US lawmakers seek NATO ally status for India


**US lawmakers seek NATO ally status for India

WASHINGTON: US lawmakers on Thursday approved amendments to a defence bill that seeks to bring India on a par with NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) allies for sale of defence equipment and technology transfer, even as they voted to increase restrictions on military assistance for Pakistan , including immediately blocking $450 million in aid, unless certain conditions are met.**

The passage of the National Defense Authorisation Act (NDAA), 2017, was the scene of much action relating to the Indian subcontinent and Asia Pacific region, as lawmakers moved to codify Washington’s Asia pivot, a strategy that includes strengthening New Delhi’s military muscle implicitly aimed at countering Beijing’s expansionism.

Sponsored by George Holding and Ami Bera (House India Caucus chairs) and the chair and ranking member of House foreign affairs committee, Ed Royce and Elliot Engel, respectively, the amendment (enhancing defense and security cooperation with India) seeks to promote greater defence trade and encourage additional military cooperation between the US and India . It encourages the executive branch to designate an official to focus on US-India defence cooperation, facilitate the transfer of technology, and maintain a special office in the Pentagon dedicated exclusively to the US-India Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI), the centrepiece of the military tie-up between the two countries.

"Given the dynamic nature of the Indo-Pacific region and its importance to our own national security and future economic growth, now is the time to build on recent successes and propel the US-India strategic partnership forward," US Congressman Holding said while moving the amendment, that, among other things, requires the administration to take “such actions as may be necessary to recognise India’s status as a major defence partner of the US”.

“The secretary of defence and secretary of state shall jointly, on an annual basis, conduct an assessment of the extent to which India possesses strategic operational capabilities to support military operations of mutual interest between the US and India,” the amendment advised, while calling for “approving and facilitating the transfer of advanced technology , consistent with US conventional arms transfer policy, to support combined military planning with the Indian military for missions such as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, counter piracy, and maritime domain awareness missions”.

The bill is by no means law yet. A similar bill, introduced by Senators Mark Warner and John Cornyn, and cosponsored by Senator Marco Rubio, is making it way through Senate, and after the two versions of the larger NDAA are reconciled, it will go to the White House for President Obama’s signature of approval. However, the omnibus $602 billion NDAA also contains severe unrelated strictures on Pakistan and recommends restrictions on the country that the US administration is not entirely comfortable with.

Expressing frustration with Pakistan’s failure to crack down on terrorist groups, lawmakers moved to squeeze military aid for Pakistan, including blocking a $450 million tranche, unless certain conditions are met.

The amendments now require the Pentagon to certify that Pakistan is conducting military operations to disrupt the Haqqani network, not letting the network use North Waziristan as a safe haven, actively coordinate with Afghanistan’s government to fight the network along their border, and certify Pakistan is not using its military or any funds or equipment provided by the United States to persecute minority groups.


See this:

China’s Worst Nightmare: Is a U.S.- India Military Alliance Brewing?

Just as the rise of the Kaiser’s Germany compelled formerly antagonistic Britain and France into singing the ‘Entente Cordiale’ prior to WWI, it looks like China’s threat to the balance of power in the Asia-Pacific is drawing the U.S. and India ever closer together.


We’ve taken on too many obligations expanding NATO to include former Warsaw Pact countries we can never defend, now we’re going to ally ourselves with India? That puts us potentially at war with an unstable nuclear power (Pakistan) or with China.


Alternatively, it could deter China from further aggression.

If they feel that there isn’t any pressure on them, I suspect the Chinese will keep militarizing and claiming islands in the South China Sea until the entire area is a massive military zone.

If the pressure is upped on them it might coax them into relaxing their efforts.


Maybe, maybe not.
As far as I can see we don’t have enough to meet the obligations we’ve already taken on. We are stretched thin in Iraq and Afghanistan. What happens if Russia invades the Baltic States while China is threatening India?

One interesting thing, I saw an article the some Vietnamese would like to see the American fleet come back to Cam Ranh Bay, which is odd because I read an SF novel* years ago set in the mid-21st cent. describing VietNam as the only independent country in Asia due to being an American ally.

*I think by Joe Haldeman, anybody else remember it?


