Pentagon wants to focus on ‘marine-to-marine cooperation’ with New Delhi, US defense official tells Indian media
The United States wants India to play a greater security role in the Indo-Pacific region, given the “challenges” it might require a “common response” of the two countries, a Pentagon official told Indian news agency PTI in a lengthy interview on Sunday.
Washington encourages New Delhi to assume a “wider stabilizing role” and act like a “internet security provider”, not only in the Indian Ocean, but also in the Indo-Pacific region, the “senior defense official”, whose identity has not been revealed, said.
The US military is particularly focused on “advancing interoperability” between the forces of the two nations through joint exercises, to make them “prepared for the kinds of challenges we will face in the future, which will require joint responses from both sides,” explained the official.
The Pentagon is particularly interested in “navy to navy” cooperation when it comes to “operational front” he added. The United States also wants to allow “greater logistical and operational cooperation between our navies.”
The official stopped short of naming a specific name “challenges” India could be confronted, in which it could need the support of the United States. Nor did he describe how the two nations might respond to these “challenges.”
Areas where the United States is seeking to strengthen defense ties with India include support for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and “other types of multilateral parameters”, including “even more informal” those, the official said. The dialogue between the two powers also involves “emerging technologies in the field of space and cyberspace.”
The US official went on to say that Washington understands that “Every country wishes to have a solid national industrial base”, and that America is “Always work very hard” to meet the “requirements of our Indian friends” without giving details.
The interview comes as Washington seeks to win over nations in the Indo-Pacific region amid lingering tensions with Beijing. Relations between the United States and China, which had already been strained for several years, took a nosedive in August when United States House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the self-governing island of Taiwan. in defiance of warnings from Beijing that the trip would embolden separatists in Taipei and undermine US-China relations.
China, which considers Taiwan to be part of its sovereign territory, responded by severing military and climate ties with Washington. Relations between the two nations are further limited by what the United States calls freedom of navigation operations, in which it sends warships to the South China Sea. In August, two US cruisers crossed the Taiwan Strait, separating the island from mainland China.
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