India Executive Steering Group

Tuesday January 6, 2009

What is it?

The 13th India Executive Steering Group (ESG), scheduled from Jan. 5-8, 2009, in Honolulu, is hosted by the Indian Army and U.S. Army, Pacific. Established in 1995, the ESG will encompass all Theater Security Cooperation Program (TSCP) events as well as bilateral studies and working group meetings between functional experts. It is intended to bring the planning and coordination of all Army-to-Army engagements with the Indian Army under one governing body; however, Marine Forces Pacific (MARFORPAC) and Special Operations Command Pacific (SOCPAC) are also included in the ESG to provide a coordinated and comprehensive overview of land component engagements with India.

What has the Army done?

Following three years of U.S.-Indian negotiations, the U.S. secured the U.S.-India civil nuclear deal in October 2008. This significant event provided the Army with a great opportunity to expand our security cooperation with India, but the recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai has demonstrated the urgency needed to take significant steps to improve the quality and the complexity of our engagements with India, ultimately to form a strategic partnership, especially in the areas of counter-terrorism, counter-IED, intelligence sharing, and joint operations. This year's ESG has five major objectives: review and assess FY08 TSCP events and coordinate FY09 and FY10 TSCP events with the Indian Army, build consensus on the implementation of CSA's eight initiatives to expand engagement, shape the Yudh Abhyas Exercise way ahead toward joint operations and a division-level CPX, and as a long-term goal, explore opportunities to increase intelligence sharing, CT and COIN exchanges.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?

The India ESG meeting in January 2009 should result in an agreement with the Indian Army to conduct approximately 15 Army-to-Army TSCP engagements with India in FY09. All of these exercises and events are essential in enhancing the growing military partnership between the US and India.

Why is this important to the Army?

India is a major power in South Asia and has a proven capability to export security elsewhere. It has a large, fairly well equipped and capable Army, and they have been willing to engage with the United States Army on security matters of mutual concern. The recent civil nuclear deal and terrorist attacks in Mumbai present an opportunity to seriously engage India to further develop our strategic partnership increasing security and stability in the region.


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