The United States And India Should Consider Expanding Our Trilateral
Security Cooperation with Japan
The US And India Should
Consider Expanding Our Trilateral Security Cooperation with Japan
As Delivered by Secretary of Defense
Chuck Hagel, Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi, India, Saturday,
August 09, 2014. (Source
Director Joshi, thank you. I also want to thank Prime Minister Modi, National
Security Adviser Doval, Minister Swaraj, and especially my host over the last
two days here in India, Minister Jaitley, for productive meetings yesterday. We
had the opportunity to speak on the phone a couple of months ago, and during
that telephone conversation framed up some of the agenda of what we would
discuss on this trip to India. And I particularly appreciate his leadership at
this particularly important time, as has been noted by Director Joshi. And I'll
reflect further on Director Joshi's comments here in my remarks.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel met in New Delhi with Indian
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, right,
Aug. 8, 2014
I want to also thank the Observer Research Foundation for
hosting this event, and congratulate ORF on its upcoming 25th anniversary. I
think as you articulated clearly, the importance of ORF to India, to
relationship-building, to constructing platforms, where we have more
opportunities to approach each other, understand each other: Those always lead
not just to productive dialogue, but eventually to actions and tangible results.
So to ORF, thank you.
The work of the scholars here at ORF -- from defense to
development to climate change -- speaks to the vibrancy, the vibrancy of Indian
civil society. ORF's contributions also embody the deep, democratic commitments
shared by India and the United States: to open societies; free-wheeling
political debate; and freedom, dignity, and opportunity for all our citizens.
Our thoughts today are with Jaswant Singh -- as we all know,
one of India's most distinguished solider-statesmen -- who helped transform
U.S.-India relations and I know is a friend to many of you here in the audience.
As some of you know, I had the privilege of visiting India as
a United States Senator on more than one occasion, and I am proud to have been a
consistent advocate for a strong U.S.-India relationship over the years I served
in the United States Senate. The last of my Senate visits was here in India, was
with a couple of friends and former Senate colleagues, that have done fairly
well in their careers, Biden and Kerry. Just shows you, if you work hard, pay
attention, things work out.
Today, I'd like to reflect on America's relationship with
India. My remarks will be focused on this special relationship. And as the
director noted, as we look forward to President Obama and Prime Minister Modi's
summit in Washington next month, there will be a particular focus, as there
should be, on this relationship.
I know President Obama is very much looking forward to this
meeting. I was with him the day before I left for India, and he noted again how
much he was looking forward to this opportunity that will happen next month to
visit with your new leader and talk about the specific areas where we can
advance and deepen and strengthen this partnership.
America's future -- our future -- is clearly tied to its
sustained global engagement, and a stronger strategic partnership with India is
an integral part of that future. The President, the Vice President, the
Secretary of State, and I all believe that a stronger U.S.-India partnership is
critical for continued peace and prosperity, not just in the Asia-Pacific, but
around the globe.
So with all that's going on in the world, I very much
appreciate the opportunity to be back here in India, discussing this
In few places in the world other than in India and America
could the child of a small-town tea salesman rise to become Prime Minister...or
a child raised in Indonesia, born to a Kenyan father and a Kansan mother, rise
to become President.
It's no coincidence that millions of Indian-Americans have
thrived in the United States, that one of the world's mainlines of innovation
courses through Silicon Valley and Bangalore, and that M.I.T. and I.I.T. are the
envy of the world. It's also no coincidence that Mahatma Gandhi drew inspiration
from [Henry] David Thoreau, that Martin Luther King, Jr., was moved by Gandhi,
or that the father of India's constitution, B.R. Ambedkar, liked to quote
Jefferson and Lincoln.
India's recent national elections -- the world's largest
organized human activity -- saw more than 550 million citizens, about 8 percent
of the world's population, turn out to vote. They were spirited, but
overwhelmingly peaceful. The loyal opposition graciously conceded. India's
elections this year were a reminder for both our nations that democracy is not
just how we vote; it is who we are.
That heritage is something Indians will rightly celebrate on
their Independence Day, six days from now. Like the United States, India's rise
has also been grounded not only in power, but principle. As an accountable
democracy, India is lending its support to an open and inclusive rules-based
global order, an order that promotes peace and prosperity for Indians, and for
all people around the world.
The fundamentals of the U.S.-India partnership are strong.
The question -- and what I focused on yesterday in my talks with Indian leaders
-- is whether India and the United States can achieve the enormous potential for
this partnership...whether we can transform our potential into results.
