Washington July 25, 2005 4:27:55 PM IST
America must forge an operational military partnership with the Indian Army, which has a well-honed and exceptional high-altitude warfare capability, for carrying out counter-terrorist or counter-narcotic operations, a US-based think tank has opined.
The US Institute of Peace (USIP) says that the "recent US-led military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan", amply demonstrate the need for building such partnerships with friendly nations, particularly India which has the world's second largest army.
"There are reasons to believe that future Indo-US military co-operation is possible in political contexts and specific kinds of operations," says Author Christine Fair, a programme officer for South Asia at the USIP who authored the study report.
The Dawn quoted Christina as saying that India had disappointed the US when it refused to send troops to Iraq. "Notably, India has a well-honed and exceptional high-altitude warfare capability, of which few countries can boast," she adds.
Further hailing the capabilities of the Indian Army, she says in her report, that it has conducted operations successfully in desert and jungle terrains, tackled rural and urban insurgencies, and operated at home and abroad, basically in UN peacekeeping operations. Hence, the US and Indian troops must work together in joint military operations across the globe to ensure peace, she says.
Recognising the Indian Army's strengths, she writes that many foreign armies wanted to send their forces to India for training. "Following the Indian military campaign during the 1999 conflict with Pakistan in the Kargil and Dras sectors and Operation `Parakaram', the Indian Army action during the 2002 stand-off with Pakistan, foreign armies became increasingly interested in the Indian army," she says adding that after these two operations, several nations expressed the desire to send their officers for training to India.
The author describes the Indian Army's main task of guarding the country's borders with Pakistan and China as "onerous," given that of its 16,500 km of shared borders, 7000 kms are disputed. (ANI)