US seeks to expand military cooperation with India: Pentagon

Lalit K Jha

Washington, Feb 9 (PTI) The US seeks to expand militarycooperation with India on a range of issues likenon-proliferation and counter-terrorism as part of efforts tocatalyse greater security cooperation in Asia, according to aPentagon report.

"As military capability and capacity increases in Asia,we will seek new ways to catalyse greater regional securitycooperation. Leveraging our convening power, we will expandthe scope and participation of multilateral exercises acrossthe region," said the report titled ''The NationalMilitary Strategy of the United States of America 2011''.

"We seek expanded military cooperation with India onnon-proliferation, safeguarding the global commons, counteringterrorism, and elsewhere," the 24-page report said.

The Pentagon will also expand military cooperation,exchanges and exercises with Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam,Malaysia, Pakistan, Indonesia, Singapore, and other states inOceania � working with them to address domestic and commonforeign threats to their integrity and security, it said.

"This will also help ensure we maintain a sustainableand diversified presence and operational access in the region.

Lastly, we strongly encourage the development of security tiesand commitments that are emerging among our allies andpartners in the region," the report said.

This helps strengthen regional norms and demonstratesincreased responsibility and cooperation in addressingregional security challenges, it said.

The National Military Strategy 2011 argued that US isat a strategic inflection point and must adjust to aredistribution of power in the international order.

Observing that the US seeks a positive, cooperative andcomprehensive relationship with China that welcomes it to takeon a responsible leadership role, the report said to supportthis, the "Joint Force" seeks a deeper military-to-militaryrelationship with China to expand areas of mutual interest andbenefit, improve understanding and reduce misperception.

"We will promote common interests through China''scooperation in countering piracy and proliferation of WMD, andusing its influence with North Korea to preserve stability onthe Korean peninsula," it said.

"We will continue to monitor carefully China''s militarydevelopments and the implications those developments have onthe military balance in the Taiwan Strait. We remain concernedabout the extent and strategic intent of China''s militarymodernisation, and its assertiveness in space, cyberspace, inthe Yellow Sea, East China Sea, and South China Sea," it said.

To safeguard America and partner nations'' interests, theUS will be prepared to demonstrate the will and commit theresources needed to oppose any nation''s actions thatjeopardise access to and use of the global commons andcyberspace, or that threaten the security of its allies, thereport said.

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