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Former US defence secretary says deepening of US-India partnership in military destined to occur

A deepening partnership between the United States and India in the military and security sphere is “destined to occur” as there is too much in common between the two large democracies that share really good values, according to former American defence secretary Ash Carter. 

Speaking at a US Chamber of Commerce hosted session, Carter said the two countries shared more than just the English language. Carter was defence secretary from 2015 to 2017 under the Obama administration. He is currently Director of the Belfer Center for Science & International Affairs at Harvard Kennedy School. 

In response to a question on how can the US create a significant deterrent presence including intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR), he said, “We do need to span that distance and we’re not going to be able to operate if we’re talking about China now up against China, the way we used to. We understand that. That’s unrealistic. So, you do have to go longer distances. I’ll give you two ways among many that you do that. One is by having longer-legged aircraft for ISR, that is intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance, which is being made by General Atomics, in order to specifically expand that distance in recognition of the fact that many in the US have now belatedly, unfortunately, finally come to the view that the Chinese are not turning out the way America wanted back in the nineties and the US needs to protect itself. And the other way you do it is our bomber, the B-2 bomber. It’s going to be part of this future. But the big thing is friends and allies in the region. That’s the big way that we maintained America as a palpable power. That’s why I was in favour of things like TPP. That’s not going to happen.” 

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