Everyone has a different take on India-US relationship. But as we say that devil is in the detail, microscopic analysis might turn out to be something different than you think. The communication within the military has to be secret and encrypted. Military can’t rely on whatsapp for communication like us. Whenever USA considers a country to be its defense partner then the country has to sign three agreements with USA. These are,
- LEMOA: Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement; this has already been signed!
- BECA: Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement
COMCASA (Communication Compatibility and Security agreement) is a platform used in United States by the military for sharing secret information. India has purchased US equipment like transport aircrafts, maritime aircrafts but we are not able to justify its usage by not signing COMCASA. Signing COMCASA can increase the potential of the US equipments in India. Also, India will not be able to get air- to-air missiles from US until it signs the COMCASA agreement.
But, if India signs COMCASA then,
India will become dependent on COMCASA. How? The operational security of the platform (COMCASA) will be designed by US and then they will be able to use the Indian data anytime in the future. The encryption algorithms would be known to them and Indian operators will not be allowed to participate in the system working.
Our old equipment is majorly dependent on Russian platform like Sukhoi, MIG, Helicopters etc. these equipments will not be compatible with COMCASA, how will we adjust this? This is a big issue on US side too. They will have to make their platform compatible with the older equipments available in countries like India.
USA is eager to make India a partner in COMSAC because India will then become a big buyer of Arms from US. This is the reason US has granted the status of ‘Major Defense Partner’ to India in 2016 but no tangible benefits have come to us so far. US has tried its edge on making the COMSAC agreement mandatory if India wants to get the Predator Drones from it as other countries are bereft of this technology.
A ‘2+2’ meeting will now be held on 6 September on the same. Indian External affair minister, Sushma Swaraj and Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will be attending the meeting in Washington with their US counterparts.
Article Credits: Phalak Betab (www.themarketer.in)