Outgoing US ambassador to India, Ken Juster, on January 05th laid emphasis on the need to build guidelines and, if necessary, “red lines” for the Indo-Pacific region. In his farewell policy speech, Juster said the Indo-Pacific region needed stability and democratic governance and that’s why India was important.
In a subtle message to India over its defence ties with Russia, Juster said: “In our view, defence procurement should not be solely about selecting the lowest bidder but also about recognising quality and value over the entire lifecycle, and ensuring strategic interoperability across services — and perhaps even with other friendly forces. Already, platforms have given way to systems, and, in tomorrow’s world, systems will fight systems simultaneously across all domains. Information and the ability to share and integrate it into broader communications and operating networks will be key.”
“In today’s strategic landscape it may not be optimal to source equipment across a range of suppliers from different countries. Moreover, as India looks at co-production opportunities, it may wish to focus on manufacturing equipment that addresses the needs of the global marketplace, with sufficient demand worldwide to make it a worthwhile endeavour…”
“Despite persistent efforts, we were unable to conclude even a small trade package. Moreover, there are growing restrictions in India on market access for certain US goods and services…”