US Senate passes law to India NATO ally-like status

US Senate passes law to India NATO ally-like status: The United States Senate has passed a legislative provision that brings India as America’s North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) ally and countries like Israel and South Korea for increased defence cooperation. The National Defence Authorisation Act or NDAA for the fiscal year 2020, was passed by the Senate India Caucus Co-Chair Senator John Cornyn with the support of Senate India Caucus Co-Chair Senator Mark Warner. The amendment provides for increased US-India defence cooperation in the Indian Ocean in the areas of humanitarian assistance, counterterrorism, counter-piracy, and maritime security.

In a statement, the Hindu American Foundation commended Senators Cornyn and Warner for their efforts in advancing the US-India strategic partnership.

Benefits to India due to the NATO ally-like status are:

•    The amendment provides for increased US-India defence cooperation in the Indian Ocean in areas of humanitarian assistance, counter-terrorism, counter-piracy, and maritime security.
•    The bill would be signed into law after both chambers of the US Congress pass it. The House is expected to take up its version of the NDAA this month before legislators adjourn for the August recess.
•    This bill will clear the way to provide state-of-the-art weapons and sensitive technology to India.
•    This bill will make India a big associate of US in defence deals also it will increase India’s status.
•    Earlier, the US-India had signed Communication, Compatibility and Security Agreement in 2018. As a result, both countries are sharing sensitive information. India is getting a lot of help in the fight against terrorism.

HAF managing director Samir Kalra said, “Elevating India to non-NATO status is vital, now more than ever, for the US, for India, and for the entire region.”

Congressman Sherman said at the HAF Capitol Hill Reception last week, “Whether we do that with free-standing legislation or whether we do that with an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act matters, I think, very little. What matters is that we recognise the importance, in a tangible way, of the US-India alliance.”

The US recognised India as a “Major Defence Partner” in 2016, a designation that allows India to buy more advanced and sensitive technologies from America at par with that of the US’ closest allies and partners, and ensures enduring cooperation into the future.

Last week, House India Caucus Co-Chair Brad Sherman, along with other Congressmen including Raja Krishnamoorthi introduced a similar legislative proposal to the House, FY2020 NDAA that would greatly enhance the US-India relationship.