US Defence Budget – Eyes Stronger India Ties

The US annual defence budget of about $621.5 billion for FY18 has been passed by the House of Representatives and, among other things, it seeks advancing of military cooperation with India, already a major defence partner of the US.

An amendment on enhancing cooperation with India was moved by Indian-American Congressman Ami Bera and was adopted by a voice vote by the House as part of the National Defense Authorization.

The India-related amendment in NDAA 2018, requires the US Secretary of Defence, in consultation with the Secretary of State to develop a strategy for advancing defence cooperation between US and India.

The amendment asks the State Department and Pentagon to develop a strategy to addresses common security challenges, the role of US partners and allies in India-US defence relationship, and the role of the defence technology and trade initiative.

It also asks them to address issues to advance communications interoperability and security memorandum of agreement and the basic exchange and cooperation agreement for geospatial cooperation.

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