Jha Washington, Oct 26: America’s former envoy to the UN Nikki Haley and a powerful Republican lawmaker Mike Waltz on Tuesday called for an alliance between India and the US that would allow both countries to maintain and expand their global strength. As a nuclear power with more than 1 million troops, a growing navy, a top-tier space programme, and a proven history of economic and military cooperation with the United States, India would make a strong ally, Haley and Congressman Waltz, wrote in the latest issue of the prestigious Foreign Policy magazine.
Waltz is a member on the powerful House Armed Services Committee, and Republican vice chair of the India Caucus. An alliance with India would allow both countries to maintain and expand their global strength. And together with Japan and Australia, it would enable the United States to form a real deterrent to potential terrorist threats in Afghanistan as well as counter China, they argued.
Arguing that post-withdrawal, it’s only India who can effectively keep a watchful eye on Afghanistan, Haley and Waltz wrote that only New Delhi can keep track of China’s southern flank. India operates Farkhor Air Base in Tajikistan, the only air base with the proximity to conduct counterterrorism strikes in Afghanistan. With an alliance, India could allow us access to strategic bases to protect US interests in Afghanistan and the broader region, they wrote.
A US-India alliance would also give us an edge over China. Like the United States, India recognises that China is a rapidly growing threat. Not only is it attempting to capitalise on our withdrawal from Afghanistan, which goes against both the United States and India’s interests, China is also pressuring India on its own borders, Haley and Waltz said. The two Republican leaders said that a US-India alliance would give China pause before further expanding into Central and Southern Asia.
And we’d be building on solid ground. Just this month, the U.S. military held joint exercises with hundreds of Indian soldiers in Alaska to strengthen cooperation and better prepare for cold, mountainous conditions like those in the China-India border region, they wrote. An alliance would also recognise the region’s shifting geopolitical realities. China’s newly aggressive posture toward India is not by accident. It is part of a broader plan. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is emboldened after shoring up support from India’s longtime foe, Pakistan, they said.
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