Following my conversations yesterday, I'm more confident than ever that we can.
We will not agree on every issue, on every proposal. Nor do
the closest of friends. Each of our nations will move forward on our own terms,
at our own pace. But today, as India "looks east" and the United States "rebalances,"
our interests across the full span of the Indo-Pacific region are aligning more
closely than ever.
As many of you know, that wasn't always the case. For decades,
it seemed as though there was great potential for the U.S.-India partnership,
and that there always would be...
When my old friend and Senate colleague Daniel Patrick
Moynihan was serving as U.S. Ambassador to India 40 years ago, he was asked what
the Secretary of State should say on a scheduled visit to India. Moynihan's
message back to Washington was succinct and revealing. He cabled back to
Washington, "The Secretary should come to Delhi" and offer "praise for
India...praise for its leaders...praise for its great future...and nothing
We've come a long way since that cable. At the turn of the
century, under the government of Prime Minister Vajpayee, India "crossed the
rubicon," as ORF's Raja Mohan put it, and welcomed -- and the Prime Minister
welcomed deeper ties with the United States. Together, our nations ushered in a
new era of partnership. Building on our shared traditions of professionalism and
civilian control, our defense establishments have worked and operated more
closely than ever before.
We have become accustomed to speaking candidly and directly
with each other -- because that is what friends do. At a time of divided
government in Washington, when the White House and Congress often don't see
eye-to-eye, there continues to be overwhelming bipartisan support for stronger
U.S.-India ties. Here in India, there is also consistent, cross-party support
for a stronger partnership.
This evolution unfolded not because our security interests
have fundamentally changed, but because they have converged.
Here in India, long-term investments in education and
innovation began paying enormous dividends in a liberalized economy -- dividends
that will be sustained over the long-term by India's young demography.
Over the last two decades, India has doubled its share of
global GDP and joined the United States as a major stakeholder in a stable
global order. Both our nations also became more deeply invested in the
Asia-Pacific, especially the Asian-Pacific future, because over the next two
decades nearly half the world's economic growth will be generated in this
broader region. There will be almost 1 billion new members of a middle class in
India, China, and across Southeast Asia.
To pursue prosperity at home, both our nations must uphold a
just, inclusive, and secure order. This requires continued cooperation that
guards against regional instability. It requires countering terrorism and
violent extremism. We also have a shared stake in the security of global energy
and natural resource supplies, and the free flow of commerce.
We seek to protect freedom of navigation in the air and sea,
and ensure the peaceful resolution of disputes. We have a shared interest in
maritime security across the region, including at the global crossroads of the
South China Sea. For all these reasons, India continues to "look east," and the
United States is pursuing its strategic rebalance. These complementary efforts
headline our nations' converging interests.
Prime Minister Modi said in May, "The oldest democracy in the
world and the largest democracy in the world are natural allies, and we must
work together towards global peace and prosperity."
I agree. President Obama agrees. Our partnership could help
shape the course of this young century.
That's why the United States is working with India to expand
our ties in sectors all across our commercial scope, from energy to trade to
education and innovation, which is what Secretary of State Kerry and Secretary
of Commerce Pritzker focused on in the U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue held here
The United States is also committed to exercising its
leadership to support India's rise as a global power. We have worked to expand
the role of the G-20 and called for India, in the years ahead, to become a
permanent member of a reformed U.N. Security Council.
We also led international efforts to open India's global access to civil nuclear
technology under the government of Prime Minister Singh. I am proud to have been
a strong supporter of this landmark initiative as a United States Senator, and
that was, in fact, the focus of my 2008 visit to India with then-Senators Biden
The United States strongly supports India's growing global
influence and military capabilities, including its potential as a security
provider from the Indian Ocean to the greater Pacific.
Helping fulfill that potential is a deepening U.S.-India
defense partnership, a partnership that must be cooperative, cutting-edge,
consequential, and based on common interests...strengthening our
military-to-military relations, re-energizing our defense industrial cooperation,
and expanding our regional cooperation.
Regular and frequent engagement between our militaries helps
forge a common and cooperative strategic culture. It helps instill trust and
resilience in our broader partnership. And it ensures our forces are
operationally prepared to deter conflict.
Over the last several years, our militaries have done more
joint exercises than ever before. This year's MALABAR -- our oldest joint
exercise -- concluded last week, and included Japan's Maritime Self-Defense
Forces. Last month, India participated in the Rim of the Pacific exercise for
the first time. This week, India joined the United States -- and nearly 17 other
nations -- in FORTUNE GUARD, a maritime exercise focused on interdicting weapons
of mass destruction.
