An Increase In Status?
The US is all set to offer India close defence co-operation that the former enjoys with its NATO allies, Israel and South Korea! The US Senate recently passed a legislative provision, which will bring the South Asian nation on par with its allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation! The title of the Bill, passed by the Senate for the 2019-20 Financial Year, is ‘National Defence Authorisation Act’ (NDAA).
Senator John Cornyn introduced the NDAA with the support of Senator Mark Warner, as both the Senators are Co-chairs of India Caucus (of the Senate). It is to be noted that a similar Bill was introduced in the US Congress by Co-chair of India Caucus Brad Sherman earlier this year. Sherman got the support of six Congressmen – Joe Wilson, Ami Bera, Ted Yoho, George Holding, Ed Case and Raja Krishnamoorthi.
As the US Senate passed the Bill, India would be receiving help from the US Navy in regard to maritime security, counter-terrorism, counter-piracy, and all other humanitarian assistance in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR)! Apart from the NATO member states, major US allies – like South Korea, Australia, Israel and Japan – receive this sort of support from the US Navy. Before effective enactment of the Bill, it should be passed by the US House of Representatives. According to sources close to Washington, the House of Representatives may take up its own version of the NDAA before legislators adjourn for the month-long August recess on July 29.
PM Modi with President Trump
The Senate passed the Bill just a week after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with US President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Osaka (Japan) on June 28. The two leaders discussed key bilateral issues, including trade and defence ties. In July 2018, the Trump administration had granted ‘Strategic Trade Authorisation Tier 1’ status to India that is largely accorded to NATO allies. By doing so, the US has somewhat acknowledged India’s growing status as the former’s Defence Partner!
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