NEW DELHI: After the massive Malabar naval war games with Japan in the Bay of Bengal last month, which had China firmly in the crosshairs, India and the US are now once again getting set to conduct the “Yudh Abhyas” joint exercise between their armies in September.
India and the US are steadily cranking up the scope, complexity and frequency of their bilateral military exercises as part of their “ strategic partnership and convergence”, even though New Delhi is as yet unwilling to join any formal tri-lateral or quadrilateral security axis to counter China’s aggressiveness and expansionism in the Asia-Pacific region, Indian media reported Tuesday.
Incidentally, the US departments of defence and state, in a recent joint report to their Congress, said, “We see a growing convergence with India on our strategic outlook for the region, and we view India as an increasingly important regional security partner within and beyond the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.”
This came soon after PM Narendra Modi and President Donald Trump vowed to further strengthen the already expansive India-US strategic ties in June, ensuring there were no stark departures from the previous Obama and Bush regimes.
“There were certainly some apprehensions. But there are a lot of fundamentals in place to keep the bilateral defence and security cooperation on an upward trajectory,” said a senior official.