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    An Indian soldier stands guard in front of the first of the six C-130J Super Hercules, a US military aircraft manufactured by Lockheed Martin. (File)

    US to Push Military Hotline Agenda in Ministerial Dialogue With India – Source

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    In 2008, the US made a proposal for a dedicated defense telephone line (DTL) to foster better coordination between the armed forces of the two countries, but India did not give a response to the proposal, despite several reminders.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) — The US has proposed setting up a military hotline with India to improve coordination between the armed forces and the defense leadership of the two countries.

    The two sides are expected to discuss the proposal during the 2+2 ministerial dialogue scheduled for September 6 in New Delhi. The meeting, which was postponed twice, will be attended by the foreign ministers and defense ministers of the two countries.

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    "The US is pushing India to set up a hotline between India's defense ministry and the Pentagon, citing a case of better coordination between two leaderships and will deepen military-to-military engagement," a source privy to the development told Sputnik.

    The issue of setting up a hotline between the Pentagon and India's Ministry of Defense was first proposed by the then US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates in February 2008. 

    Sources also informed that the US had prepared a draft agreement regarding this and later, in May 2008, it was handed over to the then Indian Defense Minister A.K. Antony. But, the US failed to garner a positive response from India.

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    Meanwhile, the two countries are also making efforts to finalize the draft of a key military pact, the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA). For that, a high level US military team visited New Delhi last week.

    The final draft of the COMCASA has been pending for long, given India's skepticism over a number of pressing concerns, ranging from the viability of the defense equipment purchased under the pact in case of any hiccups in bilateral relations to the question of whether the American side will use the access it gets to the military communications system for spying on India.

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    Tags:
    military-strategic parity, doubts, defense cooperation, hotline, dialogue, Indian Army, US Army, Indian Defense Ministry, India, United States
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