A watchful, critical eye on US troops, training, and “war games” in South Asia

Revolutionary Democratic Front:  “Resolution on US troops in South Asian countries including India” – April 2012

The growing military ties of the Indian state with the number one imperialist power in the world, US, has resulted in joint military exercises and ‘war games’ in recent years. One such training, codenamed ‘Exercise Malabar’, has been made a regular event to be held by the armies and navies of the US and India. This year, Exercise Malabar was conducted by Indian and American armed forces from April 9 to 16 in the Bay of Bengal as well as Andaman and Nicobar Islands. It is also in common knowledge that US Special Forces have trained Indian army in ‘counter-insurgency’ warfare and ‘counter-terrorism’ in the so-called Jungle Warfare Schools in Kanker, Chhattisgarh and Vairengte, Mizoram.

Of late a number of defence agreements have been signed by the governments of the two countries. More agreements are in the process of finalisation, including the Logistic Supply Agreement (LSA), Communications Interoperability and Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA), Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA). The so-called ‘India-Japan-US Strategic Dialogue’ has also been set up with a similar agenda. This shows the growing military alignment of the Indian state with the US and its strategic partner Israel, with multi-billion dollar defense deals with US and Israeli arms manufacturers. India’s defense budget has also been scaled up exponentially in order to satisfy the needs of the imperialist economy spearheaded by the US.

Since 2001, India’s defence spending has risen by more than 60 per cent to $36 billion in 2011 – 2012. Between the years 2007 and 2011, Indian state has signed $35.6 billion worth of defence contracts. The largest share of this spending has gone to the US, the latter now becoming the largest defence supplier to India. American companies have received $12 billion in contracts from India – a 34 per cent share of all defense spending since 2007. Private American companies closely connected to the imperialist ruling class of the US such as Rapischen, Taxtron, BOD, Lockheed Martin, Northcorp, Motorola, GE etc. has benefitted from these contracts. All this is being done in the name of ‘anti-terror cooperation’ and intelligence sharing. Continue reading