"The entire US government is working to make our security cooperation, particularly foreign military sales, more responsive and more effective. We are particularly seeking to boost defence trade with rising powers like Brazil and India," Defence Secretary Leon Panetta said. "I visited both countries this year to help advance those growing defence partnerships," Panetta said in his remarks at a luncheon meeting at National Press Club.
In New Delhi early this year, Panetta had announced to depute one of his deputies to work on removing bureaucratic hurdles in increasing defence trade with India. "I am particularly pleased by Ash Carter's leadership of a new, joint US-India initiative I announced this summer to boost defence cooperation and trade, and streamline our respective export control processes," he said.
In order to remain the security partner of choice, the United States must maintain its decisive military edge and adapt to meet emerging threats, he said. In fact, boosting defence trade ties with countries like India and Brazil is part of his five-point defence strategy, including is to build a force that is smaller and leaner, while ensuring that the military is more agile, flexible and technologically advanced.
"The second element of the defence strategy is to maintain our force projection in the Middle East while rebalancing our global posture and presence to emphasize the Asia-Pacific region which is of growing importance to our economy and security," Panetta said.