India and United States should take up joint defence projects: appeals a former US official

Washington: A former senior US official has expressed a wish that India and the United States should expedite decisions on the joint defence projects and implement them in time. US President, Donald Trump had recently announced an important decision to provide super advanced defence equipment and technology to partner nations. On this background, the wish expressed by Keith Webster, who played an important role in the defence related agreement signed between India and the United States during the Obama administration, seems justified.

The transfer of super advanced technology agreement ‘Defence Trade and Technology Initiative’ (DTTI) between India and the United States was signed in 2015. Under this agreement, the United States was to supply a sensitive and super advanced technology to India. In spite of this agreement, no joint projects have been implemented to manufacture defence equipment. Webster has said that it is necessary for both the countries to make efforts to expedite the process.

India and the United States need to take decisions about such joint projects and implement them expeditiously, demanded Keith Webster. ‘India and US should not stop only at implementation of these projects, but they should also take the necessary decisions to improve each other’s military capabilities. The United States has the requisite experience to achieve this, as it has done this before around the world,’ were some of the significant comments made by Webster.

According to the decision announced by President Trump, the United States will supply advanced defence equipment to its allies in the future. It is claimed that India will be a major beneficiary of this. If India receives the super advanced drones and the US’ technology, it will prove to be extremely important from the Indian security’s perspective. Also, if the advanced technology and defence equipment is made available to India, it will help in creating a deterrent for China, who too is making rapid advances in defence.

The indications that the United States was ready and willing to take this ahead were made earlier. However, the United States complained that the Indian red-tape is a major impediment on this path, while India seems to be attempting to always maintain an appropriate balance in its foreign policy before arriving at any decision.

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