Don’t make India junior military ally to US: CPI-M

New Delhi, Dec 24 (IANS) The CPI-M has urged the government not to sign agreements with the US that will make India “a subordinate military ally” of Washington.

An editorial in the CPI-M journal “People’s Democracy” quoted Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar as saying that New Delhi was ready to give the US access to Indian military bases and ports.

It also quoted media reports as suggesting that Parrikar had conveyed to his US counterpart Ashton Carter that India had an open mind on the Logistics Support Agreement (LSA).

“The BJP government should not sign these agreements which will limit India’s sovereignty, impair its strategic autonomy and make India a subordinate military ally of the US, it said.

The Communist Party of India-Marxist said the Left had in 2005 opposed the LSA and also the Communication and Information Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA).

The LSA would have led to the US armed forces using Indian airbases and naval ports for their military operations. The CISMOA was to integrate the communication networks of the Indian and US armed forces.

“If these agreements had been acceded to, then India would have become a full-fledged military ally of the US.”

The editorial said the Narendra Modi government seemed eager to join the US military alliance. “There have been clear indications in this direction.”

It said: “The Americans have been taking the position that various components of high technology cannot be given to India without India signing up on to these two agreements.

“The Modi government, in its eagerness to involve the US in joint production of defence equipment, is being cajoled into compromising national sovereignty and the integrity of the armed forces.

“Allowing the US armed forces to use the naval ports and airbases for servicing, re-fuelling and maintenance is going to mark a radical break from the independent status of the country so far that it won’t be part of any military alliance.

“The efforts to operationalise and integrate the systems of the two armed forces will lock-in the Indian armed forces to the American defence structures,” it said.

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