The Agreement, signed between India and the US on October 27, is likely to have far-reaching implications. After the signing of the Basic Exchange and Co-operation Agreement (BECA) in the Indian capital, the Defence and Foreign Affairs Ministers of the two Countries claimed that New Delhi and Washington DC completed the long preparatory period for strengthening bilateral ties successfully. They made the claim at the end of the 2+2 Meeting.
According to the Donald Trump Administration, BECA is one of the most important agreements for the allies of the US. Earlier, the US had signed Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement and Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement with India. These three accords may surely be considered as forming the cornerstone of a strong bilateral defence ties. As far as Indian Foreign Policy is concerned, these agreements are of immense importance, as Information Assistance from the US enhances the accuracy of Indian Missile and Drone Technology. A top Indian official has stated that BECA would certainly bolster co-operation and co-ordination between the Indian and US Air Forces. As per the latest agreement, the US will help India in maintaining and storing aeronautical data, topographical data and satellite images for defence purposes. Just like the way GPS Technology guides vehicles on roads to reach destinations by following correct and safe routes, these data will be helping fighter jets target the enemy positions in a perfect fashion.
This development is not an accidental one! New Delhi and Washington DC, since 2016, have been taking various steps to sign the BECA during US President Donald Trump’s visit to India in February 2020. However, the history of this understanding is 19-year-old… India had provided the US with logistical support after the 9/11 (2001). Later, the Manmohan Singh Government in India decided to strengthen defence ties with the US in an attempt to serve its Geopolitical Interests. Meanwhile, the need, as well as the direction, of this Defence Alliance has changed in recent times because of an important issue! Its goal had been West Asia in the beginning of the 21st Century… And now, it becomes China. Naturally, both India and the US have a strong interest, and a sense of danger, in the issue.
This issue is also quite crucial from the Geopolitical point of view of South Asia! India had no other option, but to bolster defence ties the US, in order to counter China’s growing influence in the region. On the other hand, the US needs India’s active assistance in order to curb China’s hegemony in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and the South China Sea. For India, the development has Diplomatic, as well as Political, importance. Seemingly, India has not achieved much in terms of Foreign Policy under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. On the contrary, China has successfully managed to gain importance in Global Geopolitics in the last seven years. Hence, the signing of BECA is a good and positive piece of news for India. Both individually and collectively, Prime Minister Modi should be pleased with this development! Perhaps, this time, the Indian PM has been able to create some of China’s concerns…
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