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« The timing (of the two-and-a-half dialogue between India and the United States) is important because it is the last one before the U.S. presidential elections. This importance will be manifested in a series of signed defence agreements, particularly at BECA, » said Dhruva Jaishankar, director of the U.S. initiative at the Observer Research Foundation. Read also – Unjustified and ill-informed: MEA reacts to Justin Trudeau`s remarks about Farmer`s protest in India and the United States have signed the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA), signed with the two previously signed agreements, LEMOA and COMCASA. The signing of LEMOA was in itself a confirmation of mutual trust between the two military personnel and its application will strengthen confidence. It took nearly a decade to negotiate LEMOA, and the exercise somehow filled the confidence gap between India and the United States, paving the way for the other two founding pacts. These agreements covered areas such as security and military information, compatibility, security and logistics exchanges, and communications. BECA`s goal is to improve space cooperation between India and the United States. But because of China`s obvious and current danger, Washington`s strategic embrace by New Delhi is the obvious result. The Indian defense company has already deployed at least five U.S. platforms on the LAC – C-17 Globemaster III for military transport, Boeing Chinook CH-47 as a heavy helicopter, Boeing Apache as a tank killer, P-8I Poseidon for land reconnaissance and Lockheed Martins C-130J for aircraft lifts.
The BECA agreement will help India and the United States combat China`s growing influence in the Indo-Pacific region. In late 2014, New Delhi asked the Pentagon for a « no document » on basic agreements, but things only accelerated after the visit of Manohar Parrikar, then defense minister, to the United States in December 2015. BECA is the latest of four basic agreements signed between India and the United States to strengthen defence relations. The other three agreements include: previously, India signed three basic agreements – in 2016, the Logistics Exchange Agreement (LEMOA); 2018, the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA); In 2019, the Industrial Security Annex (ISA) – the extension of the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA), signed in 2002, was adopted. India and the United States on Tuesday (October 27th) signed the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA), which, together with the two agreements previously signed – the Logistics Exchange Agreement (LEMOA) and the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) – a troika of « founding pacts » for deep military cooperation between the two countries. The BECA agreement has been under negotiation between India and the United States for more than a decade, as the previous UPA government was concerned about its impact on India`s national security, as the bilateral agreement should also allow India to share similar data with the United States. The agreement is one of the few basic agreements the United States signs with its close partners. This article is based on « The Delhi-DC strategic dance » published in the Hindustan Times on 27.10.2020. It discusses the impact of the signing of the basic agreement on trade and cooperation between India and the United States on the signing of the Exchange and Cooperation Agreement in the context of geographic data research (BASIC).
And what is the big picture of the signing of these fundamental pacts with the United States and the way forward? The agreement will allow India and the United States to exchange important military information, such as advanced satellite and topographic data, including maps, nautical and aerial maps, as well as geophysical, geodesic, geomagnetic and gravitational data.