The Citizen, By Bharat Karnad, March 11
New Delhi – It is a devastating turn of events – the indication that the Bharatiya Janata Party government will soon sign the three so-called “foundational” accords with the United States that Washington has been fiercely pushing in the past decade.
The Logistics Support Agreement (LSA) is first in line. The other two agreements are the CISMOA (Communications Interoperability and Security Memorandum of Agreement) and BECA (Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for geospatial information and data).
LSA, the most significant of these, will permit the military forces of each country to resupply and replenish, and stage operations out of the other’s military air bases, land facilities, and ports. CISMOA will allow integration of the communications networks and systems enabling the two sides, for example, to mount military actions together, assist unit and higher echelon commanders to converse with each other in peacetime and war, using real time communications links, and to share classified data and information. BECA will, in the main, facilitate the exchange of sensitive information picked up by sensors on satellites and other space-based platforms.
There are some tactical military advantages to accepting some of these accords, such as BECA which will, with digitized maps, cue Indian missiles and combat aircraft to target coordinates. But there are many more negative geopolitical and strategic consequences to becoming America’s military ally in all but name. These aspects have not been publicly discussed and the government is getting a free pass to drastically change India’s geostrategics and foreign policy. But first a bit of recent history to contextualize this development.