The US Pacific Commander Admiral Robert Willard spoke in a Congressional hearing on March 1, that India and US teams were working together to get a handle on the Lashkar-e-Taiba for the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
Along with that, he also said that US teams were stationed in India and specifically working with Indian forces for maritime area. This is what Willard said:
“We have currently special forces assist teams – Pacific assist teams is the term – laid down in Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, the Maldives as well as India”.
The Indian Government has obviously denied that any US presence is there on the Indian soil, due to political fall out.
Now it is not bad per se that the US team is there is India to help our forces, but it is important that our forces are in control of the situation completely and not give US a free run. The Indian territorial integrity is after all the responsibility of India itself.
When you look at the subject matter, Willlard talked about, one can see that the American engagement goes far beyond what it has been until now – AfPak. It is now also focusing on the Chinese domination threat. A fact underscored in the Myanmar visit by Hillary Clinton. Myanmar is a small country but it has oil reserves and China has recently taken an upper hand versus India over there.
Anchored by India and containing major sea line of communication for the transport of energy and other commerce to Asia and the America from the Middle East and Europe, South Asia security partnerships were increasingly vital to Pacific Command’s mission, he said.
South Asia is home to a confluence of challenges, including nuclear armed India and Pakistan, numerous transnational groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba, piracy, trafficking in narcotics and persons, disputed borders, and insurgent movements that have plagued India, Nepal and Sri Lanka, Willard said.
So, let us be clear about what is harmful and what is not. Just because its good political fodder, things don’t become bad. What can be bad is that Indian Government and the forces do not retain their paramountcy over their territory. That is critical. If some one else comes into your house and take over things, then you cannot blame him. It is you who is responsible.
That is what we have to demand off of our politicians.