The Quad (US, Japan, India, Australia Security Dialogue) : Updates and Discussions

Gautam

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Feb 16, 2019
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What Does the New Counter-Terrorism Exercise Mean for the Quad?

The recent development again put the mini-lateral arrangement in the headlines.

By Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan
December 06, 2019
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The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (“Quad”) between the U.S., Japan, India and Australia has often been questioned about its purpose and capacity. For critics, other than occasionally irritating Beijing, the Quad did not appear to have much purpose. And, at times, even these expressions of occasional irritation from China had been sufficient to send one or the other Quad countries into a funk.

But in the last two years, the Quad has slowly become somewhat sturdier, with the level of interaction between the countries improving, and the members themselves becoming less skittish when Beijing criticizes the venture. Now, the Quad countries have taken a new step, holding a table-top counter-terrorism exercise together. What can we make of this ?

Details are skimpy. India has hosted the first counter-terrorism table-top exercise (CT-TTX) among the Quad countries in New Delhi on November 21-22. India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA), which hosted the TTX, is reported to have said the exercise is meant to assess and validate counter-terror mechanisms against a range of existing and emerging terrorist threats at both the regional and global levels.

At the most basic level, the CT-TTX is not surprising considering India’s concern about the issue. India’s own insufficient military capabilities are well-known, and New Delhi has been open to cooperation in this regard. This is clearly an important reason why India has shown willingness to tie up with the Quad on counter-terrorism.

The exercise was also aimed at sharing best practices in terms of preparedness, mitigation strategies and in developing coordinated strategies, and to expand the areas for strengthened cooperation among the four Quad countries. Seen from that perspective, the exercise would help highlight the inter-agency coordination issues within each of the countries and also bolster the multi-agency coordination between security and counter-terror agencies among the four countries.

The exercise is significant because this was the first concrete joint security initiative by the four countries. The TTX also reflected the shared resolve among the Quad countries in addressing a major challenge they all face. Importantly, though this was a security exercise, it did not target China. But still, it is a step up from the usual HA/DR type of exercises that many of these countries, especially India, prefers. The fact that the Quad has been upgraded to foreign ministerial platform is also an important indicator of the significance the four participating countries attach to the Quad.

That said, one should not exaggerate the significance of this development. The Quad’s revival and the carrying out of the exercise reconfirms the fact that the original concerns that led to the Quad were valid and getting more serious. But the level of commitment of different countries within the Quad has been suspect, and their mutual trust is still a work in progress.

India is no exception to this. On the one hand, India has been open to the Quad as one of several mechanisms that allows it to build on partnerships without entering into alliances, and China’s behavior and its hostility (despite the Chennai informal summit) towards India has pushed New Delhi to be less reluctant about the Quad. But on the other hand, for the time-being, India’s willingness to participate in the Quad is limited to testing out non-military alliance initiatives such as the CT-TTX to assess the possibilities and limitations.

What Does the New Counterterrorism Exercise Mean for the Quad?
 

Gautam

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Feb 16, 2019
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India makes a comeback in Africa

Date : 06.12.2019
Author : Martina Schwikowski

India is playing catch-up in Africa compared to China. At the moment, the trade mainly resolves around oil. But with much in common, India is looking to deepen the relationship with African countries.

China's interest in Africa has long been documented but India, Asia's second biggest economy, is also increasing its footprint on the continent. India's trade with Africa is flourishing like never before, so much so that in 2016, it became Africa's second most important trading partner after China.

Although China's trading volume with African countries is still three times higher, India is catching up. According to United Nations figures, India-Africa trade has grown at an average annual rate of 17.2% since 2001.

"These are incredible dimensions that were unthinkable twenty years ago," said Philipp Gieg, a political scientist and India expert at the University of Würzburg in Germany. "With this rapid growth in trade with Africa, India has overtaken even the former colonial powers Great Britain and France," he told DW.

Historical bonds

Indian and Africa had forged ties because of their colonial history but in the last decades, their relationship had languished.

