Strategic ties with India advance at ‘historic’ pace, says US military
The US department of defense leaders told lawmakers on Wednesday that the strategic partnership with India continues to advance at a “historic pace” and the militaries of the two countries were working to increase interoperability and information-sharing capabilities.
“The United States and India are natural partners on a range of political, economic, and security issues,” Admiral Philip S Davidson, commander of the US Indo-Pacific command, said in his prepared remarks at a congressional hearing on the defense department’s budgetary requests for 2020.
The two countries, he added, share the desire for “global stability, support for the rules-based international order, and a Free-and-Open Indo-Pacific region” and, to that end, they “have an increased agreement on interests, including maritime security and maritime domain awareness, counter-piracy, counterterrorism”.
Assistant secretory of defense for Indo-Pacific security affairs, Randall G Schriver, told lawmakers in his opening remarks, “The US-India relationship is moving toward deeper security cooperation by increasing operational cooperation and availing key maritime security capabilities.”
China remained the chief threat to a free and open Indo-Pacific region. “It is working to transform this (free and open) order toward one favorable to its authoritarian governance model - one which has grown increasingly harsh and repressive,” Schriver said. “China is utilizing tools such as the One Belt, One Road to erode the sovereignty of other countries and induce them to behave in accordance with Chinese interests.”