa to head the State’s Government as Chief Minster । BRAHMOS Extended Range (ER) missile successfully test-fired । Prime Minister greets CISF on its 48th Raising Day । INS Tillanchang Commissioned into Indian Navy । INS Tillanchang was commissioned by FOC-in-C Western Naval Command Vice Admiral Girish Luthra at Karwar । India Strategic salutes the humanity on this International Women’s Day । Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju dedicates first integrated heliport to the nation । Ms. DR Doley Barman appointed Director of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy, Hyderabad । 1992 batch IFS officer Gopal Baglay appointed MEA Spokesperson । He replaces Vikas Swarup, who has been appointed Indian High Commissioner to Canada । Raytheon, Tata Advanced Systems to Co-produce Stinger Missile Components । Indian Navy Concludes First Contract under Buy and Make (Indian) Category । Contract signed between Nova Integrated Systems Ltd (NISL), a TASL subsidiary, and Indian Navy for procurement of Surface Surveillance Radars (SSRs) । NISL to indigenously manufacture these state-of-the-art radars in collaboration with Terma, Denmark । ISRO creates history; launches 104 satellites in one go । President, Vice President and Prime Minister congratulated ISRO and its scientists for the historic mission । Indian Navy to decommission aircraft carrier INS Viraat on March 6 । India to spend Rs 2,74,114 crore on Defence । Rs 85,737.31 crore will be spent on equipment acquisition । Russia formally enters IAF’s second round of MMRCA competition । Moscow offers a new MiG-35 variant under Make in India । Alexander M Kadakin, who served as the Russian Ambassador to India for over a dozen years, passed away after a brief illness in New Delhi on Thursday, January 26, 2017. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled Kadakin’s death calling him a “great friend of India.” । India Strategic wishes everyone Happy Republic Day । President Pranab Mukherjee takes salute at the beautiful Republic Day Parade in New Delhi । UAE Crown Prince Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed is the Chief Guest at India’s R-Day celebrations । A highlight of the Parade is also the participation of a UAE armed forces contingent । Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid a wreath at Amar Jawan Jyoti to pay tributes to martyrs । The impressive Parade began with a 21-gun salute to the President, the Supreme Commander of the Indian armed forces । India’s anti-terror force, National Security Guard (NSG) made its debut in the Parade । Dressed in their patent black, NSG commandos jogged passed the saluting base with their faces covered । US President Donald Trump called Prime Minister Narendra Modi late on January 24 । The telephone call is indicative of the vital nature of the India-US strategic partnership between the two countries । Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan arrives in New Delhi । Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who is also the Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, was received by PM Modi । Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed is the Chief Guest of Republic Day 2017 । Government extends Foreign Secretary Dr S Jaishankar’s tenure by one year । The extension to be effective between Jan 29, 2017 and Jan 28, 2018 । Pravind Kumar Jugnauth takes over as Mauritius Prime Minister । Prime Minister Modi congratulated the newly-appointed Mauritian PM । Donald Trump takes over as US President । Promises transfer of power to people । Turkish Boeing 747 cargo plane crashes in Kyrgyzstan with 37 onboard; all killed । Astronaut Gene Cernan, 82, the last man to walk on moon, passes away । India marks Army Day । President, Prime Minister and Defence Minister greet the Army । Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat takes salute at the impressive Army Day Parade । Gen Rawat says India wants peace but if attempts are made to disrupt it, then “we will display our power” । He says emphasis is on newer technology weapons and systems for the Army । Space connectivity is also high on Army’s agenda । This is the 69th Army Day, marking the time when an Indian Chief, Gen KM Cariappa took over the command after Independence । Indian Navy launches its second Kalvari class submarine INS Khanderi in Mumbai । India Strategic wishes all its readers and viewers a very Happy New Year । India successfully test fires Agni 5 long range missile | IAF gets Government approval for one more C 17 strategic Lift aircraft | IAF has got 10 C 17s, but had initially planned for more than 20 | Lack of timely approval made IAF slash figure to three but by then Boeing closed factory | IAF will get the last one in production | Syrian government of President Assad takes full control of Aleppo | Lt Gen Bipin Rawat appointed the next Army Chief and Air Marshal BS Dhanoa the Air Chief | The appointments are effective December 31 afternoon | Both are Vice Chiefs of Staff at present in their respective Services | 48 killed in a PIA ATR-42 aircraft crash in Pakistan | The twin-engine propellor aircraft was on way from Chitral to Islamabad | India marks Navy Day | Prime Minister Narendra Modi greets all Navy personnel, and salutes their bravery on Indian Navy annual day | PM Modi, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani jointly inaugurate Heart of Asia Ministerial Conference at Amritsar (India) Dec 4 | Need of the hour is to identify terrorism and bring stability in the region, says PM Modi | India’s commitment to Afghan is absolute, Mr Modi said addressing 6th HoA Ministerial Conf | Afgan Prez accused Pakistan of sheltering terror, and thanked India of financial aid | HoA Conf began at Amritsar Dec 3 | INS Vikrant likely to be operational in 2018 | Vikrant to operate both Russian MiG-29K and Western origin Aircraft | Indian Navy to mark 2017 as the year of submarine: Adm Lanba class=”gap”>| Gujarat-cadre officer Rakesh Asthana to take over as CBI Director after Anil Sinha, who retires Dec 2 | Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa is Pakistan’s new army chief | Gen Bajwa took over from Gen Raheel Sharif Nov 29 | The outgoing chief stressed all should work together “against external and internathreats” | Plane carrying Brazilian football team crashes in Colombia | Cuba’s revolutionary leader Fidel Castro dies. He was 90. | Castro had challenged the US might and invited Soviet presence next door to the US | US-Cuban relations have normalized now after half a century | Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar Commissions INS Chennai into Indian Navy Nov 21 | INS Chennai is a Project 15A Guided Missile Destroyer | This is the 3rd and last ‘Kolkata’ class destroyer indigenously designed by DND and constructed by MDL, Mumbai |
April 30, 2017
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Trump’s Indian Opportunity