"We had strong ties in the colonial past, then globalization intervened," says Africa expert Ajay Kumar Dubey, a professor at India's Jawalharlal Nehru University.

It was not until the 1990s, after India liberalized its economy, that it started reviving trade with African countries.

Initially, India concentrated primarily on the nations of southern and eastern Africa, where it has the strongest historical ties.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with Rwanda's President Paul Kagame during a visit in 2018 – India isn't just focusing on English-speaking African countries

Some 3 million people of Indian origin live on the continent. More than 1 million of these call South Africa home while Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda also have large numbers of diaspora Indians. Many Indians were brought by the British to Africa as indentured laborers to work on sugar cane plantations, mining or railroad construction.

Now, though, Indian companies are increasingly active in other regions of Africa, notably in resource-rich, English-speaking countries such as Ghana and Nigeria.

Hunger for natural resources

The driving force behind the rapid growth of Indian-African trade: the subcontinent's hunger for primary commodities and natural resources – especially oil for India's growing energy needs.

"A growing economy needs raw materials, and oil was a deciding factor to look towards Africa," said Philipp Gieg.

Oil makes up around 40% of the exports from African countries to India

Africa's main exports to India are crude oil, gold, coal and other minerals whereas India primarily exports refined petroleum and pharmaceuticals. These two products make up 40% of total exports to African markets, according to a 2018 analysis of African and Indian trade by the two countries export banks.

"Two thirds of all AIDS medicines distributed by aid organizations in Africa are bought from India," explains Gieg.

India also exports smaller percentages of road vehicles, textiles and yarns, and cereals to African markets.

Ties reinvigorated under Modi

The importance of the African continent for India today is demonstrated by the "10 Guiding Principles for India-Africa Engagement, which were announced by India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi in July 2018 during a speech before the Ugandan parliament.

"Africa will be at the top of our priorities," Modi said at the time.

Although India is making inroads on the continent, China will still be Africa's leading trading partner for a long time to come, said political scientist Gieg.

As a nation, China is more industrialized and has lower levels poverty at home, as well as having a ten-year lead in developing ties in Africa.

Business first

There are certain parallels between both India and China with their business first attitudes.

"India says it doesn't interfere in the affairs of sovereign states. It's motto is: 'ask us what you need and we see if we can deliver'," said Gareth Price, South Asia expert at Chatham House, the London-based think tank.

But there are also differences.

If India is doing something, it does it with local labor rather than importing workers from home like the Chinese do, said Price, which is a "selling point".

India wants more of a global role

India's commitment to Africa also underscores its political aspiration to speak for the countries of the Global South.

"We were the first country to embark on South-South cooperation," emphasizes Africa expert, Ajay Kumar Dubey.

He says it's no coincidence that Indian Prime Minister Modi emphasizes the common historical struggle of Indians and Africans against the colonial powers in the Guiding Principles.

"Together, India and Africa, where one third of humanity live, want to work for a just and democratic world order where they both have a voice and a role," Dubey said.

India makes a comeback in Africa | DW | 06.12.2019
 

Gautam

Team StratFront
Feb 16, 2019
11,999
8,148
Tripura, NE, India
US Congress consents to designate India's NAVIC as allied system

PTI | Updated: Dec 11, 2019, 11:07 IST

1576250144432.png

Photo : IRNSS-1F getting integrated to the PSVL C-32 mission. Courtesy : VSSC, ISRO

WASHINGTON: The US Congress has consented to designate India's NAVIC as its “allied” navigational satellite system along with the Galileo of the European Union and QZSS of Japan.

Approved as part of the conference report of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) 2020, it designates Russia's GLONASS and Chinese Beidou as a “non-allied system”. It means that the US satellite navigation system will not co-operate or exchange data with these two satellite navigation systems.

Indigenously developed, NAVIC is an autonomous regional satellite navigation system that provides accurate real-time positioning and timing services.

1576250367528.png

Old by informative graphics on the NAVIC/IRNSS.

As per the NDAA 2020, approved by a bicameral conference report, the NAVIC system of India would be treated as “allied system” at par with the Galileo system of the European Union and QZSS of Japan upon designation by the US defense secretary in consultation with the director of national intelligence.

