MH60S

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

U.S. Marines to train with Sri Lankan Navy


Reported here:
US Marines will conduct exercises with the Sri Lanka Navy later this month, deploying more than 1,000 personnel and support ships for amphibious and counter-insurgency manoeuvres with the aim of 'containing' growing Chinese presence in the region and to test its latest theories on 'littoral battle' without putting American soldiers at risk.
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Whilst the manoeuvres will put the Tamil Tigers on notice to engage seriously in the upcoming peace talks in Geneva, the location of the exercise clearly indicates that India too has signed off on the venture as a subtle warning to the Chinese not to unduly intrude upon the Indian Ocean Region (IOR),' Brigadier Arun Sahgal of the United Service Institution of India told IANS.

For Sri Lanka, however, US Marine training in amphibious warfare will equip its navy to counter the Sea Tigers, the world's only insurgent force with an aggressively operational naval wing that deploys custom-built boats which were launched in a suicide attack on the southern port of Galle Oct 18.

The US and India, however, have long eyed with trepidation China's 'string of pearls' strategy in the IOR of clinching regional defence and security agreements to secure its mounting energy requirements, enhance its military profile from the Persian Gulf to the South China Sea and significantly expand its presence and visibility in the area.

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