Q. In the light of the '2+2' talks held between India and U.S., discuss the major agreements signed between the two countries and explain their significance for India. (250 words)13 Jan, 2019 GS Paper 2 International Relations
- Introduce with what ‘2+2’ talks means
- List the major agreements signed during the talks along with their importance
- Conclude with long term implications of the agreements signed
- ‘2+2’ talks mean a format of dialogue in which foreign and defense ministers of two countries meet each other.
- India holds ‘2+2’ talks with Japan and Australia at the ministerial level along with the US.
- In the year 2018, India held it’s first ‘2+2’ talks with the United States.
- During the talks, a number of agreements were signed like:
- Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA): COMCASA allows India to procure transfer specialized equipment for encrypted communications for US-origin military platforms like the C-17, C-130, and P-8Is.
- This is also important as India has increased its engagement with other Quad members (Australia, Japan apart from India and the United States).
- The COMCASA will allow closer defense cooperation among the four.
- It will also help in preserving our interest in Asia-Pacific which is rechristened as Indo-pacific.
- The agreement for First Tri-Services Exercise and to increase naval Engagement in the West Asian region:
- This agreement will help in coordination and cooperation among all wings of the defense forces between two countries.
- India and the US agreed to enhance their ongoing cooperation against terrorism in multilateral forums such as the UN and Financial Action Task Force:
- This is significant as both countries are suffering from terrorism.
- India’s efforts at FATF have made it possible that Pakistan was put up in FATF’s grey list.
- The US also reiterated its support to India’s membership to Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).
- India’s membership to NSG is blocked by China. Support of US is important if India wishes to be a part of NSG and for our diplomatic efforts to make China support India’s membership.
- China and Indo-Pacific
- The joint statement mentioned advancing “a free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific region” and promoting sustainable “debt-financing” in the region.
- These two points are clearly aimed at China’s role in the South China Sea and the Belt and Road Initiative projects.
With the agreements signed during the summit relations between India and the US are increasingly getting the military character. India can emerge as a potential military ally of US in the Asian region at the same time act as a net security provider in the Indian Ocean region.
In the 21st century, India and US have moved from "estranged democracies to engaged democracies". Though there are areas of disagreements like over Iran Nuclear Deal and S-400 Missile Defence system purchase from Russia. The countries must respect the national interest of each other and understand that International relations are guided by pragmatism and strategic autonomy.