US, India sign agreement to share military assets, bases

Published: August 30, 2016
The US military has made clear it wants to do more with India, especially in countering China. PHOTO: REUTERS

The US military has made clear it wants to do more with India, especially in countering China. PHOTO: REUTERS

The United States and India signed an agreement on Monday governing the use of each other’s land, air and naval bases for repair and resupply, a step toward building defense ties as they seek to counter the growing maritime assertiveness of China.

The agreement, a relatively mundane one concerning day-to-day military logistics, is nonetheless a milestone in the US-India defense relationship because of the outsized political importance it had taken on in India, where it had touched on domestic sensitivities, experts said.

India, US closer to pact to share military logistics: officials

The signing of the agreement will “make the logistics of joint operations so much easier and so much more efficient,” US Defense Secretary Ash Carter said in a news briefing with Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Monday.

The agreement will allow the Indian and US navies to have an easier time supporting each other in joint operations and exercises and when providing humanitarian assistance, Parrikar said.

Washington’s desire for deeper security cooperation with India had been complicated without the signing of the logistics agreement as well as two other pacts that would allow for secure communications and the exchange of nautical and other data. The agreements are considered routine between the United States and its other defense partners.

But India has had concerns such an agreement would commit it to hosting US troops at its bases, or draw it into a military alliance with the United States and undermine its traditional autonomy. Carter and Parrikar reached an agreement “in principle” in April, but had yet to finalise the details.

Carter has made closer military ties with India a priority, and established a special unit within the Pentagon last year to promote cooperation with that country. Parrikar’s visit to Washington this week marks the sixth interaction between the two top defense officials.

The signing of the logistics agreement indicates the priority the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi places on a closer defense relationship with the United States, said Benjamin Schwartz, until last year the India country director at the Pentagon.

Modi wants deeper US-India security relationship

“For years, there has been tremendous misinformation put out into the Indian press about these agreements,” said Schwartz, now with the US-India Business Council, which promotes trade ties between the two countries.

“What the signing of this shows is that the Modi government is willing to take and suffer the short-term political criticism of signing these things for the longer-term benefit of building the defense relationship with the United States.”

Both Carter and Parrikar went to pains on Monday to make clear that the logistics agreement did not allow for basing of US troops in India. “It’s not a basing agreement of any kind,” Carter said.

The debate over the logistics agreement had served as a vehicle for the distrust some of India’s political class has toward the United States, said Shane Mason, a research associate at the Stimson Center. The United States had previously imposed sanctions on India related to its 1998 nuclear test, although the sanctions were eased later.

“From the US perspective this was kind of a low hanging fruit,” Mason said. “We have logistic support agreements with many, many other countries and in most cases it’s a relatively uncontroversial thing.”

Defence tie-up: US dismisses India’s concerns on F-16 sale to Pakistan

The US military has made clear it wants to do more with India, especially in countering China, which US officials say is risking stoking conflict through its claims in the South China Sea, a vital trade waterway.

Without naming China, both Carter and Parrikar mentioned the importance of the free flow of trade to both countries.

“India and the United States have a shared interest in freedom of navigation and overflight and unimpeded commerce as part of rule-based order in (the) Indo-Pacific,” Parrikar said.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (53)

  • Shahid
    Aug 30, 2016 - 9:58AM

    Pakistan should be careful not to be sandwiched between US-China or even India-China. Pakistan has the instincts to do adventurism but it should definitely not meddle here. Giants fight and recover but its the other little ones that suffer the most indefinitely. See what have we gained after getting involved in Soviet afghan war in 1980s. USA is doing fine, Russia also recovered nicely but its Pakistan that been struggling for survival since then, even Afghans hate us. Please note that Pakistan used to be economically much better than India in 1980s but that Afghan war left us nowhere. Please learn some lessons!!Recommend

  • ghazal
    Aug 30, 2016 - 10:00AM

    after this deal it is upto India what it wants to become with american money or excess ,japan, turkey, Korea, Taiwan or Pakistan / Afghanistan Recommend

  • skp
    Aug 30, 2016 - 10:14AM

    @Shahid: And what you gained from interfering in Kashmir Recommend

  • point
    Aug 30, 2016 - 10:18AM

    Any defense deal Iran did lead to ban and sanctions. Any deal a nonmuslim does for even more war related deals is totally ok to U.S. Qaddafi was harming it’s people so U.S. attacked it. with out being called terror harboring country or exciting rebels in a coutry. But U.S. cannot see the worse happening in Kashmir when BBC and Amnesty and everyother Human rights organization is covering the daily stories of basic necessities being cut off in Kashmir while forced conversion, and harm to minorities at peak all over india.

