WASHINGTON: Observing a rise in eagerness and willingness of US Army to engage in joint exercises with Indian Army, a top general of the US Pacific Command has said the pace of this relationship is being set by New Delhi.
“We have excellent relationship with Indian Army right now and it is starting to increase. I would say it is a hot relationship, army to army. We have to work through the paces of our own governments in terms of how much we are allowed to do. But, our eagerness and willingness to increase work with Indian Army is rising,” said General Vincent K Brooks, Commanding General of US Army in Asia.
Gen Brooks told a defence writers’ roundtable in Washington that the US is committed to continuing bilateral exercises like ‘Yudhabhyas’ as “foundation of hot relationship”, and said the purchase of US military hardware by Indian armed forces opens a door to a “partner, if not a twin”.
“Having said that, we are moving at a pace that our governments allow us to move. And really the pace is set by India in this case. We will move as fast or as slow as they want us to at any point of time. Because we have the resources in the region to do that now. And that is a great opportunity for us,” he said in response to a question.
Gen Brooks said humanitarian assistance and disaster response is very important area of cooperation. “You certainly saw that in Nepal earthquake response,” he said, adding that such a quick disaster and humanitarian response was anticipated by the armed forces of the two countries.
“Right now, we are in bilateral exercises. We do hope at some point of time to try to get to a multilateral (level) that prepares us for the next time (any disaster) that occurs,” he said.
The General’s remarks came a day after Manohar Parrikar became the first Indian Defence Minister to visit the headquarters of the US Pacific Command. (PTI)