The conference report now needs formal approval by the House and the Senate before it can be sent to the White House for the President to sign into law.

The designation of India's NAVIC as an “allied system” is part of the American effort to develop a prototype program for multi-global navigation satellite system receiver development.

As per NDAA 2020, the Air Force secretary shall carry out a program to prototype an M-code based, multi-global navigation satellite system receiver.

The receiver, it says, would be capable of receiving covered signals to increase the resilience and capability of military position, navigation, and timing equipment against threats to the Global Positioning System.

Such a system would deter the likelihood of attack on the worldwide Global Positioning System by reducing the benefits of such an attack.

US Congress consents to designate India's NAVIC as allied system | India News - Times of India
 

Gautam

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Feb 16, 2019
11,999
8,148
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India, Australia inch closer to logistics support pact

The two sides are working hard on negotiating the LSA, which will allow the countries to use each other’s military bases for logistical support.

Written by Shubhajit Roy | New Delhi | Updated: December 10, 2019 5:36:23 am

Australia PM Morrison likely to visit India from Jan 13-16. (AP/File)

Ahead of Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s visit next month, India and Australia moved closer to the Logistics Support Agreement (LSA) on Monday as Foreign and Defence secretaries from both sides met in New Delhi.

The Indian Express has learnt that Morrison is visiting India from January 13 to 16, and will travel to Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru during his visit. He will address the Raisina Dialogue during the visit.

The two sides are working hard on negotiating the LSA, which will allow the countries to use each other’s military bases for logistical support. This will be one of the key items on the agenda during Morrison’s visit, and they would want to conclude the agreement in time for the Australian PM’s visit next month.

On Monday, the two sides carried out a comprehensive review of their strategic engagement and the regional security scenario during the defence and foreign secretarial-level talks.

The Defence Ministry said the two sides deliberated on prevailing regional security concerns and explored ways for cooperation in field of defence industry and technology.

The Indian delegation was led by Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar and Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale, while the Australian side was headed by Defence Secretary Greg Moriarty and Foreign Secretary Frances Adamson.

“The two sides welcomed the recent progress made in deepening bilateral, political, economic, security and defence cooperation. They discussed recent regional and global developments. They also exchanged views on achieving their shared objective of peace, prosperity and progress in the Indo-Pacific region,” a statement by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.

“The two sides emphasised the need for enhanced collaboration to counter the threat of terrorism and violent extremism through increased information sharing,” the MEA stated.

The 2+2 meeting provided opportunities for the two sides to review the status of their bilateral relationship in the context of emerging scenarios, it stated.

The Australian delegation had meetings with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Deputy NSA Pankaj Saran, and MEA’s Secretary (East) Vijay Thakur Singh.

“Issues related to bilateral defence engagements, areas to enhance cooperation in the field of defence industry and defence technology as well as the prevailing regional security concerns were discussed,” the Defence Ministry said in a statement.

Sources said both sides also deliberated on the evolving situation in the Indo-Pacific region and resolved to work closely for regional peace, prosperity and stability.

China has been fast expanding military and economic influence in the Indo-Pacific region, triggering concern in various countries of the region and beyond.

India, Australia inch closer to logistics support pact
 

Gautam

Team StratFront
Feb 16, 2019
11,999
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Tripura, NE, India
Strength in numbers in the eastern Indian Ocean

By Arzan Tarapore, Published: 12 Dec 2019

India has compelling reasons to expand its presence in east waters – and Australia has broader reasons to help.

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A Royal Australian Navy sailor salutes an Indian warship following an exercise in the Indian Ocean (Photo: Defence Department)

India is the most capable resident power in the Indian Ocean, but its expanding military footprint is uneven and reliant on partnerships with like-minded states.

India’s military posture and activities have been largely weighted to the western Indian Ocean. A recently published Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative report shows the relatively dense network of coastal surveillance radars, bases, and access arrangements that India has operationalised in the western and southwestern parts of the ocean. This is largely a function of immutable geography and history, based on India’s long-established diaspora, trading relations, and people-to-people ties; India has strong traditional ties with small island states such as Mauritius and Maldives, the east African littoral, and the Gulf states that host some nine million Indian migrant workers.

