A legislation has been moved in the United States’ House of Representatives seeking to advance the US-India strategic relationship and bring New Delhi on par with Washington’s “closest allies and partners”.
The HR 2123 Bill was introduced in the House on April 8 by Congressman Joe Wilson for making “appropriate modifications” in the US Armed Controls Export Act for the purpose.
The legislation seeks that a joint assessment be conducted by the US Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defence “of the extent to which India possesses capabilities to support and carry out military operations of mutual interest to the United States and India”.
It also calls for an assessment of “the defence export control regulations and policies that need appropriate modification, in recognition of India’s capabilities and its status as a major defence partner”.
Citing the India-United States Joint Statement — “The United States and India: Enduring Global Partners in the 21st Century”, the Bill notes that Washington recognises New Delhi as a “major defence partner”, and a strong defence relationship between two countries could act an “anchor of stability”.
Under the 1976 Arms Export Control Act, the US State Department authorises the import and export of defence equipment and services to other countries.