US Amendment to Provide NATO Ally Status to India

On Thursday, the lawmakers of the US amendment approved to a defense bill that proposes to draw India on a par with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) allies for sale of defence equipment and technology transfer. The event shows and conforms at the same times the growing strength of India as a US partner.

One may term it as a coincidence, the US lawmakers didn’t stop with this proposal about India only they, showing their annoyance over Pakistan’s failure to curb terrorists groups, voted to increase restrictions on military aid for Pakistan, comprised in this demand  is immediate blockade on $ 450 Malians  in aid unless it (Pakistan) complied with certain conditions. This event, too, is of great importance because it shows that now Pakistan relations with US is on decline.

The passage of the National Defence Authorisation Act (NDDA) 2017 has been in much news in America due to the strategic stance it has taken,  to counter Beijing’s  expansionism, is at stake. Through this act with an eye on Indian subcontinent and Asia- Pacific region, the US lawmakers have moved to codify the much talked about Washington’s Asia pivot, A plan that incorporates the idea of strengthening India’s military muscle. This very move has been seen in the International arena as a clever step of US to check the soaring ambitions of china

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Provision Contained in the US Amendment to the Bill

The most important US Amendment has been sponsored by George Holding and Ami Bera belonging to House India Coucus Chairs and the Chair and ranking member of House Foreran Affaires Committee ,Ed Royce and Elliot Engel . The US Amendment (enhancing defense and security cooperation with India ) proposes to encourage greater defense trade and promote additional military cooperation between US and India.

This US Amendment intends to encourage the executive branch to come up with a  name of the official whose  main function would be to concentrate on  US – India defence cooperation, assist in the transfer of technology ,and maintain a special office solely for this purpose in the Pentagon. This office would be dedicated only to the US –India Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI ). This DTTI is the core of the military tie-up between India and United States.

That at the centre of the US Amendment is the acceptance of India’s status as a major defense partner of the US became quite obvious when George Holding, the US Congressman while moving this particular US Amendment in the House said, “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.” Adding further to it he said that to accomplish this objective it requires the administration to take “such actions as may be necessary to recognise India’s status as a major defense partner of the US”.

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The Bill is Still not Law

A bill of similar nature has been moved by senators Mark Warner and John Cornyn and co- sponsored by senator Marco Rubio is going through the procedural steps of the Senate; after the reconciliation of these two bills, one version of the bill will be sent to the White House for the President’s, now Barak Obama’s, signature of approval.

 Need of the Amendments

The amendments now need the Pentagon:

  • To certify that Pakistan is conducting military operations to disrupt the Haqqani network;
  • To not let the Haqqani network use North Waziristan as a safe heaven;
  • To actively assist the Afghanistan’s Government in fighting the network along their bordzer; and
  • To certify that Pakistan is not using its military or any funds or equipment provided by the United States to persecute minority groups

The amendment to the omnibus $602 billion NDAA informs that the secretary of defence and secretary of state ,on an annual basis, are going to conduct an assessment of the  India’s strategic operational capabilities to support joint military operations  of  US and India.

The US Amendment also has called for making available and catering the transfer of advance technology that must be consistent with US conventional arms transfer policy. This particular US Amendment also suggests that this move is important to assist joint military planning with the Indian military for missions related to humanitarian help and disaster relief, counter piracy and missions to spread maritime domain awareness .

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NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ):  A brief introduction

NATO, as  a pillar of the cold war, brought to gather the united states and some European countries in to a political alliance as they fought  the Communists under the USSR- led Warsaw pact .Currently NATO’s significance, after the cold war and the evolution Warsaw pact, has turned in the direction of encouraging democracy , resolution of disputes, and crises management. In order to define its core tasks in the year 2010, NATO came out with the strategic concepts describing its tasks as: Collective defence, Crises-management and cooperative security.

Presently NATO has in its fold 28 member nations including the UK, France, Canada, Germany and Turkey.

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