Despite the historical pull of the western Indian Ocean, India now has increasingly compelling reasons to expand its presence in the eastern areas of the ocean.

Blind spots in the east

Aside from the economic opportunities that its Act East policy is designed to exploit, India has vital security interests at stake in the eastern Indian Ocean. Its military presence is anchored in the Indian sovereign territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The small archipelago contains a number of Indian military facilities, some of which are being upgraded to host more sophisticated platforms such as P-8I maritime patrol aircraft. And the Indian Navy maintains a constant presence, through “mission-based deployments,” near the Malacca strait, around the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and in the Bay of Bengal.

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Picture: Military presence in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands.

India’s presence is critical for providing it situational awareness. It recognises maritime domain awareness (MDA) as a critical pre-condition for regional security, and shares much of the intelligence picture with regional stakeholders. But the picture is incomplete. India’s presence is concentrated in the northwestern approaches to the heavily-trafficked Malacca Strait, leaving much of the southeastern Indian Ocean uncovered. This includes the choke-points at the Sunda and Lombok straits which, while more circuitous than the Malacca route, are nevertheless viable lines of communication linking the Indian Ocean to Northeast Asia.

To correct these blind spots, Australia-India cooperation on MDA should be an obvious part of the solution. Australia has a highly capable navy, and is committed to upholding a “free and open Indo-Pacific” – a strategic vision shared with India.

Australia also has geographic advantages useful to India, with its mainland and offshore territories of Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands more-easily able to monitor the Sunda and Lombok straits. Once Australia upgrades the runway at Cocos Island to accommodate P-8 aircraft, it would be able to host Indian P-8I deployments. Operationally – originally for the purposes of suppressing people-smuggling and illegal fishing – it continues to develop a layered MDA system in the waters to its north. Given Australia’s commanding position astride the southeastern approaches to the Indian Ocean, Australia-India cooperation on MDA would yield security benefits across the region.

Three’s company

Australia-India cooperation is not only an end in itself, but the foundation for a wider network of multilateral MDA-building and sharing arrangements. Their most important potential third partner is Indonesia.

Indonesia is the most consequential state in Southeast Asia, given its economic and military size, and its geographic position in the eastern Indian Ocean makes it a natural partner for MDA sharing. While India and Australia are members of the Quad, they need not be bound to act in a group of four; rather, using the shared assessments and priorities forged in the Quad, they can serve as the capable and like-minded foundation for engaging other regional states, including Indonesia, for task-specific purposes such as MDA sharing.

The Australia-Indonesia defence relationship has historically been turbulent, but was reaffirmed with new agreements in 2018. The India-Indonesia relationship was similarly boosted with a new Comprehensive Strategic Partnership agreement the same year. India has committed to developing the Sabang port in Indonesia, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has publicly emphasised the two countries’ shared maritime interests. Recognising their natural complementarity, the three countries’ navies convened for the first time last month in Fremantle to begin consultations on regional security.

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HMAS Newcastle (front), HMAS Canberra, Indian Navy frigate INS Sahyadri and HMAS Parramatta during AUSINDEX 2019 (Photo: Defence Department)

Greater Australia-India-Indonesia maritime cooperation would yield three particular benefits.

First, it would pool scarce naval and MDA resources – from coastal surveillance radars to ships underway – allowing its members to profit from capabilities beyond their individual capacity to field.

Second, those pooled resources would cover an impressive and unbroken geographic spread across the eastern Indian Ocean, stretching from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, through the Indonesian archipelago, down to the Australian mainland. This could eventually allow the trilateral partners to fuse together a common MDA picture and, for example, hand-off tracking of particular vessels of interest.

Third, shared resources or facilities would represent the joint interests of multiple states – so any potential aggressor seeking to threaten or interfere with any element of this MDA network would face a dilemma of provoking multiple regional states, rather than just one. It would represent, in other words, a tripwire of collective capabilities, to deter coercion.

