Following a recent meeting between U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Department of Defense (DOD) said the two countries have made progress over the last 20 years.
Mattis commended India’s work in fortifying regional stability; and the two officials committed to expanding their nations’ existing partnership focusing on defense and security during the Washington, D.C. meeting.
Cara Abercrombie, DOD deputy assistant secretary of defense for South and Southeast Asia, said that the two-way defense trade was “zero dollars” in the early 2000s and now totals $15 billion.
“We’ve made huge progress, but we’ve just scratched the surface of the potential of this relationship,” Abercrombie said in a news announcement.
“We have the same interests in upholding this international system that upholds the rule of law that favors freedom of navigation, open sea lanes of communication, and freedom of over flight,” Abercrombie said, adding that the affiliation involves Pentagon oversight on routine military engagement as well as trade and technology sharing. “Those are values that are critically important to the United States and India to our economic prosperity and to our access in the region.”
Tangible equipment exchange further exemplifies the alliance between the U.S. and India, according to the DOD. The U.S. has sold India several military helicopters, including one Guardian unmanned aerial craft, which Abercrombie cited as “incredibly significant” to the nations’ mutual investment