What is the Troika of military agreements between India and the US and how it stands to benefit us?

During recent 2+2 Ministerial level talks India and United States completed troika of military cooperation pacts between the two countries. The latest and final pact of the troika was BECA, which the two countries signed on Tuesday. But what are the three pacts and how India stands to benefit from them? Let us have a brief run down of the three pacts and understand what they offer:

1 – LEMOA

The Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement or LEMOA, was the the first of three pacts. The agreement was penned in August. The pact enables armies of both the country’s to use each other’s bases, supply lines, ports, land facilities. However both the sides must reimburse the costs.

The pact played a vital role in enhancing trust between the two countries. It may be noted that by allowing military of another country to your base, you expose your technologies and technicalities to them. Only the armies and nations who put enormous amount of trust in each other would enter such agreements.

2 – COMCASA

The The Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement or COMCASA was signed in 2018 in a meeting attended by late Sushma Swaraj as Minister of External Affairs and Nirmala Sitharaman, the then Defence Minister.

This pact enables India unrestricted access to encrypted communication channels of US military, so that commanders, aircrafts and ships can communicate through secure networks in peace and war. The pact also paved path of transfer of highly advanced security equipment from the US to India to allow “interoperability” between their forces.

3 – BECA

This was the most recent pact, signed earlier in the week. This deal enables Indian access to advanced geospatial intelligence technology of the United States. This would significantly help the forces in enhancing the accuracy of automated systems and weapons like missiles and armed drones. It will also instrumental in providing topographical and aeronautical data and products that will aid navigation and targeting.

The troika is no doubt going to be catalyst of growing cooperation and mutual trust between India and United States and their respective militaries. Amidst the border stand-off with China, the troika will now help Indian forces to immediately access the advanced technology and vital information possessed by the US army. The deal significantly adds strength to both the forces.

However, there are some concerns in it as well. With both the countries coming closer in defence, US wants India to distance itself from all weather friend Russia, as they believe it may expose their technology to Moscow. Something which India is not yet willing. India is also concerned about Washington’s close relations with Islamabad and its dependence for access to Afghanistan. But with China constantly causing disturbance, India has done what is most required at the present situation.

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