India-US Mini '2+2' Talks

India and the U.S. have reviewed the progress of Industrial Security Annex (ISA) and the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo-spatial Cooperation (BECA) agreements during the recent ‘2+2’ intercession meeting.

  • The agreements are significant in the context of Asia Reassurance Initiative Act (ARIA).
  • Under ARIA, around $1.5 billion in funding will be channeled into improving US ties with partners in the Asian region in the next five years. Though the Act frames a strategy for the US in Asia, it singles out India as an important military partner.
  • The inaugural 2+2 dialogue between India and U.S. was held last September.

Industrial Security Annex (ISA)

  • ISA agreement allows sharing of classified information from the US government and US companies with the Indian private sector.
  • Till now, sharing of information was limited to the Indian government and the defence public sector undertakings.
  • The ISA will give a boost to the Indian private sector looking for a greater role in defence manufacturing.

“Four Foundational Agreements” between the US and its Partners

  • General Security Of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA)
    • GSOMIA allows militaries to share the intelligence gathered by them.
    • Signed by India in 2002.
  • Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA)
    • LEMOA allows both countries to have access to each other’s designated military facilities for refueling and replenishment.
    • Signed by India in 2016.
  • Communications and Information Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA)
    • COMCASA(Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement) is the India specific version of CISMOA.
    • Valid for 10 years, COMCASA aims to provide a legal framework for the transfer of highly sensitive communication security equipment from the US to India that will streamline and facilitate interoperability between their armed forces.
    • Signed by India in 2018.
  • Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA)
    • BECA will allow India and US to share geospatial and satellite data with each other.
    • India has not signed BECA yet.