Why Maritime Logistics Pacts are Vital for Asia’s Strategic Balance ( Source- The Diplomat / Author- Abhijit Singh)

Image credits- Indian Navy
Source- The Diplomat

Author- Abhijit Singh

Ever since it was signed late last month, India’s logistics agreement with the United States has been a contested issue in India’s strategic circles. The pact has attracted some criticism from a section of India’s political and strategic elite who feel it restricts India’s freedom of military action. The critics appear convinced the pact does not benefit India strategically in the same way as it advantages the U.S. military. As a leading Indian defense analyst put it, “the government seems to have been guided more by the fear of being accused of succumbing to pressure from Washington and less by an evaluation of whether this might benefit India’s military.” As a result, Indian defense ministry officials find themselves under pressure to explain why they believe an agreement with the United States on military logistics is in India’s best interests.

Meanwhile, supporters of the pact claim that it only codifies existing arrangements for defense logistics and must not be seen as a military agreement at all. India-U.S. defense arrangements, they rightly point out, have long been characterized by an inherent informality – particularly in their logistics transactions. LEMOA, the proponents aver, is likely to bring a structured efficiency in bilateral defense interactions and exercises. And yet, no amount of logical rationalization has been able to convince the skeptics who see the agreement as a unacceptable breach of India’s established policy of military neutrality, and a clear move toward a de facto “military alliance” with the United States...... ( Now read on)

About the author- Abhijit Singh is a Senior Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation where he heads the Maritime Security Initiative.
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