Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Detail on U.S./India war games 

Agence-France has more detail on the US/India war games previously discussed here and elsewhere:

The wargames, which covered an area from India's Gangetic plains to the rarified atmosphere of the Himalayas, had been gruelling, said IAF spokesperson Group Captain SBP Sinha.

"A number of missions have been flown during the exercise and the result has been very encouraging and rewarding," said Sinha.

"The aim of the exercise is to enhance mutual understanding of fighter operations of the IAF and the USAF and sets the basis for future co-operation between the two air forces."

India traditionally tilted toward Cold War ally Moscow, which still supplies 70% of its military hardware, but lately it has been strengthening its defence ties with the US.

They resumed joint military training in 2002 after Washington lifted sanctions imposed on India after New Delhi held nuclear tests in 1998.

Last October, the US and Indian navies held five days of joint manoeuvres in the Arabian Sea, a month after staging week-long joint exercises in the Ladakh region of the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir, aimed at improving co-ordination between their special forces.

There are numerous factors that push the United States and India together. India is on the front lines in the war on Islamicist terror. India is well-situated to check any attempt by China to expand to the west and south. And, finally, India is the fulcrum against which we can leverage cooperation out of Pakistan. India may emerge as one of our most important allies during the first half of the 21st century.

Perhaps, if he ascends to the White House, John Kerry will figure this out and stop complaining about call centers moving to Bangalore.


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