Foreign Policy Watch: India-United States

India-US: ‘2-by-2’ dialogue put off, India says no to defence minister talks


Mains Paper 2: IR | Bilateral, regional & global groupings & agreements involving India &/or affecting India’s interests

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: ‘2-by-2’ dialogue, COMCASA, BECA, LEMOA

Mains level: India-US ties in recent times and various issues surrounding them

Inaugural ‘2-by-2’ dialogue put off

  1. The ‘2-by-2’ dialogue between India’s foreign and defense ministers and US secretaries of state and defense has been called off
  2. The inaugural ‘2-by-2’ dialogue was scheduled to be held in Washington this month

Why this change?

  1. The dialogue was postponed as the US Secretary of State-designate, Mike Pompeo is still awaiting his confirmation by the US Senate
  2. The offer of a formal meeting between defense ministers was made by the US to India but India declined this offer

Pressure to sign the two foundational agreements for defense 

  1. The US side has been pressing the Indian side to sign the two foundational agreements for defense cooperation
  2. These are Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA), earlier known as the Communications and Information Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA); and Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA)
  3. In 2016, India and the US had signed the third foundational agreement: Logistical Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA), which has since been operationalized


Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) & Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA)

  1. COMCASA is needed if any classified military information is required to be exchanged between US and Indian armed forces
  2. It would allow India to fully utilize the communication security equipment on military platforms it imports from the US
  3. BECA provides for sharing and data gathering of geospatial information between the two militaries
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