US Seeks Expanded Military Ties with India, China

By Arun Kumar

Washington, Feb 9 (IANS) The United States, as part of a new military strategy, is seeking "expanded military cooperation with India" and a "positive, cooperative, and comprehensive relationship with China", the world's "two rising powers."

"As military capability and capacity increases in Asia, we will seek new ways to catalyse greater regional security cooperation," said the revised National Military Strategy calling for redefining leadership in a changing world.

The document released here Tuesday is the first revision since 2004 of the ways and means that the military will advance US national interests.

A senior military official speaking on background said the Asia-Pacific will be of greater importance. "There are two rising powers - India and China - and a number of regionally powerful nations," he said.

There may be a migration of US capabilities in the region. "That may not necessarily mean more troops, but the distribution may change," he said.

Advocating investing "new attention and resources in Southeast and South Asia" it said, "Leveraging our convening power, we will expand the scope and participation of multilateral exercises across the region."

"We seek expanded military cooperation with India on non-proliferation, safeguarding the global commons, countering terrorism, and elsewhere," the revised strategy said.

At the same time the US will also "expand our military security cooperation, exchanges, and exercises with the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Pakistan, Indonesia, Singapore, and other states in Oceania."

The new strategy said, the US "seeks a positive, cooperative, and comprehensive relationship with China that welcomes it to take on a responsible leadership role."

"To support this, the Joint Force seeks a deeper military-to-military relationship with China to expand areas of mutual interest and benefit, improve understanding, reduce misperception, and prevent miscalculation."

The US, it said, "will promote common interests through China's cooperation in countering piracy and proliferation of WMD, and using its influence with North Korea to preserve stability on the Korean peninsula."

At the same time Washington "will continue to monitor carefully China's military developments and the implications those developments have on the military balance in the Taiwan Strait.

The revised strategy document also said that the US remained "concerned about the extent and strategic intent of China's military modernisation, and its assertiveness in space, cyberspace, in the Yellow Sea, East China Sea, and South China Sea."

"Our military power is most effective when employed in support and in concert with other elements of power as part of whole-of-nation approaches to foreign policy," Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, wrote in the strategy.



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