US, India sign military, logistic agreement

Polit Bureau, in a statement, said by signing the LEMOA, "India has acquired the formal status of a military ally of the United States".

The Congress and the CPM on Tuesday slammed the Modi government for signing the logistics defence agreement with the usa, saying the pact would jeopardise India's strategic interests.

US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said that even before Monday's meeting at the Pentagon, he had spent more time with Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikarthan than "any other defense counterpart anywhere in the world". It's taken this long to sign just two because India's afraid that this may take away from its strategic autonomy.

"Our decision to sign the LEMoA today would make it easier for our armed forces to carry out joint activities, such as training and exercises, as well as HADRmissions", Mr Parrikar told the media in the presence of Mr Carter.

The US has made closer military ties with India a priority, and Carter had established a special unit within the Pentagon past year to promote cooperation with India.

The Congress on Tuesday criticised the India-US military logistics agreement, terming it a "fundamental departure from India's time-tested policy of strategic military neutrality".

With prior pacts, through LEMOA, ultimately to CISMOA and BECA, India increasingly can either buy (and use), from the U.S. or others or make itself, top-of-the-line technology for its air force and navy to stand up to China's, particularly in the Indian Ocean. "It may not make India feel safer, but will bring strategic troubles to itself and make itself a centre of geopolitical rivalries in Asia".

The CPM politburo too strongly condemned the signing of LEMOA.

But Parrikar acknowledged the challenges involved in boosting the two countries' military cooperation, noting that mistrust and skepticism among the Indian public had challenged even the signing of the logistics agreement, with people falsely believing that it would lead to United States bases in India.

The U.S. designated India as a major defense partner during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's June visit to Washington.

The Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar is on a three-day visit to the US.

The designation of major defense partner allows for the United States to advance defense trade and technology sharing, Carter said.

The agreement will allow the Indian and USA navies to have an easier time supporting each other in joint operations and exercises and when providing humanitarian assistance, Parrikar said. In our discussions, we looked at how this could provide further energy and momentum to our partnership on defence technology and manufacturing. "Its economic, trade and information and technology sharing", he said in response to a question.

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