Tuesday, July 24, 2012

U.S talks of rebalance in region, cooperation with India on BMD

Neelam Mathews
July 23, 2012

Following U.S Secretary Panetta’s visit to India in June, visiting Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said Ballistic Missile Defense was an “important  potential area for cooperation (between India and the US). It has great strategic importance …the two governments should discuss strategic before technical (aspects) and I think they intend to.” Carter was speaking at a meet organized by the CII.

A central tenet of the U.S new strategy is its rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region. The U.S intends to have 60 percent of its naval assets in the Pacific by 2020.  “We are developing new concepts of rotational presence, with Marines in Australia and four littoral combat ships in Singapore as well as forward stationing in Guam.  We are investing in new platforms and technologies relevant to the region, like the new bomber, new submarine-launched conventional weapons, cyber capabilities, and a host of upgrades in radars, electronic protection, space, and electronic warfare. These and other future-focused investments are another central tenet of our strategy,” said Carter.

 “The rebalance is reflected in force structure decisions we make (that is, what we keep and what we cut), in our posture and presence (that is, where we put things), in new investments we are making in technology and weapons systems, in innovative operational plans and tactics, and in alliances and partnerships in the region.  Importantly, here in India, our rebalance extends to Southeast Asia and South Asia,” said Carter.

Talking about (plans for) rebalance in the Asia-Pacific Region, Carter said: “After a decade of conflict, one war has ended, in Iraq; the other, in Afghanistan, has not, but will transition soon to Afghan lead, thanks to the superb efforts of the men and women in U.S. and coalition forces.  We have done exceptionally well there……The successes we've had in Afghanistan, and in counter-terrorism, mean that we can now focus our attention on other opportunities and challenges. The time has come for us in the United States to look up, and look out, to what the world needs next, and to the security challenges that will define our future.

“We would need to make this transition no matter what.”

While Carter said the US government was improving the overall export control system under President Obama's 2010 Export Control Reform initiative and “building exportability into our systems from the start so it doesn't consume time and money to do it later,” he expressed concerns that US technologies needed to be protected. “We have a U.S.-India Senior Technology Security Group to address the genuine security issues that exist in our world, but it needs to be more active.”

He called for India to raise its Foreign Direct Investment ceiling to international standards. “(Also) offsets can be tremendously helpful to growing industry capabilities - if you have the right companies, and the right absorptive capacity.  If offsets are calibrated correctly, it works.......But if offset requirements are too onerous or too narrow, they deter a company's interest.  For companies to participate, our arrangements must make good economic sense as well as good strategic sense.”

No comments:

Post a Comment