Pentagon strengthened military ties with Colombo after Modi-Trump meet in 2017

[TamilNet, Friday, 24 January 2020, 22:18 GMT]
The US President Donald Trump was determined to strengthen military alliances with Japan, South Korea, Australia, the Philippines, and Thailand before his November 2017 trip to Asia. However, after meeting India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the US President decided to operationalize “Major Defense Partnership” with India while pursuing “emerging partnerships” with Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Bangladesh, and Nepal, according to Michael Pillsbury, the Trump administration’s “favourite outside China expert”. Michael Pillsbury has authored an article on the topic of Trump Administration’s Indo-Pacific Strategy in the policy book titled “The Struggle for Power: U.S.-China Relations in the 21st Century,” which was published by the Aspen Strategy Group on Friday.

Michael Pillsbury is a senior fellow and the director for Chinese Strategy at the Hudson Institute and the author of 2015 book titled, “The Hundred-Year Marathon, China's Secret Strategy to Replace America as the Global Superpower”.

The US signing of the Communications, Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) with India was a “significant development in our military-to-military relationship, facilitating greater interoperability and real-time secure information-sharing,” which happened in 2018, according to Mike.

Furthermore, the US expert on China observers that, since 2015, the Pentagon has strengthened its relationship with Colombo increasing “military engagements significantly, particularly with the Sri Lankan Navy.”

The US Navy has recently started a series of temporary cargo transfer initiatives enabling “non-lethal resupply of passing naval vessels in Sri Lanka,” on par with Colombo's vision of becoming a regional hub for logistics and commerce, he further notes.

“In 2017, we conducted the first port visit in thirty years by a U.S. aircraft carrier—the USS NIMITZ Carrier Strike Group—and the first ever bilateral Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Exercise. In 2019, we increased cooperation on mutual logistics arrangements in support of Indian Ocean security and disaster response,” he further observers.

External Links:
Aspen Strategy Group: The Aspen Strategy Group Presents: The Struggle for Power: U.S.-China Relations in the 21st Century



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