It will take years to build the trust and confidence to fully realise this potential, and progress will be slow given each country’s variable capabilities. But working together on shared MDA is precisely the type of strategically valuable activity that like-minded regional partners should pursue in the eastern Indian Ocean.

Strength in numbers in the eastern Indian Ocean
 

Gautam

Team StratFront
Feb 16, 2019
11,999
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Tripura, NE, India
Scott Morrison to tighten defence ties with India

By Ben Packham
12:06 AM December 12, 2019

Scott Morrison with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the 2018 ASEAN Summit in Singapore.

Australia will strengthen defence ties with India during Scott Morrison’s official visit next month, with deals to streamline reciprocal access to bases and co-operation on military technology projects.

The Prime Minister and his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, will sign a logistics agreement to improve the interoperability of the countries’ navies and fast-track planning for joint exercises by pre-authorising arrangements for port visits, fuel costs, supplies and personnel clearances.

A memorandum of understanding will also be finalised, committing Australia’s Defence Science and Technology group to working with India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation.

The agreements will significantly bolster defence co-operation between the countries — which are both members of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue with the US and Japan — amid unease over China’s assertiveness.

The logistics deal is seen as a precursor to a formal invitation from India for Australia to join its Malabar naval exercises with the US and Japan.

The defence science MOU will establish a framework for joint research and development of defence technologies, potentially including weapons, aerospace and electronic warfare systems.

Mr Morrison is likely to visit the capital, New Delhi, the nation’s commercial hub of Mumbai and its technology hub, Bangalore.

Cricket diplomacy will be put to work, with a focus on the upcoming T20 men’s and women’s world cups in Australia, which the Prime Minister will highlight as a tourism drawcard.

It is understood the program has been drawn up to give Mr Morrison and Mr Modi — who have a strong personal chemistry — a significant amount of time together beyond official meetings.

Defence Department secretary Greg Moriarty and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade secretary Frances Adamson were in New Delhi for talks this week to progress agreements to be sealed during the visit.

The leaders will commit to restarting negotiations on a bilateral trade agreement, and sign new agreements on critical technologies and minerals to counter Chinese dominance in hi-tech sectors.

Defence Minister Linda Reynolds, who met Indian counterpart Rajnath Singh at the ASEAN defence ministers’ meeting in Bangkok, said India was a vital security partner. “Australia-India defence co-operation has grown significantly over the past decade, and more will be done to increase the depth and complexity of exercises and activities,” she said.

The defence logistics agreement is aimed at deepening trust and increasing the number of joint exercises, and mirrors similar agreements India has with the US, France and Singapore.

India sees the agreement as an important development that will enhance its navy’s ability to “operate eastwards”.

India is considering inviting Australia to participate in its Malabar Exercises, with sources saying Australia will ultimately be included as a permanent participant. However, Australia’s participation will be highly sensitive, transforming the exercises into annual training for all Quad navies, in what China will view as an unwelcome development.

Australia has not been invited to participate in Malabar since the Rudd government unilaterally withdrew from the Quad in 2008, admitting the grouping had “caused China concern”.

Mr Morrison will address India’s prestigious Raisina Dialogue during his trip, the country’s flagship international conference on geopolitics and economics.

The Prime Minister told the Lowy Institute in October that India was “a natural partner for Australia”, and referred to its “shared values” — a point of differentiation with China.

NoCookies | The Australian
 

Gautam

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Feb 16, 2019
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Congressional committee wants India, Japan and S Korea at par with Five Eyes on intelligence sharing

By PTI | Updated: Dec 14, 2019, 11.57 AM IST
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India, the US and several other world powers have been talking about the need to ensure a free, open and thriving Indo-Pacific in the backdrop of China's rising military maneuvering in the region.

WASHINGTON: With an eye on China, and as part of its effort to maintain peace and rule of law in the Indo-Pacific region, a top Congressional committee has sought to bring three democratic countries of the region - India, Japan and South Korea - at par with its 'Five Eyes' for intelligence sharing.

