Washington: India is key part of efforts of Obama Administration to rebalance its Asia-Pacific posture to the broader security and prosperity of the 21st century, a top Pentagon official said adding India-US relationship is global in scope.
"India is also key part of our rebalance to the Asia-Pacific, and, we believe, to the broader security and prosperity of the 21st century. The US-India relationship is global in scope, like the reach and influence of both countries," the Deputy Secretary of Defense, Ashton Carter, said in his address to the Asia Society in New York on Wednesday.
"Our security interests converge: on maritime security, across the Indian Ocean region; in Afghanistan, where India has done so much for economic development and the Afghan security forces; and on broader regional issues, where we share long-term interests," said Carter who returned last week from his 10-day Asia Pacific trip including India.
"I went to India at the request of Secretary Panetta and with a high-level delegation of US technical and policy experts. Our purpose was to work with the Indians on developing a joint vision for US-India defense cooperation," he said.
"Through a series of meetings with Indian government and industry leaders, we agreed to create a continuing working mechanism, with the strategic engagement of National Security Advisor (Shiv Shankar) Menon and myself, to implement our vision," Carter said.
"We believe that the only limit to our cooperation should be our independent strategic decisions as any two states can differ not bureaucratic obstacles or inefficient procedures.
So we are deepening relationships between our defense organisations, from research to defense sales," the top Pentagon official said.
"We are moving beyond purely defense trade, and towards technology sharing and co-production. We are harnessing the potential of our private industries.
On the US side, we will be ready to adapt our sometimes inscrutable practices to make a match with India. We see tremendous opportunities for the future," Carter stressed.
Reiterating that the United States has been a Pacific power for hundreds of years, the top Pentagon official said the goal of the Obama Administration remains the same.
"It is to ensure the security and stability of the Asia-Pacific region so that every state in the region may prosper. We in the Pentagon are investing to sustain peace, and are working with our partners every step of the way," he said.
Explaining the new posture of the US in the Asia Pacific region, Carter said the logic of the rebalance is simple.
"The Asia-Pacific region has enjoyed an environment of general peace and security for more than 60 years, allowing Japan to rise and prosper, then Korea to rise and prosper, next Southeast Asia to rise and prosper, and now China, and in a very different way India, to rise and prosper," he said.