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    India—U.S. joint military exercise in Rajasthan

    on
    February 11, 2021
    *Shared values that are the very raison d’être of the two great democracies have transformed the relationship abiding and regime-change proof
    1.And when a Nationalist Government headed by the Global Statesman leads Bharat, the joint military exercise becomes sacramental and not just ceremonial!
    2.HYPHENATING INDIA AND PAKISTAN
    2.1. Through the entire Cold War-I period, Nehru’s flawed and hypocritical Non-Alignment Policy compelled the U.S. to hyphenate India and Pakistan during the Cold War-I, out of sheer necessity rather than on any principle.
    2.2. Pakistan’s maniacal obsession was India’s hard power; so it feared that India would forever dominate it and even dismember it.
    2.3. A country born in the worst aberration in human history, Pakistan cleverly exploited the American need to have an ally in South Asia to fight Soviet communism.
    2.4. Thus it got American arms given on the condition that Pakistan would not use these against India, and we know what really happened.
    2.5. AYUB KHAN FORCES KENNEDY’S HAND
    2.5.1. During the 1962 India-China war, a desperate Nehru (where were his Soviet friends then?), though ineligible, wrote a top-secret letter to President Kennedy, asking him to send as many as 12 squadrons ( about 200 planes)of U.S. fighters to defend Indian cities from China.
    2.5.2. Pakistan’s military dictator President got wind of it, and insisted with Kennedy that any military assistance to India should be made conditional on India talking to Pakistan about Kashmir. Kennedy obliged.
    2.5.3. Of course, in the meantime, might be because of fear of American intervention, China unilaterally ended the war and withdrew its forces to the Mc Mahon Line in the eastern sector but took control over Aksai Chin in the western sector.
    2.5.4. Perhaps this marked the beginning of the U.S. hyphenating India and Pakistan.
    2.5.5. It did not happen because of any convergence in VALUES but only because of America’s desperate need to find an ally in South Asia.
    2.5.6. Pakistan exploited this U.S. vulnerability to the hilt, especially during America’s proxy war against the USSR in Afghanistan.
    2.5.7. The hyphenation did not stop with the end of the Cold War-I when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1990.
    2.5.8. In his opposition to nuclear proliferation, Bill Clinton continued to equate India and Pakistan since both were scampering to be atomic powers—Bharat to ensure peace and the rogue state wanting to destroy us if it could!
    3.THE EVENTS IN THE 21st CENTURY TRIGGERED THE DE-HYPHENATION
    3.1. On September 11, 2001, Osma bin Laden’s Al Quaeda hijacked and drove two an American Airlines Boeing 767 loaded with 20,000 gallons of jet fuel, eighteen minutes apart, into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City.
    3.2. A third hit the Pentagon.
    3.3. At last, the U.S. woke up to the sinister threat of JIHADI TERROR, which, till then, was thought to be an Indian apprehension!
    3.4. Though With ISIS’ territorial collapse, the threat posed by the group receded, “homegrown” jihadist terrorism, including that inspired by ISIS, still remains a threat to the U.S.
    3.5. Pakistan’s double game double-crossing, duplicity, and betrayal stood bared when America found out and eliminated the Pakistan military protected Osama bin Laden in 2012.
    3.6. Again, Pakistan’s treachery stood exposed when it played double games with the U.S. with Afghanistan’s Taliban.
    3.7. In contrast, India collaborated with the U.S. to build up infrastructure and train the Afghan Government’s soldiers fighting the Taliban.
    4.THE DE-COUPLING BEGINS AT LAST
    4.1. The first joint military exercise took place when the nationalist Atal Behari Vajpayee was our Prime Minister.
    4.2. It took place in Agra between 16-26 May 2002.
    5. NOW THE 16TH “YOUDH ABYAS” IS GOING ON IN RAJASTHAN SINCE FEBRUARY 8
    5.1. With a focus on counterterrorism, India and the U.S. have kicked-off the 16th edition of their joint military exercise, ‘Yudh Abhyas,’ at the Mahajan Field Firing Ranges in Rajasthan’s Bikaner district bordering Pakistan.
    5.2. This is our third joint war drills in the past four months.
    5.3. The 13-day exercise, which will conclude on February 21, focuses on counterterrorism and promoting interoperability between the two forces.
    5.4. The 11th Battalion of Jammu and Kashmir Rifles and the 2nd Battalion of the 3rd Infantry Regiment of 1-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team of the U.S. Army are participating in the wargames.
    5.5. The U.S. Army contingent, comprising 270 soldiers, had arrived at Suratgarh, Rajasthan, February 6. Almost the same number of soldiers from India are participating in the exercises.
    5.6. Among the aerial platforms, newly-inducted Advance Light Helicopter WSI ‘RUDRA,’ MI-17, Chinooks, Stryker Vehicles of the U.S. Army, and BMP-II mechanized infantry combat vehicles of the Indian Army will be part of the drills.
    5.7. India’s defense spokesperson, Lt. Col. Amitabh Sharma, has said that the exercise with the U.S. Army is significant in terms of security challenges both nations face in the backdrop of global terrorism.
    5.8. Sharma said the joint military exercise would enhance the level of defense cooperation between the armies.
    5.9. This will also foster bilateral relations between both nations and reiterate India’s critical role as a key partner in the Indo-Pacific region.
    5.10. In June 2018, the U.S. sponsored and got approved the placing of Pakistan in the Grey List of the FATF, the U.N.’s anti-terror watchdog.
    6.NOW LISTEN TO WHAT BIDEN’S DEFENCE SECRETARY HAS SAID
    (Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby provided the following readout)
    6.1. Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin spoke with our defence minister Rajnath Singh on January 27.
    6.2. During the call, Secretary Austin emphasized the Department’s commitment to the U.S.-India Major Defense Partnership, observing that it is built upon shared values and a common interest in ensuring the Indo-Pacific region remains free and open.
    6.3. Secretary Austin noted the great strides made in the U.S.-India defense relationship, and he pledged to work collaboratively with the Defence Minster to sustain progress.
    6.4. “I would further operationalise India’s ‘major defence partner’ status and continue to build upon existing strong defence cooperation to ensure the U.S. and Indian militaries can collaborate to address shared interests,” Austin said in response to a question submitted before his confirmation hearing.
    6.5. He said he would also seek to deepen and broaden the defence cooperation between India and the U.S. through the Quad security dialogue and other regional multilateral engagements.
    Ramdas Iyer
    11.02.2021
    Thursday
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