Language Matters : India And USA Have To Be At Par And...

Language Matters : India And USA Have To Be At Par And Not India At Par With NATO Allies


Language Matters : India And USA Have To Be At Par And Not India At Par With NATO Allies

Two top US senators have moved an amendment to change the US Armed Controls Export Act to bring India on a par with NATO allies, Israel, Australia, New Zealand and Korea for purposes of selling military items under the ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations) list.

The bipartisan amendment moved by Democrat Senator Mark Warner and Republican Senator John Cornyn on Thursday seeks to bring the change through an amendment to the relevant sections on foreign military sales in the National Defence Authorization Act (NDAA) 2020

This move will now kickstart the process of deliberations for the conference process in which the Senate and House versions of the NDAA will be reconciled. If the amendment makes it through this process, then it will help Indo-US relations in a big way.

There are two technology control lists in the US system – one is under the Export Administration Regulations, which places controls on the sale of dual-use items that have both civil and military uses and the second is the ITAR list. The civil nuclear deal paved the way for India to access items on the first set of lists.

The Major Defence Partner status allowed the Pentagon to move on sales of highly sensitive military items to India. However, the licensing and approval process was quite elaborate. Also, the Department of State, which goes by the Arms Export Control (AEC) Act would raise questions.

The AEC Act governs the ITAR list. The only countries where the President enjoys considerable executive freedom for such sales are the NATO allies, Australia, Israel, New The amendment, if it goes through, will make it possible for the US to fulfil India’s operational requirements in quick time, thus improving its reliability on supplies.

The amendment is expected to gain traction also because India and US have also signed the COMCASA (Communications, Compatibility and Security Agreement) and are in detailed discussions over BECA (Basic Exchange Cooperation Agreement).

Under the COMCASA, the US has already set up a secure link between the Indian Navy Command headquarters and the US Pacific Command to share real-time information.

Also, the Selective Availability Anti-Spoofing Module GPS was also cleared for the C-17s and C-130s. Both sides are in discussions to set up a COMCASA register.

These are developments, sources said, which will strengthen the case for the amendment to go through. Those supporting the Bill are also counting on the fact that both Warner and Cornyn are senior senators and are taken very seriously by all stakeholders.

However presently it is in the interest of USA that they have closer economic and military relations with India and therefore have to amend their laws accordingly.

India is not going to follow laws of any other country except bilateral agreements. Also such agreements gives neither side any leverage to dictate terms to the other especially on bilateral relations with any third country.