Vietnam is indeed seeking an alliance with the U.S, which also happens to be its biggest trading partner:

**Why might Vietnam let U.S. military return? China

CAM RANH BAY, Vietnam — The ghosts of the Vietnam War have finally faded at the strategic port of Cam Ranh Bay. More than 40 years ago, United States forces left this massive base where Marines landed, B-52s loaded up for bombing raids, and wounded American soldiers were treated.

Now, some Vietnamese say they are yearning for the American military to return.

“On Facebook, there was a question recently: What do you want from President Obama’s visit?” said Vo Van Tao, 63, who fought as a young North Vietnamese infantry soldier against the United States. “Some people said they wanted democracy. I said I wanted the Americans to come back to Cam Ranh Bay. A lot of people agreed with me.”**

Mr. Obama is scheduled to arrive in Vietnam on Sunday, the third visit by an American president since the war ended. The big question he is expected to answer is whether Washington will lift a partial arms embargo and allow Vietnam to buy lethal weapons from the United States. The Communist government has long asked for the ban to be revoked, and American access to Cam Ranh Bay could be part of the payoff.

For the White House, the decision on lifting the embargo has come down to a debate over trying to improve Vietnam’s poor human rights record versus enabling Vietnam to better defend itself against an increasing threat from China in the South China Sea.

Washington has for years made lifting the ban contingent on Vietnam’s improving human rights for its people, and has prodded Vietnam to allow more freedom of speech and to release political prisoners. But as tensions with China have escalated in the South China Sea, the sentiment in the Obama administration has shifted toward lifting the ban, American officials familiar with the discussions said.

Vietnam’s government, pressed by an ever more powerful China, knows it cannot stand up to Beijing alone and is cautiously moving toward increased ties with the United States.

Despite their shared Communist ideology, Vietnam and China fought over islands in the South China Sea in the 1970s and ’80s. Two years ago, China sent an oil rig into disputed waters close to the Paracel Islands, which are claimed by both countries, leading to clashes at sea and anti-Chinese riots in Vietnamese cities.

It wants protected from Chinese encroachment, apparently so much that some are willing to do the seemingly unimaginable and upend the post-Vietnam War settlement.

Practically every nation in the Asaia-Pacific wants the same now, just as most Eastern European countries desire a greater US troop presence vis-a-vis Russia.

You are right that the Middle East has strangulated and distracted the West for so long, to the benefit of the Sino-Russian interests.

China is dramatically re-configuring the chess board though.

Were Russia to invade the Baltics and China to threaten, say, Taiwan - Japan - the Phillippines or India, that would of course be the nightmare of nightmare scenarios with direct military threats in both the Atlantic and Pacific.

I have no answers on that one. All I can say is that your dampened if you do and damned if you don’t. I wouldn’t want to be a military chief of staff right now, put it that way.


Keep in mind, Russia and China have plans in the pipelines to dump the US dollar, so I think them being allies is not a good thing for the US, they know the position the US in right now, spread thin all over, upcoming political election that could have a lot of drastic changes…if something happens, I bet russia and china are in collusion on it.


Well, why not? At least our current government would honour such an alliance in principle, and provide military support if needed, as opposed to the previous regimes who [del]were a bunch of wusses[del] believed in diplomacy alone as the watchword in Indo-Chinese relations. :stuck_out_tongue:



Now China has an excuse to dump its dollar reserve and plunge us into Great Depression 2, just to keep our nose out of its disagreements with India.

We need a third party to bring some wisdom into our wheel of government; we need it about six years ago.



They are probably waiting to see what happens in the US election this november, and then put their plans into action.


India would be the second socialist state in NATO behind Portugal. So much for NATO being the beacon against socialism.


At least the PRC is playing a long game, not making sudden, unpredictable moves. Objectively it’s not unreasonable for them to play big kid on the block in the South China Sea and Southeast Asia generally. We can probably curtail that somewhat but not stop it.

Within the next couple decades Taiwan will have to rejoin the mainland perhaps under some kind of “one country, two systems” agreement. S. Korea will probably keep its political independence but get more integrated with China’s economy.

Basically, I think we need to learn to play a long game. Figure out what we can and can’t do and plan from there & stick to it, even from one administration to the next. That’s a big if, I know but we did it before during the Cold War.


The problem with that is that the definitions of “long” will never be the same: For the USA, long is understood quadrennially; for China, centennially.



The current Indian government has begun to move away from socialism and towards a cautious backing of private enterprise. It’s not all that bad. Except when it comes to religious ideology. :stuck_out_tongue:

closed #15

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