Indo-US logistics pact faces delays

21 Mar 2017 | By NewsBytes Desk
The India-US logistics pact stuck in limbo

The much awaited Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement between India and the US is reportedly facing several bureaucratic hurdles due to slow-decision making on the Indian side.

Sources said the Ministry of Defence is close to finalizing several details and procedures. It is expected to be finalized by the end of March.

The US has similar agreements with several countries.

In context: The India-US logistics pact stuck in limbo

LEMOAWhat is the LEMOA?

The LEMOA is an agreement between India and the United States that seeks to allow both countries to use each others' military installations and bases.

Both countries would make use of each others' logistical facilities in an "equal-value exchange and reimbursable basis".

This would include refuelling of aircraft and ships, maintenance of weapons and warships.

What is the core of the problem?

The "equal-value exchange and reimbursable basis" would work perfectly with countries that have a unified command structure. However the IAF, Army and Navy have separate accounting procedures, budgets, bases, and oversight procedures. This makes figuring out the accounting process of the agreement difficult.
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DetailsFoundational agreements: India stalling

The US is also keen on signing 2 foundational agreements, called the Communication Interoperability and Security Memorandum Agreement (CISMOA), and the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo-Spatial Cooperation (BECA).

CISMOA seeks to exchange and use advanced encryption systems, but this would allow the US to track Indian secure communications.

BECA seeks sharing satellite and topographical data, which would need US sensors on Indian-soil.

CriticsCritics of the agreement

Critics have argued that the LEMOA, CISMOA and BECA are precursors to a full-scale military alliance with the US.

Moscow, India's oldest military supplier, recently began talks on selling defence equipment to Pakistan. The agreement is also likely to increase Sino-Indian tensions.

It would make India a logistical support partner to any US conflict in the region and compromise India's strategic autonomy.

PM: Won't compromise on strategic autonomy

Prime Minister Modi sought to reassure critics of the LEMOA by saying that it would not compromise on India's strategic autonomy in any way. He added that there was also no agreement that would allow the US to station troops in India.

21 Mar 2017Indo-US logistics pact faces delays