After a hiatus of nearly 40 years, our armies began
exercising together a decade ago. Today, exercise YUDH ABHYAS has expanded
dramatically. The last exercise convened the Indian army's hardened 9th Mountain
Brigade, 5th Gurkha Rifles, and the U.S. Army's 1st Brigade, 82nd Airborne, at
Fort Bragg in North Carolina. This year's exercise -- next month -- will include
a special operations component and transport U.S. soldiers based in Alaska to
India's rolling central highlands.
Going forward, we should continue building up the scale and
complexity of all our joint military exercises.
We are also pursuing other, innovative avenues of
military-to-military cooperation. Our navies could pioneer new cooperation in
the area of operational energy, finding ways to increase the efficiency, and
thereby the capability and safety, of maritime operations. This collaboration
would have financial and technological benefits, and it could be expanded across
all our military services.
Together, we can also learn from India's leadership in
international peacekeeping, particularly in Africa. There is room to grow the
partnership between our peacekeeping centers of excellence.
Yesterday, there was a common theme in my discussions with
the Indian leadership. We agreed that, in pursuing next steps in our partnership,
we have to be result-oriented and build momentum with concrete achievements. As
our interests align, so should our armed forces and defense systems.
Bureaucratic red tape -- within either of our governments -- must not bound the
limits of our partnership and or our initiatives. That is especially true for
our defense industrial cooperation, which lays the foundation for deeper
Because of our progress to date, Indian P-8 maritime
reconnaissance aircraft are patrolling the shores of the Andaman and Nicobar
Islands. Indian C-130s have flown humanitarian rescue missions from the
foothills of the Himalayas to the Bay of Bengal. And Minister Jaitley greeted
the arrival of India's sixth and newest C-17 at Palam Air Base last week.
Since 2008, over $9 billion in defense contracts have been
signed between the United States and India, compared with less than $500 million
for all the years prior.
But we can do more to forge a defense industrial partnership
-- one that would transform our nations' defense cooperation from simply buying
and selling to co-production, co-development, and freer exchange of technology.
And we have no better opportunity than the U.S.-India Defense Trade and
Technology Initiative, or DTTI.
Announced by Secretary Panetta here in Delhi two years ago,
and shepherded by former Deputy Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, DTTI was based
on a simple premise: The top leadership here in India and in the United States
decided to raise our strategic partnership to a new level, and we needed a new
way of doing business. We agreed that, to help ensure that India's military
becomes as capable as it could be, we needed deeper and broader defense trade
and technology cooperation.
DTTI is about much more than defense deals. It is designed to
support the development of a strong and self-sufficient Indian defense
industrial base -- one that develops mutually beneficial, long-term partnerships
with top American defense companies, and helps create jobs in both our nations.
The United States has made no similar effort with any other nation; it is unique
to our relationship with India.
This initiative was not designed to replace either of our
nations' basic procedures for buying, selling, developing, or producing defense
systems. Nor was it designed to change the basic principles that govern our two
nations' complex defense industrial ecosystems. Instead, it was crafted to
ensure that our defense development and production activities reflect our shared
strategic imperative: the imperative of closer partnership.
The DTTI now has on the table over a dozen specific
cooperative proposals, proposals that would transfer significant qualitative
capability, technology, and production know-how.
To build a broad foundation for co-development, and because
both our nations hone the leading edge of scientific and technological
innovation, we are also working together to advance our joint Cooperative
Science and Technology Priorities. This includes areas ranging from big data to
cognitive sciences to chemical and biological defense, and material sciences.
Going forward, the United States welcomes new proposals from
India, especially in areas we can most productively partner in co-production and
But the challenge today is not a shortage -- not a shortage
of proposals. Instead, for both our nations, the challenge is to seize the
opportunities...those opportunities that are before us today.
On some, we are nearing agreement. The Indian government's
recently proposed reforms on foreign direct investment (FDI) caps will help move
us forward. Further progress and clarity on FDI caps and offsets would help push
our defense relationship toward its full potential.
Last September, President Obama and Prime Minister Singh
agreed to identify and pursue specific opportunities for cooperation in advanced
defense technologies and systems within a year. Because we need to build success
upon success, we should take up this challenge.
