US - INDIA GLOBAL REVIEW

can encourage greater coopera- tion between its allies and part- ners in the region, to include Israel, to cooperate with India. This also includes expanding ongoing Indian-French naval cooperation in the Indian Ocean as seen by France’s deployment of its Charles De Gaulle strike group to exercise with the Indian Navy. For the U.S., these efforts will have to be delicately balanced with the U.S. relationship with Pakistan and it may raise con- cerns on the Pakistani Navy’s abil- ity to counter-balance India as well. Increased ties between the U.S. and India will also support increased foreign military sales of U.S. capabilities. Recently, the U.S. has become one of India’s primary weapons exporters with sales of “Boeing P-8I Neptune — a version of the U.S. Navy’s P-8 Poseidon anti-submarine warfare (ASW) aircraft.” Additionally, the U.S. offered to sell its Harpoon missile to India. The recent can- cellation of the Indian-Russian Stealth Fighter presents an oppor- tunity for the U.S. to offer its plat- forms to include the F/A-18 Super Hornet. An area of future opportu- nity may lie in a combined ship- building program to assist the Indian Navy in its modernization efforts. These sales will contribute towards developing increased interoperability between the U.S. and Indian Navies, along with allied and partner navies in the region. While China is attempting to build upon the legacy of Zheng He (Ming Dynasty), India must learn to use its geographic positional advantage in the Indian Ocean that dominates east to west mar- itime traffic. The key to leveraging its geographic positional advan- tage in the Great Game of the Indian Ocean will be based on a mutual desire by India to expand its military, primarily naval, capa- bilities to compete with China and, a mutual desire by the U.S. and India to expand their military cooperation. For the U.S., India can no longer be viewed simply as a PACOM partner. Instead, it must be viewed as a trans-region- al partner who has the ability to influence both the CENTCOM and AFRICOM AORs as a counter- balance to China’s growing global ambition. As Robert Kaplan, author of Monsoon, has noted, the Indian Ocean represents the ful- crum between American Power in the Middle East and the Asia- Pacific, and its growing relation- ship with India will shape its desire to remain atop the global order against a rising China. Chad M. Pillai is an experienced Army strategist and is a member of the Military Writers’ Guild, Army Strategy Association, and contributes to the U.S. Naval Institute. He has operational experience in the CENTCOM AOR and has traveled to India, to include 1998 during the Indian and Pakistani nuclear tests of 1998. He received a Masters in International Public Policy from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). The article reflects the opinion of the author and do not reflect the official position of the U.S. Government and the U.S. Department of Defense. | With permission from Center for International Maritime Security Increased ties between the U.S. and India will also support increased foreign military sales of U.S. capabilities. This growing competi- tion between China and India present a strategic opportunity for the U.S. to offset China’s growing pres- ence in the region. While the U.S. has generally viewed India as a strategic partner in the U.S. Pacific Command (USPA- COM) AOR to offset China, it represents an opportunity to counter- balance China in the USCENTCOM and AFRICOM AOR as well. 24 US-INDIA GLOBAL REVIEW JULY-SEPTEMBER 2018

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