The 'Five Eyes' is an alliance comprising of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Great Britain and the US. It is an international agreement under which this these five countries cooperates and share signals intelligence, military intelligence, and human intelligence.

Congressman Adam Schiff, who chairs the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, in a report to the House of Representatives on Thursday argued the case for India, Japan and South Korea be brought along with the 'Five Eyes' so as to maintain peace and rule of law in the Indo-Pacific region.

The Indo-Pacific is a bio-geographic region, comprising the Indian Ocean and the western and central Pacific Ocean, including the South China Sea.

"The committee under the Secretary of Defence for Intelligence, in coordination with ODNI (Office of Director of National Intelligence), will provide a briefing to the congressional intelligence and defence committees within 60 days of enactment of the Act, on the benefits, challenges, and risks of broadening the information-sharing mechanisms between India, Japan, the Republic of Korea (or South Korea), and the 'Five Eyes' allies," Schiff said.

Schiff, who till last week was busy in impeachment proceedings against US President Donald Trump, said this in his statement on intelligence authorisation measures for fiscal year 2018, 2019, 2020 and submitted to the House of Representatives.

In a sub-section titled "Information-Sharing Arrangements with India, Japan, and South Korea" of the voluminous statement, the committee said that international alliances and partnerships are critical to the pursuit and sustainment of the America's national security objectives, built upon foundations of shared values and intent.

The committee recognise the importance of the Department of Defence sharing information with international allies and partners in support of the planning and execution of the National Defence Strategy, as allies and third-party international partners enhance strategic stability across the Pentagons' purview while increasing effectiveness of operations.

Schiff said that the House Intelligence Committee believe the mechanisms to share information across the 'Five Eyes' alliance continue to mature through established exercises, exchange of personnel, and virtual data sharing, while that cooperation is potentially less robust with third-party partners.

"The committee support the roles and contributions of third-party partners such as India, Japan, and South Korea, and recognises their ongoing contribution toward maintaining peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region," the report said.

India, the US and several other world powers have been talking about the need to ensure a free, open and thriving Indo-Pacific in the backdrop of China's rising military maneuvering in the region.

China has been trying to expand its military presence in the Indo-Pacific, which is a biogeographic region, comprising the Indian Ocean and the western and central Pacific Ocean, including the South China Sea.

China claims almost all of the South China Sea. Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan have counter claims over the sea.

"The committee are interested in understanding the policies and procedures governing the collaboration and information sharing with India, Japan, South Korea, and the 'Five Eyes' allies, and whether opportunities exist to strengthen those arrangements," the report said.

The committee said that it has significant concerns that China poses a growing threat to US' national security, due in part to its relentless efforts to acquire US technology.

China purposely blurs the distinction between its military and civilian activities through its policy of "military-civilian fusion," which compounds the risks of diversion of United States technology to the Chinese military.

Concluding that the US currently lacks a comprehensive policy and the tools needed to address this problem, the committee said that China exploits weaknesses in existing US mechanisms aimed at preventing dangerous technology transfers, including the export control system.

Congressional committee wants India, Japan and S Korea at par with Five Eyes on intelligence sharing
 

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US and "like-minded" partners will keep security in Asia: Admiral
A partnership between the United States and "like-minded nations" will keep Asian countries secure in the face of competition from a rising China, the commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet said on Friday.

On a visit to Bangkok, Admiral John Aquilino, 56, criticised China's construction of artifical islands in the South China Sea, a vital trade waterway with rich energy resources where Beijing has disputes with five nations.

"We are in competition with the People's Republic of China," Aquilino told reporters.

"We have inherent disagreement between ideologies. When the U.S. talks about values, those are values that like minded nations share... And I believe that the strength of partnerships with those values will be what keeps the nations in the region secure."

Tensions are high between China and the United States in Asia's waters, where Washington says it is defending freedom of navigation in accordance with international law and Beijing accuses the United States of trying to stir trouble.

"I said we were in competition with China but that does not mean conflict," Aquilino said. "We will cooperate where we can and we will compete where we must."

