/ Importance of Strengthened US - India Defense Cooperation

Over the last 15 years, the US has felt a deep desire to promote bipartisan relationships with India. Successive rules of the US government have seen the emergence of identifying India and its capabilities for national security interests. 

- India's pristine stability safeguards the volatile Indian Ocean region and ensures that no power dominates the region, which exceeds the US interests. 

- The export between US and India is as source of employment for 180,000 Americans. As one of the prime nations under the US National Export Initiative, India has already become a significant export market for American goods and services. Enhancing defense trade with India, particularly through co-development and co-production, would further boost these benefits to the US. 

- India's growing military capabilities can help protect the sea lanes and deliver human assistance quickly throughout the West and South Asia regions, and increasingly across the Indian Ocean and greater Indo-Pacific. Impending Commitments 

In June 2015, the Obama Administration approved the agenda for a US-India Defense Relationship, which was a renewed edition of a 2005 predecessor agreement ("Defense Framework"). The agreement and the current bilateral association lay the foundation for enhanced security cooperation between the two nations.

- Under the Defense Framework, both the US and India "place each other equally as their closest partners" and agree that "advanced and sophisticated tools" should be integrated in technology transfers, co-development, and co-production between the two nations. However, both the nations are yet to execute this commitment. 

- US import and export agencies lack adequate statutory mandates as well as regulatory guidance towards employing the Defense Framework. In the absence of robust and reliable authorized tools to encourage defense export to India, various impediments will continue to forestall an enhanced U.S.-India defense relationship. 

- Delays in improving defense trade with India will limit the US's ability to fully participate in India's military transformation program. It is expected that upgrading India's arsenal will consume over $135 billion by 2022. If the US fails to execute the Defense Framework, it risks India having to rely more on Russia for the same. 

- In contradiction to the stated goals of the Defense Framework, the US currently excludes India from its Foreign Military Financing (FMF) program. Moreover, it is yet to complete a transaction with India under the Excess Defense Articles (EDA) program since 2006. Objectives of the USISC 

The USISC aims to promote statutory and regulatory reforms to encourage US security interests in the South Asian region, reinforce the US-India defense relationship, and improve defense trade between both nations. 

Three key objectives of the USISC are: 

- Commemorate the existing Defense Framework into law; 

- Amend any rules or regulations that act as barriers to a stronger US - India defense relationship; 

- Revise the US export control and procurement rules to reflect the accelerated and significant security relations between both the nations and the intents of the existing Defense Framework. 


US - India Security Council, Inc. (USISC) is a registered 501(c)(4) non-profit organization based in Wa.....Read More