India is a Key Player in America’s South Asia Strategy: Pentagon
The U.S.-India relationship is multifaceted, Pentagon Chief Spokesperson Dana W. White said.
India is a key player in ensuring the success of United States’ South Asia strategy, the Pentagon said on Feb. 1. Pentagon Chief Spokesperson Dana W. White added that the America-India relationship was “multifaceted” when she was asked about the role of the United States in the “India, Israel, and U.S. triangle” at a press conference.
“India is helping with respect to the South Asian strategy. They’ve provided a tremendous amount of developmental aid. They’ve also offered to help with aviation maintenance. So there’s an opportunity. India’s a perfect example of where the secretary wants to find and build relationships with partners, and so that’s what we are doing,” White said, when asked about India’s role in fighting terrorism.
— U.S. Dept of Defense (@DeptofDefense) February 1, 2018
In December 2017, the Pentagon had said that India is the “most reliable regional partner” of Afghanistan.
“India is Afghanistan’s most reliable regional partner and the largest contributor of development assistance in the region,” the Pentagon said in its report to the Congress titled Enhancing Security and Stability in Afghanistan.
During the latest press briefing, the Pentagon addressed the terrorism issue in Pakistan as well.
Pakistan “has been a victim of terrorism, and it has supported terrorism. And we are looking for Pakistan to actively join — it can do the things we need them to do to confront terrorism,” White said.
The United States and India have jointly called on Pakistan to address the terrorism problem on its homeland, which is also percolating across the border to India and Afghanistan.
Elaborating on the South Asia Strategy during the briefing, Joint Staff Director Lt. Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., said, “I would tell you that we’re in the process of executing a new approach as part of the South Asia Strategy. As you know that we’ve flown additional forces in to a level of approximately 14,000. But actually more important than the numbers is the approach that we’re going to use, which is to aggressively mentor, advise, assist and support our Afghan partners.”
Afghanistan has said that the recent multiple attacks were “genocide” and insisted that Pakistan had declared war on the Afghan people while India offered help for the victims.
“Prime minister Modi called me to offer condolences on the recent senseless killings of civilians by the enemies of humanity,” Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani had tweeted on Jan. 31 after the multiple terror attacks in Kabul that killed 100 people. He said that Modi and he discussed the need for ending terrorist sanctuaries in “our neighborhood.”