New US Defence Secretary highlights importance of relations with India

Terming India as an important “net provider of security” in the region, US President Barack Obama’s pick for Defence Secretary has said strengthening defence ties and expanding collaboration on military technology with the country would be his top priority.
“India and the United States have built a strong strategic partnership. India is an important net provider of security in the region, and a partner on issues ranging from maritime security to humanitarian assistance to broader regional stability,” Obama’s Defence Secretary nominee Ashton Carter told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee during his confirmation hearing yesterday.

The past decade has been transformative in the US-India relationship, he said, adding that as a result there has been greater convergence in US-India interests and concerns than ever before, particularly between their re-balance to Asia and India’s ‘Act East’ policy.
“Strengthening the US-India defence relationship was a priority for me as Deputy Secretary of Defence and, if confirmed, I will continue to prioritise the steady growth of this relationship,” Carter said in a written response to questions from the Committee.
He said defence plays a vital role in US-India relations, which includes a robust series of military exchanges and exercises, a strong track record on defence trade and increasingly close consultations on regional security issues.
“The Department of Defence also remains committed to technological cooperation with India through the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) under which the President announced four pathfinder projects, a working group on aircraft carrier cooperation and the possibility of cooperating on jet engine technology,” he said, referring to Obama’s visit to India last month.
“As Deputy Secretary of Defence, I launched DTTI, now led by Under Secretary Frank Kendall. If confirmed, I will lean-forward to expand DTTI with additional co-production and co-development activities,” he said.

Check Also

What Does China Really Want? – OpEd

The 73rd National Day of China on 1 October brings a new reflection on its …