    If only muslim countries could understand this and stop their bond with west and form a united force with decisions on Oil and gas supply to west based on the conditions or the war created by the west on muslimsRecommend

  • Nav
    Aug 30, 2016 - 10:21AM

    India has asked for a big price for this, which is non-military. India will be given technologies which US has not shared with any country in the world. Jet engine technology, Advanced aircraft carrier technology, UAV technology will be shared with India. India will have factories of F-16 fighters which will help train the it’s youth in advanced technology and to create the eco-system for the advanced technologies.This will jump start the Indian technology base by atlas 20 years.Recommend

  • Careless Whisper
    Aug 30, 2016 - 10:59AM

    History tell us with whom ever these people have had signed defense deals & showered all their love are bound to be doomed after few years… good luckRecommend

  • amjad
    Aug 30, 2016 - 11:28AM

    No doubt Pakistan should safeguard its interests in the Great Game. However, India will also risk the independence of countries of the Subcontinent by inviting global powers on its territory. I could imagine the arrival/reemergence of a “New East India” type of monster on this part of the peaceful world. The people of sub-continent should be ready to pay the price of short vision of their leaders. Please work for the development of your people, no use of building large belligerent armies.Recommend

  • Raghavan
    Aug 30, 2016 - 11:54AM

    @shahid That is 1980’s, Currently Indian economy is 10 times more than pakistan, it will be 45 times more than pakistan in 2050 as per ADB prediction
    So better make peace with usRecommend

  • Vectra
    Aug 30, 2016 - 11:58AM

    ” US armed forces can operate out of Indian bases, and India can use US bases across the globe.”

    So India also got the exclusive right to use and operate in the US bases near the China’s main land.That’s should be a tension for China as this agreement brought one more member close to China mainland which already have US and Japan near it.Recommend

  • Vectra
    Aug 30, 2016 - 12:12PM

    India already has the sophisticated technology it has built all by itself and this include its Multi layered Ballistic Missile Defence Shield and Scram Jet Engine.Plus India already has a workable Jet engine Kaveri which produces 73-75 Kn thrust which still can power fighter jets if uses in Twin engine mode.Now it is taking help of US to increase the current power from 75kn to 98 kn to 110 kn

    But the alarming thing is with this closeness India can acquire those technology that it has not yet built.Recommend

  • bharat
    Aug 30, 2016 - 12:16PM


    But India has already bettered these projections. Of the so called BRICS,India is the only real success story. Indian FDI has touched records and is even more than China. If this trend continues, we will achieve all this in 20 years. Recommend

  • Vectra
    Aug 30, 2016 - 12:29PM

    In one shot India now has global reach more than even China because we all knows that the US has bases all over the world.In middle ease,middle of oceans etc etc.SO with this LEMOA pact India can now operate from US bases spread all over the world.

    India can now operate from US bases in Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Oceans and South China Sea etc,Can use US base in middle Ease-Afganistan-Iraq-Syria etc.

    Similarly US can now use India’s own military dominance Indian ocean ,access to India’s tri service command of Andaman and Nicobar Island which sits close to Malacca straight choke point,Can access India’s base near Himalayas and in Kashmir near China if needed where Japan is also helping India in building long high ways near the border etc etc.
    So this is really alarming for China and Pakistan as stated by Forbes.Recommend

  • Vectra
    Aug 30, 2016 - 12:47PM

    In one shot India now has global reach more than even China because we all knows that the US has bases all over the world.In middle ease,middle of oceans etc etc.SO with this LEMOA pact India can now operate from US bases spread all over the world.

    India can now operate from US bases in Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Oceans and South China Sea etc,Can use US base in middle East-Afganistan-Iraq-Syria etc.

    Similarly US can now use India’s own military dominance Indian ocean ,access to India’s tri service command of Andaman and Nicobar Island which sits close to Malacca straight choke point,Can access India’s base near Himalayas and in Kashmir near China if needed where Japan is also helping India in building long high ways near the border etc etc.
    So this is really alarming for China and Pakistan as stated by Forbes.Recommend

  • Vectra
    Aug 30, 2016 - 12:51PM

    The difference between India and Pakistan on US policy as claimed by some members is India does deal with others with eyes and ears open so no chance of suffering like Pakistan did because Pakistan signed deals with out thinking about it and penalized later.Recommend

  • Parvez
    Aug 30, 2016 - 12:52PM

    The question is……how will this impact India…..with its non-aligned philosophy given by its founding fathers. Recommend

  • wb
    Aug 30, 2016 - 1:01PM


    “Please note that Pakistan used to be economically much better than India in 1980s but that Afghan war left us nowhere. Please learn some lessons!!”

