Washington, July 2:India-US defence co-operation has put a significant step forward as the US Senate has passed the National Defence Authorization Act (NDAA) 2020. The new legislative provision brings India at par with America’s NATO allies and countries like Israel and South Korea for increasing defence co-operation.
The bill was introduced by Senate India Caucus Co-Chair Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) with the support of Senate India Caucus Co-Chair Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) last week. After the adoption of the amendment by Cornyn Warner, the FY 2020 NDAA was passed by the Senate. Also last week, House India Caucus Co-Chair Brad Sherman along with other Congressmen introduced another amendment to the House that would greatly enhance the India-US relationship. The new legislation provides for increased India-US defence co-operation in the western Indian Ocean in the areas of humanitarian assistance, counter-terrorism, counter-piracy, maritime security and other areas.
“The Hindu American Foundation commends Senator Cornyn and Warner for their hard work in advancing the US-India strategic partnership. Elevating India to a non-NATO status is vital, now more than ever, for the US, for India, and for the entire region,” -Samir Karla, Managing Director, Hindu American Foundation.
The house is expected to take up its version of the NDAA sometime in July before legislators adjourn for the month-long August recess on July 29.
“Whether we do that with free standing legislation or whether we do that with an amendment in the National Defence Authorization Act matters, I think, very little. What matters is that we recognize the importance, in a tangible way, of the US-India alliance,” said US Congressman Brad Sherman.