On 26th of October, a day after Dussehra festival in New Delhi, India and the United States are set to talk 2+2 dialogue for the 3rd time, One held in New Delhi in September 2018 and the second held in Washington DC in December 2019. This time it was attended by external affairs minister S Jaishankar and defence minister Rajnath Singh and US secretary of state Michael Pompeo along with defence secretary Mark Esper. These talks are part of the military cooperation between New Delhi and Washington and it’s crucial for both India and the US.
WHAT ARE THESE 2+2 TALKS
‘2+2 talks’ is a term adopted in foreign diplomacy that implies a dialogue between two countries’, on the topics such as defence and external affairs. India holds these talks with Japan and Australia as well but at the foreign secretary and defence secretary level. It is only with the US that India holds ministerial-level talks. So for understanding this session of indo-us meet we have to take a look what have been discussed in previous talks, The last talks resulted in agreements known as Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) and Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA).
LEMOA allows both countries to have access to each other’s designated military facilities for refuelling and replenishment. COMCASA is an Indian specific agreement, which provides a legal framework for the transfer of communication security equipment with no disruption in supply from the US to India and also provides access to real-time classified information from the American navy for the Indian Navy.
WHATS DISCUSSED IN NEW DELHI 2+2 DIALOGUE
The focus of the dialogue will be the Indo-Pacific region and India’s neighbourhood. Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) is likely to be signed in these talks and it will enable India to use American expertise on geospatial intelligence and also help India’s weapon and automate hardware systems or in other words, this agreement would allow India and the US to access a wide variety of geospatial data from the each other, such as detailed maps, nautical and aeronautical charts, as well as imagery. The agreement creates a framework for classifying data in this domain to be shared.
This data will give India’s long-range missiles or drones the ability to strike targets thousands of kilometres away with great accuracy. Now that it has signed the BECA, India will be able to access the “highly accurate navigation satellite networks” run by the US. According to an Indian Express article, the cooperation also includes sharing of high-end satellite images, telephone intercepts, and data exchange on Chinese troops and weapons deployment along the 3,488-km India-China.
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