US wants to take defence ties with India to new level
"We hope to partner with (India) to share the strategic landscape as it applies to how we apply security to the globe that allows prosperity and peace, freedom of movement and prosperity in the world," Admiral Samuel J Locklear III, Commander of the US Pacific Command, told the American Forces Press Service in an interview.
Locklear, who took charge of the PACOM in March this year, said the new strategic guidance which specifically called for investments in a long-term strategic partnership with India "to support its ability to service as a regional economic anchor and provider of security in the broader Indian Ocean region" is just like marching orders or him.
To achieve these goals, he has constituted a group of six military and civilian experts to advise him on India-US strategic partnership.
The group is headed by Col. Michael Albaneze who according to American Forces Press Service conceded that the India-US Strategic partnership in the defence field has been slow in forming.
For the past half-century, India has been a leader in the Non-Aligned movement, and it has an official policy of being "strategically autonomous," the defence department said, adding that without a long history of cooperation, Albaneze noted a "maturing process" that could, over time, evolve into a more typical relationship characterized by routine engagement across the board.
"We are not quite there yet, but there is a lot of effort in trying to move in that direction," he was quoted as saying.