Under the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump, some Southeast Asian nations have been concerned at a possible U.S. pullback just as China's dominance grows, but Aquilino said the United States would be in the region for years to come.

He cited so-called freedom of navigation operations in both the South China Sea and Taiwan Strait in which U.S. and allied warships have sailed through what China claims as its territorial waters, provoking Beijing's ire.

He said that in the South China Sea, China had built features in defiance of international law, that damage the environment, have a military purpose and "ultimately coerce and bully nations in the region."
US and "like-minded" partners will keep security in Asia: Admiral
 
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US Congress consents to designate India's NAVIC as allied system

PTI | Updated: Dec 11, 2019, 11:07 IST

View attachment 11928
Photo : IRNSS-1F getting integrated to the PSVL C-32 mission. Courtesy : VSSC, ISRO

WASHINGTON: The US Congress has consented to designate India's NAVIC as its “allied” navigational satellite system along with the Galileo of the European Union and QZSS of Japan.

Approved as part of the conference report of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) 2020, it designates Russia's GLONASS and Chinese Beidou as a “non-allied system”. It means that the US satellite navigation system will not co-operate or exchange data with these two satellite navigation systems.

Indigenously developed, NAVIC is an autonomous regional satellite navigation system that provides accurate real-time positioning and timing services.

View attachment 11929
Old by informative graphics on the NAVIC/IRNSS.

As per the NDAA 2020, approved by a bicameral conference report, the NAVIC system of India would be treated as “allied system” at par with the Galileo system of the European Union and QZSS of Japan upon designation by the US defense secretary in consultation with the director of national intelligence.

The conference report now needs formal approval by the House and the Senate before it can be sent to the White House for the President to sign into law.

The designation of India's NAVIC as an “allied system” is part of the American effort to develop a prototype program for multi-global navigation satellite system receiver development.

As per NDAA 2020, the Air Force secretary shall carry out a program to prototype an M-code based, multi-global navigation satellite system receiver.

The receiver, it says, would be capable of receiving covered signals to increase the resilience and capability of military position, navigation, and timing equipment against threats to the Global Positioning System.

Such a system would deter the likelihood of attack on the worldwide Global Positioning System by reducing the benefits of such an attack.

US Congress consents to designate India's NAVIC as allied system | India News - Times of India
 

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Global body approves Isro’s navigation system NaVIC, move to boost its commercial use
Global standards body 3GPP, which develops protocols for mobile telephony, has approved India’s regional navigation system NaVIC, developed by Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro).

The specification approval will boost commercial use of NaVIC (Navigation with Indian Constellation) by international and domestic mobile device makers, which means such manufacturers can now mass-produce navigation devices compatible with NaVIC so that users of these devices can easily access desi GPS or NaVIC signals.

During its meeting in California from September 16 to 20, 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) had approved the inclusion of NavIC in Rel-16 LTE and Rel-17 5G NR specifications. Telecommunications Standards Development Society, India (TSDSI), will soon adopt these specifications as a national standard, and cellular internet-of-things devices will begin to use the NavIC system in contrast to the American GPS system.

Isro chairman K Sivan told TOI, “We are extremely happy to know about the 3GPP approval of NaVIC. NaVIC is fully operational and is doing a great job. Currently, eight satellites are already in orbit. Seven satellites are being used for navigation purpose and one satellite only for messaging purpose. Some apps based on NaVIC are already functional and being immensely used. Soon, we will bring out more NaVIC apps that will benefit the common man.”

The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) or NavIC is capable of providing accurate position information service to users across India and the region extending up to 1,500 km around the country. IRNSS applications are terrestrial, aerial and marine navigation, disaster management, vehicle tracking and fleet management, integration with mobile phones, precise timing, mapping and geodetic data capture, terrestrial navigation aid for hikers and travellers and visual and voice navigation for drivers.

