India will be the only country outside US’ formal treaty allies that will gain access to almost 99 percent of latest American defence technologies after being recognised as a ‘Major Defence Partner’, a senior Obama administration official has said.
India (now) enjoys access to (defence) technologies that is on par with our treaty allies. That is a very unique status. India is the only other country that enjoys that status outside our formal treaty alliesWhite House Official
Earlier this month, after a meeting between US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the White House, the US in a joint statement, recognised India as a ‘Major Defence Partner.’
Indo-US Partnership is Unique
The White House Official stressed that the language in the statement was intended to reflect the unique partnership US shares with India in terms of defence technologies transfer and partneship.
This is intended to solidify the India-specific forward leaning policies for approval that the [US] President and [Defence] Secretary [Ashton] Carter...and our export control system have implemented in the last eight years.
India to Receive Access to Dual-Use Technologies
Under this recognition India will receive license-free access to a wide range of dual-use technologies in conjunction with steps that New Delhi has committed to take to advance its export control objectives.
Acknowledging that the impression in New Delhi is that India is not getting access to the kind of technology it needs from the US, the official said it was a constant source of discussion.
Category of ‘Major Defence Partner’ Created Specifically for India
Less than one per cent of all exports (requests) are denied (to India). They are not denied because of India. They are denied because of global US licensing policies. We do not share certain technologies with anybody in the world. The perception in India that the denial of such technologies is reflective of India-US relationship is far from the truth.
India being recognised as a “major defence partner puts it on par with our treaty allies.” Inside the American bureaucratic system, such a recognition removes a number of major export control hurdles for India.
The category of ‘Major Defence Partner’ was created specifically for India, observed Ashley Tellis, of Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a top American think-tank.