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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2904

Trump visits India: Indo-Pacific Military Corporation further cemented

By Daya Gamage – Asian Tribune US National Correspondent
Washington, D.C. 18 February (Asiantribune.com):

The two 2+2 Ministerial Dialogues between defense and foreign ministers of both the U.S. and India – the first in New Delhi in September 2018 and the other most recently last December in Washington – to establish, strengthen and cement the military bond between the two nations targeting the Indo-Pacific region to face the Chinese expansion will receive a worm blessing when President Trump visits New Delhi end of this month.

Mr. Trump is scheduled to be in India February 24-25, and Prime Minister Modi will hold a massive rally “Howdy Trump” in his city of birth Ahmedabad, Gujarat along the lines of the “Howdy Modi" event in Houston, which was attended by about 50,000 people in September which was attended by Trump.

The significance of President Trump’s visit to India would be more geopolitical, strategic and military clearly aimed at further reinforcing the US-India Strategic Partnership. It will also be a signal for many literal states in the South and East Asian region to fall in line to establish a ‘free and peaceful Indo-Pacific region’ which can be interpreted as enhanced military presence to meet the Chinese expansion using ‘willing nations’ to engage in military pacts such as Acquisition and Cross-Services Agreement (ACSA) and Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA).

India is a dominating force for South Asian nations.

However, the President of The Philippines Rodrigo Duterte announced last week that his country has informed Washington of its intention to move out of the ACSA.

The Trump-Modi official talks will figure pressing trade issues between the two countries but expected to place emphasis on the geopolitical and military determinants that currently define the relationship between the two countries.

India in recent times has moved away from China toward the United States while a close rapport is building between China and Pakistan. In the past, when U.S. presidents visit India they simultaneously visit Pakistan. It’s not so during Trump’s visit to India. The U.S. recently drastically cut military assistance to Pakistan.

Commentators highlight, geopolitically the emergence of the China-Pakistan Axis which when dispassionately analyzed carries serious adverse implications for both India and the United States. The United States has already made public its displeasure on Pakistan consciously facilitating the development of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor traversing the entire length of Pakistan including the disputed territory of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. This Corridor is less ‘Economic’ and more ‘Strategic’ creating security implications both for India and the United States.

Last Monday, the US State Department said it had approved an Indian request for an Integrated Air Defence Weapon System for estimated $1.87 billion.

Ahead of the visit, New Delhi is expected to approve a $2.6 billion deal for military helicopters from US defense contractor Lockheed Martin Corp. India’s Cabinet Committee on Security is likely to clear an order for 24 MH-60R Seahawk helicopters for the Indian Navy in the days ahead.

Following the official talks between the two leaders it is interesting to ascertain what’s in stock for literal states in the Indo-Pacific region.

- Asian Tribune –

Strengthening the US-India Strategic Partnership when President
Trump visits New Delhi February 25-26
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