The United States and India signed a new foundational defense agreement during the recent visit of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark Esper. The agreement, known as the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement, or BECA, will allow the U.S. and Indian militaries to share map and satellite imagery thereby enhancing coordination between our personnel and of defensive systems.
The United States and India are ramping up their cooperation across the board in the face of threats posed by the Chinese Communist Party, or CCP, said Secretary Pompeo:
“Our leaders and our citizens see with increasing clarity that the CCP is no friend to democracy, the rule of law, transparency, nor to freedom of navigation – the foundation of a free and open and prosperous Indo-Pacific.”
As the world confronts a global pandemic and growing security challenges, the United States-India partnership is more important than ever to ensure security, stability, and prosperity of the region and the world, declared Defense Secretary Esper:
“Fifteen years after the conclusion of the first U.S.-India Defense Framework, the defense ties between our two nations remain a key pillar of our overall bilateral relationship. Based on our shared values and common interests, we stand shoulder-to-shoulder in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific for all, particularly in light of increasing aggression and destabilizing activities by China.”
The United States reaffirmed its commitment to a comprehensive defense partnership with India and discussed opportunities to expand regional security cooperation, military-to-military interactions, and defense trade relationship. This includes increasing bilateral defense cooperation in the Indian Ocean region, Southeast Asia, and the broader Indo-Pacific, said Secretary Esper.
Increased U.S.-India defense cooperation was demonstrated by the recent combined exercise between the Indian Navy and the USS Nimitz Carrier Strike Group. In addition, the U.S. has exchanged military liaisons with India and is working to establish new cyber and space dialogues to increase cooperation in domains where both countries face emerging threats.
The partnership between the United States and India - the world’s two largest democracies - remains resilient, strong, and growing.