US-India Global Review

potential as a leading player in the international security arena. First and foremost, this means building security capacity. My good friend and col- league Secretary Mattis was in Delhi just last month to discuss this. We both eager- ly look forward to the inau- gural 2+2 dialogue, champi- oned by President Trump and Prime Minister Modi, soon. The fact that the Indian Navy was the first overseas user of the P-8 maritime surveillance aircraft, which it effectively fields with U.S. Navy counterparts, speaks volumes of our shared mar- itime interests and our need to enhance interoperability. The proposals the United States has put forward, including for Guardian UAVs, aircraft carrier tech- nologies, the Future Vertical Lift program, and F-18 and F-16 fighter aircraft, are all potential game changers for our commercial and defense cooperation. The United States mili- tary’s record for speed, technology, and transparen- cy speaks for itself – as does our commitment to India’s sovereignty and security. Security issues that concern India are concerns of the United States. Secretary Mattis has said the world’s two greatest democracies should have the two greatest militaries. I couldn’t agree more. When we work together to address shared security concerns, we don’t just pro- tect ourselves, we protect others. Earlier this year, instruc- tors from the U.S. and Indian Armies came togeth- er to build a UN peacekeep- ing capacity among African partners, a program that we hope to continue expanding. This is a great example of the U.S. and India building security capacity and pro- moting peace in third coun- tries – and serving together as anchors of peace in a very tumultuous world. And as we implement President Trump’s new South Asia strategy, we will turn to our partners to ensure greater stability in Afghanistan and throughout the region. India is a partner for peace in Afghanistan and we welcome their assis- tance efforts. Pakistan, too, is an impor- tant U.S. partner in South Asia. Our relationships in the region stand on their own merits. We expect Pakistan to take decisive action against terrorist groups based within their own borders that threaten their own people and the broader region. In doing so, Pakistan furthers stability and peace for itself and its neighbors, and improves its own international standing. Even as the United States and India grow our own economic and defense cooperation, we must have an eye to including other nations which share our goals. India and the United States should be in the business of equipping other countries to defend their sovereignty, build greater connectivity, and have a louder voice in a regional architecture that promotes their interests and develops their economies. This is a natural complement to India’s “Act East” policy. We ought to welcome those who want to strength- en the rule of law and fur- ther prosperity and security in the region. In particular, our starting point should continue to be greater engagement and cooperation with Indo- Pacific democracies. We are already capturing the benefits of our important trilateral engagement between the U.S., India, and Japan. As we look ahead, there is room to invite oth- ers, including Australia, to build on the shared objec- tives and initiatives. India can also serve as a clear example of a diverse, dynamic, and pluralistic country to others – a flour- ishing democracy in the age of global terrorism. The sub- continent is the birthplace of four of the world’s major reli- gions, and India’s diverse population includes more 13 US-INDIA GLOBAL REVIEW JANUARY-MARCH 2018