The status will increase cooperation between the two countries in security, maritime and defence. It will also bolster the ties in humanitarian assistance, counter-terrorism and anti-piracy.
In a major victory for the foreign policy of the Narendra Modi’s government, the US Senate has passed a legislative provision that brings India at par with America’s NATO allies. The resolution to amend National Defense Authorisation Act (NDAA) for the fiscal year 2020 passed last week will bring India on par with countries like Israel and South Korea for increasing defence cooperation and collaboration in areas related to security and counter-terrorism.
The amendment, introduced by Senate India Caucus Co-Chair Sen. John Cornyn with the support of Senate India Caucus Co-Chair Sen. Mark Warner, provides for increased US-India defense cooperation in the western Indian Ocean in the areas of humanitarian assistance, counter-terrorism, counter-piracy, maritime security, and other areas. The amendment would be signed into law after both the chambers of the US Congress, the House of Representatives and the Senate approve the same. The House is expected to take up the amendment of NDAA sometime in July before legislators adjourn for the month-long August recess on July 29.
In 2016, the US had recognised India as a ‘major defence partner’ which allowed India to buy more advanced and sensitive technologies from America. This recognition was hitherto granted to its closest allies and partners. The 2016 recognition of India as a major defence partner was to ensure that an enduring cooperation between the two democracies continue into the future. Passing of the proposal last week to India on par with its NATO allies, is seen as an continuation of the recognition and strengthening of ties.
Last week too, House India Caucus Co-Chair Brad Sherman along with other Congressmen including Reps. Joe Wilson, Ami Bera, Ted Yoho, George Holding, Ed Case, and Raja Krishnamoorthi, had introduced an amendment to the House FY2020 NDAA that would greatly enhance the US-India relationship.
HAF welcomes passing of the historic provision
The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) has commended Senators Cornyn and Warner for their efforts to advance the U.S.-India strategic partnership. In a statement Managing Director of HAF Samir Kalra said, “The Hindu American Foundation commends Sens. Cornyn and Warner for their hard work in advancing the US-India strategic partnership. Elevating India to non-NATO status is vital, now more than ever, for the US, for India, and for the entire region.”