Eyes of the Fleet

Eyes of the Fleet

Thursday, July 06, 2006

The US and the Indian Navy

Interesting work on how the U.S. is working with the Indian Navy and why here:
Washington... is working overtime to bring the Indian Navy on board its two-year-old initiative [E1 Note: reference is to the Proliferation Security Initiative], with even the now regular Malabar series of exercises between the two navies being PSI- directed. This, in essence, is aimed at containing the transportation of weapons of mass destruction and related items over the seas, giving the participating countries the authority to board and search ships on the high seas without warning.

The US has authored a telling phrase: the Indian Navy leaves no footprints in the country as all dealings with it are offshore, away from the public eye.

The growing cooperation between Washington and the Indian Navy has followed this initiative to the letter, with the US clear that the Indian Navy had to be brought on board to give vibrancy and credibility to the PSI.

As a defence expert put it, the Indian Navy is now fast evolving as the nation's "wild card" and by 2015 will be a hi-tech force with around 140 vessels.

It is at present the only carrier-capable navy in the region, with even China falling short on this front.

The US is keen on the Indian Navy playing an extended role in the Indian Ocean region to curb growing piracy and to neutralize what it has projected as "terrorist threats."
The Indian Navy created some apprehension in the region by agreeing to jointly patrol the Malacca Straits with the US fleet.
And, while we may not agree with India in many areas, it is, as they say, the "world's largest democracy" and, as such, a vital ally in defense of freedom. This potential alliance has long been recognized:
President John F. Kennedy saw the competition between India and China as a struggle between the world's largest democracy and communism for the future of all of Asia; he continued the shift toward India that had begun in the last years of the Eisenhower administration.
The shift, with a few interruptions, continues...

And a bit of an eye-opener:
An indication of the American interest in expanding the reach of the Indian Navy is evident from the fact that the US has been willing to train Indian pilots for Russian fighter planes.

Thirty-two Indian Navy pilots have been trained at the US Navy's training command at Pensacola, Florida, to operate the Russian MiG-29K fighters aboard the Russian-built aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya (formerly the Admiral Gorshkov).
UPDATE: India and China are do some relation building, too, as reported here. UPDATE2: Someone is suspicious of US-India cooperation.

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