Foreign Policy Watch: India-United States

[op-ed snap] Expanding the common groundop-ed snap


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

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not Much

Mains level: Role of India in Afghanistan and rising strategic relationship between the two coutries.


News

Context

  1. The article talks about the rising Indo-US strategic relationship in the Indian Sub-continent

Wider role of India in Afghanistan

  1. India has decided to take up 116 “high-impact community developmental projects” in 31 provinces of Afghanistan
  2. India and Afghanistan have also agreed to “strengthen security cooperation”
  3. India has agreed “to extend further assistance for the Afghan national defence and security forces in fighting (1) the scourge of terrorism, (2) organised crime, (3) trafficking of narcotics and (4) money laundering”
  4. India will train Afghan police officers along with Afghan soldiers
  5. This is aimed at sending out a message to Pakistan, which continues to assert that India has “zero political and military role” in Afghanistan

Increased military role of India in Afghanistan

  1. India has given four attack helicopters to Afghanistan as part of its assistance package
  2. India is keen to expand the scope of its security cooperation with Afghanistan
  3. It had remained limited in the past not only due to geographical constraints, but also due to USA’s desire to limit India’s security engagement in the country

Stronger ties of India with U.S.

  1. The recent visit of Gen. Mattis shows the importance of defence ties in shaping the trajectory of Indo-U.S. relations
  2. The USA is no longer reluctant about selling sensitive military technologies to India
  3. The U.S. is looking forward to share some of their most advanced defence technologies with India
  4. For example, he sale of 22 Sea Guardian Unmanned Aerial Systems is high on the agenda
  5. With this deal, the Indian Navy will not only acquire the world’s most advanced maritime reconnaissance drone, it will also lead to greater defence technology sharing

Changing role of India in International affairs

  1. As India and the U.S. expand military cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, new alignments are emerging
  2. In the past, India had been reluctant to play an active role in East and Southeast Asia
  3. Now as part of its ‘Act East’ policy, India’s engagement with the region has become more robust
  4. And the USA has been encouraging India to shape the regional strategic realities more potently
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