GS Mains Model Question & Answer: Discuss India-US relations in the light of military logistics support agreement


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 twenty-first century.

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, and supplies.

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 Council (UNSC).

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 rechristened LEMOA.

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).

References

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