    This is a lie that has been oft repeated by Pakistani army to prove that dictatorship is better than democracy.

    Let me give you an example. There are two neighbors. One of them is taking credits and loans and buying fancy cars and electronics to impress the other. The other neighbor in the meantime is busy educating his children and strengthening his own moderate business.

    In the short term, the first neighbor looks wealthy and happy. That does not mean, it was real.Recommend

  • Zen
    Aug 30, 2016 - 1:30PM

    @Careless Whisper:
    You mean countries like Germany, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, etc. If you are referring to your own experiences, you double crossed it, killing them in Afghanistan. For the Generals, Afghan Taliban, Haqqani Network and Non State actors are more important than friendship with America.Recommend

  • Zen
    Aug 30, 2016 - 1:37PM

    You missed the brutalities being carried out in China against Muslims. Was that because of CPEC?Recommend

  • Frank Mossman
    Aug 30, 2016 - 2:26PM

    This is perhaps the most important strategic change on the subcontinent since the Indo–Soviet Treaty of Peace, Friendship and Cooperation of 1971. It firmly places the US as the friend and defender of India. For the past half-century Pakistan subjugated its own interests to that of the United States, with the Pakistan Army in the forefront of ensuring adherance to this policy. In the process, the Pakistani economy was destroyed.

    Pakistan now survives only on aid and loans, with the US hand controlling both switches. Every significant Pakistani military secret is known to the US, who will no doubt pass them on to their Indian allies. In any war the Indians will be able to use all the US bases, including Baghram in Afghanistan and presumably US aircraft carriers parked in the Arabian Sea.

    American military tech, coveted for so long by the Pakistani military will now be MANUFACTURED in India.

    The Pakistan army under Musharraf created the Pakistani Taliban, claiming that Richard Armitage threatened to bomb Pakistan into the Stone Age (which Armitage categorically denies). The Pakistan Air force (and the Pakistan government itself) sat on their hands while the US drones killed THOUSANDS of innocent Pakistani women and children.

    And now, this utterly incompetent goverment and military, which has grand delusions of liberating Kashmir, have been kicked in the head by the very god before which they had (and have) prostrated themselves and their country for so long. Their joke of a foreign policy is in tatters, their only significant inflow (apart from borrowings and aid) are remittances from Pakistani workers in the Middle East. These remittances have reduced down to trickle due to the fall in oil prices and the workers have been sacked.

    Things are very soon going to get very uncomfortable in Pakistan, CPEC or no CPEC. Pakistanis will very soon have to make some very hard and permanent choices about their military and their government.Recommend

  • pakistani bloach
    Aug 30, 2016 - 3:20PM

    Another east india company.we all know what happened when first east india company left.hindustan was devided in 2 pieces and if sikhs were clever enough, they were going to have their country aswel. Anyway lets see how many new countries this new east india company going to establish.another for muslims, one for christians, one for sikhs, one for tamils , one for dallits and ofcourse there will be a small state called hindustan for brahmans.Recommend

  • vinsin
    Aug 30, 2016 - 4:07PM

    @pakistani bloach:
    Subcontinent was partitioned in 1947 not 1857 by Muslims which is not a company.Recommend

  • ajay
    Aug 30, 2016 - 4:25PM

    @ pakistani bloach.
    Your frustration is tying these words dear. Without Pakistan India is beautiful country and will remain one with full Kashmir at its side.Recommend

  • hindustaniBaloch
    Aug 30, 2016 - 4:35PM

    @pakistani bloach:
    Looking at the happenings in Muslim world, I don’t think they getting a country will help them. The rest of the religion in India are having a good time. Muslims do bad, even if they are in minority or majority.Recommend

  • Sami Qureshi
    Aug 30, 2016 - 4:36PM

    Pakistan remained the most trusted ally of USA for 60 years. America poured unlimited money and expertise to improve its Economy, Defense and Education to stand with the advanced nations. But ironically, only the elites of the country were benefited through their corrupt practices. Instead improving country’s developments they filled their own pockets with billions of dollars. India has better administrative system with national patriotism and sincerity. They will utilize this friendship with America to their full advantage. Pakistan is now supposed to be vigilant and to find some other channels to cope with.Recommend

