U.S.-India Security Partnership
Defense cooperation is one of the pillars of the U.S.-India partnership. President Obama and Prime Minister Modi welcomed the decision to renew for ten years the 2005 Framework for the U.S.-India Defense Relationship and directed their defense teams to develop plans for more ambitious programs and activities. The Leaders also pledged closer engagement between their security establishments to meet the evolving security challenges of the 21st century.
- Joint Military Training and Exercises: Joint exercises are the cornerstone of the U.S.-India defense relationship. On September 30, the countries concluded their 10th annual YUDH ABHYAS exercise, a program of U.S. Pacific Command and the Indian Army. This year’s exercise focused on peacekeeping and disaster relief. For six decades, India has been one of the top troop contributors to global peacekeeping missions, while the United States is the largest financial supporter of U.N. peacekeeping. The United States and India also agreed to upgrade their existing bilateral MALABAR naval exercise.
- Defense Trade: Since 2008, over $10 billion in defense contracts have been signed between the United States and India, and both governments are committed to reducing impediments and pursuing co-production and co-development opportunities. U.S.-sourced defense articles have greatly enhanced the capabilities of the Indian military, as demonstrated by the use of C-130J and C-17 transport aircraft to aid flood relief, support peacekeeping operations, and facilitate the evacuation of Indian citizens from Iraq.
- Defense Co-Production and Co-Development: President Obama and Prime Minister Modi reaffirmed their commitment to pursuing opportunities for defense co-development and co-production. Under the leadership of U.S. Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Frank Kendall and Indian Secretary for Defence Production G. Mohan Kumar, the United States and India have established a Task Force to decide on unique co-production and co-development projects and technologies as part of the Defense Trade and Technology Initiative (DTTI). Reflecting their broader commitment to advance regional maritime security, the two sides also are assessing possible new areas of technology cooperation.
- Defense Dialogues: The United States and India plan to convene their Defense Policy Group in October 2014 in Washington, D.C., and to hold the next round of the bilateral Political-Military dialogue in early December in New Delhi. The two leaders agreed to re-invigorate the Political-Military dialogue and expand its role to serve as a wider dialogue on export licensing, defense cooperation and strategic cooperation.
- Knowledge Partnership: India is establishing the Indian National Defence University (INDU). India and the United States have agreed to build a relationship between the INDU and the U.S. National Defense University that will reflect knowledge partnership between the two universities in the field of defense studies.
Homeland Security, Counterterrorism and Nuclear Security
The United States and India continue to expand their counterterrorism and homeland security cooperation, enhancing global and bilateral security through ongoing dialogues, capacity building initiatives, and multilateral efforts including the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum. In recognition of the growing threats posed by terrorist organizations, including ISIL, the United States and India are deepening counterterrorism cooperation and intelligence sharing, including on known and suspected terrorists and foreign fighters.
- Facilitating Legitimate Travel: India will offer visa-on-arrival to U.S. nationals in 2015. There were an estimated 1.03 million U.S. visits to India last year. India also hopes to implement procedures for Indians to benefit from the U.S. Global Entry Program during 2015. Global Entry is a trusted traveller program that enables expedited entry to frequent travellers, significantly reducing wait times.
- U.S.-India Homeland Security Cooperation: The Department of Homeland Security and Ministry of Home Affairs plan to hold the third U.S.-India Homeland Security Dialogue this year. These talks and expert exchanges will help build capacity in aviation security, cybersecurity, countering illicit finance, global supply chain security, and megacity policing. President Obama also pledged to help India counter the threat of improvised explosive devices with information and technology. The leaders also committed to pursue provision of U.S.-made mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles (MRAPs) to India.
- Law Enforcement Cooperation: Through ongoing consultations, the United States and India are strengthening Mutual Legal Assistance and improving cooperation on extradition to advance justice. This includes efforts to improve sharing of electronic evidence to combat terrorism and cybercrime. This month, the United States announced it intends to fund a new initiative to enhance bilateral Mutual Legal Assistance and extradition through a program of workshops and expert exchanges.
- Strengthening Counterterrorism Cooperation: State Department Coordinator for Counterterrorism Ambassador Tina Kaidanow and DHS Under Secretary Francis Taylor met in July 2014 with their counterparts in the Indian government to continue the Counterterrorism Joint Working Group process. U.S. and Indian cooperative efforts include coordination in international fora, including the UN and the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum. In the last year, State Department anti-terrorism programs have trained over 200 Indian security and law enforcement professional in subjects including interdicting terrorist activities and post-blast investigations.
- Urban Policing: India organized the first India-U.S. policing conference in New Delhi in December 2013. The exchange included a focus on building effective partnerships between police and diaspora communities. In July and August 2014, the International Association of Chiefs of Police hosted a study tour for 90 senior Indian police officials, exchanging information on transnational crime and emerging trends in policing. The United States also seeks to support a community policing consultation with Indian police and counterterrorism officials in Mumbai and New Delhi. The Los Angeles Police Department is to lead the early 2015 consultations, which highlight the growing cooperation between federal, state and local authorities in India and the United States.
- Cybersecurity Cooperation: Noting developing threats in cyberspace, the United States and India agreed to develop closer cybersecurity cooperation and to re-initiate the whole-of-government Cyber Consultations led by their respective National Security Councils.
- Nuclear Security Cooperation: India and the United States are working together to strengthen national and global nuclear security practices, including through India’s Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership and in the planning for the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit in the United States.