India-US need to commit to joint defence projects, says former US official

He added that a joint commitment to develop, invest and field a joint capability is needed

A former US administration official is of the view that India-US need to commit to joint defence projects.

Keith Webster, who represented the Pentagon in the Defense Trade and Technology Initiative (DTTI) in the Obama administration, said that the two governments need to make a programme decision and commit.

He added that a joint commitment to develop, invest and field a joint capability is needed.

To see tangible progress beyond a buyer seller paradigm, he argued that the Indian government must make a programme commitment with a ‘Make in India’ benefit.

He opined that once a programme is chosen and a political decision is made to move forward, both nations can then bundle and complete the remaining policy and agreement unfinished business which will be necessary to ensure programme success.

Webster it need be mentioned is currently the president, defense and aerospace export council US Chamber of Commerce.

As counter-terrorism efforts multiply, along with a focus on regional stability in the Indo-Pacific and specifically China, following this approach will be beneficial for the future of this bilateral relationship, he argued.

Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership, India has tackled offset policies, foreign direct investment, and procurement procedures, seeking to harness the private sector’s role in providing military capability as reflected in the 2016 Defense Production Policy (DPP) guidelines and as rumored to be further enhanced in the 2018.

It need be mentioned that the US has revised its technology transfer policies to place India on par with some of its closest allies and legally recognised India as a major defence partner in the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act.

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