GS Mains Model Question & Answer: Discuss India-US relations
in the light of military logistics support agreement
Q. Discuss India-US relations in the light of military
logistics support agreement. (12.5 Marks)
(General Studies Mains Paper II- International Relations : Bilateral,
regional and global groupings and agreements)
Model Answer :
Logistics support between the armed forces of India and the
US will be a vital aspect for enhancing cooperation in capability development to
respond to natural disasters and address emerging security threats of the
During the 2004 Tsunami, US support came handy with India lacking the
capability to provide assistance to the affected areas. Experts say the
agreement will aid such humanitarian assistance in future.
The Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) envisages the
militaries of the U.S. and India sharing facilities for refueling , spare parts,
1. Both India and the United States have concerns about Beijing’s growing
aggressiveness in the South China Sea and beyond.
2. In the recent years, India has become one of the biggest purchasers of U.S.
military hardware, a sea change from the times when the country used to source
the majority of its defense needs from Russia.
3. Maritime collaboration between India and the United States has been
increasing. Besides, India’s ties with U.S. allies in the region, like Japan and
Australia, have also improved by leaps and bounds since then.
4. New Delhi is angling to be a permanent member of the United Nations Security
The LEMOA, a version of the standard US Logistics Support
Agreement (LSA) tailored for India, “establishes basic terms, conditions, and
procedures for reciprocal provision of logistic support, supplies, and services
between the armed forces of India and the United States”.
The only similar case of an Indian agreement with a major
power was the Indo-Soviet Treaty of Peace, Friendship and Cooperation in August
1971 just ahead of the Bangladesh war. But even that agreement was strategic in
nature, with little cooperation at the level of the two militaries. The LEMOA,
in contrast, allows Indian and American militaries to operate closely by using
each other’s bases for logistics support.
Delhi’s insistence on making India-specific changes also led
to a change of the agreement’s name from LSA to LEMOA. The US has signed the LSA
with more than 60 countries and it has a standard text. As the Indian government
insisted on various clauses to assuage concerns of unfettered access and US
military bases on Indian soil, the text was amended and the agreement
India chose to proceed only on the logistics agreement (LEMOA),
deferring the Communications and Information Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA)
and a Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geospatial Information and
Services Cooperation (BECA).