USINPAC urges the United States Congress to include India in the Missile Defense Program and the Joint Strike Fighter Program. Additionally, Congress should pass legislation fast-tracking US defense sales to India that is on par with US defense sales to NATO countries and to Israel.
The Missile Defense Program was one of President Bush's campaign promises in 2000 and continues to be one of his top defense priorities. The Joint Strike Fighter Program is viewed by experts as the most ambitious and the most effective fighter to date. All other fighter planes, including the F-16 and F-18, are far below the capabilities of this next generation supersonic stealth fighter. Production of the Joint Strike Fighter is scheduled to begin in 2007 with eight countries working together with the U.S.: Canada, England, the Netherlands, Italy, Denmark, Australia, Norway and Turkey. USINPAC strongly believes that India should be included in this list of countries.
Sanjay Puri, Chairman of USINPAC, said, "Especially since 9/11, India has proven to be a staunch, loyal and natural ally of the United States. Congress needs to evaluate ways to pass legislation in furtherance of President Bush's vision of making India our global strategic partner." Mr. Puri continued, "Supporting expanded defense ties with India also supports US national security interest in Asia based on shared democratic values."
Manish Antani, USINPAC Legislative Director, points out "India, one of the world's fastest growing economies, fourth ranked nation in the world in purchasing power parity, an increasingly wealthy middle class that is larger in size than the population of the United States, and soon the largest market for American exports including defense."
Mr. Antani emphasized, "Congress must assess US defense sales to India not from a regional perspective, as is the old way of doing things." "Indian Americans," he said "believe that a global strategic partnership between the US and India is critical to post-9/11 US national security interest as well as peace and prosperity in Asia."
USINPAC believes that the Indian American community has an important role to play in our government's efforts to re-assess our national security and foreign policy agenda in Asia and USINPAC continues to build awareness on issues important to our community on Capitol Hill.