A clear candidate to build momentum on the DTTI is the
proposal -- familiar to many of you -- to not only co-produce, but also co-develop
the next generation of the Javelin anti-tank missile. This is an unprecedented
offer that we have made only to India and no one else. To ensure our defense
industrial cooperation receives the attention it demands, in May I announced
that I was directing the Pentagon's Undersecretary for Acquisition, Technology,
and Logistics, Frank Kendall -- who is here today along with Ambassador Stephens
-- to lead and advance the DTTI.
Later this afternoon, along with Assistant Secretary of State
Puneet Talwar and Undersecretary Kendall, I will host a roundtable with leaders
of India's defense industry. Undersecretary Kendall also plans to return to
Delhi later this year. And I will play an active and committed and personal role
in expanding the DTTI, because it is -- it is a centerpiece of our defense
The DTTI and enhanced military-to-military cooperation will
enable our nations to expand our regional security cooperation. And as India
expands its own security role in South Asia and throughout the Pacific, the
United States will continue to support and encourage India's peaceful ambition.
By inviting South Asia's leaders to his inauguration, Prime
Minister Modi signaled a commitment to better relations with Pakistan and
India's other neighbors. By providing assistance to Afghanistan's security
forces, and significant humanitarian and development support, India has invested
in long-term regional stability. As Minister Jaitley and I discussed yesterday,
the United States remains committed to supporting Afghanistan's security forces
over the next two years of transition, including beyond 2016. Recognizing
India's stake in Afghanistan's progress and stability, the United States will
expand its regional security consultations with India. This will ensure that,
over the coming years of transition, assistance to Afghanistan's security forces
is supported and coordinated by the international community. We will also
continue to build on years of counterterrorism cooperation.
India is also assuming significant security responsibilities
beyond South Asia -- through its participation in humanitarian assistance and
relief efforts, peacekeeping, counter-piracy, and other maritime security
In the Indian Ocean, our navies have cooperated for more than
a decade, in efforts ranging from tsunami relief to the search for Malaysian
Airlines Flight 370. India is strengthening Asia's regional order by playing a
more active role in its multilateral institutions. It has also deepened its
bilateral relationships across the region -- with, among others, Japan, Vietnam,
Singapore, and Australia, where I am headed later today.
Just as America need not choose between its Asian alliances
and a constructive relationship with China, India need not choose between closer
partnership with America and improved ties with China. In our relations with
Beijing, both Delhi and Washington seek to manage competition, but avoid the
traps of rivalry. We will continue to seek a stable and peaceful order in which
China is a fellow trustee, working cooperatively with both our nations.
As U.S. and Indian security interests continue to converge,
so should our partnerships with other nations. The United
States and India should consider expanding our trilateral security cooperation
with Japan, building on our combined naval participation in MALABAR. We
should elevate our trilateral defense cooperation by consulting at the
To ensure that the United States and India's broader defense
cooperation is sustained and strengthened -- all of this well into the next
decade -- we look forward to the next meeting of the U.S.-India Defense Policy
Yesterday, I invited Minister Jaitley to attend a meeting
that I would host with Secretary of State Kerry, Secretary of Commerce Pritzker,
and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Marty Dempsey when the Minister is in
Washington this fall. This consultation could begin discussions on a renewed and
expanded defense framework with the current one expiring next year, and it would
include the U.S. agencies -- Defense, State, and Commerce -- that hold the keys
to deeper defense cooperation. Because U.S.-India defense cooperation is a top
priority for President Obama and me, it deserves the attention of the U.S.
government's most senior leaders.
To advance all of our shared priorities, I have also invited
Prime Minister Modi to visit the Pentagon when he visits Washington next month.
In his inaugural address in May, the Prime Minister said that
"an era of responsibility has begun." India seeks to meet the needs of 1 million
new job seekers every month, provide electricity and sanitation for hundreds of
millions every day, and retool its business sector for renewed growth for years
The Indian government has made clear that these are its top priorities.
The responsibility that the Prime Minister has called for
also applies to our strategic partnership, because our partnership will help
enable India -- and the United States -- to accelerate domestic growth in both
of our countries.
A strong strategic partnership between the United States and
India is a responsibility, not a slogan. It is a responsibility that our
governments owe not only to our own citizens, but to all nations and all peoples
who seek a more peaceful and prosperous future.
Our values are shared. Our interests are aligned. Our focus
and energy are surging.
I leave India today confident that, together, our two nations
will achieve the historic potential of this special partnership. And I look
forward to further discussions, and especially our discussion this afternoon.
And, again, to all of you, thank you for what you do for this
partnership, and thank you for an opportunity to share some thoughts this
afternoon. Thank you very much.