In fact, America’s oldest and largest geographic combatant command changed its name last year from U.S. Pacific Command to U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, specifically to highlight the importance of South Asia and the Indian Ocean region to its mission.
Indopacom’s commander, Navy Adm. Phil Davidson, is speaking this week in New Delhi at the Raisina Dialogue, a yearly forum that has emerged as India’s flagship conference on geopolitics and security. It includes global leaders in policy, business, media and civil society.
India and the U.S. have a lot of shared principals: both nations believe in sovereignty, free and fair trade, keeping to international standards and resolving disputes peacefully. In fact, India was designated a major U.S. defense partner in 2016.
So what does this major partnership look like?
Here are some of the long-term strategies that the U.S. and India are working on:
1. Military leaders pledged in June to broaden military-to-military engagements, including more maritime activities.
2. Both nations are committed to combating terrorism by strengthening intelligence and information sharing, screening for terrorists and monitoring their use of the internet.
3. Since 2008, the U.S. has provided anti-terrorism training for 1,200 Indian security personnel.
4. A group that’s been meeting since 2002 to discuss high-technology issues of mutual interest has worked to facilitate defense trade between U.S. and Indian businesses.
5. The recent signing of the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement allows both India and the U.S. to operate on the same communication systems, enabling further opportunities for interoperability in military engagements.
6. Under the India-U.S. Joint Strategic Vision – which affirms the two nations’ shared views for prosperity and stability in the region – they are working together to develop a roadmap leveraging efforts to improve security architecture and strengthen regional dialogues.
As India continues to position itself as a global power and security partner in the Indian Ocean region, defense officials said the U.S. and Indopacom will continue to make the country a priority partnership through cooperation, dialogue and trust.