Top Pentagon official to visit India

Washington: A top Pentagon official assigned to work with India to streamline and ease high-tech exports and necessary bureaucratic hurdles is visiting India later this month.

The Deputy Defence Secretary, Ash Carter, is visiting India as part of his 10-day Asia trip that would take him to Hawaii, Guam, Japan, Thailand and South Korea, Pentagon Press Secretary, George Little said. Details about his India leg of his trip would come later, he added. "The purpose of the visit is to engage key allies and partners in detailed discussions on what the US military`s approach to the Asia-Pacific will mean in practice," Little said.

Carter will also discuss how the Defence Department and militaries in the region "can work more closely together to ensure security and prosperity in the 21st century," he said. The Asia trip of Carter comes closely after the Panetta`s trip to the region in May, the Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Martin Dempsey`s visit in June, and PACOM chief Adm. Samuel Locklear`s Asia-Pacific swing that started in June.

Late last month, in a meeting with a visiting delegation of Indian Parliamentarians, Carter had underscored the huge strides that have been made in advancing the bilateral defence relationship and opportunities for the future.

"Deputy Secretary Carter discussed the new initiative he is leading on behalf of the Department of Defence to streamline our bureaucratic processes and make our defence trade more simple, responsive and effective," Little had said.

Early June, during his first visit to India, Panetta had announced that Carter would lead "an effort at the Pentagon to engage with Indian leaders on a new initiative to streamline our bureaucratic processes and make our defense trade more simple, more responsive and more effective."

The goal of this new approach is to speed up the process of these types of requests by foreign governments, he said. "We are working to try to get changes in the export control act to try to eliminate some of the barriers that are there, to loosen up on some of the bureaucracy that`s involved with regards to those laws," Panetta said at a June 6 press conference in New Delhi.