  • ghazal
    Aug 30, 2016 - 4:58PM

    it is matter of priorities : indian and USA defense agreement is biggest news in Pakistan. in India news is our commerce minister meeting american counter halfRecommend

  • BrainBro
    Aug 30, 2016 - 5:10PM

    Kashmir would not even matter if a plebiscite were to be held in 20 years from now as most might end up voting for India. For example, do a plebiscite in Bradford, UK, which is filled up with Kashmiris, and ask them if they want to make Bradford a part of India or Pakistan. Not even a single vote would go to the either two.
    People ALWAYS opt for better living conditions over religion. If this weren’t true, the mass economic migrations we see would not exist.
    The Islamists are always the first ones to apply for immigration to western countries.Recommend

  • nasir ali khan
    Aug 30, 2016 - 5:25PM

    Now the US succeeded in putting it’s boots on indian soil. Good bye to our sovereignty once so much cherished Recommend

  • Aditya
    Aug 30, 2016 - 5:32PM

    Pakistanis are too much concerned with India’s future. It would be foolish to compare India with Pakistan. India doesn’t depend on US aids. This is a strategic relationship which will benefit both countries, just like US has relationships with Australia, Japan, South Korea and its other NATO allies. People should also not confuse this cooperation with Non Alliance. India isn’t binded by any treaty to not take any sides and has the right to act in its self interest.Recommend

  • Good work
    Aug 30, 2016 - 5:35PM

    Congratulations India on becoming lackey of America. They will never allow you to grow bigger than themselves and you’ll have to do their dirty work around the world. Recommend

  • Rao
    Aug 30, 2016 - 6:09PM

    @Shahid: Yaar: You make sense. Pakistan is not a small country, but wasted years in pursuing wrong headed policies which sought foolish ideas such as confrontation with neighbours, seeking parity , great power status etc. Why not engage in peace war! It can be a formidable adversary then to any one.Recommend

  • Zen
    Aug 30, 2016 - 6:20PM

    @pakistani bloach:
    Your forefathers predicted the same for India. Result: 1971.
    Again now you are predicting. Result: Hear PM Modi’s Independent speech.Recommend

  • M.Sethi
    Aug 30, 2016 - 6:38PM

    Indians haven’t seem to had learnt a lesson from the past history, of how the British colonized it,in the aftermath of establishing the East India Company in the 16th century ?

    Guess they are not happy to be independent and a sovereign country anymore !Recommend

  • Khan
    Aug 30, 2016 - 6:50PM

    Congratulations to Hindustan…..LoLRecommend

  • Kulbhushan Yadav
    Aug 30, 2016 - 6:59PM

    When East India company came to India, it was Muslims who were in command. The had little brain and too much chest thumping. This time it’s BJP govt. We’ll make sure deal is mutually beneficial for both countries. Only Independent and sovereign countries can make these kind of deals. The current case which is similar to that of East India company is CPEC where whole city is being handed over to Chinese. You should be more worried about that. Chinese are more shrewd than Britishers when it comes to Business. Recommend

  • Salim Khan
    Aug 30, 2016 - 7:11PM

    Indian navy has grown very fast in the past 2 decades. Today it has reached all corners of the world. At any point of time Indian frigates and other ships are active in South China sea to Atlantic sea. But it has no world-wide facilities like USA has. Signing of this pact is actually beneficial to India. It will give access to any of the US bases in the world. This will act as a force multiplier for India. For USA, India can choke the two most important points- Malacca strait and Gulf of Oman. Both are important for the world oil supplies. So the signing is very very significant.Recommend

  • Reddy
    Aug 30, 2016 - 7:47PM

    good to see pakistani concern on indian “sovereignty”, the word sovereignty alluded pakistan so much so that they are at war with one country or other or itself since it’s inception…most western countries also hated india for having relations with russia,iran and for not letting sanctions effect our trade…india has it’s own plans whether it’s NSG,logistics exchange or creating BRICS,AIIB(US didn’t like that at all) banks…we want only one thing i.e getting back to our glory,claiming our reserved seat which we let go under certain regime in india …as i said many times you don’t know modi,you don’t like when he concentrates on you …Recommend

  • Abhijeet
    Aug 30, 2016 - 8:55PM

    @Good work:
    You are talking about India, but you must be having Pakistan on your mind. India is no one’s lackey. We will walk away from all this, if we want.Recommend

  • M.Sethi
    Aug 30, 2016 - 9:02PM

    @Frank Mossman:
    Quite correct Pakistan suffered being an ally of the US and finally now after realizing that ,made an intelligent decision to say good bye..Now, what guarantee is there that the same fate would not lie in store for India ?

