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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 | 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 | India successfully tests nuclear capable Prithvi-II missile in Odisha | India becomes associate member of European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), Geneva | Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar inducts four Indigenous Naval Systems | The 4 Indigenous Naval Systems – ABHAY, HUMSA UG, NACS and AIDSS – were indigenously developed by DRDO | These Indigenous Naval Systems will boost underwater surveillance capability of the Indian Navy | India, Japan sign Civil Nuclear Deal | The Deal signed during PM Narendra Modi’s visit to Japan Nov 10-11 | With this Deal, Japan is able to export N-technology to India for peaceful uses | PM Modi calls the Deal “a historic step to build a clean energy partnership between India, Japan” |
January 17, 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.

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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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