View from Washington
By Richard Weitz
 

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Washington. President-elect Donald Trump’s decision to appoint South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley as his future UN Ambassador underscores that the incoming administration, which begins on January 20, understands the importance of developing stronger India-U.S. ties. The bilateral national security relationship is critical for realizing both countries’ core defense objectives.

Showing how Trump can set aside political differences for the national interest, Haley initially supported Marco Rubio’s candidacy for the presidency, then that of Ted Cruz, before backing Trump. If confirmed by the Senate, Haley would become the most prominent Trump political appointee representing the more than three million Indian-Americans in the United States. The Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans represents the largest House caucus focused on a single foreign country.

nikki

Nikki Haley could also help Trump deepen relations with India. When Trump spoke at the Republican Hindu Coalition in mid-October for a charity concert in New Jersey, he praised the Hindu faith, India as a nation, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s strong leadership. Then and elsewhere, he described India as a vital ally in the fight against Islamist terrorism.

The personal relationship between him and Modi goes off to a good start. Modi was part of the select group of leaders to speak on the phone with Trump the day after his election. The Prime Minister also tweeted to Trump, “We appreciate the friendship you have articulated towards India during your campaign.”

The two men have similarities in their political background – both are outsiders who challenge conventional views by pushing for free-market policies at home and nationalist policies abroad in the face of generally unenthusiastic foreign-policy establishments.

U.S. defense leaders have come to see India as a key U.S. partner. Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta called India a “linchpin” of U.S. policy in Asia; Chuck Hagel, also former Defense Secretary, termed India a security provider “from the Indian Ocean to the greater Pacific”; and Ashton Carter, who was just in New Delhi to reaffirm ties with Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, has said that “the U.S.-India relationship is destined to be one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century.”