    Trust me, India will have more to loose aligning with the US, then gains,which they enjoyed for decades the USSR(now Russia) . They are only going to be used to fight as a proxy within the region for US interest and in the process be devastated !Recommend

  • Srinivasulu Mekala
    Aug 30, 2016 - 9:07PM

    India is sure it wants to become India. After all what was Pakistan’s role as the most allyed ally of America other than being a prophylactic latex layer?Recommend

  • M.Sethi
    Aug 30, 2016 - 9:12PM

    @Kulbhushan Yadav: It hardly matters, whether the rulers then, were Muslims or Hindus ,even then it was a sovereign country. Don’t worry pretty soon ,you will have to face the usual US, mantra of “Do More” which all their ally’s ultimately do !

    CPEC is not a pact of handing over anything, rather it is a project which would boom up Pakistan’s economy and strategic position within the region and globally.Recommend

  • Srinivasulu Mekala
    Aug 30, 2016 - 9:23PM

    Simple litmus test. Chinks and Pakistanis are “worried”, then it must be certified as “good” for India. What other proof do you need?Recommend

  • numbersnumbers
    Aug 30, 2016 - 9:37PM

    @Frank Mossman:
    Wow, so drones killed “thousands of innocent Pakistani women and children”!!!
    Sources please for this delusion, since even the Bureau of Investigative Journalism notes that the vast majority of drone strike deaths are militants!Recommend

  • Buzzkill
    Aug 30, 2016 - 10:08PM

    @M.Sethi: It seems you need to read up more about the CPEC. As per MOU, Gwadar port in its entirety is to be handed over to the Chinese. You can check up on that. Your country is being sold in bits & peices and you guys don’t even know about it.Recommend

  • vinsin
    Aug 30, 2016 - 10:58PM

    No it was not. Indians were not ruler of the north in 16th century. Mughals were Turks-Mongol. Mughals dont used to speak any Indian languages as means of communication or for business.
    Mughals were part of three gunpowder empires. CPEC will improve Pakistan economy. Pakistan is any way most strategic located country in the region, so nothing to improve upon. CPEC means CPEC not GPEC.Recommend

  • Ravi
    Aug 31, 2016 - 3:55AM

    The do more mantra is for Pakistan since it expects $$$$ as alms, it is not the case with India, Australia,Japan,South Korea,Taiwan,Germany,UK etc. Did you get the difference?You already gave away the Gawadar port to Chinese and providing 10K military for their safety for mere transit fee the Chinese are going to pay,(May be that is less than the interest they are expecting from their investment or it may be less than the security costs for Pakistan). CPEC is not even 10% of Suez or Panama, if the transit fee is so much Egypt and Panama must be filled with gold by now. CPEC is good for Pakistan but it is not going to make huge difference in the lives of Pakistanis. $46 Billion over a period of 10 or 15 years are just peanuts. Recommend

  • quatro
    Aug 31, 2016 - 4:23AM

    Pakistan shoved the American’s into the arms of India and no doubt will hold itself blameless. Recommend

  • Adnan
    Aug 31, 2016 - 6:00AM

    Let us see which alliance wins. China – Pak or Indo-US.
    Pakistan has depended on the US since independence. Now, living without it is already beginning to feel like a challenge. Recommend

  • wb
    Aug 31, 2016 - 7:14AM

    @Frank Mossman:

    You’re Christine C Fair using a pseudonym. But you speak the truth.Recommend

  • Nikkii
    Aug 31, 2016 - 8:28AM

    May be the last Rogue empire the “US” will perish in this region. Recommend

  • Zen
    Aug 31, 2016 - 1:00PM

    Do not know about USA but Pakistan is sure in the dumps for supporting terrorists.Recommend

  • GN
    Sep 1, 2016 - 6:29AM


    And who’s who among both the neighbors? Recommend

  • M.Sethi
    Sep 2, 2016 - 2:16PM

    Reality Check for you! Gwadar port is a civilian project ,unlike the military bases that India would be gifting to the US !Recommend

  • M.Sethi
    Sep 2, 2016 - 2:23PM

    FYI. India has been identified as the largest recipient of U.S economic assistance over a 66-year period.Data compiled by USAID and released recently shows that India received $ 65.1 billion in economic assistance from the US in inflation-adjusted dollars in the period 1946-2012,

More in World