The implications of NavIC acceptance by 3GPP would bring NavIC technology to the commercial market for its use in 4G, 5G and Internet of Things (IoT). Indian companies and startups will have an opportunity to design integrated circuits (ICs) and products based on NavIC. The potential market for these chipsets and products will be huge as they can be exported to other countries as well. This will result in a significant increase in NavIC usage and uptake of NavIC-enabled services and applications throughout the country, said a statement from Broadband India Forum (BIF), a think tank for Digital Transformation.

With TSDSI preparing to adopt these 3GPP specifications and develop our own national standard, the market is likely to be flooded with smart phones and cellular-internet-of-things (cellular IoT) devices that use location information—all of which will begin to use the Indian standard, the statement said. It will alleviate security concerns of the country, as from now onwards India need not depend on the US or European satellites for commercial operations, the statement read.

Hailing the NaVIC approval as a “historic step as it placed India’s indigenous standard development on the global map”, BIF president TV Ramachandran said, “The applications of NavIC have the potential to bring immense benefits to everyone in the country and the entire region.”

He said, “I would like to extend my warm felicitation to Isro, TSDSI, the Indian members of 3GPP; Reliance Jio, professor Kiran Kuchi of IIT Hyderabad; and Satish Jamadagni, vice-chairman of TSDSI and VP (standardisation) for playing a pivotal role in getting this proposal accepted in a timely manner for adoption in global 4G and 5G standards. This event is a watershed moment for India since we join the exclusive GNSS club comprising the US, EU, China and Russia, who depend on their own satellites for navigation applications in their respective regions.”
Global body approves Isro’s navigation system NaVIC, move to boost its commercial use | India News - Times of India
 
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RISING SUN

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Dec 3, 2017
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Chatter in the town is that India has accepted Australia in Malabar multi-nation naval exercise from next time subject to signing of bilateral Logistics Agreement and formal multi-nation defense agreement is in the works. Only thing which is unclear is that whether it will have binding article 5 like NATO or non-binding article 3 & 4 like ANZUS treaty. Only time will tell.
 
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Gautam

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Feb 16, 2019
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Tripura, NE, India
Chatter in the town is that India has accepted Australia in Malabar multi-nation naval exercise from next time subject to signing of bilateral Logistics Agreement and formal multi-nation defense agreement is in the works. Only thing which is unclear is that whether it will have binding article 5 like NATO or non-binding article 3 & 4 like ANZUS treaty. Only time will tell.

Even think tank meet ups are getting regular. This often drives policy :

 

Gautam

Team StratFront
Feb 16, 2019
11,999
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Tripura, NE, India
Islands Development Agency to develop Andamans under optical fibre cable project

By Manjeet Singh Negi
December 15, 2019

After remaining defunct for over two decades, the Islands Development Agency has moved in swiftly to develop the Andaman and Nicobar islands as an optical fibre cable project which is expected to be completed by the middle of 2020.


The project will provide high-speed connectivity to the rest of the country. (Credit: India Today)

After remaining defunct for over two decades, the Islands Development Agency has moved in swiftly to develop the Andaman and Nicobar islands as an optical fibre cable project which is expected to be completed by the middle of 2020.

The project will provide high-speed connectivity to the rest of the country.

"Optical Fibre Cable connecting Chennai to Port Blair and 7 Islands is as per the schedule and will be completed by June 2020," officials in Andaman administration told India Today TV.

The agency has also identified three new islands to be developed by private players for promoting and expanding tourism which will give India the capacity to keep an eye on the Chinese movement in the Indian Ocean region.

The agency is also working to resolve the man-animal dispute in the islands. Under the project, the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, has sent the final action plan prescribing the Standard Operating Protocol (SOP) for mitigation of human crocodile conflict in Andaman island.

"The Action Plan has been circulated to all Divisional Forest Officers with the direction to delineate the management zones in their respective jurisdictions," the officials.

The agency was revived about two years ago under former Navy Chief and present Lieutenant Governor Admiral DK Joshi.

The IDA was established during the tenure of the late former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi in the 1980s but it was defunct. However, in the last two years, the agency has held five meetings to discuss all important aspects of developing the territory.

Islands Development Agency to develop Andamans under optical fibre cable project