Indian-U.S. defense exchanges have been expanding substantially in number and kind, making the United States the main foreign military exercise partner of the Indian Armed Forces. In particular, the two militaries have participated in frequent bilateral and multilateral exercises during the past decade, with special emphasis on naval cooperation.

The Trump team has opportunities to broaden and deepen the Indian-U.S. defense relationship.

In addition to the drills their three Services regularly undertake, the United States and India can expand their bilateral military training to include rehearsing large multi-service combined exercises.

In addition, the number of army exercises should increase since India’s Army receives more than half of the country’s defense budget while its Navy, which has been the Pentagon’s most active exercise partner, receives a much smaller percentage.

On a multinational plane, increasing cooperation with Japan and other third partners – for instance,by following the advice of Admiral Harry Harris, U.S. Pacific Command chief, who called for a revival of the Bush-era “quad” between India, Japan, Australia and the United States – would expand the impact of the India-U.S. security partnership.

India may play a key role in regional security assistance as the incoming Trump administration seeks to transition defense and security burdens local partners. For example, the United States should encourage India to provide more extensive assistance to the Afghan and Central Asian security forces. Trilateral Russia-U.S.-Indian security opportunities may emerge in Eurasia if Washington’s relations with Moscow improve.

Indian-U.S. counterterrorism cooperation can be strengthened by furthering intelligence sharing, reviving their stalled homeland security dialogue, deepening nuclear and biological security cooperation, encompassing a wider range of narcotics trafficking issues, and signing the planned cyber security framework agreement.

India may heed the Trump administration’s likely demand that India join the U.S.-led “Global Coalition against Daesh,” which now includes 68 members. The Trump administration can better overcome Indian resistance to this step by encouraging India to provide non-combat intelligence, economic, and humanitarian assistance.

In future negotiations with India, the Trump administration may be torn between continuing previous administrations’ policies of developing a strategic partnership to share common security burdens and adopting a more short-term transactional economic focus. The former approach will be more difficult to achieve, but should be the objective of the new administration regarding India.

In fact, the latter strategy might work better with Pakistan, where generous past U.S. assistance has failed to attain much U.S. influence over Pakistani policies. Indians might enjoy seeing Trump set aside diplomatic niceties to more explicitly attack Pakistani ties to Islamist terrorism.

By strengthening India’s counterterrorism, homeland defense, and nuclear security capabilities, moreover, the United States can reduce the risks that Pakistani-backed terrorist attacks could escalate into a major Indian-Pakistani military conflict.

In this regard, Trump should continue the recent practice of de-hyphenating India and Pakistan, making aid to Pakistan more conditional and reducing both U.S. security and developmental assistance. While Pakistan is a U.S. regional partner, India is a strategic partner throughout Asia, and increasingly globally. One final act of the Obama administration in getting India onboard as a Major Defense Partner will go a long way in strengthening bilateral ties, particularly as India enjoys bipartisan support at the Hill.

Meanwhile, India is expected to raise its ceiling on foreign defense investment and relax some offset requirements. For instance, the Indian government should specify when 100% FDI is permissible.

 

dr-vivek-lall-with-donald-trumpIndia should also strengthen the barriers against the unauthorized transfer of U.S. military technology to third parties like Iran. These changes will help meet the Trump administration’s goal of boosting U.S. exports and developing more balanced international economic relations without compromising on U.S. security goals.

Enhancing Indian-U.S. security ties along these lines should balance the tension that might arise during Trump’s presidency over immigration, climate change (Indians had expected to receive foreign funds and technology to curtail their carbon emissions), and the possible de-emphasis of democracy promotion and Afghanistan.

While potentially a point of friction with the Indian government, it remains to be seen how the new administration would curtail the outsourcing of labor to India. Although Trump criticized outsourcing in his book, Time to Get Tough, and said during the campaign that he would give corporations incentives to bring outsourced jobs back to the United States, Trump has spared India by mostly faulting China for predatory economic behavior. Indians will benefit if Trump’s tough approach leads China to treat its economic partners better.

(By arrangement with SLDInfo)

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