As President Barack Obama begins his visit to India, his erstwhile rival John McCain is voicing hope that Washington and New Delhi will tighten up their military cooperation in the face of China’s “troubling” assertiveness.
McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential candidate and the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, told a think-tank audience in Washington on Friday that the two huge democracies were natural allies in the quest to temper China’s ambitions.
“While India and the United States each continue to encourage a peaceful rise for China, we must recognize that one of the greatest factors for shaping this outcome and making it more likely is a robust U.S.-India strategic partnership,” McCain said.
McCain suggested that India and the United States could increase the level of representation at each other’s central military commands and work to make their armed forces more “interoperable” through joint military exercises and sharing of intelligence.
“There’s no reason why we can’t work to facilitate India’s deployment of advanced defense capabilities such as nuclear submarines, aircraft carriers, missile defense architecture as well as India’s inclusion in the development of the joint strike fighter,” the next generation fighter aircraft being developed by the United States, the United Kingdom and others, McCain said.