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US Secretary of Defense to arrive in India for high-level meetings

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US Secretary of Defense to arrive in India for high-level meetings

US Air Force
Photo: US Air Force

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin will hold talks with Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and senior government leaders today.

The trip marks the first major visit by a Biden administration cabinet official to the subcontinent. Though the Biden administration is likely to stay the Trump administration’s course on a tougher approach to China, the new president has pivoted his strategy towards strengthening Washington’s coalition of allies and partners, chief among them, India.

As today’s meeting comes just days after the Quad leaders summit held by the US, Japan, India and Australia, the senior national security leaders are expected to discuss deepening the US-India Major Defence Partnership towards advancing cooperation between India and the US for a free, prosperous and open Indo-Pacific. Likewise, considering Indo-US defence trade has grown manifold in recent years, with the US becoming one of India’s top defence suppliers, expect both sides to discuss ways to further strengthen bilateral defence cooperation and to consolidate military-to-military cooperation. Expect the next steps in this partnership to involve greater information sharing and US agreement for India to access cutting-edge technology in robotics, artificial intelligence and even unmanned fighter jets as part of Washington’s efforts to create a credible deterrence to China.

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