SECDEF Warns India of Al Qaeda
The US/India relationship continues to attract the highest levels of attention as Secretary of Defense Gates is currently in India only months after President Obama hosted a state dinner in their honor. Gates stated this visit “is part of that broad plan to make sure that we continue to build patterns of cooperation and understand where our shared interests will lead to greater cooperation in the defense and security realm.” This visit will focus on honing the strategic partnership between the US and India that is critical to the security of the region. India is strategically located in the middle of the two particular areas of interest: the Af/Pak region and China.
Often, military cooperation between countries is the most visible indication of relations between two countries. Since 2002, US/India military exercises and arms sales have steadily grown in both size and scope. Gates used this visit to warn India that al Qaeda, through, a “syndicate,” may attempt to provoke nuclear-armed rivals India and Pakistan. In addition to this warning, Gates applauded India for their measured restraint during the Mumbai attack and recommended greater engagement with China in regards to their arms buildup.